Tooting & Mitcham United FC - Coca-Cola League 1 - 2015/16
With a dominant league win last season we were hopeful of a good first season in the new league.
League Positions Graph
We had a mixed start but then about half way through hit a fantastic run of form which also coincided in a lot of the cup games. We climbed up to an automatic promotion spot in 2nd but then lost it. In the run in to the end of the season we lost to a few of the teams around us and threw away a lot of points, in the end settling for a playoff place.
Playoff semi leg 1- things were not looking good as we were struggling before we weont down to ten men. Then, a very soft penalty was given for a push at a corner. We scored, then sat back and managed to pick them off on the break to take an unlikely 2-0 win back home. The one bad bit of news is that António Silva got injured and will miss the next match and the final should we make it.
Playoff semi leg 2 - very similar to the first match, things were all one way then as they looked for the equaliser we picked them off twice on the counter attack. We meet Oldham in the final, the team that beat us in the playoff final two years ago.
Playoff final - revenge is mine! It very nearly wasn't though as Oldham dashed our hopes on a number of occasions. We started the match brightly, taking the game to Oldham and taking a deserved lead. Oldham then equalised against the run of play and started to control the game. Extra time begun and once again we took control with a goal, but as we hung on for dear life they scored with just a couple of minutes left. Penalties would decide the outcome and as Oldham missed their first it looked in our hands as Matteo Dalmasso had the chance to put us in the Championship, but missed. Sudden death took its toll on Oldham as our goalie made his second save of the shootout, giving Pencho Nikolov the chance to win it for us, which he took.
FA Cup - it was a magical cup run that featured wins over Premier League opposition in Hull and Birmingham. Our run was ended in a thriller against Sheffield United.
Carling Cup - this competition is a waste of time while at our level, the only bonus is a little boost to the finances.
Johnstone's Paint Trophy - we made our way easily enough to the final, but lost to promotion rivals Bradford.
Transfers - the addition of a Bulgarian scout has brought a few quality Bulgarians into my team. I would have liked to have kept Mitrovic, but that bid saved my finances which were at £600k in the red at one point.
Squad - we've got enough quality to rotate the squad now but we are still quite weak in defence.
Key Player Profiles:
Craig McShea - once again he was our top scorer, from the AMC position. He was just lethal at breaking into the box late, often running through the gap between the two central defenders.
António Silva - a classy striker who had a decent season after being released by Monaco.
Lukman Haruna - the rock in the midfield, who also provided a decent number of assists from set pieces.
Paris Cowan-Hall - despite a lot of new arrivals, he has held him place in the team with a series of impressive performances.
Shane McDermott - the only player I've ever spent money on (£35k). He's a DM really but I've been using him at DC while Haruna was fit.
Next SeasonCode:Season League Position Achievements -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2010/11 Blue Square South 5th Promoted via playoffs 2011/12 Blue Square Premier 8th 2012/13 Blue Square Premier 2nd Promoted via playoffs, FA Trophy finalists 2013/14 Coca-Cola League 2 6th Lost in playoff final 2014/15 Coca-Cola League 2 1st Promoted as champions 2015/16 Coca-Cola League 1 4th Promoted via playoffs, JPT finalists
This really was an unexpected promotion, so things are going to be very difficult next season, safety is all I'm after. The squad will definitely need strengthening so hopefully my scouting limitations will be altered so I can look further abroad for cheap talent.
About time too!