Season 3 - 2013/14 – League 2
Prediction - 24th
Actual - 5th
Going into the season i was expecting a season of struggle and was hoping for survival and not much beyond that, I expected the 2 succesive promotions to cause us to find our level,
I tried to be a little more reserved than normal in the transfer market and try and focus on stability and consistency rather than a total squad overhaul.
We started out solidly enough, and the step up didnt seem to be as stark as i had expected, we soon found ourselves comfortably in mid table and spent much of the season floating a similar number of points away from the Play Offs as we were from the Relegation Zone.
The turning point of the season came when as a manager i had to admit i had been wrong about one of the players i had banished to the reserves.
Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu had been deemed surplus to my requirements at the start of the season, i felt he just didnt have it anymore for this level of football,
I sent him to the reserves and left him there to play out his contract till the end of the season,
But, at around the start of February i needed a spark, we were going nowhere and struggling to finish teams off, we had picked up a few niggles and knocks in the forwards and so i bit the bullet and brought Ndumbu-Nsungu back into the fold.
From that moment he sparked something in the team, first game back he picked up 2 goals in a MOM performance against Morecambe, and another Goal and MOM in his second game back in a 3 - 1 win against promotion chasing Lincoln.
I dont know if he was just playing for a new contract but he had become a one man goal machine, the draws we had suffered from were turning into wins and we finally started to close the gap on the Play Off places.
with 7 games to go we really kicked on and whilst others around us were losing there heads and imploding, an Ndumbu-Nsungu inspired Hastings hit a purple patch of form and managed to climb and climb until on the last day of the season 6 teams were battling it out for the final automatic promotion place and the four play off places, 1 team was going to miss out.
If we won our game, the rest didnt matter, we would have a play off spot,
But if results went our way, automatic promotion was a possibility,
It was not to be, a 1 - 1 draw with Champions Notts County left us in 5th and in the Play Offs
It was Colchester in the Semi's and was negotiated far easier than i had anticipated, the 3 - 2 aggregate scoreline doesnt really reflect the way we played and the domination we had for large parts of the tie, but the main thin was that we were in the Final
Gillingham awaited us in the Final and given that we had played them 3 times this year, suffering 2 defeats and a draw i was not hopeful,
But, The man who had inspired the late season surge stepped up to the plate once again,
2 Goals, 1 Assist, The MOM - Step Forward Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu
Gillingham were destroyed by a 25 minutes Blitzkreig at the start of the first half
Hastings were 4 - 0 up and (I think) were playing Just Like Brazil
It was by far the most outstanding perofrmance so far in this challenge fromk the team and the final score of 4 - 1 saw us gain our promotion and saw Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu step into the History of Hastings Utd as the man who inspired a team to promotion.
If you missed my live commentary - Here it is
Play Off Final
League 2 Table
League Position Graph
Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu - Even though he only played half a season, the man was inspired, the reason we got promoted
Kristjan Emilsson - A solid first the season from the big man, scored plenty and generally made a nuisance of himself
Reece Hands - Developing into a quality playmaker, 22 assists is a phenomenal return
Cameron Lindsay - Our resident International Centre Back, Solid and unfussy, a rock at the back
Ryan Fredericks - His pace alone terrified left backs all season, 11 goals from the wing is a cracking return
I always feel that survival should be the main priority and even after 3 succesive promotions i am not going to change that view, eventually i feel we will be found out and i just know there is a long tough season just round the corner
Season League League Finish Achievements2011/12 Blue Square South 1st Promoted/Champions
2012/13 Blue Square Premier 4th Promoted/Play Off Winners
2013/14 League 2 5th Promoted/Play Off Winners
100 Apperance Club
Name Joined Position Apperances Played In
Adam Street 2011 GK 123 Blue Square South, Blue Square Premier, League 2