End of season review 2017/18

End of season review 17-18

Extra one-off awards

Favourite photo: Waltham Forest FC escape relegation

It was a tough season for my local club but they managed to escape relegation on the last day of the season with a 3-1 win over Ilford. I luckily caught this great image of the players celebrating the third, and decisive goal, with their ever increasing fan base. Read the full blog here.

Waltham Forest celebrations

Rodney Cockerpoo award: Canvey Island

My first trip of the season with my dog, Rodney, was to Canvey Island's Easter Saturday game with Waltham Abbey. It was a great day out, and Rodney was welcomed by everyone including stewards, subs and local fans. Hopefully we'll make a few more trips together next season, but if you have a dog and want to take it to a game you can't go wrong with Canvey Island. Read the full blog here.

2017-18 awards

Most watched team: Haringey Borough

My first Haringey game was their midweek away trip to Barking, I then saw them again, at home, the following Saturday on Non-league Day. Boro had a great season, that culminated in promotion to the Bostik Premier division, and they won every game I saw them play. They're an organised side with quality in all areas of the pitch and they should continue to be a force at step three. Read my Haringey blogs.

Favourite programme: Grays Athletic

It might have been the weather or it might have had something to do with this being the first game I went to after my daughter was born, but when I arrived at Parkside I needed something to get me back in the mood for football. Grays' programme was perfect. The content was fantastic and it summed up the club, it's current position, and its aims perfectly. The programme had all the information you wanted to know as a first time visitor or a regular. Other memorable programmes from the season were; Norwich City, Corinthian-Casuals, Ilford and Waltham Forest. Read the full blog here.

Favourite goal: Zak Joseph, Hendon FC

A second award for this entertaining game. This time it's my favourite goal of the season. This goal wasn't only a special bit of skill, but it was also a crucial moment in the game. Hendon had just pulled a goal back to make the game 1-3. Joseph then turned and weaved around three or four defenders before dinking the ball over the keeper. Hendon were back in the game and went on to complete a dramatic comeback. Joseph even tweeted some footage of the goal, so you don't have to read my blog again.

Most impressive player performance: Mohamed Eisa - Crawley Town v Cheltenham Town

I've already named this game as my favourite ELF game of the season, but it also contained the most impressive individual performance of the season. Mohamed Eisa, signed for Cheltenham from non-league club Greenwich Borough at the start of the season and finished as the second leading scorer in League Two. He scored two excellent goals in this game, and was comfortably the best player on the pitch, in a game blessed with attacking play. Eisa has been linked with several Championship and League One clubs and will likely be playing at a higher level come August. Read the full blog.

Most impressive team performance: Ware FC v Hertford Town

These two local rivals were having contrasting fortunes in the first season for a while that they were in the same division. Ware were looking at a potential relegation scrap before the visit of their neighbors and were outnumbered on the terraces. The home side put in an excellent team performance to shock Hertford 1-0. It was a brilliant example of organisation and counter attacking football at a non-league level. Read the full blog.

Favourite non-league matchday experience: Dartford

Dartford are a club on the up. They narrowly missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference and then lost in the playoffs. They will surely, however, be there or thereabouts next season as well. The stadium is amazing and a superb feat of design. They also get good crowds and the atmosphere is great. You can walk around, watch a game from different angles and have a photo taken with the wooden man. Read the full blog.

Favourite Football League matchday experience: AFC Wimbledon

Wimbledon have risen quickly into League One from their non-league phoenix club beginnings. They're also in the process of leaving their Kingsmeadow home and developing a new stadium closer to their roots. You'd forgive them for letting a few things slide as they're in transition, but the experience I had in South West London was fantastic. The ground was full, the atmosphere great and the culture of the club dripped from every inch of Kingsmeadow. Read the full blog.

Favourite non-league ground: Parkside, Aveley FC

I'd seen a few reviews of Parkside, one of Essex's newest grounds, prior to my visit. None prepared me for just how pristine and sparkling it was. It looked great, and it's clearly serving the club well. The ground is a shining example of how artificial pitches can benefit non-league clubs. Countless local rivals used the venue to catch-up with fixtures after the terrible winter, and Parkside even staged a few cup finals. Read my full blog.

Favourite Football League ground: Kenilworth Road, Luton

This visit did have a particular advantage. Luton were flying all season, and it was a local derby. The home side put on an attacking master class to thrash their rivals 7-1. Kenilworth Road is a wonderful old-style, hotchpotch ground, and on this day it was full to the rafters. The atmosphere was great, and the stadium is walking distance from the station. They even sent me an email to ask for my feedback on the experience. Luton went on to win promotion to League One and will surely continue to entertain and get great crowds next season. They'll be well worth visiting. Read the full blog.

Favourite non-league game: Hendon 3-3 Folkesone Invicta

An excellent game that included a thrilling comeback and some fantastic goals. The two sides were battling it out to make the playoff places at the time and eventually met in the playoff semi-finals. Folkestone, cheered on by a hearty away crowd, went 3-0 up. Hendon's exciting forward line, however, always looked like they had a goal in them. They clicked in the second half, drew level and almost won it at the end. This game just beat Haringey Borough v Heybridge Swifts which is one of the highest quality games I saw all season, at any level. Read the full blog here.

Favourite Football League game: Crawley 3-5 Cheltenham Town

It's fair to say I wasn't expecting too much from Crawley or Cheltenham. I was lucky enough, however, to witness an action-packed game of football, some stunning goals and a great experience at a league club, that still has a non-league feel to it. This game just pipped Luton's 7-1 demolition of Stevenage as it was slightly more evenly matched. Read the full blog here.

Here's to a great season and on to 2018/19.