Top class campaign
SENIOR DIVISION A Ely City Reserves Home W13 D0 L2 F42 A10 Away W12 D3 L0 F49 A10 Pts 78 (1st of 16) ELY S championship-winning campaign was nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the fact they lost two of their opening five matc
SENIOR DIVISION A
Ely City Reserves
Home W13 D0 L2 F42 A10
Away W12 D3 L0 F49 A10
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Pts 78 (1st of 16)
ELY'S championship-winning campaign was nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the fact they lost two of their opening five matches - both at home.
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Having won their first three outings without conceding a goal, City quickly realised the identity of the team that would eventually push them all the way - Hundon.
That 3-1 home defeat was immediately followed by one of Ely's few inexplicable results of the season - a 2-1 home setback against Lakenheath, who eventually finished fourth from bottom and gleaned only seven more points on their travels.
City stopped the rot with a 3-2 win at Gamlingay United (eventually third from bottom) but then drew 2-2 with a Grampian side that was relegated.
Ely didn't necessarily look like championship material at that stage of the season, but a narrow 3-2 Challenge Cup defeat at home to eventual Senior Division B champions Whittlesford United proved to be their last disappointment of the campaign.
A run of 15 successive league wins began and finished with matches against Wisbech Town Reserves, but the avoidance of defeat at Fenland Park meant that City were virtually guaranteed promotion.
Another draw followed at Fulbourn Institute, but the four points dropped in those successive games were the only ones given away in Ely's last 23 league outings.
They clinched the title with a revenge 3-1 success at Hundon, adding the league trophy to the William Cockell Cup they had secured earlier on.
So, The Robins will join Littleport Town and Fordham in the top flight next season, and who would bet against them doing well?
Soham Town Rangs Res
Home W8 D3 L4 F41 A21
Away W9 D0 L6 F32 A24
Pts 54 (5th of 16)
SOHAM were always clipping the heels of the leading sides, but were basically inconsistent and did not do well enough in their meetings with the top teams.
Champions Ely beat them twice, and so did third-placed Wisbech Town Reserves.
Rangers did manage to take a point from runners-up Hundon in the opening game of the season, but lost 4-2 against the same opponents in their final outing.
In between times, it was difficult to know what to expect from Steve Bye's young side, apart that is from hard endeavour.
They won four successive league matches (their best sequence) prior to the 2-1 home defeat by Ely, but twice had runs of three defeats from four - hardly the form of promotion contenders.
Having said that, it was their consistency against sides that finished in the bottom half of the table that stood them in good stead.
In their 16 meetings with the bottom eight teams, they won 14 and lost only two - both by 2-1 scorelines against Brampton and Hardwick respectively.
That accounted for 42 of the 54-point tally however, so only 12 points were obtained from the seven sides that finished alongside them in the top half of the table.
In the cups, Soham twice went out at the first hurdle, but only after penalty shoot-outs against Brampton (in the William Cockell Cup) and Littleport Town (in the Challenge Cup).
Next season could see Rangers improve enough to make their long-awaited return to the top flight, and leading scorer Alex Irvine would again be the cornerstone of their challenge.