Coming off the back of another title winning season, expectations for the Nottsborough 2’s were sky high going into the 2016/17 season. There were several departures before the season began, none bigger than the departing player/manager Dave Melia who left a huge hole at the head of the team. Applications for the role weren’t exactly flying in but having fallen into the trap of turning up to the AGM meeting, his younger brother Gareth was in the wrong place at the wrong time and walked out the newly appointed 2s manager.
Whilst trying to establish the squad for the season and the usual early season availability issues, the start of the 16/17 season was a struggle for any kind of consistency. An opening day win at home to Actonians was a great way to start, however, two 5-0 defeats with a win away at Wilsonians in-between was not how the new manager had envisaged the season beginning. Results followed a similar pattern up until Christmas, however the squad had started to take shape and with some new talented players and a few from the previous title winning season beginning to gel, performances were improving.
Despite their inconsistencies in the league, the cups had been a much more successful venture so far and they pulled out the best performance and result of the season when they went away to Civil Service the weekend before Christmas in the last 16 of the AFA. The game ended in a 6-3 victory, a score line that flattered the hosts and sent the team into the New Year in high spirits.
Unfortunately the inconsistency in the league continued into 2017 and despite some positive performances, the results were not going the 2s way. The two cup quarter finals provided a welcome relief from the league and a convincing victory vs Bank of England in the AFA cup meant they were rewarded with a Semi-Final tie away at West Wickham. Unfortunately, the league cup quarter final against the same upcoming opposition was decided with the last kick of the game, resulting in a 2-1 defeat which was really tough to take.
Off the back of a welcome league victory away at Garchonians, the 2s travelled to West Wickham for the AFA Semi Final and put in a brilliant display in a 3-1 victory that earned them a game against Old Wilsonians in the AFA Intermediate Cup Final on the 18th March. The target for the remainder of the season is simple, to lift the AFA trophy and finish as high as possible in the league. Nothing else will do.