Game off - Witton Albion
Back the Bridge - A Trip Down Memory Lane - 27-03-2018
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Back the Bridge
Author: Michael Brierley - Tue 27 Mar 18

Stalybridge Celtic FC, home, through both good times and bad.

With the aim of progress still very much prevalent, the 2005/2006 season was one in which some on field progress was made, highlighted with a quite magnificent win over local rivals Hyde United on their own patch (Pettinger, Keeling, Barnard, Kilbane, Haran, Price, Garvey, Sykes, Ellington, Banim, Prince)

Although a defeat to Witton Albion in the final of the Cheshire Senior Cup did somewhat take a bit of gloss of matters, this was more than a solid effort and one in which, for parts of it, promotion seemed possible. A final day crunch clash eventually saw a seventh place finish, just missing out on a place in the play offs.

However, these were inconsistent times and the 2006/2007 season was one of a lacklustre nature, during which only a good run of results and vital win at Scarborough (Bishop, Black, Kay, Lever, Haran, Winn, Brodie, Sykes, Ellington, Barlow, Parr) helped maintain a position above the relegation parapet and saw a final placing of nineteenth.

That desire to provide on field success, which was perhaps greater than ever, to compliment what was now a fine surrounding infrastructure and highly regarded facilities behind the scenes, saw Steve Burr appointed as manager ahead of the 2007/2008 season and perhaps only highlighted just what a well run operation this now was.

A final third place finish saw a coveted place in the play offs achieved, in which Southport were beaten in two legged affair, following an epic penalty shoot out. Although Barrow prevailed in the final, played at Burton Albion (Pearson, Woolliscroft, Garner, Payne, Barwick, Sykes, Torpey, Winn, Hall, Ellington, Meechan) it had been a good year and surely represented the closest and best times since that historic treble achievement.

The 2008/2009 season was along similar lines, although was mixed with some poor results and thus meant a promotion challenge never really materialised. A win over Workington on the last day (Phillips, Battersby, Smart, Hardiker, Barwick, Sykes, Torpey, Briggs, Barlow, Ellington, Wilkinson) saw a sixth place finish and brought the curtain down on the first hundred years of football.

The centenary, one hundred years of football, had seen humble beginnings, ambition that saw Football League status achieved and then relinquished, to the journey to achieve it all again. During all this time though and of far greater importance was that the ultimate goal had been achieved, this place bringing much happiness to many people over the years and may it continue to do so.

Stalybridge Celtic FC, achieving success and sustainability, on and off the pitch, at all times.

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