Lower league sides keep local pride alive


Wigan Athletic

League position: 16th in the Premier League (42 points)

Season in brief: Wigan had a mixed season where they flirted with the relegation zone throughout. Started disastrously losing 4-0 to Blackpool, then shipping six against Chelsea. Survived thanks to their good record against fellow strugglers. N’Zogbia and Rodallega topped the scoring charts.

Highlight: Charles N’Zogbia’s 94th minute winner against West Ham that completed a rousing comeback and condemned the Hammers to relegation.

Low point: Getting embroiled in a last day battle to survive, escaping thanks to a win against Stoke.

Blackpool FC

League position: 19th in the Premier League (39 points – relegated to the Championship)

Season in brief: swashbuckling one season stay in the top tier. First two games showed Blackpool in a nutshell; a 4-0 demolition of Wigan followed by a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Arsenal. Started off like a train but went on a barren run at the wrong time which proved their downfall.

Highlight: The entertaining brand of football Ian Holloway’s men provided made MOTD more bearable and gave some of Europe’s biggest clubs a tough 90 minutes

Low points: Last day relegation after a 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford, the Tangerines went through heartbreak as they deviated between 16th and 19th.

Preston North End

League position: 22nd in the Championship (42 points – relegated to League 1)

Season in brief: Darren Ferguson was shown the door with North End already adrift, he was replaced by the highly recognisable Phil Brown. The loss of Jon Parkin to Cardiff saw goals dry up. Terrible home form saw Preston occupy the relegation zone for almost the entire season.

Highlight: Remarkable 6-4 victory at Leeds, Jon Parkin with a hat-trick after North End had trailed 3-1.

Low points: Relegation with two games to spare and dwindling crowds that will further reduce Phil Brown’s budget for next season.

Morecambe FC

League position: 20th place in League 2 (51 points)

Season in brief: Mixed bag with consistency sorely lacking. Disappointing end to the season saw Morecambe survive by a mere four points. Immediately after the final game Sammy McIlroy left his post by mutual consent.

Highlights: Beating Coventry 2-0 in the first game at the Globe. Being selected to host an England international game.

Low points: Poor home form in their first season in the new Globe Arena. 7-2 humbling by Port Vale.

Fleetwood Town FC

League position: 5th in the Blue Square Premier (78 points – qualified for play-offs)

Season in brief: Fleetwood had a fantastic first campaign at the elite level of non-league. They occupied a play-off place almost all season and saw off a late challenge from Kidderminster. Mickey Mellon has been quick to add to his squad with the capture of Richard Brodie.

Highlights: Qualification for the play-offs in their first season at this level. Taking League 1 Walsall to a replay in the 1st round of the FA Cup.

Low point: The 8-1 aggregate thrashing in the play-off semi-final at the hands of AFC Wimbledon.

Lancaster City FC

League position: 8th in Evo-Stick division 1 North (68 points)

Season in brief: Lancaster maintained a relatively stable mid table position all campaign. Successful cup runs meant the side played 14 matches in knockout football. Goals were spread throughout the team with Josh Kenworthy finishing as top scorer with 13.

Highlight: Victory in the final of the Presidents cup against Belper thanks to a Dave Swarbrick hat-trick.

Low point: Having to sell captain Andrew Teague to Chorley and Paul Jarvis to AFC Fylde in January to cut costs.

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