Cambridge City suffer a near miss in surprise Evo-Stik Southern League promotion shake up

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 June 2018

Cambridge City manager Robbie Nightingale.

Cambridge City manager Robbie Nightingale.

Iliffe Media Ltd

Wimborne are the beneficaries in reshuffle

A goal difference of one has denied Cambridge City a surprise promotion to the Evo-Stik Southern League South, Premier Division.

It was announced last Friday that Shaw Lane had withdrawn from the Northern League, Premier Division, so a reshuffle was needed.

Hednesford Town were switched to the Northern League Premier, and Banbury United moved into the Southern League Central Premier which created a spot in the Southern League South.

City had lost 1-0 to Hartley Wintney in the East Division play-offs, while Wimborne Town were beaten on penalties by Swindon Supermarine in the West Division play-offs.

City and Wimborne both finished on 77 points in their respective divisions, an average of 1.83, and so the spot was decided on goal difference, with the Dorset side edging it by one, with plus 47 compared to the Lilywhites’ 46.

It means, pending an appeal by Hednesford, Wimborne will be in the Southern League South Premier next season.

“I couldn’t believe it when I read it. We were under the impression that if another team went, we’d be the next team to go up,” said City manager Robbie Nightingale.

“When I heard on Friday that Shaw Lane had gone bust, I thought ‘that’s interesting, I wonder what will happen there’. And then obviously Wimborne have gone up.

“We don’t seem to get much luck. We’re planning for the life in the league we’re in, and it is what it is.

“We didn’t get promoted because we weren’t quite good enough on the day.

“We finished sixth and we weren’t quite good enough over the 44 games, including the play-offs.

“We’re already looking forward to the league that we’re going to be in, and hopefully going one better than last year.”

The plans for next season have included getting top scorer Ryan Sharman, who scored 30 league goals, committed for another season.

“It’s fantastic he has agreed another contract,” said Nightingale. “We’re thoroughly delighted he has committed.

“He had offers from other clubs but the fact we’re looking to build a good competitive squad, he is pivotal to where we want to go and how we set the team up.

“To score 30 goals from midfield was an amazing achievement. There is more we can make him better at and he is looking forward to that.”

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