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Day: May 2, 2011

How Cardiff City Handed Automatic Promotion To Norwich City

A bright, if blustery, afternoon at The Cardiff City Stadium, then, and what should be a routine day at the office for Cardiff City. They are still chasing the heels of Norwich City, but a home match against sixteenth placed Middlesbrough should bring home a comfortable three points today and keep the pressure on the Canaries as they travel to Fratton Park to play Portsmouth this evening. Within the space of twenty minutes, though, what might be a nervous evening for Norwich City becomes a pre-promotion party whilst Cardiff’s expectations of taking this battle to the last weekend of the season disappear in a puff of smoke. At the start play, Cardiff are a point behind Norwich with a superior goal difference of a solitary goal. On three minutes, Leroy Lita heads Middlesbrough into the lead with a goal so soft that the Middlesbrough players seem almost hesitant to celebrate it andthen , ten minutes later, they double their lead with another goal from Barry Robson. Eight minutes after this, Richard Smallwood who, as part of what may be a local May Day custom, seems to have been given the freedom of the Cardiff City penalty area, makes the score a scarcely credible 3-0. Mayday, indeed. The Cardiff City Stadium falls quiet in stunned disbelief. This is not how the script was supposed to play out. The home side...

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The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Colwyn Bay 1-0 FC United of Manchester

There was, perhaps, something inevitable that it would all come down to a ninety minute shoot-out. That FC United of Manchester is in itself an extraordinary part of our football culture is without doubt, but even the most optimistic of their supporters could scarcely have guessed at the amount of drama that they have managed this season, from an FA Cup run that took in a last minute win at Rochdale and a last minute penalty save at Brighton to a league season that saw them end last year nearer to relegation than the play-off places, yet has ended up on the North Wales coast on a Bank Holiday Monday, with 2,000 people packed inside Llanelian Road and hundreds more perched atop a hill overlooking the ground. That most exquisitely unique of tortures, a play-off final, awaits them this afternoon. That Colwyn Bay FC will provide stiff opposition is a given. They finished in second place in the Evostik League Premier Division with a run of form that saw them lose just two of their last thirteen matches of the season. The two sides both beat each other at home in the league this season, and just three points separated them in the final league table. It feels too tight call, before the match. As an aside, Colwyn have a history of protest themselves, in their own way. They...

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Non-League Videos Of The Week

We have a lot of videos to get through for this week’s non-league videos of the week, as the non-league season comes to an end and the end of season play-offs begin. First up, comes a match from the race for the play-off places in the Blue Square South. With Braintree Town already promoted to the Blue Square Premier as champions of the division, most eyes on the last day of the season turned to the question of who will be joining them. Chelmsford City have been hanging around the play-off places for most of the season, and they went into their final league match of the season knowing that a win would guarantee them a place in the Blue Square South play-offs. They were at home against a Hampton & Richmond Borough side that have spent much of their season just above the relegation places and who went into Saturday’s match already safe in the knowledge that they were just about already safe.   The Blue Square South play-off semi-finals will, therefore, be between Farnborough FC and Woking, while Chelmsford City will travel to Ebbsfleet United in the other match. In the Premier Division of the Ryman League, meanwhile, a similar situation had arisen. Sutton United had been crowned as the champions of the division several weeks ago, but the race for the play-off places has been one...

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