St Helens Town AFC have been awarded a place in the FA Cup for the 2020/21 season. The news came after a list of accepted clubs was published on the FA web site.
Real Madrid completed this season with pride for them, because they finally won the La Liga Trophy from Barcelona. Because in the previous two seasons El Barca managed to master the Spanish league by successfully back-to-back winning La Liga. But this season Los Galacticos have succeeded in destroying the dominance created by Barca before.
This weekend should have been Bootham Crescent’s swansong. Typically, though, things didn’t go to plan. York City, predictably unpredictable, saw the final season at the club’s much-loved old home turn into a characteristic roller-coaster. Top of the league when coronavirus struck, the Minstermen missed out on promotion from National League North via a points-per-game calculation that put them behind King’s Lynn. Next came a vociferous appeal to ‘promote two’, via a playoff if necessary, and York returned to action on July 25 against Altrincham. City hadn’t played a game since March 7 Alty defeated Chester in the previous week’s eliminator and recent form made the difference in front of a deserted Bootham Crescent. So, instead of a final showdown against Boston United, the season ends in Lincolnshire as York’s fans contemplate the club’s retained list and hope that next time – at last – the team might start climbing the football pyramid once again.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the entire sports industry, causing thousands of competitions and professional leagues to be canceled or postponed. Despite the efforts of broadcasters, club owners, and sponsors to minimize consequences of cancelled matches and empty stadiums, the coronavirus lockdown has produced a costly financial hit this year.
Four years ago, when ‘lockdown’ was merely an adaptation of the notorious catenaccio tactic beloved of Italian defenders for decades, the football season was getting underway just now. On July 30, I was off to Shildon to see the curtain-raiser for the Northern League season. Shildon, defending champion and league cup winner, took on Marske United, runner-up in both competitions, for the Cleator Cup. League action would resume the following weekend.
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St Helens Town AFC have made an application to play in next season's FA Cup. The club currently plays in the North West Counties Football League. The Ruskin Drive side played in the Cup up to and including the 1970/1 season, then didn't enter 71/2, 72/3 & 73/4 before being back in the Cup from 74/5 through to 2015/16 and since then haven't qualified on league position/PPG.
The coronavirus is impacting all aspects of society across the world and the global sports industry is significantly affected. With the cancelation of games and leagues, many of us are struggling without football, because it genuinely stimulates a similar “love” feeling in each one of us. With the absence of football, we all still seem to reunite with each other through the love of sports. Famous football players have shared on their social media accounts many videos of them practicing or even fooling around, which kept the bond with the world even stronger; we are all in this together. From the replay of old games to online gaming, we all seem to manage to find a way to stay connected to football. However, something is still missing.
This past year my collegiate soccer career ended in our conference's championship game. We were on the losing end of the 2-1 score, one that my teammates and I do not feel accurately represents our season. The clock ran down in those final minutes and it took me to the 15 second mark that I finally realized we would not be making a comeback. We wouldn't be playing another game. I looked at the rest of my senior class from the bench and saw tears in their eyes, knowing that they were coming to the same realization that I was. It wasn't easy. It still isn't.