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FINAL LEAGUE TABLE Season 2002-03

DIVISION TWO


    P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Bacup Borough (C) 34 25 2 7 91 32 77 59  
2 Stone Dominoes (P) 34 24 3 7 94 34 75 60  
3 Maine Road 34 23 2 9 74 55 71 19  
4 Padiham 34 20 5 9 69 42 65 27  
5 Holker Old Boys 34 18 7 9 65 42 61 23  
6 Great Harwood Town 34 15 7 12 64 61 52 3  
7 Nelson 34 13 12 9 50 40 51 10  
8 Darwen 34 14 7 13 59 64 49 -5  
9 Norton United 34 14 6 14 50 52 48 -2  
10 Colne 34 14 5 15 65 53 47 12  
11 Ashton Town 34 12 9 13 49 53 45 -4  
12 Castleton Gabriels 34 10 8 16 43 60 38 -17  
13 Cheadle Town 34 10 8 16 39 56 38 -17  
14 Blackpool Mechanics 34 9 10 15 39 52 37 -13  
15 Leek CSOB 34 8 9 17 46 57 33 -11  
16 Daisy Hill 34 7 5 22 42 93 26 -51  
17 Oldham Town 34 4 12 18 40 86 24 -46  
18 Chadderton 34 5 5 24 33 80 20 -47  


Season 2002-03 statistics

Games without a defeat-11 – March 15th – April 28th
Games without a draw-9 – November 2nd - January 18th
Games without a win-4 – December 28th – February 15th

Consecutive wins-6 – April 5th – April 24th
Consecutive draws-2 – August 17th – August 19th & April 26th – April 28th
Consecutive defeats-3 – December 7th – December 18th

Highest home win-5-1 v Cheadle Town
Highest home defeat-2-7 v Bacup Borough
Highest away win-4-2 v Darwen (Division Two Trophy)
Highest away defeat-0-5 v Holker Old Boys

Highest home attendance-138 v Oldham Town (Friday night)
Lowest home attendance-54 v Blackpool Mechanics (Easter Monday afternoon)
Highest away attendance-342 v Harrogate Town (FA Cup)
Lowest away attendance-40 v Oldham Town (Division Two Trophy)

Home League Games - 17
Aggregate - 1,596
Average – 94
Home Cup games - 4
Aggregate – 316
Average – 79

Awards

These awards were purely from a personal point of view.

* BEST PLAYER-I’ve spoken to many supporters over the last few weeks of the season and although there were some great performances by Parr, Harris and co., I think that it’s fair to say that John Eastham just shaded it. He’s a real class act who’s scored nineteen goals this season and many of those have been tremendous efforts. His control, heading and magical left foot have given the Robins a new dimension up front. John was also the player of the year in the Blackburn Sunday league this term.

* BEST GOAL-We’ve seen some fantastic goals this season and if you asked ten supporters, you’d probably get ten different answers. Kennedy’s blockbuster at Cheadle, Fogarty’s volley at Castleton, Matt’s magnificent solo efforts against Holker and Ashton. I’ve gone for Eastie’s second header against Nelson at Victoria Park. A great run down the left wing by Andy Taylor, when, after tying young Steve Pickup in knots, crossed for John, who had to stoop down to get a head to the ball and loop it over the keeper and into the far corner of the net. This stunning strike put us 3-2 up after trailing 2-0 at the interval.

* BEST HARWOOD FOLLOWING-Darwen (2nd Division Trophy)

* BEST VISITOR’S FOLLOWING-Nelson (NWCL)

* BEST OPPONENTS-Stone Dominoes

* BEST GROUND-Harrogate Town

* WORST GROUND-Oldham Town

* BEST PLAYING SURFACE-Harrogate Town

* WORST PLAYING SURFACE-Oldham Town

* FRIENDLIEST SUPPORTERS-Nelson

* BEST PIES-Ashton Town

* BEST PINT-Cheadle Town (Lees bitter)

* WORST PINT-Blackpool Mechanics (lager with more than a hint of pipe cleaner)

* SEASON’S HIGHLIGHTS-Two. Steve Pickup’s deciding penalty in the FA Cup replay at Winterton which gave us victory after over 120 minutes of deadlock & the point gained in the final game against an excellent Leek side which saw us finish in 6th position.

Season 2002-03 month by month

AUGUST-The season started with much optimism after a fine finish to the previous campaign despite relegation from the NWCL 1st Division. Several new players arrived adding real quality to the squad. Heslop, Parr and Booth amongst them. Harwood had also taken over the Darwen youth team who instantly provided the first team with much needed cover. Several members of that youth team soon made it into the first eleven. Two draws were followed by a defeat against a strong Stone side but the Robins soon bounced back with a great win at Maine Road.

SEPTEMBER-John Eastham signed and would soon start to score the goals which would see him become Harwood’s leading striker. An early exit came in the FA Vase when we were well beaten at Winsford. The FA Cup proved far more successful as we defeated Winterton and Crook both away from home, both in replays, and both after penalty shoot-outs. Our run came to an end on the 28th with an unlucky 2-0 defeat at Unibond Premier club Harrogate Town.

OCTOBER-Eastham scored his first goal in Harwood colours, but a great chip was not enough to prevent our second defeat of the season. Despite having played as many as five games less than our rivals, we were still handily placed. Further cup wins, this time in the Worthington Trophy against Ashton Town and the 2nd Division Trophy against Darwen ensured that we still had many league games to re-arrange.
The last few days of the month proved to be a major turning point in our season as we were thrashed 4-1 at Norton and then suffered a humiliating 4-3 defeat the following Tuesday at bottom side Cheadle. Until then the defence had seemed quite solid. Stand Athletic sadly resigned from the league which was especially disappointing as they had won the 2nd Division the previous season.

NOVEMBER-The month started and ended with cup wins, in the Worthington Trophy, away at Abbey Hey and at home to Nelson in the Division Two Trophy. The defensive performances in the league continued to hit rock bottom with Bacup whacking us 7-2 and Nelson winning 3-0, both games at the Showground. Two local mangers were surprisingly shown the door. John Lister at Colne ‘jumped ship’ before he was pushed, and John Bailey was sacked by his impatient Chairman at Nelson.

DECEMBER-Same old story as we began with a 4-0 reverse at Stone, exit from the Worthington Trophy at Ramsbottom and Marsden Trophy defeat at Southport, again conceding four goals. With Eastham now scoring regularly despite the poor results, we followed up an easy 4-0 win over a poor Daisy Hill side with our best performance of the season, 3-1 against leaders Padiham, only to lose 5-0 in our next game at Holker. Ex-Harwood boss Dennis Underwood was appointed the new manager of Nelson.

JANUARY-A 3-0 home defeat against neighbours Darwen was followed by another shocker, 4-0 at bottom club Leek. They were replaced in that position by Oldham, who promptly beat us in our next game, in the Division Two Trophy.

FEBRUARY-Thankfully this was as low as it got and a win at Nelson after being two down once again saw our fortunes change, this time for the better. Only tow games were played this month as it chucked it down every time we were due to play at home.

MARCH-John Hughes’ pen ran out of ink several times during the next few weeks as players left in droves and were replaced by some quality signings. Thompson, Kay, Mashiter, Winstanley in, Lightbown, Kennedy, Booth, Denning out, plus many, many more. Two unlucky defeats at high flying Bacup and Padiham failed to stop the new found enthusiasm, typified by Matt Derbyshire who although rarely starting, caused havoc to opposing defences whenever he appeared. Hughesy even signed himself on! The bad weather continued to cause problems and a run of ten games saw just one of them at the Showground. A 3-0 win at Darwen began a record breaking run of 11 games without defeat.

APRIL-During the final month of the season, Harwood had to cram in nine games, five of the last six at home. The Robins at last produced consistently good performances and sides who had thrashed us earlier in the season were given a taste of their own medicine. The run produced a period where we won six games in a row, scoring 16 goals and conceding just four. Matt Derbyshire was on fire scoring seven gaols in four games. Amazingly the attendances fell until the final game when we recorded our first three figure crowd since Christmas. The game was also our first evening kick-off of the year so we really need to re-arrange more games if we are to see our gates increase. Two draws in our final two games saw us pip Nelson to sixth place so overall it’s not been a bad season. The football for the most part has been good, we’ve got a fine blend of youth and experience, an excellent management team and a loyal group of fans who stuck by the team even when we were getting hammered on a regular basis. All in all the future looks bright at the Showground.

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NWCL top attendances – Division Two

  Min Max Ave Total
ROBINS 54 138 94 1596
PADIHAM 40 148 90 1531
BACUP BOROUGH 39 207 88 1410
NELSON 43 140 82 1395
STONE DOMINOES 30 207 82 1391
COLNE 27 211 69 1183

Leading scorers

  Club League Cup Total
Craddock Colne 28 3 31
Walker Stone Dom 28 1 29
Southwood Holker OB 24 3 27
Pilkington Padiham 20 7 27
Gray Bacup Bor 14 10 24
Eastham Harwood 17 4 21

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HARWOOD TOWN FINAL RESULTS LIST 2002-03

Date   Venue Score Attend.
 
2002      
 
AUG        
17th A Chadderton 0-0 74
19th H CASTLETON GABRIELS 1-1 106
    Lightbown    
24th H STONE DOMINOES 1-2 76
    Parr    
26th A Maine Road 3-1 65
    Heslop 2 Parr    
31st H WINTERTON RANGERS ( F.A. Cup Preliminary Round) 0-0 61
 
SEPT.        
4th A Winterton Rangers (F.A. Cup Preliminary Round replay) 0-0 a.e.t. u/k
      5-3 on pens  
7th A Winsford United (F.A. Vase) 0-3 114
 
9th H CHEADLE TOWN 5-1 126
    Fogarty 2 Denning Khan Heslop    
14th H CROOK TOWN (F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round) 1-1 103
    Bursnell    
18th A Crook Town (F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round replay) 1-1 a.e.t. 158
    Eastham 7-6 on pens  
20th H Oldham Town 3-0 138
    Eastham 2 Fogarty    
23rd H COLNE 4-2 118
    Fogarty 2 Heslop Denning    
28th A Harrogate Town (F.A.Cup 2nd Qual. Round) 0-2 342
 
OCT        
5th H MAINE ROAD 1-2 103
    Eastham  
7th A ASHTON TOWN (Worthington Trophy 1st Round) 3-0 97
    Bursnell Denning Fogarty    
12th A Colne 1-1 86
    Eastham    
18th A Darwen (Division Two Trophy) 4-2 128
    Rogers 2 Bursnell Parr Baron Derbyshire    
26th A Norton United 1-4 42
    Bursnell    
29th A Cheadle Town 3-4 42
    Kennedy Hinchcliffe Heslop    
 
NOV        
2nd A Abbey Hey (Worthington Trophy 2nd Round) 2-0 45
    Denning Heslop    
9th H BACUP BOROUGH 2-7 83
    Own goal Fogarty    
15th A Blackpool Mechanics 2-2 62
    Eastham Denning    
23rd H NELSON 0-3 94
30th H NELSON (Division Two Trophy) 3-1 55
    Eastham Fogarty Heslop    
 
DEC        
7th A Stone Dominoes 0-4 61
14th A Ramsbottom United (Worthington Trophy Q/F) 0-1 92
17th A Southport (Marsden Trophy 1st Round) 1-4 u/k
    Eastham    
21st H DAISY HILL 4-0 105
    Eastham 2 Heslop 2    
26th H PADIHAM 3-1 110
    Eastham Fogarty 2    
28th A Holker Old Boys 0-5 81
 
JAN        
18th H DARWEN 0-3 86
25th A Leek CSOB 0-4 88
 
FEB        
1st A Oldham Town (Division Two Trophy Q/F) 2-2 40
    Mashiter Eastham 4-5 on pens  
15th A Nelson 3-2 140
    Eastham 2 Fogarty    
 
MAR        
1st A Padiham 1-3 114
    Eastham    
15th A Bacup Borough 0-2 85
25th A Darwen 3-0 71
    Mashiter 2 McKenna    
29th H CHADDERTON 2-0 86
    Eastham 2    
 
APR        
1st A Oldham Town 1-1 64
    Heslop    
5th A Ashton Town 1-0 52
    Eastham    
8th A Daisy Hill 2-0 40
    McKenna Eastham    
12th H NORTON UNITED 5-2 68
    Derbyshire 2 Mashiter 2 McKenna    
19th H HOLKER OLD BOYS 3-0 56
    Derbyshire 2 Eastham    
21st H BLACKPOOL MECHANICS 3-1 54
    Mashiter Derbyshire Heslop    
24th H ASHTON TOWN 4-1 75
    Derbyshire 2 Eastham Walker    
26th A Castleton Gabriels 2-2 42
    Fogarty Green    
28th H LEEK CSOB 0-0  

Goalscorers; Total goals-cup goals in brackets
Eastham 17 (4), Derbyshire 8 (1), Fogarty 12(2), Heslop 11(2), Mashiter 6 (1), Denning 5 (3), Bursnell 4 (3), McKenna 3, Parr 3 (1), Rogers 2 (2), Baron 1 (1), Green 1, Hinchcliffe 1, Kennedy 1, Lightbown 1, Walker 1, Watson 1(1), O.G.1

   
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