Ten straight wins closed out the season and the First Division North title for AFC Fylde as they won the league by seven points.
That timely run was in fact the longest winning streak of any team in the division, and included a quite brilliant nine clean sheets – also a divisional best. The Coasters late season form took them away from a chasing pack that included Curzon Ashton, who reached second spot largely off the back of their home form – they were unbeaten at the Tameside Stadium in the regular season before losing the play-off final to Witton Albion.
Albion’s Alex Titchiner had a remarkable season in front of goal - netting 39 times in all competitions and picking up the Young Player of the Year award for First Division North – but was trumped to the Golden Boot by Skelmersdale United’s Shaun Tuck, who scored 31 league goals – nearly a third of his side’s total for the season.
The foot of the table saw a remarkable drought for Wakefield, who went on a run of 26 games without a win, stretching from August Bank Holiday weekend until late March. What makes the run even more interesting is that the Bears actually managed to avoid relegation, with Harrogate Railway Athletic picking up just ten points in their last 19 games to fall into the drop-zone. They are joined in relegation by Cammell Laird, who lost 30 of their 42 games – unsurprisingly the worst record in the division.
The biggest crowd of the season – 506 - were on hand to see AFC Fylde receive the league trophy against Clitheroe, whilst the game between the Coasters and Lancaster City at the Giant Axe also surpassed the 500 barrier.
One footnote on the season in First Division North was the highest scoring game in NPL history, as Radcliffe Borough beat Harrogate Railway Athletic 10-3 in November. Breaking the record held by Worksop Town’s 12-0 win over Frickley Athletic in September 2000, the game also saw a record number of goals scored by an away team.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given that record, the division saw the least amount of goalless draws of any of the three Evo-Stik NPL divisions, with just 15 in 462 games.
The “Season in Stats” series continues tomorrow with First Division South...