Eccleshill United 1-1 Hallam FC
The Eagles end their season with a draw to earn a ninth place finish.
Sean Regan's side earned themselves a ninth-placed finish in the NCEL Division One with a 1-1 draw in the final game of the season against Play-Off side, Hallam FC.
The game saw a much-improved performance from when the sides last met, which saw Eccleshill suffer their heaviest defeat of the season, losing 5-0 at the hands of yesterday's opponents.
However, this game would be a different story and the game would be decided by an early and late goal. It would be the Eagles who got off to a flying start, scoring the opening goal within just 45 seconds as Chris Lever made his return from suspension with a big impact. An impressive early tempo saw Charlie Flaherty find Lever to head the ball into the back of the net, providing Eccleshill with the perfect start.
Regan's side continued their impressive start, with Lever's physical strength and power proving too much for the Hallam defense, winning balls in the air to flick on for Marcus Edwards, whose pace caused problems throughout the game.
Several half chances came throughout the opening 45 minutes, most notable for Sam Bradley, who met a corner well, only for his header to be well saved. The visitors only real chance came through a freekick which was blocked, with the deflection luckily falling to a Hallam striker, whose looping header was only denied by the crossbar.
The Eagles started the second half well with Edwards yet again causing problems and forcing good saves, but the half was dominated by the side who will be hoping to be promoted in the near future.
As Eccleshill began to sit deeper and soak up the pressure, the Eagles skipper provided several crucial interceptions both in the air and on the ground to keep Dom Smith from being called into action.
Against the run of play, Eccleshill managed to create themselves a brilliant opportunity as Edwards beat the offside trap, earning a one on one opportunity with the Hallam shot stopper, but Edwards dragged the ball wide, allowing the keeper to close down the angle and make a good save.
With the game becoming physical as both sides looked to finish the season in style, a through ball which was well finished into Smith's bottom left to finish the game and the season with what was ultimately a fair result.
Eccleshill wrap up their campaign in ninth place, an improvement upon last season. Considering the impressive run of form that the Eagles have put on in recent months, the squad will now be looking to take this form into next season to once again improve and push into promotion contention.