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AMAZING! Final day win lifts Bolsover off the bottom!

Whether or not FC Bolsover keep their place in Toolstation NCEL Division One is completely out of their hands, but yesterday they did what they needed to do with an impressive 1-0 home win over Winterton Rangers to finish the season in second bottom – and Manager Matt Chatfield was absolutely delighted to finish the campaign in some style, writes Colin Muncie. (Main photograph by Paul Tong)

Jack Warwick got the only goal of the game, one minute into the second-half in front of the crowd of 93 at Langwith Road. What a great end to the season,” Matt told TBG.

“We may not have hit our target of getting out of the relegation zone, but to finish the season with more points than last season, and not be the bottom club is a massive credit to the club. The players have been incredible, fighting for every point available, and not given in when there was no hope for the club. You have to remember that as of 1st December we had no points and I think we had lost all our 21 games in all competitions, so the mentality of the lads to turn that around and not finish bottom makes me so proud.”

Reflecting on the win, Matt told us, “The wind was a real leveller today; we knew whoever took advantage in their half would probably win the game, so we knew the game plan and it was executed brilliantly. The first-half was a real hard-fought affair against the wind but we held our own, once again the defence was brilliant and we went in at 0-0.”

“We started the second-half very brightly and scored after 40 seconds, that man Jack Warwick – again – scoring one of the goals of the season and what a time to do it,” Matt went on, “we then had two good chances to score, but didn’t turn into anything. Winterton – to be fair to them after that – threw everything at us and had a couple of great chances; but we managed to see the game out and come out with back to back wins to finish our season off on a high.”

Matt had words of praise for Winterton and for TBG’s Editor Craig Kendall. “Winterton have a great manager there; and I’m sure they will be in the challenging pack come next season,” Matt acknowledged. “Thanks, too, to the Bootiful Game for their coverage of the League. It’s been very good going on social media and seeing everyone’s thoughts about games and keeping up to date with the League.”

The result sees Winterton finish an excellent campaign in fourth, but Manager Scott Hellewell admitted that he has some work to do ahead of another challenge next season. “It was an awful way to end the season,” Scott lamented. “Credit to Bolsover; they wanted it a lot more than us today. Good luck to them in – hopefully – staying up with a reprieve; with that squad they don’t deserve to be down there.”

“It’s a wakeup call for us and something we will be looking at over the summer,” he warned. “Again, the pitch was poor and the wind killed the game; and when conditions are like that we seem to struggle. We need to find that Plan B as we can’t play on a good pitch in great conditions every week. We have slipped up too many times this season against teams in the bottom half, and to be successful we can’t afford that. Next season is a massive season for the club especially if four teams go up.”

“We will enjoy the break and come back buzzing for the new season. Roll on June for pre-season training.”

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