Droylsden FC Annual Review
Monday 5th January 2015 16:26 Droylsden Football Sports Posted by Mark Phillip

Dave Pace and his hardy cohort of disciples were in dreamland just seven years ago, but a disastrous few years has seen the club tumble from the dizzy heights of the Conference national to the Evo-Stik First Division North.

The Droylsden FC badge

The Droylsden FC badge

The rapid decline in Droylsden’s status was made all the more sour during their season in non-league’s second highest tier, when they were cruelly eliminated from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player.

During the 2008-2009 FA Cup, the Bloods beat League Two side Darlington in a replay, securing their place in the second Round Proper against Chestefield FC.

However, despite beating the Spireites 2-1 on the third time of asking, Pace’s FA Cup dream quickly turned into a nightmare.

Sean Newton, who scored both goals for the Bloods on the momentous occasion, quickly turned from hero to villain.

Having picked up a fifth yellow card on the 9th December, the 26 year old, who now plays for Lincoln City FC, was ineligible to play in the famous cup tie.

A full investigation into the incident was commissioned by the Football Association and on the 29th December, in the most gut-wrenching of circumstances, the Bloods, and Pace, were informed that they had been expelled from the competition.

Three seasons in the Conference North proceeded the infamous cup debacle, with the 2012-2013 campaign condemning Droylsden to a bitter relegation after they failed to cope with a string of financial difficulties.

There were suggestions that the club were going to enter administration and drop down three divisions, but the loyalty of Pace and his love for the club forced him to take a bullet, paying £100,000 to HM Revenue in order to escape the three tier drop.

However, despite his transparency and honest intentions, the manager couldn’t consolidate a position in the Evo-Stik Premier and a nightmare season unravelled before his very own eyes.

The Butcher’s Arm’s proved to be a hive of despair last season as the club fell to a second consecutive relegation under Pace’s tenure, with the club picking up just nine points in 46 league matches.

The hard-core bunch of supporters had their loyalty pushed to the limit during the tumultuous campaign, and they eventually succumbed to the inevitable, with their hapless side officially being relegated against Kings Lynn Town on Tuesday 25th February following a 2-1 defeat.

The club’s desire for an instant return to the Evo-Stik Premier was clear for all to see, and the likes of Ally Brown, who had achieved promotion with Trafford in the past, epitomised the Bloods ethos.

The 26 year old left back detailed his ambitions at the start of the season, telling Reporter Sport “The management team have assembled a very competitive squad, which I am sure will be added to as the season progresses.”

Brown’s predictions have come to fruition, with Pace, and his side-kick Aeon Lattie, bolstering the side throughout the campaign.

After years of instability, the ship is now afloat, so the club can look forward to some much needed success.