CHRIS HARDY: Season ends in a negative fashion

Chris Hardy's column
Chris Hardy's column

Ultimately our season has ended in a negative fashion after a poor run of results.

From the point of view of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Lancaster, there probably wasn’t a lot between the two sides in a game of chances at both ends.

They have taken their chances in the end and taken the spoils.

Brad took his goal well to put us ahead, and I feel he can really kick on next year after a good pre-season to iron out a few problems we’re seeing with him at the moment.

He’s having a few hamstring issues at the moment, mainly we feel because he’s been set on the bench for a couple of seasons and his body is struggling with the amount of minutes he’s now getting with us.

The hard work will start soon with Brad and we’ll see the benefits of that next season when he is hopefully fully fit and raring to go again.

The last five games of the season have reminded me of the issues that need to be addressed going forward into pre-season and then next season.

We have the nucleus of a good bunch of players and if we can make the right additions, hopefully we can push on and iron out those issues, be more consistent and push for the play-off places next year.

If I had to rate our season out of 10, I would give it a five from a personal perspective as I always want us to push on and achieve as much as possible, but in terms of our expectations after being given the tag of relegation favourites at the start of the year, I’d go with an eight.

High point of the season has to be our win over derby rivals Scarborough Athletic at the Turnbull.

The ground was buzzing that day and we played really well.

Lowest point is definitely the Workington loss as we’d gone into it in really good form with good momentum and we flattered to deceive, just reminding me of our inconsistency.

We have our presentation night on Saturday, which I am really looking forward to.

The hard work will then get under way straight away as we start planning for next season.

Pre-season is already pencilled in, with training due to get under way in the last week in June, with the lads doing some strength and conditioning work in the meantime.

We kick off our pre-season friendlies at Billingham Synthonia on July 13, with seven further matches to come, including Darlington coming to the Turnbull Ground and a trip to the Academy of Light to play Sunderland Under-23s.