Though it took 100 years, Swansea's first (relatively) major trophy in club history couldn't have come much easier. After beating League Cup holders Liverpool and the shadow of European Cup winners Chelsea on their way to the Capital One Cup final against League Two darlings Bradford City, Swansea finished the job with a 5-0 win to become the first Welsh side to win the competition.
League Two club Bradford City beating Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate in the Capital One Cup semifinals to become the first fourth division club to play in a major cup final since 1962 was a memorable enough moment. Bradford captain Gary Jones made it a bit more memorable for 9-year-old fan and brain tumor survivor Jake Turton though, when he found Turton in the crowd at Villa Park after the final whistle of the second leg and planted a kiss on his head.
At least, for the supporters of AFC Wimbledon, the task ahead was clear. The way that the fixture calendar fell elsewhere meant that, even though they went into Saturday's final round of matches in League Two in one of the division's relegation places, a win at home against mid-table Fleetwood Town would ensure their survival at the end of a season which has proved to be a struggle for the club that took just nine years to proceed from the Combined Counties Football League to the Football League.
With many English and Scottish League titles already won or all-but-won, tight season-finishes have had to be sought elsewhere, such as the bottom of League Two. Wimbledon took only nine years to get back their Football League place but it might only take them two to lose it again. Barnet are attracting worldwide attention because of the bespectacled Dutchman who got them the snookers they needed to climb the table.
With just a handful of matches left at the end of this season, there is something of a bottleneck starting to form between the bottom of the Football League and what we call, increasingly euphemistically, the top end of the non-league game. At the foot of League Two, just four points separate bottom of the table at the time of writing Aldershot Town from Dagenham & Redbridge, while at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier Wrexham's two-one win against Mansfield Town on Thursday evening meant that a little uncertainty was thrown back upon the expected outcome of the league title in that division, with Mansfield staying a point behind the league leaders, Kidderminster Harriers, in second place in the table, albeit with two games still in hand.
This year is supposed to be a special one for Gainsborough Trinity Football Club, marking, as it does, the one hundred and fortieth anniversary of a club which spent sixteen years in the Football League between 1896 and 1912 but now resides in the Blue Square Bet North, two divisions below League Two but a comfortable distance from the one man and a dog territory that marks out the flotsam and jetsam of non-league football.
It looks as if the battle to avoid relegation from League Two is going to go to the wire. With eleven games of the season still to play, just six points separate Dagenham & Redbridge in sixteenth place in the table at Wimbledon, who sit at its foot, and in such a tense environment it could be argued that every single iota that could assist a club in avoiding the drop into the Blue Square Bet Premier a division which is, let us not forget, considerably more difficult to escape from in an upwardly direction than it is to fall into in the first place, as a succession of former Football League clubs have found over the years could be critical in preserving that all-important status amongst the "elite" for the want of a better word ninety-two clubs of English footbal.
Wycombe 'keeper Jordan Archer was attacked during the final few seconds of last night's League Two tie against Gillingham, when a young fan bounded onto the pitch and leapt at the 19-year-old Tottenham loanee, knocking him to the ground with a flying butt-bump.
The end of Hereford Uniteds last stay in the Football League didn't come without a fight. A four game unbeaten at the end of the season run saw the club finish just two points from the safety zone in League Two at the end of last season, with a win on the final day against Torquay United in front of a crowd of over 5,000 people not being enough to help them over the finishing line thanks to results elsewhere.
A list of footballers who have played in the Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two this season with their first name beginning with the same letter as their surname. Please let me know if you are aware of any others.
Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town)
Adebayo Azeez (Wycombe Wanderers & Leyton Orient)
Ahmed Abdulla (Barnet)
Akwasi Asante (Shrewsbury Town)
Ali Al Habsi (Wigan Athletic)
Almen Abdi (Watford)
Andreas Arestidou (Morecambe)
Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
Antolín Alcáraz (Wigan Athletic)
Barry Bannan (Aston Villa)
Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County)
Billy Bodin (Torquay United)
Brian Barry-Murphy (Rochdale)
Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
Christopher Chantler (Carlisle United)
Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
Clarke Carlisle (York City & Northampton Town)
Conor Clifford (Portsmouth & Crawley Town)
Courtney Cameron (Rotherham United)
Craig Cathcart (Blackpool)
Craig Clay (Chesterfield)
Craig Conway (Cardiff Dragons)
Craig Curran (Rochdale)
Cyrus Christie (Coventry Dragons)
Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace & Ipswich Town)
Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
Darryl Duffy (Cheltenham Town)
David Davis (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
David De Gea (Manchester United)
David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers)
Diego De Girolamo (Sheffield United)
Donervon Daniels (Tranmere Rovers)
Dorian Dervite (Charlton Athletic)
Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Bury)
Frank Fielding (Derby County)
Gábor Gyepes (Portsmouth)
Gaël Givet (Blackburn Rovers)
Gary Gardner (Aston Villa)
Gianluca Gracco (Dagenham & Redbridge)
Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Harry Hooman (Cheltenham Town)
Heidar Helguson (Cardiff Dragons)
Jake Jervis (Portsmouth, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United & Birmingham City)
Swansea's League Cup triumph is a reward for great administration and management - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Swansea celebrated a historic night on Sunday as the Wales side won their first major trophy in their 101-year history, the League Cup, after eviscerating League Two side Bradford City 5-0 in a one-sided final at the Wembley Stadium.
Michael Laudrup is hoping to scare his Swansea players into action for Sunday's Capital One Cup final by showing them a DVD of opponents Bradford's giant-killing exploits to date. The Swans boss wants to guard against complacency from his Premier League stars when they face the League Two Bantams at Wembley, and he thinks a [.
The best managers in England this season - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Fans of English football know by heart which teams are sitting atop the Premier League table or the Championship and where their favourite club is standing at the moment. But what about the managers in England?
How are Alex Ferguson and Brendan Rodgers performing in a league table of managers?
Badford are heading to Wembley and there's not an egg-shaped ball in sight. The League Two side beat Aston Villa 3-4 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park last night. Paul Lambert's side crashed out in humiliating circumstances, losing to a side three divisions below them over two legs. Christian Benteke gave [.
It's back. Like a horrible case of post-work Christmas party herpes or a Santa with Alzheimer's it keeps on returning, and after an elongated break for the festive period Bet's Be ‘Avin You is here. The festive footy has been full of awkward games to trip you up (Chelsea losing at home to QPR, Man [.
Goalkeeper Matt Duke of Bradford is congratulated by teammate Stephen Darby (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Bradford City certainly came into their Capital One Cup clash with loads of confidence against Premier League giants, Arsenal. As a League Two side, many looked to the Bantams to take a more defensive position which indeed they did not.
Following Arsenal's embarrassing shootout loss to League Two side Bradford City in the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup, Arsene Wenger has claimed that reaching that point in the tournament is as good as winning a trophy.
In October, Wenger famously said that for him there are five trophies -- winning the Premier League, winning the Champions League, qualifying for the Champions League, winning the FA Cup and winning the League Cup.
Wycombe goalkeeper Jordan Archer was barged to the ground by a Gillingham supporter during last night's televised League Two match. As he bent over to place the ball for a goal-kick, a Gills supporter charged and jumped at Archer during the closing moments. The Tottenham youngster, on loan at the Chairboys, was uninjured and able [.
Before we start, the referee was white and the incident was in no way racially motivated. Now that's cleared up, this is wonderfully funny! AFC Wimbledon have revealed that a 74-year-old man was arrested and released on bail after referee Graham Scott was struck with a banana thrown from the crowd. The referee laughed when [.
Martin 'Mad Dog' Allen is known for his unusual management techniques, but his latest tactic is special even by his standards. The Gillingham boss plucked a random autograph hunter from the streets of Stoke-on-Trent to deliver a pre-match team-talk to his squad. Allen wrote in his programme notes for their recent match against Rochdale: "Last [.
The Bantams are still punching above their weight. After knocking Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup, Bradford have now put Aston Villa on the back foot with a stunning 3-1 win in last night's semi-final first-leg at Valley Parade last night. Striker Nahki Wells gave the League Two side a first-half lead, and centre-back [.
Never quite living up to his initial, fleet-footed promise, Portuguese wideboy Luis Boa Morte still managed to carve out a decent career at the top level, enjoying spells with Arsenal (where he won a Premier League winner's medal), Southampton, Fulham and West Ham along with a few of them foreign diving cheating teams abroad and that.
Describing the moment of clarity he experienced while sitting on the bench for a Brixton Sunday League side (before joining League Two stragglers Barnet), Edgar Davids dropped a choice F-Bomb all over the 'Goals On Sunday' studio, leaving hosts Chris Kamara and Ben Shepherd to clear up the debris.
If you weren't aware that Edgar Davids has rejoined English football, your attention will certainly be drawn to it now. The former Holland international and current Barnet FC player-manager washappilychatting away on Goals on Sunday yesterday morning when he accidentally turned the air blue. Detailing his bemused response to recently finding himself on the bench [.
Newly appointed League Two Player/Coach and Champions League Winner Edgar Davids made a winning return to the pro-ranks as he inspired the Bees to a 4-0 win over Northampton last night to register Barnet's first League win of the season.
The 39 year old Dutchman wearing his famous goggles even captained his side for his first competitive game since togging out for Crystal Palace in a 3-0 defeat to Swansea on October 30 2010.
The dreadlocks and the impressive range of eyewear made Edgar Davids one of the most iconic footballers of the last decade. A move to Barnet can hardly be described as iconic but the eyewear is coming toUnderhill. The mercurial Dutch midfielder has announced his intention to rescue his ‘hometown' club as player/coach.
San Siro, Nou Camp, Underhill. Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids has confirmed he has joined League Two side Barnet as player-coach. The former Ajax, Milan, Inter, Barcelona and Tottenham player was most recently in action for Crystal Palace and is still based in London. He tweeted: "Happy to say I will join my local football club [.
If Phil Brown walked into the manager's job at my club I would be rather peeved at the appointment decision, let me tell you. So one could sympathise with Southend United fans when Paul Sturrock was turfed out and replaced by your man Brown. Fast forward six weeks, and the mental news has started. With [.
When people call someone in football a 'character', it invariably results in them being mentally unstable or a dickhead. Martin Allen is a character. The Gillingham manager pulled one of his 'classic' japes on deadline day, when he tricked his Chairman. Allen left an answer phone message for Paul Scally about a 'Premier League' club [.
[W]ith the managerial merry-go-round operating at warp speed over the Christmas break, and the recruitment seemingly limited to just Michael Appleton and Sean O'Driscoll, we thought that it was time that some of the lesser-touted managers of the Football League received some attention. Many readers will no doubt want to nominate other deserving individuals, but, to get things started, here is our list of five gaffers achieving great results with limited resources.
Bloody modern football eh? AFC Wimbledon striker Jack Midson is using Twitter to organise his social diary around his football work meetings. Rather than using any of his contacts at the club to ask them when a particular football match is, he instead contacted them via Twitter. It seems a slightly strange way of doing [.
This video will give you a little bit of Christmas cheer, as it shows Preston manager Graham Westley paying for the petrol money of a number of fans that had travelled in a minibus to the away game at Bury in the Johnstone Paints Trophy, only to learn that the game had been postponed due [...]
It was only a matter of time. Edgar Davids has been in charge of Barnet for over a month, so his first sending off for the Bees was probably overdue. Well, no longer, as the Dutchman was given his marching orders for a second yellow card after crunching into James Beattie (as if that is [...]
Footballer's aren't renowned for being the cleverest folk, but York City's Matty Blair might have just taken the biscuit for getting the stupidest injury he has been ruled out after being hurt by a training ground dummy. Blair had to go to hospital for stitches after falling over into a mannequin set up for [.
Robbie Findley is set to begin a one-month loan to Gillingham FC of England's League Two the BBC reports. After scoring six goals in 27 games last season for Nottingham Forest, the former Real Salt Lake striker is yet to appear for Forest in this year's Championship or any other first-team competition.