Mangos relegated from Southern League
MANGOTSFIELD United’s season came to an end in the worst possible way, with relegation from the Southern League confirmed after the Easter Saturday drubbing at Plymouth Parkway.
April began badly, with a 5-1 home defeat by play-off contenders Cirencester Town.
Despite knowing they really needed to win most (or all) of their final six games to stand any real chance of avoiding relegation, a poor performance against their bogey side did nothing to raise supporters’ optimism about avoiding the drop. By the time Dawid Regula scored the Mangos' only goal on 73 minutes, it was already 4-0.
Hopes were raised slightly with a hard-earned 1-1 away draw at Paulton Rovers, with Isaac Flynn netting a cracking 84th minute equaliser. However, results elsewhere were beginning to go against the Mangos.
A superb 2-0 away win at Larkhall Athletic on the following Wednesday evening kept Mangotsfield’s hopes alive. Larkhall had a player sent off and the Mangos made full use of the extra man, with second half goals from Mircea Llea (50) and Wayne Nderemani (87) gaining a valuable three points, but results elsewhere meant the overall picture hadn’t really changed.
Easter Saturday saw the Mangos face their stiffest test of all – a daunting trip to promotion-bound Plymouth Parkway. The result went by the form book, with Parkway comfortably winning 4-0, and Mangotsfield relegated at the final whistle.
The pressure was off for the Easter Monday home game against Slimbridge and despite the gloom hanging over Cossham Street, it was a decent match and a good final home performance. Goals from Harry Haughton (15) and Isaac Flynn (58) also guaranteed that Mangotsfield would not finish bottom of the table, with Barnstaple Town’s goal difference more than 20 goals worse!
The final game of the season was a hugely disappointing 4-0 defeat at Bideford, with two goals in the opening minutes of the second half doing the main damage.
So Mangotsfield finished the season second from bottom with 27 points, relegated after 22 years of Southern League football at Cossham Street.
However there are rumours doing the rounds that some sides across the non-league pyramid could be reprieved from relegation.
The Southern League Division 1 South has operated this season one team short, so it is possible that the FA might only relegate one club. But right now, no one knows what will happen until the FA meets in the close season to discuss the set-up across the non-league pyramid for next season.
If relegation is officially confirmed once the arrangements for next season are announced by the FA, the rules are that teams should normally go back to the league they came from, which for Mangotsfield would be the Western League, known these days as the Toolstation League.