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No new year of dread for City after turbulent 2013
10:30am Thursday 12th December 2013 in Sport
THERE is never a dull moment with Worcester City — and the last 12 months have proved the point.
Seldom has the club negotiated a year on or off the pitch — sometimes both — without an element of turbulence along the way, certainly in recent memory.
Yet, even by City’s standard’s, what has happened during 2013 has topped the lot — without doubt it has been the toughest period in the club’s 111-year history. It was almost the last.
But, with 2014 just a couple of weeks away, for the first time in a long time Worcester will approach a new year without a sense of dread.
That was definitely the case if you turn the clock back to December 2012. While the club was riding high in fifth in Conference North, they were acutely aware it was their swansong at St George’s Lane and what lay beyond that, nobody really knew.
As the stadium’s closure drew ever nearer, so Worcester’s results fell off a cliff, to the extent they started collecting unwanted records for games without a win or a goal.
At one stage, they failed to find the net for seven successive league matches and began flirting with the relegation zone, before finally finishing 15th.
They completed the campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Chester but that was merely a sideshow to the historic occasion of the last game at the Lane, watched by more than 4,000 fans.
Where the team finished in the table had long become an afterthought when played out against the backdrop of the club finally having to leave their beloved home. Over the summer, reality bit hard.
The wrench of seeing the Lane stripped of its fittings and sold off was too much for some and there appeared no appetite for a season in nomadic existence.
Then, it all changed. News broke that a deal to free the club from its contract with St Modwen was afoot and suddenly there was renewed hope.
Fans began to buy the £100 season tickets — 500 went in total — and, although it would be another six months before the agreement was rubber-stamped, there was a willingness to give it a go at Aggborough.
That translated to the pitch and manager Carl Heeley assembled what looked a half-decent team, considering he had even less money to work with than the previous season.
In the early stages of the current campaign, optimism was high and crowds better than expected but that began to dwindle as Worcester managed just one win in 13 league games. The top five place of 12 months ago was now the bottom five.
Once again, however, things are on the up following the official termination of the St Modwen contract, the Supporters’ Trust with plans to build a stadium at Perdiswell, and the club preparing to face Aldershot in the FA Trophy second round on Saturday.
Nobody knows what the future holds for the club, but City can head into 2014 with genuine hope.
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