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It's been a season of contrasts for Worcester City
Updated 10:07am Friday 11th April 2014 in Sport
FOOTBALL is full of dreadful cliches.
Managers and players use them all too regularly without thinking about it.
The classic "it was a game of two halves" is trawled out most weeks to a chorus of yawns.
Journalists, too, are guilty of falling into the cliche trap and I make no apologies for doing so now.
For, Worcester City's season has well and truly been one of two distinct halves. The first woeful, the second incredible.
Carl Heeley's team managed to glean just 17 points from their first 21 matches, firmly entrenching them in the Skrill North relegation zone.
Yet, since the start of 2014 they have picked up no fewer than 29 points from 17 fixtures and there are still four games of the campaign to go.
That would have been play-off form had they began the run in August rather than January.
As well as the well-documented impact made by the likes of centre-halves Jamie Grimes and Wayne Thomas and versatile midfielder Aaron Brown, striker Daniel Nti has been a key element in City's fine form.
The leading marksman has scored nine of his 13 league goals - he also scored twice in cup competitions - in the second-half of the campaign.
At one stage, the 21-year-old found the net in five consecutive league games, three of which City won.
Ideally, the results would have been spread evenly across the season to spare fans tearing their hair out in despair before Christmas but few can deny that City have been a revelation in recent months.
Significantly, their revival has ensured the Blue and Whites will once again be playing in non-league's second tier next season.
That was secured with Tuesday night's Martin Devaney-inspired 1-0 win over Barrow at Aggborough.
While a wholly unlikely series of results could theoretically see Worcester finish third from bottom, the fact Vauxhall Motors are resigning from the Conference means the Ellesmere Port outfit would take the remaining relegation place.
Realistically, Worcester are well-placed to beat last season's total of 50 points, needing just four points from fixtures against bottom side Workington, Brackley Town, Hednesford Town and Boston United.
Should they win all of those, Heeley's men would finish on 58 points having taken 41 from a possible 63 in the second-half of the campaign.
Such an achievement would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.
"We want to finish in the top half and we're well on track for that," the City manager said.
"Since we went on our winning run after beating Histon (on January 11) we've been looking up the table.
"Because we've raised the bar ourselves we're disappointed when we don't reach those heights like Saturday against Leamington.
"But that's football and the key thing was coming back and getting a positive result against Barrow."
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