Nelson FC mark best season in 25 years

Matt O'Neil - players' player of the year

Matt O'Neil - players' player of the year

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Nelson ended the season with a 4-1 defeat at home to third place 1874 Northwich – but 11th place signified their best season in a quarter of a century.

The Blues recalled captain Peter Wright and George Melling, but the visitors went close when Melling’s back header didn’t reach Ben Woodhead, and Chris Lunn’s shot bounced off the top of the bar.

Early exchanges were even until Lunn beat Woodhead from close range, and right on the stroke of half-time, Michael Brandon lobbed a second after hesitancy in the home defence.

Lunn added his second after the break, and minutes later it was four as substitute Matt Beadle outstripped the defence to score at the second attempt.

Nelson hit a late consolation when Paul Fildes volleyed past Matthew Conkie.

Matt O’Neill was named Player and Players’ Player of the Year at the end of season awards immediately after the game.