Eastenders reflect on the ups and downs of 2012
AS anticipated Easington United’s calendar year came to a soggy end with the First Team’s third consecutive postponement due to a waterlogged pitch.
They must now hope that Low Farm gets chance to dry out before January 5, when CML South high-fliers Belper United are scheduled to arrive in the League Cup.
At least the natural break provides a chance to reflect on a year of change at the club.
On the field 2012 saw The Eastenders attain their highest ever league placing in the “Football Pyramid”. In addition, one of our teams moved up a division, one went down and all three changed managers.
At senior level, Dave Mackay-Dundas’s 16-year association as player, assistant-manager and manager came to an end last May, having taken the First Team to a top-ten placing in the Central Midlands League North Division.
Dave’s replacement in the “hot seat” was Sean McLaughlin. “The Sumo” – as he is known to anybody with more than a passing interest in the local game – was joined at the helm by former skipper Andy Graham, Mike Nicholson and Tony Hunt, although Nicholson’s involvement has since been curtailed by other commitments.
After a bright start, the First Team has found this season an increasingly tough challenge. However, given that recent line-ups have included only two or three players over 24 years of age, there is no cause for despair. The players have shown themselves eager to learn and rarely willing to throw in the towel, which has provided a good grounding for the challenges that lay ahead.
At ER County League level the Reserves enjoyed a mixed 2012. The end of last season brought with it relegation to Division 1 but also a magnificent win in one of the finest South Holderness Cup Finals anyone can remember.
Under new manager Gavin Thurkettle and assistant Dave Gatti, the Stiffs are currently mounting a serious promotion bid and have also taken a couple of Premier Division scalps en route to a place in the quarter-finals of the League Senior Cup.
The Casuals gave outgoing manager Iain McNaught the perfect send-off with the Division 5 title, which was clinched in January – something unheard of in County League history. They remained unbeaten throughout and but for a draw in their final game would have enjoyed a perfect campaign.
Taking up the reins for 2012/13, Daniel Campbell and assistant Jodi Stow have made a solid start to life in Division 4, although the expected departure of leading scorer Karl Hodgson leaves something of a void to fill in the New Year.
Behind the scenes, 2012 saw Richard Lusmore named the Central Midlands League’s ‘Secretary of the Year’ and Doug Clubley as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ by the East Riding County FA.
Chairman Doug’s 60 years’ celebration in November provided one of the off-field highlights, while the recent Race Night and Christmas Draw brought in much-needed funds, along with new partner club Sporting Withernsea Wolves’ inaugural tournament at Low Farm and October’s sponsored walk along the Humber Bank.
Proceeds from these not only prove a godsend but should also allow the club to make a significant donation to its chosen good cause, the Paediatric Nephrology Department at Leeds General Infirmary.
As we now look ahead to 2013, the Committee of Easington United AFC would like to thank all managers, players, supporters and sponsors for their efforts over the past twelve months.
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