Barcelona and Stevenage Borough both got the job done yesterday and whilst it is tough to find too many similarities between the two clubs, neither are a team you want to be chasing the game against, albeit for very different reasons.
Graham Westley has his detractors, quite a lot actually, but all credit to him and his players for getting consecutive promotions and showing what can be achieved with a positive attitude and a lot of hard work.
His team will be in the same division as both Sheffield clubs next season which is incredible given their respective budgets and supporter base. As recently as 2007, both Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic were in the EPL and Borough ended that season upper midtable in the Conference, now they will be facing each other in the league, exciting times at Broadhall Way.
Actually, in 2005-06 the Conference contained Stevenage and Exeter who will both be in the third tier next season, Dagenham who played in League 1 this season and Accrington who came up short in the League 2 semi final and another four in Crawley, Aldershot, Burton and Hereford all set to play in the Football League next season. It is a pretty fine line between League 1 and the Conference in terms of ability, but finances and crowd base usually catches up with the real overachievers eventually and on the flip side, almost always enables the bigger clubs to return to their true position.
It is incredible that teams like the Blades, Wednesday, Norwich City, Leicester City, Southampton, Leeds United and Nottingham have all played in the third tier of english football in the last four years, whilst tiny Wigan have been in the top flight for six, soon to be seven seasons . It's a funny old game !