NORTH NIBLEY co-manager Dan Knott looks back on a remarkable treble-winning season for the Stroud League outfit.

The 2018-19 season has truly been a remarkable one for The Cobras. Myself an co-manager Jim Davis filled the shoes of founder and previous manager George Harper. We couldn't have achieved what we did without chairman Andrew Hicks, who oversees the all-important behind-the-scenes administration that the club could not function without.

On Bank Holiday Monday the team completed their historic treble winning season with a fitting 3-0 win over Dursley Town Reserves in the Dennis Mason Cup Final.

A strong start to the campaign saw Nibley record 15 wins from their opening 16 league games. Back-to-back league wins of 8-0 over King's Stanley Reserves and Berkeley Town Reserves particularly stood out and cemented Nibley as ‘the’ force to be reckoned with in division five.

However, it was perhaps the 4-1 victories against Painswick (a side Nibley had climbed the leagues with) that emphasised Nibley’s development from a mid-table Division 7 club five years ago, to a now dominant treble winning side.

Will Massey (25 goals), Simon Collinson (17 goals) & Rich Macnamara (14 goals) once again proved to be stalwarts of Nibley’s attacking identity. But it was perhaps new signings of winger Charlie Balmer (18 goals), midfielder Simon Hopes and Centre-back Alex Massey that added an extra dimension to Nibley this season, sharing seven man-of-the-match performances between them.

The Dennis Mason Cup journey was build around our defence which saw four wins and an emphatic 18 goals scored without a goal conceded.

Chris Field, Rich Townend, Sam Piper, Alex Massey, Nick McAfee, Joe Field, Charlie Bennett & Charlie Moreton – the make up of our defence that became the first team in history to not concede a goal in this competition on their way to lifting the trophy. A sublime 30-yard strike from Will Massey in the opening 10 minutes saw the team off to a great start in the final over Dursley, but it was perhaps Rich Townend’s one-on-one save to keep Nibley’s record unblemished that brought a bigger smile to myself and co-manager Jim Davis’ faces.

Perhaps the sweetest trophy was Nibley’s Gloucestershire County Cup Minor Final win over local rivals Charfield. To get to the final Nibley saw off Cheltenham side's Kings Res, Dowty Dynamos and Smith’s Athletic, thanks to two stunning performances from forward Jamie Evans who registered a third of his 15 goals this season in the competition.

The final would prove to be a game for the ages. Being a derby, tension was high and that carried throughout the crowd as Nibley’s win was accomplished in classic dramatic fashion that relayed memories of Nibley’s emphatic cup final win of the same cup two years prior.

Nibley started brightly recording two goals through Simon Collinson and a perfectly placed header from Charlie Balmer. But the tide turned in the second-half as Charfield staged a comeback to tie the game.

Looking like the game might get away from them, Nibley dug in and with five minutes to go, a threaded ball from Jamie Evans found Will Massey who did what he does best in cup finals: score the winner.

The 2018-19 season has truly been a remarkable one for The Cobras. Many thanks must go to Co-Managers Jim Davis & Dan Knott who filled the shoes of founder and previous manager George Harper and then some.

Most importantly, thanks must go to Chairman Andrew Hicks who oversees the all-important underappreciated behind-the-scenes admin that the club could not function without.