FARSLEY Celtic turned disappointment at a play-offs defeat last year to delight after winning the Northern Premier League’s top-flight title.

It means the side from Throstle Nest, after only two seasons in the Premier Division, will play in non-league football’s second tier from August for the first time since 2010.

Adam Lakeland’s men held their nerve during a race for the title that included three teams until Easter Monday, securing the points they required from a meeting with Marine in their final fixture to be crowned champions.

That thwarted South Shields, denied a remarkable fourth successive promotion after an impressive debut campaign at this level.

They could not continue that run through the play-offs, beaten by opponents in the form of Warrington Town that very much have their number following wins in each of the teams’ three meetings this season.

The Yellows deserved better than to be rewarded for that feat with an agonising extra-time loss to King’s Lynn Town, from the Southern League’s Premier Central, in a one-off ‘super’ promotion play-off final that they led with five minutes left.

I’ve watched more games than I’ve kept count of this season involving Premier Division clubs – usually playing against Witton – and have picked Simmo’s Select XI from the players I’ve seen.

I was going to exclude Albion players to avoid allegations of outlandish bias, but I just couldn’t leave out Josh Wardle.

Have a look, and tweet me why I’m wrong or to ask why I didn’t pick him or the other.

Most likely answer – they must done little to catch my eye against the Albs!

Team of the year

GK: Theo Roberts (Buxton); RB: Jamie Morgan (Nantwich); CB: Mark Roberts (Warrington); CB: Josh Wardle (Witton); LB: Alex Brown (Buxton); CM: Ben Garrity (Warrington); CM: Matt Thornhill (Basford); CM: Robert Briggs (South Shields); F: Ali Waddecar (Bamber Bridge); F: Jimmy Spencer (Farsley Celtic); F: Joe Malkin (Nantwich). Subs: GK: Tommy Taylor (Scarborough); CB: Matt Lawlor (Bamber Bridge); M: Simon Wills (Lancaster); M: Lee Mason (South Shields); M: Will Hayhurst (Farsley Celtic); F: Scott Bakkor (Stalybridge Celtic); F: Nathan Watson (Basford)

Manager of the year

Paul Carden (Warrington Town)

He is the only manager in Northern Premier League history to steer a team to victory in the Premier Division’s promotion play-offs final and not take them up.

A one-off mechanism to decide which clubs fill a vacancy in National League North, due to a restructure of the National League System being done in stages, has cost Yellows.

They already demonstrated resilience not to be knocked off course by the demise of North Ferriby United – which cost them six points collected from two victories – and maintain a challenge for top spot until the penultimate round.

However Carden deserves most credit for reshaping a side shorn of its best players last summer, and making it better with less money to spend.

They matched last season’s third-place finish, but amassed more points – and with a much-improved points-per-game ratio – despite having fewer fixtures.

If I’m honest, it was as coin toss between Carden and Dave Cooke (Nantwich) for my pick of best boss.

The Dabbers’ chief has overseen one of the biggest improvements, from 15th in the 2017-2018 season to fourth this time around.

What makes that even more impressive is that it was both unexpected and delivered by a side stacked with emerging talent.

They perhaps lacked the nous to beat a wilier Warrington in the play-offs semi-final, but that shouldn’t blemish what was an outstanding campaign.

There should be an honourable mention here for Mark Fell (Lancaster City), who was appointed in October when the Dolly Blues had only four points after a disastrous start.

They recovered to finish 12th, and with a points-per-game return that would have put them just outside the promotion play-offs places had the former Ramsbottom United manager been in charge from the start.

His results record? P30 W11 D12 L7 Pts45