BRIDGWATER Town co-manager Dave Pearse said he was “not surprised” to see the Robins’ campaign come to an abrupt end with 13 league games and a Les Phillips Cup semi-final still to play.

Last Thursday it was announced that Steps 3-6 of the National League System had reached a consensus with the Football Association (FA), to end the 2019/20 season with immediate effect owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

With all results wiped clean and no promotion or relegation to take place, it means that Bridgwater are to remain in the Western League Premier Division (Step 5 in the Non-League pyramid) for 2020/21Continued from back page

Reacting to the news, Bridgwater boss Pearse told the Mercury: “I thought that [ending the season] would happen, so I’m not surprised, and no-one knows how long the pandemic will last.

“I am a bit surprised by the non-promotions - it’s a bit harsh on clubs who have worked so hard to get in to those positions.”

Reflecting on the season and the Robins’ eighth place in the standings at the season’s end (16 points off table-topping Tavistock), Pearse said: “It’s showed that we can’t take anyone for granted in this league.

“At the start of the year, with the squad that we had, we thought we’d be right up there [for promotion].

“But a lot of teams have improved, and that caught us out a bit.

“It’s shown us that we’ve got to work harder off the pitch.

“We brought good players in and thought that would be enough, but it wasn’t.

“So as a management team we’ve got to try and be more organised next year, working on how we want the team to play.

“It’s been a big learning curve for us.”

The season’s termination allows clubs to plan ahead with some more clarity, and Pearse added: “We will speak to players in the squad about staying here.

“We hope that we can start pre-season for 2020/21 in July, but we don’t know for sure yet.

“Hopefully by the end of April we will know more.”