So at last we can say the C word!! Champions of Minor Division North 2! It has been an outstanding season for the 5th Team and extremely proud of all the lads who have been involved with our title clinching performances! We have won the title with three games to spare, however myself and everyone involved would love to see out the season unbeaten and keeping our goals conceded in the single figures. 7 goals conceded in 15 games so far is outstanding!!
Let’s start with the evenings escapades! It was a fantastic night enjoyed by a very fruity 5s squad. It was great to see the team doing what they do best in the club house….drinking jug after jug and jager after jager. However there was a new creation made too early on the saturday evening…the ‘champagne bomb’. A true drink of champions…didn’t go down too well though! All the lads were getting nicely toasted…even Jamie Fortucci who arrived late decided to drink straight jager bombs…no beer included! He would pay for this later on in the evening…! After lots of chanting and merriment… we decided to head towards Stoke Newington (I think) and to carry on the celebrations…some of the guys left early for some much needed food…James Rae just walked off in the hunt of some chips and never returned…we hope he got those chips he so desperately needed! In the end it was a great night had by all and is still being talked about on the Whats App group!
Now to the game against a determined EBOGS side who had fluffed up their chances of taking the title from us last week when they lost to Old Parks, however they were very much in the hunt for promotion still and were desperate to beat us! We had a true strong 5th team biting at the bit to put in a strong performance and win the league…I had a selection nightmare just due to the case that everyone should have started and deserved a place in the starting line up.
In all truth the first half was played under difficult conditions and playing against the blustery wind added to that. EBOGs had the better first half and enjoyed more of the ball however the hardworking prowess of the 5s limited them to real goal scoring chances. Fortucci and Watson worked tirelessly winning the ball and Forbes and Wilson doing their best to make an impact on the game….unfortunately for us we just couldn’t get the ball on the ground enough to play our style of football!
Going into the second half at 0-0 was a fantastic position to be in and we were much improved for the next 45 minutes. We had a scare early on with EBOGs hitting the post and this made us sharpen up as we started to get a grip on the game. A slight reshuffle with a few of the lads made us more dynamic and attacking Chris Wilson in a more central role got a foothold in the game and started linking up with players fantastically well. MAtt Dodimead now in his (least) favourite position was involved a lot more and created many problems for the opposition. Substitute McMorran had a big influence and showed great composure to score his first goal for the 5s! A great strike from the edge of the are put us in the driving seat and the title was in sight!
The last 25 minutes were very even with both teams having opportunities. Andy Sievewright yet again showed great handling by catching every cross and keeping hold of every shot put near him. Joe Robinson was solid at centre back as always…that man has a magnet as a head (and face) heading every ball! James Rae marauded, kneed and cleared everything that came his way and the ever vibrant Doyle showed determination and grit throughout. Our two subs Bowhill and Murphy showed everyone what AP are about….not moaning about not being started but coming on and giving 100% and influencing the second half to go in our favour! Paul Forbes has been a revelation for the 5s this last third of the season… his direct running at wing backs is extremely exciting to watch and always causes problems! Wilson charged down everything…taking ‘defending from the front’ to a new level and Paddy Knight always such a big influence in big games charging into the channels and causing real problems for the oppositions back four!
We had a couple of chances in the second half to grab a crucial goal…Paddy Knight was desperately unlucky on two occasions just missing the target…his first effort was close it had everyone celebrating on the touchline…so close.
The only dampener on the day was EBOGs very late on equaliser to make it 1-1 and in all truth it was deserved as they pushed us all the way in the game. We are not used to conceding in games so it was a little kick in the teeth but at the end of the day it was a fabulous contest and a fair result. Plus 15 minutes later the result had come in that Old Parks had lost to Winchmore Hill so the celebrations started with a bottle of champers and chants of 4 MORE YEARS….4 MORE YEARS!!
Well done lads a championship fully deserved and we can’t wait to bring the actiual trophy back to the club house!!
Team: Sievewright, Doyle, Wright, Robinson, Rae, Wislon, Watson, Fortucci, Forbes, Knight, Dodimead Subs: Bowhill, Murphy, McMorran