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Away to Sanders

The Vets travelled to Rush Green to play Sanders a useful side and not the easiest game to obtain the one point we needed to win the league. With Martyn Tribe and Darren Foss not available we knew we would have to be at our best. Would Sanders be up for the game or would they not be too bothered as they had nothing to really play for but pride. As we were about to find out they were bothered !! 

Again with the traffic being bad we were disjointed in turning up and after a very quick warm up and a few words from manager Barry Smith we finally kicked off.

The first fifteen minutes were pretty even with both teams having chances, Taju had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled offside. Our opposition were getting more confident and could see that we were desperate to win and we started to struggle, Sanders midfield was quite strong and started to dominate which led to several let offs for us. We were then awarded a free kick after Barry was taken out.

Kevin Whitworth put the ball to the edge of the box where Steve Hunter’s little flick header evaded the right back for Martin Treadway to score with his trusted left foot  and probably against the run of play. Instead of taking confidence from this goal we let Sanders come at us and after some constant pressure and our inability to clear our lines the Sanders’ striker latched onto a volley from the left side of our penalty box to fire home from an acute angle over Gary who had no chance. 1-1 and a reality check, further pressure from Sanders saw them rewarded a corner and their striker who was causing us problems in the air swooped at the near post to head the ball home past a helpless defense.  2-1 down and it all started to go horribly wrong.

 Half Time came and Barry tried to get us going with words like "They seem to want it more" “It’s our game" and several other things I can`t repeat. He made a change swapping Hilary and Sean over in defence and we kicked off the second half hoping for improvement and a goal. The second half was a lot better as we started to play at last like a team who had won 7 games on the trot. But we needed a goal and several half chances finally led to our left back yes our left back H slotting one home from close range for 2-2 with about 30 minutes to go. We then dug in and tried to keep it tight at the back with Hilary showing good competitive qualities inspiring the rest of us particularly one goal line clearance when Gary came wandering off his line. Martin Treadway also having an excellent game creating several chances including a disallowed header by Taju which we felt should have been allowed. Time ticked by and everyone battled and finally the referee put the lips to his whistle and blew for full time. That was it we were the CHAMPIONS!!

Seemed a bit of an anticlimax but we had not played that well but we were over the line and know could take the league away from us. We celebrated in the dressing room with cheap Champagne and there was a good vibe as the achievement started to kick in. One game to go in which has been an excellent season. Credit must go largely to manager Barry Smith who has had a large squad to contend with and has been unselfish and given everyone a fair crack of the whip. So well done to Barry and congratulations to everyone who has contributed to a fantastic season. Second Division here we come!! Report Kevin Whitworth. 

Team

Gary Doodes ( Captain ), Hilary Francis, Kevin Whitworth, Sean Windeatt, Halil Hassan, Barry Smith, Paul Obwinko, Suhail Butt, Trevor Burton, Martin Treadway, Taju, Subs: Paul Edwards, Steve Hunter, Bill Howard, Roger Gayle, Tony Graves.

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