First of all, thankfully the big step of becoming a semi-professional club taken by the board has not affected the teams achievement for this season. Which follows from the fact that it seems like our current crop of players aren’t too greedy. Because the offers have been flying in and whilst there has been a few departures which have been posted, a massive percentage of offers have been rejected. It remains to be seen if this is the case over the next few seasons where the players realise that they could be offered appearance fees from us now.
Anyway, most importantly how did we fare this season…
So actually less losses than last season despite the higher division with just the one loss against Montpelier Villa III blemishing our league record.
It obviously follows that we did secure promotion and in style, finishing first with a 19 point gap to the team below. This did come as a bit of a surprise as seasons in lower divisions haven’t been quite so easy, maybe this signals the real falling into place of team tactics and club strategies.
Three of the four cups this season were new to Keymer & Hassocks with us competing in them for the first time. Along with this came some tougher matches and questions as to if we could make the finals at our first attempts (despite the boards expectations being not only to do that but also to win all the cups, again). However, as the image above shows, we did in fact succeed and here is those cup finals in more detail:
Somerville Challenge Cup:I actually completely forgot to make any notes on the first two cup finals… err…. so here’s a picture from the post match screen of the first one. At least I’m honest, right.
Stubbins Challenge Cup (5-2 win vs. Stones): Very even & competitive match despite ultimate scoreline. The order of scoring went as follows: a Stones own goal put us in the lead, before they managed to score in the right net after a defensive mix up from us to draw level. Some great combination play from Stones’ attackers put them in the lead, which they held until a dramatic late equaliser was tucked in from a low cross by Ross Stables to take the match into extra time. Extra time was very one sided with us putting them to the sword with two goals from Andy Houghton and one from Nathan Wells.
Mid Sussex Senior Cup (3-2 win vs. Cowfold): We got off to a bad start in the 3rd minute with Jordan Powell giving away a penalty for a high foot which they promptly scored. Their lead didn’t last long though with Andy Houghton equalising in the 10th minute. The Andy Houghton show continued in the second half as he completed his hat-trick. Cowfold pulled a goal back in the 68th minute to make for a tense end to the match but we held on fairly comfortably ultimately.
So who performed and stood out this year?
Andy Houghton walking to three awards is no surprise given that he scored an enormous 48 goals this year including 21 goals in 13 games in the league. The goal scoring ability of this guy is hard to describe, he’s incredible and if we manage to keep hold of him, I may release a goal compilation video, there’s plenty to choose from. Wingers Mike Morrall and Ben Bentley finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively in the fan’s player of the season award also deserve the acclaim for their performances this season.
I’m not quite sure where the Signing of the season being Dan Cox comes from as he hasn’t played at all in the first team. I can only assume that it’s because we haven’t had to sign many players this season and when positions have needed filling we have promoted from our youth teams.
On that note as well, there are some players who have grown into the first team having come through our youth teams. These are Mike Morrall who has been in and around for the past few season but has become easily our first choice right midfielder. And Luke Winstanley who was forced into the team after departures and injuries but earned himself the chance to stay in the side which he did for the majority of the second half of the season.
And that just about ties of the season, a season ending with another promotion so the players are off on their summer break and will hopefully come back refreshed and ready to make a charge for promotion at the first attempt from Mid Sussex Football League Division Three…