Monyhull Church 5 Dudley Lions 0

18th April

I don’t normally manage to put a report on the site due to a young family taking up my time but I thought I couldn’t let the moment pass without adding one for our last game of the season.

Having secured promotion last week with a thread bare squad, we had a pretty much full strength team to face Dudley Lions. A team who always give us a good game and in seasons past have come up short against.

For this manager, the game was a no pressure game, anything above achieving promotion is a bonus. A win and we would secure a runners up spot, but that would just be the icing on the cake. But not for the ‘hull lads! Such has been their desire and attitude this season, they have wanted to push themselves and each other to be better and try harder.

A close affair in the first 20 minutes was finally opened up with a quick move from the ‘hull attackers, a nice interchange in the box ended with Oli Smith, dropping the shoulder before smashing the ball home from close range. Both sides were hungry for it, the ‘hull had several chances, albeit from distance and half-time came around, 1-0.

The first 15 minutes of the second half saw Dudley Lions looking more like the side that cause us problems, putting on some pressure and restricting Monohull to counter attacks. But the defence dealt with the pressure and slowly the tide turned, especially when a ball through for the pace Tom Hales saw him tuck it past the keeper for 2-0.

This seemed to take the wind out of Lions’ sails and the ‘hull stepped it up. A corner from Tom Hales was beautifully glanced in by Armstrong-Sly for 3-0 and second spot was in sight.

Once again some great work on the right ended with a ball square into the box and the unfortunate Dudley Lions defender putting into his own net for 4-0. It seemed a shame on the lad who had a decent game and was doing what a defender should, getting in before Knowles behind him could finish it off.

With a few minutes left, the ever dangerous Oli Smith smashed home a peach from the edge of the area for 5-0 and finish our season off in style.

It has been a phenomenal season for ‘little old Monyhull’, always the underdog, still learning, still growing. We have a young side who have yet to hit their full stride but have proved this season that desire can be the difference between winning and losing. Most weeks I have used Neil Kovacs’ predictions as inspiration for the team to prove everyone wrong and they have done. It seems incredible that we are runners up considering our previous three seasons and we know we have upset ‘the system’ by achieving what we have. We now look forward to next season as a Division 1 team!

A massive thanks to my players… Only two of them have played in the WMCFL before joining us, everyone else has had to adapt to the strict discipline code needed for the league. They have done so incredibly, the way they have embraced the league and the team has been fantastic, their attitude and desire to create an environment in which they can enjoy their football has been a joy to see and they fully deserve to be playing football in Division One. Our football at times has been out of this world and whilst we have some great individuals, its our team play and team spirit that has been our calling card this season, I hope it continues for more to come.

A big thank you to the other clubs and secretaries/managers, we have always been able to have a laugh and enjoy good banter on the pitch with opposition and its been great to share the trials and tribulations involved with running a club.

Big thank you also to the league and all their hard work, most of which goes unseen and takes its toll. Your work allows us to run clubs that encourage community and friendship, without your efforts the league would not exist and Saturday mornings would be a lot duller.

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