Our final time together as 2017/18 SCFL Div 1 teammates over the last week, and it has been a celebration of what we’ve achieved across this year. To summarise the football, we completed 3 wins at home in the space of 6 days beaten Hailsham, Southwick and Billingshurst 3-1, 6-1, and 5-1 respectively. That in hand means we become the only team this year to be unbeaten at home, only dropping 2 points at the Lair. That includes all competitions for us this season. After Langney secured a 3-2 win at home to Little Common on Saturday, it meant the best we could manage was 3rd place; and a position in Non-League Step 5 for 2018/19 Season.
To review the season, we mentioned a rollercoaster ride... and it was certainly that! We had just 5 points from our first 4 or 5 games, and despite having to play our first 6 games away from home, it just wasn’t good enough for the aspirations of the club. And to the credit of the football club, Bobby, Dixie and Simon in bringing in the ethic, personnel and philosophy to persevere and weather the storms, we began to climb the table, win after win, position after position, we were mounting a challenge. Little Common and Langney Wanderers the 2 sides that headed the table for the duration of the season looked over their shoulder for the first time. We cemented our credentials for a potential challenge after we hosted league leaders Little Common to a 6-0 thumping, their biggest defeat of the year. We had minor stumbles over the course of Christmas, with 3 draws to Southwick, Midhurst and at home to Langney (Only points dropped at home) which those 6 points proved vital come the end. We did press on through the back half, AFC Varndeanians our only defeat of the season in 2018, which we felt very unjust. Nevertheless, we pushed and pushed forward, and secured promotion at home to Bexhill. Our final ventures were to Little Common for our last away game in which we completed a league double over the eventual League Winners. And before we continue, a massive congratulations to Little Common on what can only be described as a very consistent, professional delivery of performances and results throughout, with the best defensive record in the league too. Our final task that we saw through was our home record, after Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over Billingshurst, it meant we were the only side in the league to remain unbeaten at home throughout the campaign! A 16-1-0 record having scored 70 goals in those 17 games only conceding 16.
After the Southwick game, we hosted our presentation night led by management in Bobby Clements and Dixie Dean; a congratulations of everything accomplished and everyone involved this season. Individual Player awards were as followed;
Sammy Clements - Players’ Player of the Year
Conor Wilford - Managers’ Player of the Year
Nick Dembele - Fans’ Player of the Year
Ben Connolly - Young Player of the Year
Charlie Naylor - ClubMan of the Year
Richard Wetton - Top Goal Scorer
However!... I would like to send a massive thank you to Olly Moore, Stephen Hodge, David Graves, David Baker, Scott Johnston, Marco Mwanza, Alec Tuppen, Dan Lilley, Chris Ransome, Dan Summers, David Heaton, Corbin Turner, Jamie Bakhit and Jake Horn for all your contributions. We wouldn’t be where we are without you boys!
Also to Mike Moore, who’s support, whether it be on the sideline watching, or limitless amounts of media coverage across the season... has been a joy to have you with us!
To David Antino, for your willingness for the team, coordination of the squad, events, and everything that goes with keeping the football club running.
To Bobby, Dixie and Simon, for your dedication, persistence, perseverance, willingness to provide support, insight, organisation, and just in general being the gel to the squad home and away and giving large parts of your week and weekends for us!
To the fans, that travel further than just the Lair. To the depths of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings on cold winter nights. Every cheer, groan and clap is massively appreciated.
On behalf of myself and all the players, a monumental thank you to everyone associated with Lingfield Football Club!
Next year, we go again, a step up, a credited Pre Season with building in process and we can achieve more. I / We hope to see you all soon! Have an easy summer! Up the Lingers