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The end of season awards

The end of season awards

Gerry Lightfoot2 May - 23:26
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Who were this season’s winners and how was our 2023-24 season?

The awards evening was to take place on the final day of the season, until the SCFL extended the season by an additional week due to a backlog of fixtures – a definite case of shifting the goalposts. As a number of players had commitments on the new final day, the awards evening was kept on 20 April when we had a day off. An excellent turn out of players, team management, committee and others enjoyed a good evening and saw the following awards handed out:

Manager’s Player: Luke Richardson
Players’ Player: Josh McArthur Nolan
Supporters’ Player: Stephen Hodge
Young Player: Jay Simpson
Best Newcomer: George Branton
Most Improved Player: Josh McArthur Nolan
Top Goalscorer: Jay Simpson (16 goals – 10 league, 4 FA Vase, 1 Surrey Cup)

Awards to our U23 team were also handed out during the evening. Their final fixture is on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

Manager’s Player: Sammy Addison
Players’ Player: Sammy Addison
Most Improved Player: Lucas Sewell
Top Goalscorer: Ashley Aderemi (9 goals so far)

An award for making an outstanding contribution to the club over the season was made to Paul Bashford for his hard work on preparing the pitch at Horley for First Team and U23 matches as well as running our youth section.

How did the 2023-24 season play out? A finish of eleventh in the league, three places better than last season and our second best finish in the SCFL Premier League. We matched our best performance in the FA Vase by reaching the Third Round Proper while playing a record five matches in the competition. In the FA Cup, Peter Bentley Cup and Surrey Cup sadly we fell at the first hurdle.

The club was promoted to the Premier Division in 2018 having finished third behind Little Common and Langney Wanderers. In the 2018-19 season we finished a creditable eighth place and above both Little Common and Langney Wanderers. We held off Little Common for eleventh this season while sadly Langney Wanderers folded in 2021. So, we started the next season in good spirits but it would end with the infamous Covid Lockdown causing the 2019-20 season to be abandoned. It was déjà vu the next season as with matches played barely into double figures the season was once again abandoned.

At last, we had a second full season in 2021-22 with a twelfth place finish, slipping to fourteenth in 2022-23 but bouncing back to eleventh this season having been in tenth until January. FA Full Time shows the last three seasons and looking at the stats our improvement this season is down to a stronger defence that has conceded fewer goals given that our goals scored has remained the same at 58, 58 and 57. Going four matches without conceding in December helped and the only team that had our number was the champions, Steyning Town giving us heavy defeats in both league matches and a cup game although at least we got a goal in each game. The lads only failed to score in six league matches and our FA Vase defeat to Deal Town – winners of the SCEFL this season.

Did we ruffle the feathers of the top five this season? Yes, actually we did with fine away wins at Newhaven and Eastbourne Town along with beating Hassocks at home to offset our seven defeats. Strangely, our record against the rest of the top half of the table brought us just one win at our neighbours Crawley Down Gatwick, a brace of draws with Peacehaven & Telscombe and one on the opening day at Midhurst & Easebourne, and six defeats. We took points off fifteen of the teams in the division.

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