2019-2020 - A season to remember and forget!

The 2019/2020 season will be remembered for many things. Lots of goals, victories, cup runs and a lot of 2pm kick offs. Unfortunately, it will be more remembered for being the season that was cancelled. Plagued with the Coronavirus, the world came to a stand still with the lockdown procedures cancelling all football matches for the foreseeable future. This came at a time where as a team we had reached 2 cup finals and was only 1 victory away from mathematically winning the league. All the hard work and dedication from the parents and players alike seemingly all about to be for nothing, except the memories of some of the best football we have ever played.

Fortunately, we were given a lifeline, a chance to salvage our season, with the league holding a vote to determine the outcome of the season. There were 2 options. Option 1 – The whole season is registered as Null and void.  Option 2- Complete the season on a Points Per Game basis. After all the votes were cast and tallied up, option 2 emerged victorious with 52% of the vote. Finally, some good news.  This meant that were crowned Champions with a one hundred percent win record, scoring over 100 goals and conceding less than 20 in all competitions.

Having this time away from football has given me a chance to reflect on the season, look over old notes to refresh my memory and really analyse the season. What we did well, what we could improve on, and planning for next season. It was a great opportunity to really dissect and think about the ins and outs of the 2019-2020 season. For the season to end the way it did is utterly heartbreaking. To be on the cusp of such incredible achievements only for the world close down and force us to step away from normal life. However, I believe it is a good chance to revisit the season as it panned out.

September

We began all the way back in September on a scorching hot day away against the reigning champs Dagenham and Redbridge. The game was interrupted for drinks breaks in each half to keep the girls hydrated and ready to play.

Excellent football being played meant that we emerged victorious in a fantastic 4-2 win and put us in great spirits for the rest of the season. We had one other game in September another away match this time against Braintree. On this occasion, we really signalled our intentions for the rest of the season in a 9-1 goal fest.

October / November

In October we played 3 matches, 2 league games and a cup tie. It turned into the teams most prolific month of the season. We scored a whopping 30 goals and conceded a grand total of zero. Yes not one goal conceded in the whole of October.

November was also another quality month for the U14s and continued their winning ways playing four and winning four. This proved to be our toughest month yet as we went up against some of the leagues heavyweights and would be our biggest test so far. Despite this, the girls showed enormous character, determination and proved that this season is finally their season. This month saw us finally come up against the main title contenders CK Basildon, both teams had a 100% start to the season, so the stakes were incredibly high. For me this was our best performance of the season winning 8-3, but the passing, finishing, teamwork, energy level and overall tekkers on show, was truly a sight to behold. The opposition manager even approached me after the game and said that was the best performance he had seen.

December

December was a month where the weather had a huge impact, cancelled games everywhere. We were only able to play one match. A huge cup tie vs CK Basildon. It wasn’t the glamorous performance we saw last time but a very quick start put us in great stead for the rest of the game. 3-1 victory. The other other game we had scheduled was a home walkover against Braintree who couldn’t field a side.

Our performances in 2019 were nothing short of magnificent, we maintained our winning streak progressed in every cup competition and found ourselves top of the league going into the new decade. Record so far: P10 W10 D0 L0 (inc cup competitions). We had set the bar extremely high and were looking to push on and improving on what we had already achieved. I outlined the targets and objectives for the remainder of the season at our mid season review.

January

The start 2020 saw us travel to St Clere’s for the Quarter Final of the county cup. It was out first game back and was expecting a few cobwebs to be on show coming back from the Christmas break. The first half saw us on the back foot conceding more chances than we were able to create. A good half time team talk and a chance for the girls to warm up saw us comfortably secure the victory winning 4-0. More cancelled matches meant we didn’t have a game for a few weeks until another Quarter Final this time vs Forest Glade. We were unplayable in this game and progressed into the next round with a 10-0 victory at home.

February

February was a very quiet month, we were only able to play one fixture in the whole month. However, what an unbelievable game this was. A mouth watering Semi Final against Tiptree, who were in great form, probably produced one of the games of the season. 2-2 at full time, saw us really have to dig in and show that character we produced earlier in the season. With barely 1 minute to go, penalties on the horizon and  the scores tied at 3-3 we were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. Was it ever in doubt? But a peach of a free kick flies into the top right corner sending us all the way to Aveley Stadium and into the Final of the County cup. What a game.

March

Unfortunately, March was the last time we would step onto the pitch this season, Coronavirus would bring the world to a standstill and cause a worldwide lockdown. Having said this we had another two massive games ahead. A League cup semi-final vs Dagenham and a league title decider vs CK Basildon. The semi-final turned out to be a comfortable 6-1 victory to send us into our second final of the season. The second game vs CK Basildon was another quality game of football from both sides. The ability on that pitch was top class and something we should be really proud of. Having gone 1-0 down early on in the game, the girls fought back valiantly and showed that they were the best team this season. 4-1 win.

In summary, the season was marvellous, to become the invincibles, score 100+ goals, and almost do the ‘treble’ is something to be really proud of. We will have to settle for just the League Title on this occasion but that in itself is a great achievement. We were denied our fantastic days out to Aveley and the League Cup Final, but we can hopefully find some satisfaction in knowing that we beat everybody, nobody got close to us and that we produced the best squad of the season. Every single player contributing week in week out and putting in performances that kept me in a job! I am extremely proud of the girls this season and I hope that we can, when we are allowed, push on next season and achieve bigger and better things.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon,

Jake, U14s Manager
(2019-20 Season)