Honiton Town title triumph - the boss speaks!
PUBLISHED: 13:21 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:06 03 May 2017
Honiton Town players made sure that their team duly lifted the Macron Devon and Exeter Football League Premier Division title - and in some style too - as they rounded off a wonderful season with a 5-0 Mountbatten Park win over Exmouth Amateurs.
Honiton Town title win
Town players celebrate in the dressing room after their final day title-sealing victory over Exmouth Amateurs
Honiton Town players celebrate after their final day 5-0 title-clinching victory over Exmouth Amateurs.
Honiton Town players lin eup after their final day 5-0 title-clinching victory over Exmouth Amateurs.
Honiton Town playersreceive the Macron League Premier title after their final day 5-0 title-clinching victory over Exmouth Amateurs.
On a day that might have been one of nerve jangling football, the Hippos’ players put everything to bed nice and early with a quick-fire brace of goals scored by Aidan Barrett and Joe Dixon – and this before team boss Kev Blackwell had even taken his seat in the dugout!
To complete a perfect afternoon of team planning for boss Blackwell, Andy Issacs soon had the ball in the net for the third goal fully justifying the selection of the strikers made by ‘the gaffer’.
To their credit, Exmouth Amateurs did not ‘throw in the towel’ and they hit back to make a game of it.
However, Town were not to be denied their final day glory.
Barrett scored his second of the game before the final goal was netted, and fittingly given the occasion, by a younger who has come through the youth ranks at Mountbatten Park – Blake Freemantle, completed the scoring.
That fifth and final goal scored by young Freemantle was the 101st league goal of the season for the Hippos – and, with just 22 conceded and only one loss all season – underlines just why Honiton Town ‘The Hippos’ can wallow throughout the close season as the top team at their level in the area.
A delighted Town boss said: “We knew going into the game that our goal difference was key and winning the game was all that really mattered.
“However, I wanted a little more that ‘just another win’. I felt it was important that we end the season on a high and the lads delivered a top drawer shift.
“It was a tremendous team effort - from one through to 16, all who played, did so by giving us everything and that has been the underlying trend all through a wonderful campaign.
“In moments like the one we enjoyed once the game ended and the title was won, it is so important as a manager to take a step back and reflect on who needs to be thanked for it’s been very much a team effort off the pitch as much as it has been on the Mountbatten Park turf (and of course the countless away grounds we have played on this season).
“In terms of my ‘off-pitch team’, Nick ‘Oggy’ Ogden has been a rock for me as my assistant and kept me sane. John Connett has run the line all season and prepared the best pitch in the league for the lads - Pete Farmer has also been invaluable on a match day. The club committee of Tish and Alan Mackay, as well as Roger Doble have been tremendous for and so supportive
“It really has been a team effort because we have come so far in such a short space of time.
“For me now I feel it’s time for a break and reflection. Running the team takes up a lot of time and commitment and I will sit down and discuss things with my family and then committee on what’s going to happen moving forward for both myself and the club.
“Who ever is in charge, whether that’s myself or someone else, I know they will have some fantastic players to work with - I would challenge the young talent to step up such as Blake Freemantle, Jack de Winton and Ryan Pike (although there are others) to make it impossible not to be selected - train, wait for the chance, push for that spot in the team because the position has to be earned
“The club and all associated can now look forward to a new dawn in the South West Peninsula League, and I could not be any prouder of the journey we have just completed.”