So close!!! The 65s did the Club and themselves proud in the National Finals—-reached the Final, were the better team but after 0-0 draw lost 2-1 on penalties.
Every one of the 8 man squad played their full part in a great all round effort and team performance.
On the finals day, the 8 Regional Champions were split into 2 groups of 4 with Strollers in with Hemel Hempstead,the legendary Leggy Mambos and St Helens.
The opening game saw Strollers well on top against Hemel but several chances were spurned and the game ended goalless.0-0. Leggy beat St Helens 1-0 so Strollers joint 2nd after the 1st games.
The next game was against the favourites Leggy Mambos. This time Strollers really raised their game and deservedly won 1-0 with Will Barrett scoring and Nic Poletti unlucky to see a 2nd disallowed. With Hemel beating St Helens 3-1 Strollers 2nd after 2 games.
The 3rd game saw Strollers record another win with a comfortable 2-0 victory against St Helens with Gerry Monaghan scoring both.With Leggy and Hemel drawing 1-1.
So Strollers won the group on 7 points,with Hemel 2nd on 5 points and Leggy failing to go through on 4 points.
Next the semi final and obviously a tense affair with the prize of the Final at stake. But Strollers were the better team and could have won by more than the one goal scored by Nic Poletti. FT 1-0.
So to the Final against Eastleigh winners of the last 2 years. A close tight game but it was Strollers who created the best opportunities. Unfortunately the Eastleigh keeper pulled off a couple of outstanding saves, so the game finished 0-0 and straight to penalties. Strollers Achilles heel! Despite Bill Whittle making a great save it wasn’t enough. 2-1 to Eastleigh who therefore won the Nationals for the 3rd year in a row.
A really enjoyable day and great kudos for the Club!
The squad was as follows:-