Stonegrove Park bows out on a high
Stonegrove Park U18s Tigers, with managers Kevin Bernbaum, Phil Style, Simon Greenfield celebrate winning their final match with founder and Club Secretary Mark Simmons
WATFORD FRIENDLY LEAGUE UNDER 18 GREEN DIVISION
STONEGROVE PARK TIGERS 2 POTTERS BAR 1
Stonegrove Park, established in 2003, ended their season and their existence on a high on Sunday, bowing out with a hard fought victory over Potters Bar.
Founder and Club Secretary, Mark Simmons said: "It has been a great 10 years for Stonegrove Park FC, but along with the other committee members, we have decided that the club has run its course and with the sole remaining team being mainly too old to compete in youth football next year, it seemed a natural time to close the club."
The club's final game was at their home ground at Northwick Park, with a good crowd of well-wishers turning up to support the home team.
Potters Bar started the game well, but it was Stonegrove Park who piled on the early pressure to open the scoring in the 12th minute when the ball broke loose towards the Potters bar goal and Joe Myers was quicker to the ball than the Potters goalie to poke the ball into the back of the net.
It was Potters Bar's turn to apply the pressure and there followed several minutes of sustained pressure, and several corners attacking Stonegrove’s goal, before the pressure paid off for Potters Bar who equalised, and so it remained at half time, one all.
The second half was also a tight affair, with both sides having chances. Stonegrove’s back four of Michael Simons, Mehar Sethi, Ben Kreiger and man of the match Barnaby Powell had a solid performance and some fine saves from Sam Ellard in goal ensured Potters Bar’s second half was unfruitful.
It was the hard-working midfield of club captain Paul Cotter, Alex Chaimo, Ethan Ezra and Scott Greenfield who supported Noah Style when he scored Stonegrove’s winning goal with 10 minutes to go.
Assistant-manager Philip Style was suitably honoured that his son should score the final goal for Stonegrove Park.
So it finished 2-1 to Stonegrove Park, a fantastic way to go out.
Manager Kevin Bernbaum, who was presented with a Spurs shirt by the team at the end of the match, said: "This was a great team performance, with Stonegrove Park exceeding the extra 20 per cent I asked for in the second half.
"A special mention is due to Ethan Ezra and Noah Lachs for playing out of position up front today, and also to those other squad player who were not here today, including my son Joel Bernbaum."
Stonegrove Park started in 2003 with two teams in the now defunct AJY league, and developed to a peak of four teams during its lifetime.
Mark Simmons, the club secretary was the final ever AJY football manager of the year. Stonegrove Park also had teams in the Maccabi Leagues and in the later years the Watford Friendly League, peaking in 2009-10 when the Under-14's won the Watford Friendly League U14s Green Division as managed by Simon Greenfield and Sharon Eskenazy.
Mark Simmons finished by saying: "I am just pleased that we enabled so many boys and some girls to play competitive football over these past 10 years. I hope they remember their time with us fondly."