Raiders have set the bar high, says Garbacz
Phil Peters has thrown down the gauntlet to Hendon United Sports Club and said: "Catch us if you can."
His Norstar London Raiders completed their MGBSFL Premier Division campaign by registering their 14th league win to finish on 45 points.
Hendon are now the only team who can stop them winning the title for the first time — but they must collect a minimum of 21 points from their eight remaining games, which means seven wins. Even that would mean goal difference.
For Hendon boss David Garbacz, the challenge is clear. "We have seven cup finals," he said.
Peters said: "Our points haul from 18 games is a fantastic return and far beyond our pre-season expectations where we were aiming for a top-half finish. Whilst that should be enough, Hendon are the only side capable of mounting such a comeback and if they manage to do it then it will mean a horrific three-months of sleepless nights and tortuous Sunday mornings for us."
A long-range strike from David Dinkin and an own goal earned Raiders a 2-1 win over Oakwood in their final league game, with Bradley Wine replying.
Hendon are in cup action for the next two weeks, so Raiders face an agonising wait. The Reds return to league action at Redbridge Jewish Care on March 23 as they look to wrestle the initiative from Raiders and win the title for the second time in three seasons.
Peters said: "We hope that the teams with little to play for will still be trying to raise their games when they play Hendon — it seems that the ‘anyone-but-Hendon’ club is growing.
"But this season’s been all about us and whatever happens it's been a magnificent campaign. But it's not over yet — a semi-final and a quarter-final await us and we hope to give the chairman the trophies he’s been craving by the time the cups are given out in May."