Temple Fortune crowned champions
Temple Fortune A became the first team to be crowned champions this season when they wrapped up the Division Two title with a 3-0 win over Faithfold B at the Hive.
Goals from Michael Goldberg plus two from Ben Isaacs sealed the win.
Fortune making several changes due to the absence of Jonathan Cohen, Jon Fisher and Paul Walker from the previous week in a tense match. In came Gideon Wetrin at centre-back, who had an excellent game, and David Gance returned to the side, as did Dan Nissan (as a sub) after a lengthy injury.
Goldberg helped to lift the tension somewhat by opening the scoring from a free-kick in the first half. Isaacs added a second and scored an excellent third with 20 minutes or so to go to secure the championship.
At the final whistle, the team celebrated jubilantly as news of Brixton's 3-1 defeat filtered through via MSFL Chairman David Wolff, who offered his own congratulations to the Club. With Fortune winning, the Brixton result mattered little but it was nice to win the title by four points all the same – the same margin that the 1985/86 team managed.
For Chairman Nigel Kyte, and anyone else connected with the Club who was around 25 years ago, the euphoria of this season's championship win is all the more magnified by what happened during the 1985/86 season. "It's been a long, long time coming. We tasted success and wanted more but these things can be hard to find. Yet this Club has persevered and years and years of effort have paid dividends again," he enthused.
"To say I am delighted and proud is an understatement. I am particularly pleased for Andy and Lee, whose hard work this season has simply been wonderful. Without such organisation, right through the Club as well, the template for this success would not have been in place. Mazeltov to everyone involved."
Fortune manager Andy Souber said: "I am delighted with the win and the clean sheet but most importantly we have won the division. To finish above Brixton, Norstar and Woodford shows we've had a great season and all credit must go to the players. They've been brilliant and this success is fully merited."
Fortune No. 2 Lee Fegan commented: "We had a job to do which the lads took care of. The first goal settled our nerves which allowed us to take advantage of the game. I'm extremely happy to be going up as champions. Everyone wrote us off at the start of the season but I knew what we had to offer.
"A big thanks to Rob Shooman for getting the game on and for his sincere congratulations afterwards."
Captain Scott Shindler, who enjoyed a lot of success in recent seasons with NWN, said: "It's been a real team effort and we battled for it. Sometimes we weren't at our best but we backed each other and came through as a team. From a personal point of view, being part of the Club's first championship for 25 years is a big achievement. I'm absolutely delighted for Soubs and everyone involved."
Midfielder Michael Goldberg, who scored the first crucial goal, said: "We knew we had to win and we did it. To get promoted and win the league was always our aim and we've done it. Now we need to focus on doing the same in Division One next season."
Faithfold manager Rob Shooman said: "Fortune are worthy winners."