Zack Gothelf admits he breathed a sigh of relief after Loughton Orient's last day win over L'Equipe ensured that Norstar London Raiders C were crowned champions of MGBSFL Division Three.
Having finished the season with 42 points from their 18 games, NLR had to play a waiting game as L'Equipe closed the gap at the top during an impressive run-in. But strikes from Barry Green and Jamie Crawford crushed their hopes as they were beaten 2-1 to hand the title to NLR.
"It's been a tense month, but we've done it," Gothelf told JC Sport. "The old debate of points on the board versus games in hand has swung slightly more to the points in hand side.
"L'Equipe looked like their momentum and goal-scoring exploits of Richard Fogelman were going to see them over the line but Loughton, who seem to have beaten all the big sides and struggled against others, were always going to be a tough, tough test.
"We look forward to meeting L'Equipe again next season and continuing our friendly rivalry."
Reflecting on their title success, Gothelf said: "We set out to be promoted this season, but always knew we had the capabilities to win the league; to have achieved champions status is a fantastic feeling, which we can enjoy for now, but before long it'll be on to next season and the challenge that awaits us.
"I'd like to thank to my co-manager David and also the wider Norstar London Raiders management team of Rob Richman, Phil Peters and Jonny Adelman.
"All of these guys have given us the confidence and support to achieve all we have done this season."