Ninety (five) minutes and the season was done and dusted. Sadly, it was Stones that were done as Concord returned the favour of a few weeks previously, nicking a couple of late goals to eliminate Wealdstone from the Ryman League play-offs for the second year running at the semi-final stage.
The fact that it was one of Wealdstone’s best performances of the season as they dominated for well over an hour will fade quickly into insignificance, as for all their superiority only one goal had been scored, the woodwork and a couple of decent saves denying perhaps four more.
So it was the Beachboys that trawled up to Suffolk on Bank Holiday Monday, and surprise, surprise, another late goal saw them beat the hosts and take their place in Conference South for next year. For Lowestoft? Their curse continues – three play-off defeats in a row and even past players who move on still suffer – was it Nolan former (twice play-off losing) ‘Stoft centre forward who missed the penalty that saw Hemel eliminated in the Southern league play-off final? That’s football though – Stones fans generally “not displeased” that Stoft had suffered again – there’s always someone worse off than yourselves…
For Concord, their ground will be a shock to some of their new opponents as will that of
Whitehawk Brighton City, but only time will tell if clubs will get a second chance to visit. Or if the season’s two late goalscorers will hold their own better than last year’s Essex duo, Bill and Ricay and The Urchins, both of whom fell back through the trapdoor at the first attempt.
So what now?
The season’s over, the summer’s tumbleweed blowing over The Vale as the new seed takes root. Various maintenance tasks are being undertaken and highlight videos plastered together, the Raider is polishing up his lines for the visit of Chelski pre-season (3rd August, 3pm if you want to add it to your diary!) …. and Cricket takes over.
From some accounts, the largest cheer on Bank Holiday Monday at Lord’s during the Middlesex v Glamorgan one-dayer was for Concord’s second goal, so many of the Stones faithful imbibing in the sun that afternoon. There will be a fair sprinkling at the test matches this summer too – especially as there is no football to speak of on TV unless Guernsey have managed to secure exclusive rights to the coverage of their last nineteen home games to be played on consecutive nights over the next three weeks…only joking, but it nearly did come to that! Now they are promoted and find themselves in Ryman South, I’ve got 50p that says Wealdstone will draw them in the League Cup – but it’ll be at home, as the footie gods deny us another away day…some trip that would be!
Touring with the Stones will also take a break though I’m sure there will be some more ramblings over the next eight weeks (before pre-season starts!!) as things take my fancy – and Trev’s Wedding may be a whole blog by itself. Got the speech written Jezz?