IN their first season in the Hellenic Veterans League, Watlington achieved the ultimate goal and topped the Division 1 table with a 2-0 victory over Goring on the final day.
Following wins for promotion rivals Wallingford Town and Witney Royals that kept up the pressure on Watlington, Town knew that only a win would be enough to seal the league title, while missing out on the runners-up spot and promotion altogether was still a possibility if they were to suffer a defeat by more than two goals.
A cagey first half saw only half-chances at either end, with a Mark Strong half-volley from outside the box Town’s best effort on goal, as Watlington struggled to break down a notoriously obstinate Goring defence. Goring, who had travelled to Witney two days previously and had nothing other than pride to play for, battled well in the first half and restricted Town to few clear chances, and the visitors were frustrated in their search for the breakthrough they desperately needed. Town upped the urgency in the second half and the increased intensity of their play soon reaped dividends. A pass down the wing from Woolfson was picked up by Rob Griffiths, who drove inside and found Gabby Heycock. The captain steadied himself on his way into the box before firing unerringly with his left foot inside the goalkeeper’s near-post to give Town a precious lead.
With Goring’s resistance finally broken, Town began playing some composed passing football and soon created new openings for Griffiths, Woolfson and Littlewood. Then, with a quarter of the game to go, Heycock played Griffiths in with a chipped through-ball and the latter made no mistake as he stabbed the ball home to make it 2-0 and take his tally for the season into double figures.