Magnets 1 - 0 Richmond Rogues (A)
By Mark Waller
This was a key match for the Magnets, needing a win or draw to secure the league title. Although the scoreline doesn't reflect it, we were comfortably in charge of the game but the decisions just didn't fall our way. We had one clear goal not given, which is a pity as it came from a clever aerial into the circle that was deftly deflected past the keeper. We were also not awarded an obvious PS that should have been given after a defender stopped the ball on the line with his foot. A number of other good chances also went begging because of a poor final pass or because players held onto the ball too long when a pass would have been the better option.
The officiating tested our resolve (and, to be fair, the Rogues were also nonplussed by some of the decision making) and our 12 angry men started to get even more fractious than usual as time and opportunities slipped away. Then, with just six minutes remaining, a cross from the right found our unexpected saviour on the far post, in the form of the unmarked Toddy, who calmly tapped the ball in to score a rare (for him) open play goal.
We managed to hold onto the lead, despite some sloppy defending that gifted the Rogues a couple of late PC opportunities. It would have stung had they managed to sneak an equaliser in a game we dominated and really should have won by three or four goals.
Still, this was a good outcome after a stuttering 2023. All of the games were close and keenly contested and we did well to come out on top. Well done to everyone who has played this season. We now look forward to the London Masters O50s Cup, which will initially see us play games against local rivals, OKs, OCs and Richmond.