Division Two. Aaah. Division Two. The division that trips us up every year, our predictions being barely better than the Game of Thrones ending (for those that don’t know, SPOILER alert…the Dragon did it, in the hallway, with the lead piping). You know the drill now; we check our pre-season tips vs our mid-season thoughts, before agreeing we know nothing about football.
We’ll begin our non-sensical ramblings with a few snippets from said articles;
“Mortimer Reserves are the side to watch for us… we think the Villagers will start strong”
Clever eh? Pat on our muscular backs…
But then we said this in January; “Division 2 is over. Welcome Mortimer Village Ressies to the winners parade as their strikeforce is blowing teams away”.
Our winners in D2 this term were 2017/18 D3 Champs Wargrave! Now while we did call a “consistent term” for our hot-dog munching Gravers, a run of 12 wins in 13 games since November (just wow) with 59 goals scored is incredible. I mean, incredible. A couple of games weren’t contests – a 13-0 in there, along with a 9-1 – but most were simply astonishing displays vs good D2 teams…8-2 vs Goring, Marlow and latterly Mortimer, the game that swung the balance for the league.
With Sam Wild’s 28 goals in 15 games -earning him the Golden Boot this term – along with Stuart Moss’ goal a game from 16, The Sausagers had the top two hitmen in the Division, along with the most overall firepower – 15 goals more than 2nd place Mortimer!
To cap off a superb season, their run to the Intermediate League Cup double saw them fire 28 in 4 games and beat a strong D1 side, Westwood Reserves, in the final.
Those dogs were hot; what a season, well done gentlemen! And yes, we do recall your message to us, reminding us of our ‘mid-term prediction’. So here’s our formal apology. Borry.
The long-time leaders and pace-setters Mortimer Reserves will feel they let the trophy slip. After a hot start, it was ultimately the two losses vs Wargrave that did for them, along with drawn games; Wargrave lost double the games this term, but only drew once! Mortimer struggled to break down sides after Xmas, and they would have seen ties vs Phoenix and Goring as dropped points.
Still, an incredible season with promotion to D1 meaning they join Cookham and Westwood as having sides in the Top two TVPL tiers, testament to, er, triffic times? With 3 players in the top 10 scorers, led by Jordan Sawyer (14 in 10, 3rd spot), Mortimer blew teams away early doors, just lost that huff and puff from Feb. well done chaps, great season!
Woodcote Stoke Row Ressies also started superbly but ran out of steam. Unbeaten in their first 7, it was the loss to Mortimer in November that started a poor spell of form, 8 without a win and losses to sides around them. The title slipped there, but a 7-0 March win vs Marlow gave them impetus and they finished well to see off the late challenge from Maidenhead Town Reserves to end 3rd and give them a shout for promotion.
A tremendous opening day for MTFC Reserves – 1-0 down at HT before a 4-1 win over Goring – quickly soured with a horrific run that saw Town pick up just 2 points from their opening 7 games, as well as a broken leg and broken nose (hope ya man gets playing again soon). Yet it was their cup form that gave hope; progression in the Maidenhead Norfolkian Cup along with the County competition. Bottom at Xmas. Then, a remarkable league run, kick-started by an excellent 5-1 vs Richings Park in January, saw 7 wins from 8 to move up the table. Two losses to Champs Wargrave stunted any top 3 hopes, but it was the Junior County Cup win that made this season special, a rare trophy for any TVPL team and a first for Maidenhead Town. Top scorer Darryl Wearn set up the win and ended 4th in the Golden Boot race, the same spot Town ended in D2. Well done fellas, County Cup wins are huge.
We did fancy Richings Park but they never quite got going this term; some splashes of brilliance in the league, along with their continued excellence in the Slough Town Cup – now finalists for 3 years on the spin, but missing out this time around – shows they are a force.
Hurst Ressies too have moments of wonder, but seem to lack consistency for a promotion challenge. Good strike-force though, know their onions. Middle Earth for both.
Phoenix joined the TVPL this term and despite a tough season, a great April run of just 1 loss in 8, including a fantastic win at Mortimer, saw them safe, ending 7th.
Another side to hit form at the death was Harchester Hawks. Staring relegation in the face, from the 2nd March they amassed 14 points from their last 8 games to move away from danger into Middle Earth. Close though, won’t want that again…
It was a close fight to avoid the drop, but it was Goring & Marlow United Ressies ending the term at the foot, with a disasterous run from AFC Corinthians dragged them down into 3rd bottom. Seasons to forget, but there’s always next term chaps…
So there we go. Nicely wrapped up like a Donald Trump lie. Division Two everyone. Well done you. Now, some soppy awards. And please remember, this is all for fun (fun for us, not those we take the mickey from…). Please don’t pinch us when you see us though, we’re sensitive.
Team of the Season
Has to be those hot-dog munching, sausage- scoffing, banger-b….you get the idea. It’s Wargrave. Back to back titles and a League Cup double with a +52 goal difference? Mustard (see what we’ve done there?).
Tricky this as most sides ended where they felt they would do. In the league, we have to say Wargrave again; to achieve the title after being promoted is a superb effort. But a shout here to Maidenhead Town Ressies, whose County Cup win is a superb reflection on the TVPL and a brilliant effort, clap clap, hats off both.
Very tricky but following a 4th place last term, to have such a dismal end sees AFC Corinthians pick this one up. Marlow will feel they didn’t fare as well as they could, but a young side will only learn. AFC, sorry chaps…its yours this term.
Fair Play to Fair Play
While they may have traded a few more £10 for survival, big kudos to Goring whose disciplinary record was strong. They also offered tea and biscuits to oppo, so, for the love of jammy dodgers, the crown is yours.
Phoenix’s opening day win over the Champs looks good now, and the Wargrave 3-2 away win at Mortimer in Feb looks like it swayed the title race.
In January, Hurst Ressies and Marlow shared 8 with a late Noah Hodge grabbing a Hurst point; normally this kind of game would win this award!
But on 10th November, an absolute belter takes the crown. Already a contender for game of year, Woodcote led bottom side Goring 5-4 at home, yet a 90th min strike from Daniel Houseman, levelled at 5-5 and secured a great point vs an in-form Cote crew. Wow. Well done chaps, great advert for TVPL here!
‘What You Up To’ of the Year
This term has seen us look at those clubs whose late push has us asking, what you been up to? So Harchester and Phoenix, how come the March-push? Get those skates on earlier chaps as you both showed promotion form, just two late! Share this one please, and get going earlier next term.
The Aly-Us ‘Follow Me’ Award
(this is tenuous, a quality US House track, the ‘Full Intention Club’ mix is the one to search, incredible)
Both Soulja Boy and Sean Paul made songs, inviting their impressionable (and clearly tone deaf) fans to ‘follow them on Twitter’. We won’t take to YouTube to ask, but we would advise you hunt these feeds down and keep posted. They’re peng.
Wargrave – in a marvellous season for the Gravers, they are very funny online. So much so, we’d like to award them the TVPL Twitter Feed 18/19 Trophy*. The sausage gorging cracks us up…nice work guys!
Harchy Hawks – some good stuff from these chaps, always messaging win, lose or draw. Good work boys.
Mortimer Ressies – always equal coverage of First & Ressie sides and with @withy10 adding good input, good one to follow. Also offers more about local area work that most, nicely done chaps.
(and yes, we know we haven’t mentioned some sides here, most do handsome work, well done).
After all this daft TVPL commentary, felt it a good time to thank you all. The players, coaches, managers, officials, fans, whoever you are…plenty of people volunteer a huge amount of time (sometimes money!) and effort to enjoy local football. YOU guys are what makes this league and YOU guys are the ones we look up to. So thanks.
No, we’re not crying. We got some frankfurter juice in our eye, celebrating Wargrave’s season.
So that’s Division Two. Good work all. On to next term. And remember, this is all unofficial. *No awards will actually be handed out so maybe print this off and stick it on your wall.
Stay tuned @thamesvalleypl for more reviews. Bye.