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U15's Win HDYFL B Division Title 2008/2009........

Four seasons of hard-work and effort, picking up two league winners shields and a cup trophy along the way, finally saw Twin Oaks promoted to the top division of the Horsham & District Youth League after finishing top of the table in the Under 15's 'B' division during the 2008/2009 season.

Who would have thought that after losing the first game of the season back in September 2008, that come April 2009 Twin Oaks would be crowned division winners and that they would also reach the semi-final of the league cup. How this remarkable season unfolded will now be highlighted in the following customary review of the season.

September 2008

As already mentioned, Twin Oaks lost the first league game of the season away to the team that would eventually finish division runners-up, Halsford Lions, losing 3-2 in a controversial game. Based on their performance, Twin Oaks should have at least gained a draw. The Twin Oaks goals came from Scott & Harry, with Scott being voted man of the match.

The next league game of the season saw Twin Oaks play hosts to Broadbridge Heath, a commanding 7-1 win set the team on the path of a terrific unbeaten run of league games that would last until March 2009. Scorers in this match were from season newcomer Alex with two goals, Cameron also netted two with the other contributors being Bradley, Scott and Matt. Joint men of the match were Scott and Tyler.

The third game of the season saw Twin Oaks playing away to Horsham Sparrows. In a match that provided 12 goals, Twin Oaks ran out eventual winners 8-4. Goal-scorers were Alex with four with Harry, Ben, Tyler and newcomer Liam.D. all getting one each. The games man of the match was Alex. At this early point of the season this win pushed the team into third spot in the division.

To end September, Twin Oaks started their cup campaign with a 2-1 extra-time away win against Heron Olympic from division 'C'. Harry and Sam weighed in with a goal a piece while the man of the match award went to Tyler .

October 2008

This month saw Twin Oaks win three league games and by courtesy of a bye progress further in the cup.

The first league game in October matched Twin Oaks with Dorkinians Youth. Twin Oaks made home advantage count by finishing the game 2-0 winners. Bradley and Murat managed to find the net and the man of the match award went to Liam.P.

Fifth league game of the season was an away match and paired Twin Oaks with Forest Row. Twin Oaks were still holding onto third place in the division going into this game and a convincing 4-1 win moved them level on points with the top side and into second place on goal difference. The goals came from Bradley with two, Tyler and Cameron. The man of the match award was earned by Bradley.

Another league away match found Twin Oaks meeting Partridge Green. The teams had met many times over the years with the games always producing hard-fought contests and this match was to be no different. However it was Twin Oaks that ran out 4-2 winners with two goals from Bradley and one each for Alex and Murat. The weeks man of the match was Cameron who never gave up despite being on the receiving end of several harsh challenges. Twin Oaks still held onto second place in the division after this win, level on points with top placed team Halsford Lions and third placed outfit Storrington Vipers.

November 2008

Three games in November were a combination of two league matches and one cup-tie.

The first league game for this month was at home against fourth placed East Grinstead United who were only a single point behind Twin Oaks going into this match. In a closely fought game Twin Oaks emerged 4-3 winners to maintain their 100% home record. Goal scorers were Cameron who netted two goals with Bradley and Murat chipping in with the other goals. Alex took the man of the match award.

The next game provided a break from the league but found Twin Oaks, for the second week in succession, at home matched against East Grinstead United. This time, unlike the previous close result Twin Oaks proved too much for the away side to handle, running out 3-0 winners. The goals this week came from Harry with two and Matt. The man of the match award went to Liam.P.

To finish off the month it was back to the league with a game away to Southwater. Like the previous league game this was another close encounter with again only a single goal eventually separating the two sides. It was Twin Oaks who took the match 5-4. Finding the net this week were Alex scoring two goals with Harry, Cameron and Tyler slotting in one a piece. The man of the match was Alex.

December 2008

Only one game was played this month, an away league match against Brockham Badgers. Against a team that were currently bottom of the table, Twin Oaks, ran out comfortable 5-1 winners and finished the year in second place in the division, only one point off of top spot with a game in hand over the current leaders Halsford Lions, and two points ahead of the third placed side Storrington Vipers.

The scorers for Twin Oaks were Harry with two goals, Bradley, Ben and Cameron added to the score with a goal each. Matt was voted man of the match.

January 2009

After the Winter break, Twin Oaks played-out only three of the four scheduled league games.

The first game of the month should have seen Twin Oaks entertaining Billingshurst. However with the away side unable to field a team the match and the three points were awarded to the home side.

With Twin Oaks next league opponents and current division leaders Halsford Lions, not playing this week it meant that Twin Oaks were now sitting two points clear at the top of the table.

So to the next league game and the much awaited return match against the now second placed side Halsford Lions. Twin Oaks only loss of the season thus far was away at hands of the East Grinstead based team on the opening day of the season. This time it was Halsford Lions who were the visitors in a game that would go a long way to deciding who would be crowned division champions. Twin Oaks were certainly out for revenge in this top of the table clash and were totally dominant from start to finish, eventually ending the match triumphant 5-1 winners. Finding the back of net today were Bradley with two goals and one goal each for Ben, Tyler and Harry. Newcomer Antony received the man of the match award.

Now five points clear at the top of the table Twin Oaks next match of the month was scheduled to be played away at Broadbridge Heath. However due to an unplayable pitch the game was switched to the Twin Oaks home ground. In the first meeting between the two sides earlier in the season Twin Oaks had run out comfortable 7-1 win against their opponents. The return match however was not to be as easy. Going into the very late stages of the score-line was stalemate at 1-1 and the match looked to be heading for a draw, that was until a goal in the last few minutes of normal play and another in stoppage time gave Twin Oaks a 3-1 win. In the only match played in the division that week, the win had now moved Twin Oaks eight points clear in the table. Scorers against Broadbridge Heath were Bradley, Grant and Harry, with Grant collecting the man of the match award.

In the last game of the month Twin Oaks were at home against Horsham Sparrows. In another close contest, Twin Oaks eventually finished the game 3-2 winners. The home sides goals came from Murat, Harry and an unfortunate own goal. The man of the match award went to Antony . This hard fought win kept Twin Oaks eight points clear at the top of the table and maintained their 100% home record. It was also Twin Oaks twelfth consecutive win since their beginning of the season loss.

February 2009

Only two games this month. The first was an away fixture against Dorkinians Youth. In their first encounter earlier in the season Twin Oaks had won a closely contested match 2-0. The return fixture was to be yet another close affair with the game finishing 1-1. The draw ended Twin Oaks run of back to back wins and with the other teams in the division playing catch-up this month with some of their games in hand, it meant that Twin Oaks lead at the top of the table had been cut to six points.

In the second game of the month Twin Oaks got back to winning ways, at home against one of their arch-rivals, Partridge Green. A convincing 6-0 win saw Twin Oaks remain six points clear but the teams in second and third place still had games in hand. The scorers this week were newcomer Luke and Bradley with two goals each, added to this were Liam.P. and Alex with one a piece. The man of the match award was split between Bradley, Antony and Luke.

March 2009

A busy month with six fixtures in all, four in the league, one being a double header, and two in the cup.

First up would be a quarter-final cup tie at home to Division 'A' outfit Copthorne. A stunning display, against a side that was currently fourth in their division, saw Twin Oaks record a fantastic 7-2 win.

With a hat-trick from Luke and goals from Tyler, Harry, Cameron and newcomer Handino, this result would have surely sent warning messages around the whole of the Horsham and District League.

Twin Oaks man of the match was awarded to Luke.

After the fantastic cup result of the previous week it was back to the league action with an away match against East Grinstead United. In the league game earlier in the season Twin Oaks managed to record three goals without response. This was to be repeated in this fixture, however their opponents, this time, also managed to find the net. Twin Oaks won the game 3-1 with Luke scoring two goals and Bradley adding to the score. The man of the match vote went to Cameron.

The win kept Twin Oaks six points clear in the table with a total of 43 points from 16 games. Their closest challengers for the title, Halsford Lions and Storrington Vipers, were both on 37 points after having played 15 games each.

The next match of the month would be the semi-final cup game. This match paired top of Division 'B' leaders Twin Oaks against high-flying Hurstpierpoint Colts who were currently sitting on top of Division 'A'. Although losing the tie 6-1 to the eventual cup winners, Twin Oaks certainly gave their opponents a run for their money. Twin Oaks goal-scorer on the day was Bradley with the man of the match award being given to Antony .

After their exit from the cup it was back to the league for Twin Oaks with a two match, double-header encounter against title challengers Storrington Vipers. Both games were held at Twin Oaks home pitch against a side that, after beating Halsford Lions last week were currently lying second in the division and only three points behind Twin Oaks. Twin Oaks, who were on cup duty last week, knew that getting all six points would virtually all but decide the division title, but they also knew that getting at least three points would be enough to keep them ahead in the title race.

In the first of the two matches Twin Oaks won the game 2-0 and were rarely troubled by their opponents. The two goals came from Bradley and Alex with Bradley being voted man of the match.

In the second game, probably due to the fact that they had already secured three points, Twin Oaks did not play with the same tempo and ended up losing the game 4-1. This was only Twin Oaks second loss of the season and although both matches were played at home at Ifield, the second game was deemed to be the away fixture, therefore Twin Oaks still managed to maintain their 100% home record.

The goal-scorer in the second game was Bradley who again picked up the man of the match award.

The three points gained kept Twin Oaks, going into the last month of the season, on top of the pile with 46 points, closely followed by Storrington Vipers on 43 points and Halsford Lions on 40 points, but with a game in hand on the two teams above them.

April 2009

Going into the last games of the season three points clear at the top of the table, Twin Oaks knew that they were in touching distance of winning the division. The choice to win or lose was theirs.

First match up was to be a mid-week game away to the second to bottom placed side Billingshurst.

In a commanding performance Twin Oaks ran away 12-1 winners, making Billingshurst the "fool" guys on this 1 st of April fixture. Finding the back of the net in this romp were Harry with a hat-trick of goals, Tyler and Luke with two goals a piece and adding to the score were Bradley, Cameron, Murat, Antony and Handino weighing in with a goal each. The man of the match was shared between Tyler and Harry.

Going into the second of the four league games this month Twin Oaks remained three points ahead in the race for the title. The next match was a home game against Forest Row, who when they first met earlier in the season, had been on the receiving end of a Twin Oaks 4-1 win. This fixture saw the score doubled by both sides with Twin Oaks this time winning 8-2. Scorers on the day were Bradley with four goals, Luke with two, Cameron and Handino also got one each. The man of the match award went to Cameron.

With only two games remaining for Twin Oaks and with title chasers Storrington Vipers not playing this week, Twin Oaks were now six points clear of Halsford Lions and Storrington Vipers who were now both tied for second place, each however had a game in hand over the division leaders.

So to the penultimate game of the season for Twin Oaks, a tricky home match against Southwater. In the first meeting of the season between these two sides the game had been decided by a single goal, with Twin Oaks being the victors 5-4. A more convincing performance was this time needed by the home team if they were going to go into the last game of the season being able to determine their own fate.

In a match that although being at home was played at Furnace Green rather than at Ifield, Twin Oaks rarely seemed under pressure and emerged from the game 3-1 winners. Goal-scorers were Cameron with two and Alex with one. The man of the match award went to Antony .

With both Halsford Lions and Storrington Vipers having played catch-up with their games in hand this month the points standing going into the last game of the season were Twin Oaks on 52 points ahead of Halsford Lions and Storrington Vipers each on 49 points. This meant that at least a draw in the last game would see Twin Oaks win the league, however a defeat would open the door for the other two title chasing sides, especially Halsford Lions who had the superior goal difference of all the three teams.

The last game of the season provided Twin Oaks with the easier fixture over their other two title chasing rivals, as they faced bottom placed Brockham Badgers at home. Like the last home match for Twin Oaks this was not played at fortress Ifield, but was played on an alternative home pitch at Tilgate. Any nerves going into the game were quickly dispelled within a minute of the start when Twin Oaks opened the scoring. In fact, in a game that saw their opponents having only one shot and one corner, Twin Oaks ran out comfortable 12-0 winners. The scorers for Twin Oaks were Luke with five goals, Bradley with three and Cameron, Harry, Tyler and Sam with one each. Man of the Match had to be the whole team.

The impressive win sparked jubilant celebrations as the home side realised that they, regardless of any other results from their nearest title challengers, both who incidentally won their last games, had finally finished the season division champions. Coaching staff, spectators and players alike all joined in the congratulations as they reflected that after a long hard season they had seen their team deservedly crowned championees

Well done and thanks to all those concerned with Twin Oaks, especially the players, who through their total dedication, hard-work and skill have brought a winning smile to all our faces. We all cannot wait for the forth-coming season to start when will be competing in the top division, which to be honest, is where we rightly belong !!!!