Hale Leys United have won the South Midlands League Division Two title for a second successive year after a 1-1 draw with bitter rivals Kent Athletic.
United went into the game knowing a point would be enough to secure the title with four games still remaining, but they faced a tough task against second-placed Kent, made harder by their long injury list.
Nevertheless, Hale began assertively and following some good spells of football from both sides, it was the visitors who drew first blood in the form of new boy Niall Williams whose early goal settled any nerves.
Alex Woodfine and Tom Brindley had chances to increase United’s lead but they remained just one ahead at half-time, and those misses could have proved crucial as Hale struggled to find their fluency in a scrappy second period and Kent were able to capitalise with an equalising goal 15 minutes from full-time.
However, a draw was all Hale needed and despite further missed chances for Woodfine and Jack Bowers, the visitors held on for the point with the full-time whistle signalling the start of the celebrations.
Manager Paul Alleyne said: “Another league title! I would firstly like to congratulate everyone involved with the club as this is another fantastic achievement for us.
“Credit to Kent and Brimsdown who pushed us all the way again, but all the hard work this season has paid off.
“We were a bit thin today but we dug deep and got the result we wanted and needed. The Man of the Match was split between Jordan Oxley and Niall Williams as they both put in sterling performances.
“Now we have to focus and regroup as we can still win the double as we are in the Division Two League Cup final in May so the season is far from over.”
Chairman Roger Simmons added: “I’m overwhelmed with the team and another league title for the club.
“It is a credit to all involved, especially the managers Paul and Roni and all the playing staff - they have done the town proud again by showing they can win at this level of football. Well done to everyone involved with our club for another great achievement.”
Hale Leys, who have lost only one game all season, still have four league matches remaining, starting with this weekend’s trip to New Bradwell St Peter.