THURLOW NUNN PREMIER TITLE RACE: Hadleigh United, Brightlingsea Regent and Felixstowe & Walton set to battle it out
PUBLISHED: 09:12 02 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:12 02 May 2014
The final day of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division season on Saturday will see Hadleigh United, Brightlingsea Regent and Felixstowe & Walton United battle it out to win the championship.
"Considering the position we were in a couple of months ago, if it does not happen now, I will look back with disappointment"
Gorleston’s shock 4-2 defeat at Stanway Rovers on Wednesday extinguished any hopes they had of winning the title as, three points behind leaders Hadleigh, they now require a 29-goal swing to overtake the Brettsiders and are reliant on second-placed Brightlingsea and the third-placed Seasiders dropping points.
Godmanchester, in fourth, require a goal swing of 16, meaning the top three will be the main protagonists for the championship.
Hadleigh sit top on goal difference from Brightlingsea, which is effectively worth a point to Stuart Crawford’s men, while Felixstowe are two points adrift in third.
Hadleigh are in the driving seat therefore, ahead of their home clash with Mildenhall, and Crawford will reflect on this campaign with disappointment, should the Brettsiders not clinch top spot.
He has masterminded a big improvement this season, United having finished eight last term, and they have been in irresistible form for much of the season, plundering 103 league goals.
Now, having led the way for the majority of the season, the Brettsiders’ boss has his heart set on winning the title.
“We’ve taken a massive leap from where we were, 12 months ago we finished eighth,” said Crawford, whose side regained top spot from Felixstowe last weekend, with a win at CRC.
“But considering the position we were in a couple of months ago, if it does not happen now, I will look back with disappointment.”
Brightlingsea and Felixstowe host Norwich United and Godmanchester respectively but Crawford insists three points is imperative.
“Our superior goal difference is worth a point, but nothing but a win will do,” said Crawford.
“A draw will not be good enough as I can’t see all the teams around us slipping up.
“We lost the lead recently but I always felt there might be a chance of regaining it, given the twists and turns in the league.
“We went on a horrible run and gave up our lead but then whoever has replaced us has then tended to drop points.”
Mildenhall were swept aside 4-1 on their home patch earlier this season, but Crawford is not under-estimating them.
“Anything can happen over 90 minutes,” he said.
“We have got a tough game and I have always been a fan of Christian’s (Appleford) teams.”