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Can Tooting Bec FC Take The Title?

Can Tooting Bec FC Take The Title?

2017-04-20 
| by Tooting Daily PRSS | Posted in Tooting Sport

Max Sztyber’s thoughts ahead of Tooting Bec’s potential league-winning game on Saturday...

Rarely in football does an entire league season come down to a single game. It has been over 25 years since the last example in the nation’s top flight, when Arsenal’s last-gasp 2-0 victory at Anfield won them the Football League in its centenary year. Even the much more recent memory of Sergio Aguero’s Premier League-winning strike for Manchester City, coming at the expense of Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, was the climax of a story split across two games.

Will the Bec hold onto 1st place and secure the title & promotion?
 

Rarely in football does an entire league season come down to a single game. It has been over 25 years since the last example in the nation’s top flight, when Arsenal’s last-gasp 2-0 victory at Anfield won them the Football League in its centenary year. Even the much more recent memory of Sergio Aguero’s Premier League-winning strike for Manchester City, coming at the expense of Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, was the climax of a story split across two games.

This Saturday, though, a full ten levels below on the English football pyramid, Tooting Bec and Virginia Water football clubs face each other on the last day of the Surrey Elite Intermediate League to determine which will walk away as champion. Both sides have had a particularly strong season, having each won 19 games from 25, but with a single point splitting the two it is the hosts who go into the match as favourites, needing just a draw to clinch the title.

Virginia Water’s impressive record is largely thanks to a miserly defence that has conceded just 21 goals all season – the league’s fewest, but they may come to rue a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture last October, missing a penalty that has, in hindsight, cost them a two point advantage to take into Saturday’s clash.

As it proved, captain Chris Thurbons goal was enough for Tooting to take home the spoils, the win coming as a part of an imperious run of fifteen in the league. Crucially, the London club have also turned Imperial Fields, the ground they lease from the Ryman League South’s Tooting & Mitcham United, into a fortress, having not been bettered there for over a year.

Adding extra frisson to the occasion is the opportunity that this presents Tooting – a club established little more than a decade ago on the sloping greens of Tooting Common – to earn promotion to the Combined Counties: the level at which phoenix club and neighbours AFC Wimbledon started. Winning promotion from the Surrey Elite League, populated by decades, and in some cases centuries-old clubs, is a remarkable achievement for such a young club but, without the right result this weekend, it is a dream that will have to be shelved for another season.

With all to play for between the league’s leading scorers and tightest defence, it promises to be a real non-league treat. Both sides have had a year to remember; one side will end the day hoping to forget.

Come down and cheer the Bec on at the Imperial Fields this Saturday 22 April, 3pm kick off.

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