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Tooting & Mitcham United End of Season Review

Tooting & Mitcham United End of Season Review

Champions!
 

Roger Butcher with his end of season review review of Tooting & Mitcham United FC – CHAMPIONS!

Tooting & Mitcham United are Champions! We secured the Ryman South title on the final day of the season, despite a 1-0 defeat by our closest challengers, Dorking Wanderers. That result meant that both us and Dorking ended up on 105 points, but we were crowned champions on goal difference, as Dorking failed to get the 5 goals that would have earned them the title. 105 points is a huge total and in any other season we would have been runaway winners, so immense credit must go to Dorking for pushing us to the wire. And Dorking eventually got their reward as they secured promotion via the playoffs and will join us in Ryman Premier next season.

Trying to pick out this year’s key moments is an impossible task, as every goal scored, point earned, tackle completed or save made has contributed to the success this season. How important was the home victory over Dorking Wanderers back in August in only the 3rd game of the season? There was a penalty save by Matte Pierson against South Park when we were 3-1 down – a game which we went on to win 4-3 with a last minute goal by Billy Dunn. We did have a bad spell of 3 successive defeats in December, but we ended that run with an injury time equaliser at Carshalton from Chace O’Neill despite being down to 10 men. Was that the turning point of the season, as after that we went on our record-breaking run of 14 consecutive wins?

Then of course, there were the wins against the odds! The 1-0 win over Greenwich Borough despite being down to 9 men will stick long in the memory. As will the 1-0 win away at Hastings – again after being reduced to 10 men. 

And there were also a number of fine individual performances this season. I remember Matte Pierson making last minute 1-on-1 saves in at least 2 early season games. Then there was the incredible early season goal scoring form of Billy Dunn who scored over 20 goals before Christmas. And when his goal tally slowed, up stepped Mike Dixon who scored over 20 goals himself. I could pick more individuals out for praise, but this was truly a group effort. The end of season awards show this, as 4 different players won various individual awards:

  • Supporter’s Player of the Season – Mike Dixon
  • Members Club Player of the Season – Quincy Rowe
  • Players’ Player of the Season – Sol Patterson-Bohner
  • Manager’s Player of the Season – Kyle Merson

There was also a Club Man award to Bashiru Alimi. Alimi was one of a group of players, such as Ollie Bennett and Jack Mazzone, that weren’t always regulars in the 1st XI, but always played their parts when required. In a promotion race as tight as this one, every contribution was vital. The goal of the season was awarded to Tenny Adebowale for his crucial solo effort away at Hastings.

And you can’t forget about the contribution from the management team, from boss Frank Wilson, his assistant Paul Dale, to all of the other coaches that have been involved this season. Possibly their main achievement was maintaining a settled squad throughout the season, yet still managing to bring in a few new players at key times without really disrupting the dynamics of the team. Squad management at our level is probably just as important as the tactical management on match days, which throughout the season has been first class. And game in game out, we’ve seen a great tactical approach, brave substitutions and a tremendous determination which has seen us gain points when under the cosh and score a number of late goals to secure valuable points. So really, it’s a 10/10 for everyone involved this season.

The management team
 

And away from the 1st team, there was success for the Under 18s who won the Kent Invitational Cup last week, beating Maidstone 1-0, having finished 4th in their league. Our Academy Elite team also had a good season, finishing 3rd in their division of the National League Under 19 Alliance.

Under-18 Cup Winners
 

And in the annual Players v Supporters game, the players emerged victorious following a penalty shoot out for the 2nd season running, following a high scoring draw, where nobody seems to remember the actual score! It was a well attended event where all the money raised was donated to the Bloodwise charity.

So that’s it for this season,and really, things couldn’t have gone much better. Look out for my next blog which will probably be a season preview in July sometime, where I will have a look at the pre-season friendlies and the upcoming season in the Premier!

Upcoming Fixtures:

  • Pre Season Friendlies – mid July TBA
  • 1st League Game – Sat 12th August TBA

Come along – the 280 stops right outside!

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