All of a sudden it's the end of another season and the final game of the 18/19 campaign saw us welcome (probably) promoted Bungay Town to The College for a game under the lights. The visitors had beaten us 2-1 in the final minutes back in late September and had gone on to lose just 2 games after that. We were still without a number of the first team squad with Aggy, Lewi, Beanie, Luca, Jahi, Spike and Sizer all missing for various reasons. Mitch and Brad remained with the squad from the Reserves and both Jordan and James Wheeler returned to the 14.
With both teams having nothing of note to play for other than us being able to climb two places in the league you could have expected a somewhat tame encounter but what followed was anything but. The tone was set inside the first 30 seconds when, after a Bungay kick off the ball founds it's way back to visiting goalkeeper Ling who's loose pass was seized upon by Cissell and George rifled the ball into the top corner from 18 yards.
Game on then! Bungay were quick to respond as they forced three corners in quick succession, the last of which saw the onrushing striker with a free effort from inside 6 yards but he could only clear the bar. With 15 minutes on the clock the away side were level however. A loose ball on the edge of the area left a Bungay player with a free shot at goal that bounced just in front of Baz and despite the initial save Cawcutt followed up first to make it 1-1.
5 minutes of end to end play followed with both sides looking to get themselves in front with the slick surface making for a quick game all round. An incisive piece of play on 20 minutes saw us back in the lead as George held up the ball well and fed Mitch out on the right who in turn played a superb first time ball across the area for Cissell to fire home.
With Wheeler the only one of the front three yet to get in on the act he took it upon himself to change that just five minutes afterwards. Just after Matty H saw yellow (and 10 mins on the sidelines!) for something he said to the official Cissell collected the ball just inside our half and was clipped for a free kick and before anyone had chance to react Wheeler clipped a perfect effort over the keeper and into the top corner for a goal of the season contender and to make it 3-1 on 25 minutes. This stunned Bungay and we enjoyed our best spell of the game with chances coming thick and fast. George saw a header fly narrowly wide following a cross from Cissell while Raffa saw two efforts from distance go narrowly wide.
Bungay were still a threat at the other end though and Baz had to save well when Bungay broke through 1 v1 and then again with two efforts from distance. With 5 minutes to go before half time we did manage to make it 4-1 however. Raffa seized on a ball in midfield before a perfect through ball to George who raced away from the Bungay back line and finished clinically past the onrushing Ling. Knowing that Bungay were going to do something special to get back into the game the rest of the half was played at a slower pace before the man in the middle blew the whistle.
The second half was never going to live up the the action of the first was it and with Bungay making regular changes the game had a very stop start feel about it in the second half. Wheeler had the first sight of goal for us in the second period when some neat passing saw him released 1v1 with the keeper but after taking an extra touch he couldn't get a shot away and despite managing to force a couple of corners both sides were cancelling each other out.
Mitch and Wheeler with withdrawn with 25 minutes to play with Rob and Jordy taking their places and the latter saw an effort from 20 yards skim the outside of the far post. Brad replaced Cissell as we looked to stretch the game out and we did manage to add to our tally with 10 minutes to play. A free kick on the far side of the pitch saw Rob deliver a pin point ball that George flicked into the far corner with his head to wrap up his hat trick and cap off a superb all round display from everyone involved.
Another season comes to an end. A year of "what could have been," Were in not for the myriad of injuries and absences we've seen this season I fully believe we could have challenged the top 2 and we can no look forward to a couple of months rest and recuperation before we do it all over again.