Slade went into the final game of the season with only pride to play for. With nothing at stake The Ginger Ancelotti decided to go back to his tactical book from 1999 and play wing backs in a 5-3-2 formation.
Sammy Dudek and Matt Collins were the unlucky players to have the wing-back positions with Champagne David Goodwin coming into a central midfield position and John Boddy and Jacob Everett giving striking roles.
The game started off pretty evenly with zero goal mouth action in the first quarter. Only a couple of crunching tackles by David Goodwin were notable incidents.
In the 39th minute Rich Smith was finally called into action as a deflected 23 yard free kick was tipped around the post and into the stream for a corner.
At half-time the gaffer stressed the need to keep the level of performance up. The message got through and the game remained evenly poised. A single goal was likely to win this and Portslade thought they nicked it in the 59th minute. A cross by John Boddy was flapped at by the Smallfield keeper. The ball fell invitingly to Sammy Dudek who aimed carefully and and shot well only for a superb clearance off the line! Great defending.
The game continued in a tense fashion until the 78th minute. The Smallfield centre-forward cut in from the left-hand side and smashed a glorious Thunder-bastard that flew past a helpless Rich Smith and into the top corner. 0-1
There was still time for Karl Pilkington’s twin brother to appear for Smallfield to finish the season with a smile but unfortunately the result did not go our way.
Man of the Match was David Goodwin. Special mention to Prince Tom Ryan who was superb at the heart of the back three but Goodwin was all over the pitch and put in a excellent shift.
Rich Smith was grabbed the TV cameras afterwards:
§ So Richard, tough game. Was that the correct scoreline?
A, No it was a good display from us and we deserved at least a point. But as you have said in many of your fine match reports thats how our season has been.
§ The crowd have been very patient this season with management and players. Do you think Slade have under achieved this year?
I think we all know this season has gone how we all thought it would go. But if we learn from this season hopefully we will be stronger for next season
§ What does next season hold for you and Portslade?
Well for Slade it has to a lot better than this season. We have had some good performances this season and if we can build on them, then hopefully we will be challenging for promotion. As for me we will have to see...might be spending a few more Saturday's with Ant and Dec.
§ let's finish on a light hearted question. what has the funniest moment of season?
That's a difficult one...But has to be Bison in agony on the pitch then taken to hospital in a ambulance and all it was, was a *!*&*£* bruise. Bison my arse bloody pussy more like!! Of course we hope he is back for pre season
§ Just before you go Rich, who is your favourite fellow baldy at Portslade?
Well I am said to say he wont be any longer as he is leaving us Mickey of course....sorry I meant Boff lol (sic)
TEAM: 1. Smith 2. Ryan 3. Larkham 4. Collins 5. Goffin 6. Trend (c) 7. Boddy 8. Goodwin 9. Dudek 10. Sutton 11. Everett SUBS 12. Reyland 14. Whittaker