HAVING won well, the last two Sundays, Somerford seemed certainties to join Prestige Bodyworks in gaining automatic promotion to the Premier Division for next season.
But all the pre-game expectation was turned on its head at White Horse A’s makeshift home of Littlemarsh, Semington.
The visitors arrived in a surprisingly lacklustre mood and maintained it for the rest of the morning as a rampant Horse not only got the win that was needed, but won by more than the five clear goals that were required to overturn the goal difference column and pip their opponents to second spot.
They eventually ran out comfortable 8-0 winners to clinch second spot in Division One and automatic promotion for a second successive season.
Having failed to raise a side at the end of March when the fixture was originally scheduled, then cancelling the re-arranged midweek encounter, it was no surprise that Somerford struggled once more to muster a team, despite the enormity of the occasion, starting with just 10 men.
It was enough motivation for an already pumped up White Horse, and the Westbury side raced into a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes, Pete Ayton the grateful benefactor on both occasions.
Lee Fernandez’s late arrival not only evened up the numbers, but introduced a degree of competiveness previously missing, although the chances continued to flow at one end only, Paul Beavers, Kane Scott, Nick Mead, Dale Rowland and Jordan Gullis all missing opportunities to extend the home side’s advantage.
A three-goal advantage was still to be achieved in the first half though, as Beavers got the faintest of flicks on a Mead freekick in the dying seconds to wrong-foot keeper Dan Quinsey.
Horse came out for the second half in a similarly fired up mood and got the all important fourth and fifth goals in the first nine minutes off the half, Dale Rowland adding to his tally for the season, before Ayton completed his hat-trick.
The game proceeded to go into a strange lull as Horse knew what they had was enough, while a mathematical misunderstanding in the Somerford ranks meant they were wrongly of the same impression about their own fate.
The villagers were to finish the morning how they’d started it, reduced to men through injury, and three goals in the last 15 minutes from substitute Sam Gooding, Mead and Ayton finished the rout and brought the curtain down on another season.
The likelihood is that both sides will do battle again next year in the Premier Division, but it’s Clive Black’s men that will go into it with the momentum, their unbeaten streak having been extended to 13 league games, since a 5-0 defeat back in October, ironically away at Somerford.
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