Friday, 20 May 2011

Five-goal Axmouth United hammer home promotion aim

WHAT a difference a year makes for a football club.

Last year Axmouth United just avoided relegation for a second successive year but this season have completely turned themselves around and have secured promotion by winning their last game to cap a fantastic season.

Glenn Gould (2), Christian Burridge, Charlie Clarke and Tiago Braga scored the goals in a crucial victroy over Hatherleigth Reserves last Saturday.

The three points earned were enough finally see off the challenge of Culm United Reserves and guarantee the happy Hammers a place in Division Five of the Devon & Exeter League next season.

Manager Laurie Forino summed-up his side’s triumphant campaign to Weekender Sport: “We started the season in great style winning seven of their opening eight matches. Reece Hales was in imperious form only to suffer a horrendous injury which ended his season and looked to have cast a major shadow over Axmouth’s start.

“However, the squad this year is full of commitment and spirit and were determined to not waste the opportunity and continued in fine form despite further injury problems throughout the season to several key players.

“Others stepped in to fill the void and maintain the promotion push. A slight wobble mid-season, when injuries and absence were at their worst, resulted in five defeats in eight games and could have led to a drop in spirit.

“But the team were not about to let themselves be removed from the top three spot they had held all season.

“A storming finish of eight wins and a draw from our final 11 games sealed a top three spot and promotion to the delight of everyone involved.

“It could yet get better if Silverton win their last game at home to Hatherleigh and so hand Axmouth the runners-up spot.

“I am absolutely delighted for the players, supporters and everyone at the club. We have made such giant strides this year and strengthened the squad with real quality which in turn has helped everyone raise their game.

“The lads have played entertaining football which has been a joy to watch and be a part of, their commitment, team spirit and belief has been immense and that desire to succeed has been the difference in many games this year.

“I cannot tell you how proud I am to be able say I am the manager of Axmouth Football Club. We have a fantastic pitch and a set-up to rival almost anyone in the whole league. This is testament to all the time and effort that many devote to the club for which I sincerely thank them and am so pleased that we have been able to respond with success on the pitch.

“This is a great local team where everyone is made to feel welcome. I have to give my final thanks to all the players who have done everything, and more, that I have asked this year, and look forward to the exciting challenge next year. Up the Axe!”

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