The Middx, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Regional Division 1 has served up drama all season and it has saved the best for last as Maidenhead and Oxford OBU will go head to head on the final game of the season to decide who walks away as 2019 champions.
Maidenhead have had a vice-like grip on top spot this season – a position they have not relinquished since November 17.
They strengthened that grip with Saturday’s 2-0 win at Oxford University 2nds, secured with goals from Phil Cowell and Matthew Heller.
The title is within sight but Maidenhead will need to avoid defeat against OBU on Saturday to make sure the trophy is in captain Chris Brown’s hands.
“I think we always knew that it was going to come down to that (the last game of the season),” said Brown.
“Our motivation was always to see it out to the final game of the season and now it’s a straight shoot-out.
“We tried not to rely on anything else but we would have liked to see some of our other results be better. But we are more than happy to have it go down to the final game of the season.”
The earlier meeting between the two this season saw Maidenhead come out with a 4-2 win on the opening day of the season and, after a long season full of ups and downs, Brown is relishing the challenge.
“If we play the way we usually play then we will be confident,” added Brown. “The squad has been really strong
recently and really healthy. We had a few injuries but they have recovered really well and we’ve got a lot of people fighting for places. The players are raring to go.”
With so much on the line, it would be easy for nerves to creep in, but Brown remains confident that his side can go out and win the title.
“We won’t change anything,” said Brown.
“We are just going to keep doing what got us to the top of the table in the first place.
“We shouldn’t look at it as holding on to the league title. I think that would be the wrong way to look at it. I think we should be looking to go into the game and trying to go out there and win the title. We are really looking forward to it and hopefully it will top off a fantastic season for us.”
Maidenhead Ladies 1sts beat Spencer Women’s 1sts 1-0 on the final day of the campaign to lift themselves off the bottom of the Premier Division.
The victory, only their third of the season, saw them leapfrog Brighton & Hove Women’s 1sts.