Bosham lift the silver - can Sidlesham follow suit?
A goalless draw in their last home game of the season against local rivals Sidlesham failed to dampen the party atmosphere at Walton Lane as Bosham lifted the Southern Combination division-two title in front of a record crowd of more than 130.
Both sides were eager to get the better of each other and having provided a guard of honour for the champions before kick-off, Sidlesham were intent on exacting revenge for their home loss in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day against the Robins.
The start was nervy by both sides and neither wanted to give an inch to the other.
Bosham went close on the quarter-hour when Marco Giambelardini got a rare sight of goal and unleashed a fearsome drive certainly stung the hands on impressive visitors’ keeper Connor Kelly.
Sidlesham didn’t let that affect them and Dan Bassil used his strength to get in on goal, only to fire wide at the near post.
Giambelardini went even closer for the Reds when he struck the woodwork with Kelly well beaten.
Bosham had cause for concern as keeper Kieran Magee picked up an ankle injury. To his credit, Magee saw out the remainder of the half and Sam Joyce came on at the restart to replace him for the second half.
Sidlesham came at Bosham strongly after the break and saw a lot more of the ball than the hosts at times but weren’t able to do much with it in the final third.
Callum Dowdell’s shots narrowly went over the bar twice and Tom Bayley brought a good save from Joyce as Bosham found themselves absorbing pressure and playing counter-attacking football.
Max Kinahan and assistant player-manager Neil Redman came on and Bosham had periods of pressure towards the end but the stalemate seemed inevitable and the sides had to accept a share of the spoils.
With the majority of the crowd staying on to watch, James Wilson, Bosham club captain, was presented with the division-two trophy by Peter Down and Paul Beard from the SCFL and the players and management duly celebrated as the cup was hoisted high.
Supporters joined in the wonderful scenes as champagne flowed to bring the curtain down on a spectacular campaign.
All that remains is the final game away to newly-crowned Intermediate Cup winners Cowfold this weekend .
Bosham: Magee, Bulbeck, Cooper, James, Docherty, Bell, Wilson, Lafferty, Giambelardini, Miles, Dowden. Subs: N Redman, Kinahan, Joyce, H Redman, Probee.
Sidlesham strengthened their hold on third place in division two with a 2-0 victory at home to Montpeilier Villa.
Dan Bassil put them ahead eight minutes into the second half of Saturday’s game and Matt Roberts made sure of the win with the second 15 minutes later.
Sidlesham now look forward to the Division 2 Cup final against Westfield.
It takes place next Tuesday at Shoreham FC. All support welcome.
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