Takeley’s remarkable run ended as Witham crowned champions

TAKELEY’S majestic run of 13-straight victories came crashing to a halt on Saturday as they were tamed by newly-crowned league champions Witham Town.

It was the first time the Station Road outfit had dropped points this year following a remarkable winning run which began after a home defeat to the same team just before Christmas.

But with key first team regulars Scott Forbes, captain Alex Martin, Scott Traveller and James Thomas all unavailable, Castle can take heart from the spirit shown by his players.

“Give full credit to Witham, not only did they win the game but they won the title as well,” he told the Broadcast.

“But considering we had four players missing and much the better chances I think we can feel a little aggrieved not to get at least a draw.”

Castle also dismissed reports that he had been interviewed for the vacant manager’s position at Kettering Town and is fully focussed on a championship run next season.

“It’s easy to talk about challenging for the title in mid-April but the key is for us to keep everybody together so that we’ve got the same players at the beginning of August.

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“Saturday’s game has shown us what we need to win to do to win this league and if we can add one or two goalscorers to the squad we have I think we can reach that level, if we haven’t already.”

With second-placed Southend Manor cruising to a 4-1 victory at London APSA, and in turn guaranteeing the runner-up spot, Takeley are now assured a third place finish whatever the result in this weekend’s final league fixture.

The only goal of Saturday’s defeat came in the 23rd minute.

After a bright opening from both sides, Witham’s Lewis Godbold took advantage of confusion in the visitors’ defence to pounce on a loose ball and fire his shot past keeper Ronnie Yates.

Although the game was balanced on a knife edge for much of the second period, Takeley were unable to break down their resolute opponents.

A series of golden opportunities came and went as first midfielder Reece Dobson and later striker Chris Grove both game close to equalising, while man of the match Nick Azzorpardi produced an inspired performance.

But the game was all but up when centre half James Amott was given his marching orders with eight minutes to go, condemning Takeley to their first defeat in 2012.

Takeley’s final league match is at Southend Manor this Saturday, kick off 3pm.