It's been a long season in the West Sussex Football League - but the end was well worth the wait for Nyetimber Pirates.
A dramatic last-minute Nathan Stonelake winner helped Pirates secure a second consecutive WSFL title at Pagham. After a long season it all came down to the last game of the season for the reigning champions and they were determined to gain revenge over Angmering after they inflicted an 8-0 hammering on the Looters in August.
Since that defeat to Angmering on the opening day Ted Griffin’s men launched into an impressive run in the WSFL premier division losing only one more game out of a possible 20.
Both sides named strong line-ups for the game with both still able to claim the title. Pirates took the lead on 27 minutes through captain Michael Frangou, who finished impressively after an Anders Wyatt through-ball. A point was enough for Nyetimber to secure the title but the pressure started to show and Angmering levelled shortly after the break after an impressive header from Johnny Hendricks.
As the final whistle approached Angmering looked most likely to snatch a winner and take the trophy but the Pirates backline stayed strong and battered away wave after wave of Seniors attacks.
Nyetimber looked nervous and Angmering kept pressing for a winner and referee Joe Johnson signalled five minutes of injury time. Although on the ropes the Pirates snatched the win and the title when Nathan Stonelake raced through the Angmering backline, rounding the keeper and sliding the ball into the back of the net, causing rapturous scenes from the Pirates bench who invaded the pitch to celebrate another league win.
The win meant the Pirates have lostonly three league games in 50 matches dating back to 2016.
Pirates: Pye, Williamson, Westbrook,Urquhart, Bingham, B Cox, Pasterfield, A Wyatt, A Cox, Turner, Frangou. Subs- Chester, Hamm, Haga Hammond.
It’s been an impressive year all round for the Pirates with both the reserves and third team also gaining promotions to the Championship and division four south respectively.
Jamie Walters’ reserves missed out on a second consecutive title on goal difference in division two south and James Gilchrist’s third team narrowly missed out on the top spot in division five their first season in existence.
See a gallery of pictures by Roger Smith from the win above and watch out for a report in the Bognor Observer on Thursday.