Thursday, 18 September 2008


Wednesday 17th September 2008, a historical day in the history of The FootballHeads. The Reds in their penultimate game of the season against league rivals ATFC, knowing that only a draw would ensure the league title.

Moments before the game, Paul Pannell managed to loan in Basildon born Liam Willis, 22, to try and bolster the depleted squad.

Robbins returning from a horrific ankle injury, but without Daniel Mayes, Ross Webster and Craig Victory.

The Reds started off a little shaky playing with an unusual 5 a side rather than the usual 6.

Chances were coming thin for both sides until a ludicrous challenge from Reds defender, Luke Mayes, brought about a silly silly penalty.

‘’Looking back it was a mistake’’ blasted Mayes

All eyes were on Robbins between the sticks, the ATFC striker stepped up to the plate and calmly slotted home past the Reds number 1. 0-1!

Panic could have easily begun to set in, but Pannell rallying his side sent out a war cry for calmness and warning against complacency.

His cries were heard, and his faith was repaid in the form of new loanee Liam Willis.

Willis, picking the ball up on the edge of the ATFC box, fiercely drove home a well struck shot of which the keeper had no chance.

The tempo begun to pick up, chins had raised. The boys knew they were on their way to the league title.

Still wary of mistakes, Pannell, Mayes and Rider tightened up at the back to consolidate the lead.

Then, yet again, loanee hero Liam Willis got himself on the score sheet for a second time.

Taking control of the ball at an acute angle he burst down the right hand flank and hit a superb strike from distance past the unavailing keeper. 2-1!

Willis was certainly repaying his managers faith in him.


After a rocky start the Reds were now in pole position and manager Pannell didn’t want the performance to drop.

There were a few rocky moments at the back as both teams pushed for further goals creating more space and opportunities.

Then out of nowhere Gill was unleashed on goal and hit a fine strike which cannoned back off the bar.

Was this a sign that maybe things were to take a turn for the worse?

Certainly not, as Luke Mayes pounced at goal to get himself on the score sheet taking his tally to 5 for the season calmly side footing past the keeper after a superb move from the Reds. 3-1!

It seemed wrapped up but within minutes a slight lack of concentration aloud an easy goal to be scored by the ATFC striker. 3-2

With 5 minutes left nerves were beginning to show, another clear cut chance for ATFC but a fine save from Robbins, tipping it over the bar, prevented the lead being scuppered.



Scenes of joy could be seen all around as they players celebrated their tremendous achievement.

No smiles were bigger than Reds manager Paul Pannell:

‘’Its such a good feeling, we have a dominant hard working team here and im proud to be in charge of such a fantastic squad, AV IT!’’ squealed an emotional Paul Pannell

New boy Liam Willis reacted to the scenes in a modest way stating

‘’Im glad I got out there and done the club, players, manager and most importantly the fans proud’’ He declared

‘’I took my goals well and am over the moon to help bring the silverware to the FootballHeads, im now looking forward to the last game of the season next week’’ he demanded.

Willis was later handed the man of the match by Reds manager Pannell.

We will still bring you updates and post match reactions of next weeks final game versus Reds nemesis and only team to take a point from then, Rayleigh Wizards.

Commmme onnnnnnnn yooooou Reds!

Squad: Robbins, Hughes, Rider, Pannell, L. Mayes, L. Willis, and Gill

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