On Saturday 23rd April, at about 4.55pm, the air in TW12 was filled by an almighty roar as the shrill blasts of referee Stephen Bates’ whistle signalled the end of a season that had brought success in the Ryman Premier League to a small SW London football club.
Hampton & Richmond Borough had just earned a tense 0-0 draw, the only one of their season, against an Enfield Town team that only needed one goal to lift themselves into the playoffs, and deny the Beavers the title in the process.
A point was all the home club needed.
The fact their nearest challengers, Bognor Regis Town, were winning and had eliminated the goal difference advantage that the Beavers had at the start of the day led to some very tense moments towards the end.
Led by the fast talking and charismatic Geordie, Alan Dowson, assisted by Martin Tyler (yes, that one off Sky Sports), the Beavers have played some proper old fashioned attacking football, using wingers and a big centre forward in Nicke Kabamba, who ended with 19 goals for the season.
The most amazing stat though was the goal return of central defender Moussa Diarra, who created such havoc in attack that he scored 14 times, and not all from set plays. Surely the big lad – he’s all of 6 feet 4 inches in height – will find himself a prominent part of the Beavers folklore, such has been his impact on the season.
Then again, this whole squad will also be spoken of within in the club in such revered tones as the 2007 title winners were up to this week, with the gaffer at forefront of that.
Yep, there’s no doubt the Beaver Army has a new set of heroes this summer, and now that the dust has settled on the excitement of the final day, what will next season bring the club in the National League South?