Sunset have title on horizon

Sunset Football Club can look forward to a return to the Premier League after beating closest rivals Roma, 3-0, on Saturday. 

The two First Division leaders are way ahead of third place East End and this game at the TE McField Annex was effectively the championship decider. 

The champions will be promoted automatically and the second place team will have to have a playoff with the seventh place team in the Premier League.  

Roma were without six first-choice players, but they battled bravely. Sunset now have 32 points from 13 games, with Roma trailing on 26. 

Roma were relegated last season and hope to bounce back straight away. They have regrouped magnificently after coaching and personnel changes but, with such a depleted team against Sunset, were always going to find it difficult.  

Sunset defender Ian Roberton opened the scoring in the 11th minute followed by Paul Hennessey in the 17th. Hennessey claimed his second in the 55th minute to seal the victory.  

Kenroy “Boyze” Graham had a chance for a consolation goal in a couple of minutes from the end but he hit his penalty wide.  

Sunset manager Gareth Thacker said: “We are now six points ahead of Roma with two games left for each team. We play Prospect on 20 April and need a point to clinch the league. 

“We beat Roma comfortably because we executed the game plan from the first minute. We played a high pressing game, did not let them settle into their game and played the ball in behind the full backs.  

“In all games you need a bit of luck either at a set piece or from the opposition and we got that for our second goal when the goalkeeper and the left-back mis-communicated with each other.  

“The third was a classic counter attack and Paul Hennessey who was probably man of the match, although the whole team once again played superbly.” 

Successful teams sometimes become complacent about winning, but Thacker is ensuring that does not happen.  

“There is no complacency whatsoever with the group because as we have a very strong squad and those who placed on Saturday want to retain their places for the following game,” he said.  

“Sunset’s aim for the season is obviously winning the First Division title and that is still in our hands.  

“We also wanted to produce disciplined and exciting performances in the FA Cup and we know Bodden Town (their next opponents) will be an extremely tough game for us the lads will totally enjoy the occasion of playing the Premier league leaders and will play the style of game that will hopefully take us into the semi finals.” 

Hennessey is Sunset’s top scorer with seven goals, followed by Richie Addison with six.  

The goals are spread throughout the team.  

“Even our vice captain Ian Roberton, who plays centre-half, has scored three this season,” Thacker said.  

“His excellent partnership with Dave O’Connell has proved to be success with the team only conceding 12 all season.” 

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