|02||Wheeler Dealers||Adam Walters||000||29||40||£50||1498|
|03||Spartak Cheese||Michael Lucchesi||000||30||21||£35||1467|
|04||Under Pressure||Ross Peggs||000||70||21||£25||1455|
|05||Willian Dollar Baby Jesus||Nick Jermy||000||51||24||-||1396|
|06||Atletico Magicmen 94||Matthew Jermy||000||27||19||-||1378|
|07||Butt Kickers||Lawrence Baynes||000||36||15||-||1360|
|08||The A Team||Martin Edwards||000||35||23||-||1298|
|09||Just The Tip||Adam Patterson||000||45||7||-||1297|
|10||50 Shades Of O'Shea||Adam Pritchard||000||19||9||-||1233|
|12||Inter Yourmum FC||Edward Mcnamara||000||10||5||-||1189|
|13||Perdoc Byzeusthains||Quentin Baynes||000||29||18||-||1155|
|14||Bayern Münson||Scott Pritchard||000||38||11||-||1091|
After 37 games, for the first time in SFP history the title was still just about in reach for any one of the top three teams going into the final day.
In the week leading up to ’Super Sunday' Michael Lucchesi’s Spartak Cheese had clawed their way back into 2nd place, pushing Rob-O-Klopp into 3rd. Both sides had made significant gain on Wheeler Dealers on the Tuesday, with Walters 10 week stay at top spot cut to a lead of just 16 points. But after the Wednesday and Thursday matches, Wheelers extended their lead again and were sitting 32 points ahead of Spartak, and 34 above Rob-O-Klopp.
So, whilst seemingly highly unlikely, both manager Lucchesi and Dale still had half a chance of catching Walters.
Right from the 3pm kick offs Rob-O-Klopp moved into 2nd place, being the only team to field a full starting XI. Wheelers could only find 10 compared to now 3rd placed Spartak’s 8. But very little changed between the top two before half time with 32 points the gap at the break, leaving Walters confident:
"All looking pretty good in camp Wheelers. 2 goals and 2 assists I think so far. Feeling comfortable."
It wasn’t until the 60 minute mark that things started to get interesting. Wheelers had only been able to pick two starting defenders, who had both conceded earlier in the afternoon so weren’t eligible for clean sheet bonus points. R.O.K. still had 2 in play, and Spartak had 4, meaning Dales men were suddenly now only 14 points behind Wheelers and Spartak only 5 points further back. And by the minute 70, there were just 18 points between our top three.
However, in the next ten minutes the whole season would be turned on it’s head. Spartak's defence conceded three goals in 2 minutes and Lucchesi’s men found themselves effectively out of the race. Rob-O-Klopp’s Everton forward Niasse scored one of those goals in the 75 minute, meaning, although unaware at the time, manager Dale was within just 2 points of Wheelers.
In a frantic last few minutes of the afternoon, there were plenty of goals scored, notably for Crystal Palace and Spurs, but not seemingly from any one affecting our top two. The official points were still to be released, but by the end of the afternoon manager Dale seemed sure it was all over:
"I’ve had a good day but not going to be enough. I reckon you’ll be fine, I reckon I’m 15-20 behind. Congrats Walts, gave it a decent shot on final day but not enough. Great battle with yourself and Mike, really enjoyed it."
Walters was also still confident he’d done it:
"I think the real battle is 2nd and 3rd. Think Bubba's got it."
And Lucchesi was sure that he’d missed out too:
"Congrats. A well sculpted, scrapped and deserved title. Gutted we couldn’t hold on but glad to have been part of the pack." (Michael Lucchesi)
After the final whistle, other’s were quick to congratulate Walter’s in what seemed like his third SFP title:
"Well done little man." (Ross Peggs)
"Well done Rob and Mike for keeping the pressure on to the last day. Well done Walts." (Quentin Baynes)
"Congratulations Walts and the chasing pack! Great stuff." (Lawrence Baynes)
"Well done Walts, well deserved! Good work all, let's do it again!" (Nicholas Jermy)
However, nothing was made official until the final points were totalled up. Both mangers thought they knew the outcome, but there was so little between them at the end, the impossible was still possible. The early unofficial SFP count suggested the title had gone to Wheelers by 13 points.
Then, 3 hours later at 8:24pm news started to filter through that there may have been a few extra assists to take into account. Dale’s trio of Moura (4), Loftus-Cheek (2) and Salah (2) all had extra key contributions added, propelling Rob-O-Klopp to the top of the league. Walters was the first to react:
"Moura 4 assists!!! No joke. I think you have done it mate!!! I hold my hands up, incredible effort! Amazing!"
Manager Dale, and the rest of the league were left stunned by the late twist:
"68pts today. I need a drink."
"From a purely neutral perspective - what a finale." (Quentin Baynes)
"What. Just. Happened." (Martin Edwards)
So, in the most dramatic of finishes the 2017/18 was won on the final day by Rob-O-Klopp. It is the closest finish of all time, with just 5 points separating 1st and 2nd place. It is only the second time that the top spot changed hands on the final day, and the first ever time that a Championship winning team has started the final day in third place.
For manager Dale, it’s his second SFP title in a 6 season career. The feat lifts him from 10th to 5th in the hall of fame, and having finished 2nd in two of his other seasons, Dale surely he is now the man to beat.
A truly remarkable, incredibly exciting and fitting end to a fantastic title race and season, where the underdog overcame the favourites for each SFP honour on offer.
Martin Edwards rounded up the 2017/18 season with a cup double.
It was going to take a mircle from somewhere to deny Edwards this seasons FFACUP, and not only did his bonus choices come up trumps, but his A Team scored the most points too.
The honour now moves Edwards up to 10th in the Hall Of Fame, as his three honours lifts him above SFP stalwarts Nick Jermy and Colin Brown.
Edwards was understandably over-joyed and positive about the future:
"Delighted to finally get some recognition for our efforts! Player of the season has to be Ayoze Perez, who scored several crucial goals in both cup competitions, and was one of the original A Team. His statue is being forged on the outskirts of Rotherham as we speak. Roll on next year, where we have to set our sights on the big prize!"
Rob-O-Klopp have been confirmed as SFP Champions 2017/18, after a dramatic final day twist.
Full reaction to follow ...
Underdogs The A Team executed the perfect smash-n-grab cup final with a 1:0 win against favourties Rob-O-Klopp.
The telling moment perhaps was when Edwards keeper Dubravka saved a penalty from Dale's forward Deeney. A goal late on Saturday afternoon from Perez gave The A Team the lead, and Rob-O-Klopp were never able to recover, giving Edwards his first major solo honour:
"It was the perfect cup final. I have faith in my players - we don't score many, but we usually score. So any off-day from our opponents would give us a chance. And that's how it played out."
"It's fitting that Ayoze, one of our original 'A' stars from the auction, should pop up with the winning goal. The boys are on cloud nine - el vino did flow last night!"
"A cup double would mean we scoop half of the SFP titles on offer this season, and although not the most lucrative outcome, gives us the belief we can challenge for the big money next season."
"All credit to our opponents, who have gone from strength to strength this season and rightly go into the final weekend of the season with a shot of the title."
Edwards now looks likely to add the FFACup to the SFP Cup for a cheeky cup double, while Dale still remains in the hunt for a second SFP title.
For full fixtures and results, click here.
One trophy dished out, 3 to go, and with the SFP Cup Final this weekend we have two managers hoping to produce a season double.
In the green corner we have The A Team, featuring in their first ever solo cup final (Edwards was part of the backroom staff when Christine Hamilton Academicals were losing finalists in 2012). Somehow they topped the group with an average of a goal a game, the joint second worst in the group stage. Crackers and then early favourites Inter Yourmum FC were brushed aside in the Quarters and Semi Finals, and Edwards is realishing his role as underdogs:
"Our strength in the competition has been being safe in the knowledge that any of our outfield players are capable of finding the net. But in the final, we find ourselves pitted against a team with a 'midfielder' called Salah, who is a bit good. Hence, we are underdogs. But hey, it's a cup final. Anything can happen. Except in this instance, when Rob will win. Probably."
In the red corner, Dale on the other hand was the top scorer in qualifying with 17 goals, and is in incredible form of late - smashing 7 past Atletico Magicmen over two Semi Final legs and catching Wheelers in the league. Dale is quietly confident:
"The mood in the Rob-o-Klopp camp is high! Genuine belief (and mild surprise) that the double is on. The white 1995 Liverpool suits are being dusted off, just hoping for a better result than that day."
For full fixtures and results, click here.
Scott Pritchard's Munson side thrashed title hopefuls Wheeler Dealers in a pulsating 5ASide Cup final.
The match was won by Saturday tea-time, at which point Walters threw in the towel and focused his squad on his now fragile title challenge.
Pritchard was left beaming, having picked up his 6th major SFP honour, and a joint record third 5ASide Cup:
"Thrilled. Now only one major honour behind Ross and have matched the mighty Lucchesi. Great to be in such esteemed company. Well played to Walts, and best wishes for the title run in."
"The less said about the rest of our season the better. Terrible auction and fortune - although if I’d bought Salah I’d be fourth!"
For full fixtures and results, click here.
Rob Dale was the April Manage Of The Month, as he closed the gap on Wheelers to just 6 points.
Wheelers surrended a 50 point advantage over the course of the month, setting up a thrilling final 2 weeks.
|142||Willian Dollar Baby Jesus|
|125||Just The Tip|
|121||The A Team|
|110||Atletico Magicmen 94|
|109||50 Shades Of O'Shea|
|84||Inter Yourmum FC|