Champions Roffey FC sign off with point and guard of honour at Shoreham

Roffey FC ended their SCFL division one title-winning season by receiving a guard of honour from Shoreham - then coming away with a 1-1 draw against the promotion hopefuls.

Roffey FC are given a guard of honour at Shoreham

With the championship won, Andy Lampard took the chance to shuffle his pack before the final game of an historic season. Hayden Neathey, Dan Pearse, Tiago Andrade, and Johden De Meyer missed the trip to Shoreham, while James Pearse and Jamie Wanstall started on the bench. Ross Swaine took over as captain and led his team out through a guard of honour kindly provided by the Musselmen of Shoreham. Here's a picture special from the match by Stephen Goodger.

The game itself never really got going with a gusty wind and bobbly though well-grassed pitch leading to frequent turnovers in possession. The hosts had more to play for with the possibility of a home tie in their already earned play-off, whereas the only goal for Roffey was the margin by which they would win the title.

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Former Billingshurst striker Jordan Stallibrass forced a sharp save from Rhys Hughes, who has now cemented his position in the Roffey goal, but apart from a couple of corners each there was not a lot of goalmouth action. Then with half-time approaching, Josh Neathey was bundled over in the box when clean through. Roffey’s top scorer dusted himself down to fire in the opening goal.

The second half followed a similar pattern but Shoreham gradually ramped up the pressure without causing Hughes any real alarm. But then deep into stoppage time, a corner from the left was headed down and lashed home by Dave Sharman to give Shoreham a deserved a share of the spoils.

With no further action the final whistle went on the most successful season in Roffey’s history and Shoreham found that their last minute goal had earned them a trip Seaford rather than Midhurst which would have been their destination had they lost.

At one point during the afternoon, Roffey were on target to win the league by ten points with all the play-off teams trailing. However the five point margin is testament to the resilience of Lampard’s squad who at times were only a couple of points ahead or behind at the top. The relaxed atmosphere was almost like a warmdown after the stresses and strains of the first full season for three years. A season that no-one at Roffey will ever forget.