The piece below featured in this week’s edition of the Fulham Chronicle*.
Middlesex Division One (Central and East)
St Lawrence 0
Pearscroft United 2
PEARSCROFT United secured victory in their first game in their third different league in as many years.
After securing the Sportmans League title in 2011-12, last season in the Commercial League saw three of their matches abandoned when fists flew. The Middlesex FA had no option but to back the league and show Pearscroft the door.
Manager Andy Druce reckoned his side was more sinned against than sinners and was close to disbanding the club.
Yet he was rewarded for keeping the faith when neat build-up play in the centre led to Steve Shute supplying right-back Shaun Powell who struck past the keeper from the edge of the penalty area.
In a tough game, where Druce admitted his side were not at their best, Darren Paul was the star of the show, dominating the midfield with an array of hard tackles and a quality range of passing.
Aderemi Otudeko secured the visitor’s win in the second half following an innocuous free-kick that found its way into the back of the net courtesy of a goalkeeping howler.
The Middlesex League officials have told Pears in no uncertain terms they will not tolerate a repetition of last season’s disciplinary issues.
Though he feels that his side were harshly treated last season by the authorities, Druce has implemented a club fines system this season to keep troops in order.
*edited by Paul Warburton