Match report by Dean Parsons.
Where do I start to report about this fantastic day! So much happened today I apologise now if this is the longest match report ever written. Well I got there early and bought my "it's been eamotional" t-shirt off Jonesy and it was so true by the end of the day. I went round selling raffle ticket's, which raised £1,063 for the ground fund today alone.
Fans were queuing to get in as early as 11am making me think "wow we could have a full house today", and I wasn't wrong the attendance was 4,560 our largest of the season and taking our average attendance to over 3,000.
I managed to get to my seat just as Robbie Earle was going to his and he was amazed as he came out by the atmosphere. Raynes Park kicked off and 6 minutes into the game out came Dave Beasant and Lawrie Sanchez who got an amazing reception from the fans. Just as they were sitting down, RPV's Schofield tripped Coops in the box for a penalty. He hit it to the left of the goal sending the RPV No1 the wrong way where he ran into the West Bank to milk the adulation, before running across to the main stand and picking up a t-shirt saying "that's 40" to celebrate scoring his 40th of the season.
Almost straight from the kick off RPV equalised with a cracking goal from 20 yards by Neil Wickes. We had a few half chances by both teams but in the 20th minute great play between Joe and Coops saw the ball break to Sully where he shot from the edge of the box, the keeper had to save with his feet awarding us a corner. From the resulting corner Sully hit it to the far post for Sir Matt Everard to head it back into the six-yard box for his younger brother Danny Oakins to score a bullet header from close range. 2-1 to us!
Just 10 minutes later another corner and Danny O scored again when he was unmarked to head home, reeling away to high five with everyone in our dugout. In the 38th minute in walks last seasons' player of the year Kevin Cooper, now at Wolves, to chants of "there's only 2 Kevin Coopers". The Wolves man then nearly witnessed the unthinkable when from another Sully corner the other Cooper nearly scored with his head which would have raised big money for the ground fund. The ball went up the other end for a now-becoming-rare RPV attack. RPV's Victor shot from 20 yards only to see it beat Ray Merry but not the post where it rebounded to safety to give us a let off. Just before the halftime whistle was blown Tall Mark managed to get into double figures with his (should be copyrighted) favourite phrase "you muppet!".
The half time interval was full of eamotion (we will make this the new way how to spell emotion!) With almost all the surviving players from the 1963 cup final being introduced along with McCready and Guy from the team that got us into the football league and 1988 cup winners Beasant and Lawrie as well as Forever Barmy tra la la la Roger Joseph, Rob Rob Robbie Earle and super Kevin Cooper not forgetting the return of the womble mascot (and contrary to the rumours it wasn't me inside even though I would love to do it). This was where I became a little kid again getting autographs and posing for photos with them, just managing to sit down in time for the 2nd half to kick off.
We kicked off towards the Athletics End and only had to wait 8 minutes for a moment of magic. Neil Robson forced Coops into letting him take a free kick 25 yards out and curled it around the wall and into the bottom corner where the keeper had no chance - it was almost as good as his one in the away fixture, total quality!
Just five minutes later and great play by Robbo as the ball fall for Joe only for him to blast it over and the referee with a smile on his face pointed as if a conversion had been scored. It was nice to see a referee with a smile on his face all game, I have got to say he was one of the best refs we had all season, just behind the young ref. Before the ball was retrieved, Ally Russell replaced Joe.
RPV probably had their best spell of pressure for the next ten minutes hitting the woodwork and hitting a free kick just over with Wickes and Dobo junior really impressing, but enough about them, just 5 minutes from time Coops managed to some how get the ball past two RPV defenders and the keeper to roll the ball home for his 41st of the season and 5-1 to us.
Almost immediately RPV went on the attack, Ray gathered the ball and collided with Sir Matt. Whilst he was being treated the West Bank called for Danny Oakins to show his a*se which he duly obliged to! Play resumed with Matt still being treated as we went up the other end and good link up play between Bolger and Coops finished with Coops shooting just wide and unlucky not to claim a hat-trick. A minute later, the ref blew the whistle and the party started.
Sadly Coops didn't score with his head but up stepped Ivor in a green keepers jersey (looking like the green goblin) to try and stop Coops scoring with his head which he did until the fourth attempt where Coops after hitting the post with his previous header finally managed to score with his head (with maybe a little help from Ivor).
Then came the awards and out came all the players and staff when Robbo threw me his shirt. At this point I had to pull down my shades as I was overcome with eamotion and could feel the tears welling up, I had never been so happy on the last day of the season, I can never remember such a great end of season send off.
Lee Sidwell won both the fans and players player of the year awards and looked really chuffed - he deserved it. The Junior Dons voted for Coops who was equally chuffed. Then the party started for the night where I managed to get past and present players to sign my shirt.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Neil Robson could it have been anyone else? He has played in every position this season except striker and goalie, and has always been remarkable. He finished the season with a great goal and a commanding performance at the back. I don't think its any coincidence that Sully reclaimed his form when Robbo played behind him I really hope he doesn't hang up his boots yet. And anyway it's my report, he is my player of the season and I can be biased!
After thought: Now only 71 days to our first pre season friendly what to do with my self apart from jump out of a plane, play in the five a side tournament and await the arrival of my first child.