Sunday, May 08, 2005

Parrish In The Springtime

AFC Telford United 2 Kendal Town 1, Unibond Division 1 Play-Off Final, May 7 2005.

Was part of a record crowd of over 4,200 people yesterday at The Bucks Head where AFC Telford (formed from the embers of Telford Utd. who went bust following the collapse of the chairman's business empire) completed the first stage of their resurgence by emerging triumphant in a tense play-off final against Kendal Town.

Dead Kenny would like to report that beating Kendal was a piece of cake, but in truth the Lake District side held the upper hand for a large part of the first half, a fortunate early goal giving their nippy forwards the opportunity to seemingly break at will against a Bucks' defence that was more static than a wheelclamped C5. Surprisingly, however, the league's highest scorers spurned some clear chances and were made to pay when Roy Jordan's neat turn and finish levelled the scores just before the interval.

United's boss, former Shrewsbury and WBA schemer Bernard McNally, seemed to earn his wages at the break as the team played with much more purpose and positional discipline in the second half. Kendal's keeper, in contrast, appeared to have left his brains in the dressing room and seemingly darted off to fetch them, leaving Man Of The Match Sean Parrish to keep a cool head and provide an even cooler strike to put Telford in the lead for the first time. Kendal huffed and puffed but found little joy and few openings against a suddenly resolute and robust Bucks' defence.

On the final whistle, there was a flare, the inevitable pitch invasion and much celebration as the young side danced with the fans to the glorious strains of 'Bernie Mac's Telford Army', a marked contrast to the distraught atmosphere of twelve months ago when the consequences of the old club's financial plight became clear. AFC Telford will now move up into either the Unibond Premier Division or the Southern League Premier Division (ask someone who knows more about non-league football than Dead Kenny to explain this to you).

The Bucks is a tremendously informative fansite which already has many pictures uploaded from the day, through which Dead Kenny discovered even more people he knew were there than the ones he met up with on the day.


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