East Gwent Senior League Division One - Caldicot Town 2 Underwood A 8
UNDERWOOD A clinched the Division One title on goal difference with an 8-2 victory at Caldicot Town on Saturday.
A Dave Jackson hat-trick and welcome brace from Josh Downing, plus goals from Justin Bidgood, Sean Johnson and Nathan Adams completed the victory and after East Gwent League secretary Brian Reed had presented the league trophy, the celebrations began.
Town manager Nathan Thomas congratulated Underwood on their achievement and wished them luck for next season.
“I thought we were the better side for the first 20 minutes and should have gone in front but we didn’t take our chances,” he said later.
“But when the chances fell to Underwood they were clinical and punished some poor marking.
“It was a decent effort from our lads who kept battling.
“All the best to Underwood in the Gwent County League. I hope they will give it a real go as they are a very strong side.”
Underwood manager Kieran Stephens paid tribute to the club spirit that has produced a promotion-winning season.
“After missing out on promotion three or four years on the trot, we had two invitations to merge with teams in the Gwent County League but the offer was unanimously rejected,” he said.
“That reaction indicated the lads wanted to fight for the club.
“I was invited to take over running the A team and the reaction we had to pre-season training was great – we knew we would have enough players to field two competitive teams.
“We managed to persuade Simon Buffery and Tony Ryall to return to football and we had a good start before losing to Mathern.
“Then Dave Jackson, who had left in the summer to play for a team in the county league’s Division One, said he missed the banter and asked to come back which was great for us.
“Our Amateur Cup run showed we can compete in the county league and since it ended we have gone on a run winning most of our matches and we still have the Benefit Cup final against Chepstow Town to look forward to.
“I am very proud of this group of players and indebted to coaches David Rees and Sean Johnson for their amazing contribution which has helped put us into the Gwent County League.”