A great season for Reigate Priory under 16s finishing in their highest ever league position of third and bringing back the cup to Reigate. The match played at Broadbridge Heath FC was played in front of a big, largely partisan crowd following their local team of Crusaders. Despite this Priory overcame the sometimes hostile atmosphere and let their football do the talking. Horsham Crusaders started the better and it took Priory sometime to settle. In this period captain Peter Thomas led by example and talked the defence through this rather sticky patch. Gradually though Priory’s football began to do the talking. Joe Brown hit the post after a fine through ball from Martin Baxter, then James Leask had a shot blocked, Nick Preston went close, before Theo Spencer opened the scoring with a fierce low drive into the bottom corner to put Priory one nil up ten minutes before halftime. Will Ainsworth played a faultless game in goal comfortably dealing with all that was thrown at him. Playing into the wind in the second half Priory played a containing game with Martin Butcher and Fraser Macdonald commanding the midfield and Priory aiming to hit Horsham on the break. Mike Dowds was having a fine game getting time to get forward and support the attack and Priory’s play maker Joe Brown  continually playing probing balls from mid field, Chris Jones was as ever dominate in the air at the back and it looked like Reigate had taken the sting out of Horsham. But fifteen minutes from time a great headed goal from Horsham put them back in the game and for a while they looked for a winner. Priory’s never say die attitude though helped them through this part and from Theo Spencers cross Nick Preston put Priory back in front when he swept the ball home to put Reigate two one up. A last ditch tackle by James Leask prevented a Horsham equaliser and a couple of minutes later Priory had the game won as Loius Kelly who had battled up front as lone striker all game controlled the ball, slipped two defenders and shot high into the net from outside the box to give Priory some breathing space in the closing minutes. Reigate could have added a fourth before the end when Nick Prestons shot following a quick pass from Saul Thompson just cleared the bar with the keeper beaten. All in all a superb ending to Reigate Priorys five years in the Horsham league, from finishing mid table back in the third division in their first season, to champions the following season as well as losing cup finalists, another promotion culminating in third position in first division and winning the cup this season. A big well done to the Priory lads.

Reigate Priory: Will Ainsworth, Martin Baxter, Peter Thomas, Chris Jones, James Leask, Nick Preston, Joe Brown, Theo Spencer, Martin Butcher, Fraser Macdonald, Louis Kelly, Mike Dowds, Saul Thompson.