Singh Sabha Slough beats Britwell as winner and wins all East Berks League clashes
It was a triumphant afternoon for Singh Sabha on Saturday June 26 as they first won the East Berkshire Football League title, taking home honors on the pitch from their closest rivals, Britwell, who themselves would have won the championship if the result had been in their favor.
It was hot at the Chicken Ranch and the importance of this last game of the season drew over 200 spectators to the sidelines. For much of a suspicious first half, the only cheers and screams of excitement came from the adjacent fairground at full throttle as the two sides battled in a naturally tight affair.
The teams exchanged rather controlled efforts on goal in the early stages. Harry Laflin hit the shot at the end of a smooth Sabha swing before Christian cut inside and tested Manpreet Pooni in the goal for the visitors. Just over halfway through the half, Nausher Samra let Singh Sabha fly and saw his massive effort bounce off the post with Britwell keeper Edmonds defeated.
A Robinson foul on Mbarik Bashir earned Sabha a free kick, from which center-back Chan Sidhu leaned in to nod the ball directly to Edmonds as the away team – requiring only the draw toss to win the title – dominated the first half hour.
The hosts returned to this one in the later stages of half-time. First, a glance from Jeffrey’s head was systematically collected by Pooni as Britwell forced successive corners before Sidhu was forced into a decisive defense to thwart Tommy Attrell, son of the former Slough legend. Town and Maidenhead United, Garry. Conrad Jones had the last laugh in the halftime for the leaders, but his free kick whistled over the bar after Jovan Bains – so impressive at left-back for Sabha – was shot to the edge of the area.
Goalless at halftime, the game came to life around the hour mark. First, a superb defense from Robinson in the yellow and black denied to Bashir after Joseph dispossessed Welsford from Britwell. Christian then responded, hitting a nice free kick quickly taken for the hosts with Pooni likely beaten. Edmonds then denied Karim Chaibi twice within moments, the second time with his feet before the Britwell keeper was finally beaten by Ousman Lulastani. Singh Sabha’s left winger had a magnificent game and he concealed the ball decisively with angle practice after the away team seamlessly moved the ball from right to left.
Sabha had a hand on the trophy, but that grip loosened in the 67e minute. Referee Laurence Mills – who brilliantly refereed a match that unsurprisingly was hotly contested – spotted a handball in the area that saw Singh Sabha’s offender sentenced before Molloy brought back the penalty, sending Pooni into the wrong way.
Britwell themselves were now chasing the goal they needed to land the silverware against a temporarily exhausted team. Their best luck came at the end of a brief period of head tennis when Hartridge missed an effort while in a good position. In less than sixty seconds, Sabha stepped forward again. Karim Chaibi was put on goal to score confidently and cause a brief invasion of the pitch.
Deep in the injury time, the result was brilliant. Conrad Joseph and Omar Riaz teamed up to free Bains to score a well-deserved goal and minutes later Sabha’s side were awarded the trophy on the field full time by league match secretary Rob Stevens.
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