Excitement tempered with a little nervousness was in the air when Little Gaddesden travelled to face EB Lions at the weekend as this game would ultimately decide who was to be promoted to the First Division in this West Herts Youth League under-14s clash.
Gusting winds and a bobbly surface made conditions none too easy for the visitors’ passing game and a few early through-balls gave the forwards a little too much to chase in the opening minutes.
While not entirely mastering, Gadd were the first to come to terms with these obstacles and took an early lead when Luke Wilson put winger Josh Harrison clear to calmly slot the ball past the Lions keeper.
Gadd doubled their lead when Will Green deftly chipped to Ollie Spooner who despatched his goal with aplomb.
It was then one-way traffic and again Wilson outpaced the Lions defence only to hit the crossbar before Harrison reacted quickest and tapped in for his brace.
Gadd were playing some lovely, expansive football throughout the team as their confidence grew. Rob Allen split the Lions back-four for Harrison to square for Wilson to get on the scoresheet.
This was swiftly followed by his second and Gadds’ fifth.
Half-time came none too soon for the hosts as they looked shell-shocked.
A few changes in personnel after the re-start saw Gadd battling against the wind and although creating chances, couldn’t take advantage as finishing became a premium.
Lions defended stoically but with weary legs couldn’t repel the wave of Gadd attacks and the away side added a sixth through Wilson who, after a scramble, scored his 27th goal of the season.
The seventh came via a jinky run and cool finish from Dan Beatty.
After a shaky start to the season, Gadd secured promotion scoring an incredible 70 goals.
The manager gave the whole team man of the match – a fitting way to end their campaign.