LOCAL FOOTBALL: Lodge honours a promise as Whittlesey win promotion

Whittlesey Athletic celebrated promotion to the United Counties League,, 12 months after celebrating a PFA Senior Cup Final victory at the ABAX Stadium.
Whittlesey Athletic celebrated promotion to the United Counties League,, 12 months after celebrating a PFA Senior Cup Final victory at the ABAX Stadium.
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Whittlesey Athletic manager Andy Lodge fulfilled a three-year pledge by steering the club into the United Counties League last night (May 10).

Lodge took over the club three seasons ago and promised his chairman he’d win promotion by the end of the 2015-16 campaign. That promise was honoured on an emotional night at Feldale Field as Whittlesey confirmed second spot in the Peterborough Premier Division with a 3-0 win over Peterborough Sports at Feldale Field.

“At the end of the game I walked over to the chairman, shook his hand and reminded him of what I said when I took the job,” Lodge stated. “He knew what I was going to say and we are both delighted we managed to pull it off.

“It’s a long, hard slog in a tough division, but my lads have been outstanding for virtually all the season. There was an occassonal low point, but we never lost sight of the ultimate goal which was UCL football.

“It took us a while to get going last night and it’s a relief to finally get over the line. I’m thrilled I can start looking forward now rather than back.

“It’s been a phenomenal finish to the season by the lads. They really picked things up and performed when it mattered most. We’ve scored 40 goals in our last 11 matches, lost only one of them and conceded just three goals. 
“We’ve only conceded 17 goals in 33 league games all season which is unheard of at this level of football.”

Joe Butterworth got the party started with a superb free -kick strike on the hour last night. He quickly lobbed a second goal before Adam Piergianni complted the scoring late on.

Whittlesey will seek to complete a superb season by winning the PFA Senior Cup Final against Premier Division rivals Langtoft United at the ABAX Stadium on Thursday, May 19. They finish their league programme at Uppingham on Saturday (May 14).

Lodge has already started planning for next season by appointing former Posh player Daniel French to the post of assistant manager.

Premier Division champions Moulton Harrox tackle third place finishers Pinchbeck United in the final of the President’s Shield at Stamford AFC’s Zeeco Stadium on Friday (May 13, 7.30pm)

RESULTS

Monday, May 9

CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE

Premier Division

Holbeach Utd Res 2 (Chappell, Deykin)

Sawtry 0

Tuesday, May 10

CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE

Premier Division

Ketton 3

Thorney 1

Whittlesey Athletic 3 (Butterworth 2, Piergianni)

Peterborough Sports Res 0

Division Two

Pinchbeck United Res 4 (Leggett 4)

Leverington Sports Res 0

Division Five

Leverington Sports A 2 (McKenna 2)

Limetree UTR (S. Calvo, Ward)

FIXTURES

Wednesday, May 11

Hinchingbrooke Cup Final

Peterborough Sports v Peterborough Northern Star (7.45pm, Huntingdon Town FC).

CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE

Premier Division: Leverington Sports v Langtoft United (6.30pm), Netherton United v Sawtry (8.05).

Division Two (6.30pm): Parkway Eagles v Ketton Res, Whittlesey Athletic ‘A’ v Spalding Town.

Division Four (6.30pm): Tydd St Mary Res v Long Sutton Athletic Res.