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Old Actonians are celebrating promotion to the South East Combination for the first time in their history after clinching the London & South East League title in the most dramatic fashion.
With their fate out of their hands going into the final game of the season, they knew they would need to beat Wingate & Finchley at home and hope that Maidstone Town failed to get the point they needed against Littlehampton Town.
Old Actonians took the lead after half an hour with a goal from Lindsay Canham but Wingate and Finchley got an immediate reply to go in at half time with the scores level. Goals in the second half from Nathalie Randall and a penalty from Carla Williams meant three points and an anxious wait to hear scores from elsewhere. Littlehampton beat Maidstone 5-2 and the league title was on its way to West London.
Manager Natalie Huntley praised the fighting spirit of the team, saying: "This is reward for a season of hard work, dedication and determination. There are some strong teams in this league so to come top is a credit to everyone involved in the club both on and off the pitch."
Old Actonians are already starting preparations for next season, including looking for new players so any players interested in playing for the club in the South East Combination next season should contact Natalie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club was originally formed in 1999 as Chiswick Utd and in the summer of 2008, they forged links with Old Actonians FC and now use their excellent pitch and clubhouse. Natalie Huntley took over as manager and in only her second season in charge, she has guided the club to the best campaign in their history so far.
"It really was a team effort, so credit should go to every single person involved," she added. "Our top goalscorer was Carla Williams who scored 24 goals in 25 games.
"Further mention should go to Kelly Doyle for playing every minute of the league campaign including playing in defence, midfield and in goal! Also Linda Fox - the club's founder member and current Chairwoman - for coming back from having a baby to play a pivotal role including a number of key goals from midfield and all our defenders for conceding less goals than any other team in the league."
Now Old Actonians face the challenge of playing at Combination level and Natalie is confident that her team can make an impact.
"We'll have the advantage of the teams knowing nothing about us so who knows what can happen!" she said. "We're certainly not going up just to make up the numbers and if we show the same fighting spirit we did this season, we should get some good results."
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