I have had nothing but praise for the lads in recent weeks. However, Tuesday`s final...
....game of the season at runners-up Cogenhoe United was simply dreadful!
I cannot wrap things up in cosy talk of being `unlucky` or that they were much older than us overall - which they were - because it was quite honestly one of the worse performances of the season.
In my opinion, Cogenhoe are the best team in the league, despite losing the title to Whitworths.
Like Whitworths with Taylor Orosz, the Cooks possess a very, very good striker in Luke Emery, who I worked with for a bit at AFC Rushden & Diamonds, and he was simply too strong for our defence which, before this game, had been superb all season.
And it couldn`t have started better for us when the home side were reduced to ten-men as early as the 10th minute for a kickout at Zak Ward but, using Arsene Wenger`s often use phrase, I didn`t see the incident. But the referee did and instantly showed him a red card.
But instead of inspiring us it seemed to have the opposite affect and shortly afterwards an unfortunate own goal off Jake Dixon gave the Cooks the lead.
Three more goals that all could and should have been prevented sent the team in at half-time 4-0 down and heading for a real bollocking from yours truly!
Wholesale changes were made at half-time and it seemed to have the right affect but again two bad goals were gifted to the hosts, while several opportunities were squandered by the young Doughboys.
And when Kallan Yearwood skied a ball over the bar from inches out - one of those `easier to score than miss` situations - it just about summed up our night!
There were few exceptions to my fury at half-time and at the end - Zak Ward and Macauley Copping worked particularly hard and Bradley Evans did very well when he came on - but after that I am struggling!
I am still fuming - half a day later - and perhaps should have waited to compile this report until I had calmed down a bit, but then I may have dressed up what was simply a dreadful performance.
We are hoping - no will be - challenging for the title next season, so the players realise performances like this won`t be tolerated.
What I will add though is, apart from the Cogenhoe game, signs are there that a promising future is on the horizon, so maybe this may work as a wake-up call to some of the players.
Before I finish, I would like to thank Richard Williams for his fantastic help to me as coach and later assistant-manager.
Richard has decided to `retire` and we`ll all miss him greatly, although he has said he`ll be a regular visitor to games.
The only upside to Richard`s departure is maybe now I`ll get a word in edgeway during team talks!!!
Justin Greatorex; Tom Middleton, Jake Dixon, Toby Robinson, Shane Oslar (sub Dan Powell h/t), Macauley Copping (sub Bradley Evans), Joe Wenham (sub Kieren Westbury), Lewis Fisher, Ryan Betts (sub Jake McShannon h/t), Jack Plummer (sub Kallan Yearwood h/t), Zak Ward.