Shanklin snatch title from W&B's grasp with big final day win

·4-min read
Shanklin players go to celebrate with fans after winning the Island League Division 1 title at Brading Town.  Photos: Mathew Wells
Shanklin players go to celebrate with fans after winning the Island League Division 1 title at Brading Town. Photos: Mathew Wells

ISLAND LEAGUE DIVISION 1

BRADING TOWN 1, SHANKLIN 5

AGAINST al the odds Shanklin pulled off the unlikeliest of achievements in many seasons by winning the Island League Division 1 title on the final day — and in style in front of a 400-strong crowd.

Not even the staunchest of Brading fans could deny Shanklin were much the better team — on their turf — yesterday (Saturday).

After stopping Whitecroft and Barton Sports from winning the title on Wednesday last week, it gave the blues a chance to snatch it from them at one of the Island's toughest grounds to go to.

Anything less, and W&B would have been crowned champions, while they were busy earning their place in the final of the Isle of Wight Challenge Cup — beating Binstead and COB away on penalties after it finished 1-1.

Isle of Wight County Press: Kyle Drew wins a header against Brading's Dean Stuber.
Isle of Wight County Press: Kyle Drew wins a header against Brading's Dean Stuber.

Kyle Drew wins a header against Brading's Dean Stuber.

It may have been a comprehensive victory for the Seasiders, but Brading, playing down the slope in the first half, stunned them by taking the lead after five minutes — a strike by defender Todd Connor flying in off the bar.

On an occasion in which Shanklin could well have succumbed to nerves, with so much at stake, they reacted well and levelled on 18 minutes when a free kick by George Carter-Knight from the right touchline curled in, although Wayne Newnham may have got a touch.

Playing down the slope in the second half, Shanklin began to take control of the game and took the lead on 53 minutes when Macauley Watterson rose highest from a corner to head home at the far post.

Striker, Kyle Drew, then extended Shanklin's lead on 63 minutes with a volley from close in, from a pinpoint Carter-Knight cross.

Isle of Wight County Press: Kyle Drew beats two players and is about to unleash a shot to make it 4-1.
Isle of Wight County Press: Kyle Drew beats two players and is about to unleash a shot to make it 4-1.

Kyle Drew beats two players and is about to unleash a shot to make it 4-1.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Shanklin players celebrate Drew's goal (he is wearing 10).
Isle of Wight County Press: The Shanklin players celebrate Drew's goal (he is wearing 10).

The Shanklin players celebrate Drew's goal (he is wearing 10).

Eight minutes later, Drew scored a fabulous goal to make it 4-1 — beating two Romans players before drilling a shot into the corner from the edge of the hosts' penalty area.

It was a goal that visibly lifted the weight off the blues's shoulders.

To add the cherry on the cake, Shanklin scored a fifth from young Corey SANDERSON, who finished off a loose ball in a goalmouth scramble with about six minutes left.

Shanklin then brought back skipper Pete Wilson, taken off injured before their first goal, to see out the game and lead the wild celebrations at the final whistle.

Isle of Wight County Press:
Isle of Wight County Press:
Isle of Wight County Press: Kyle Drew (10) celebrates scoring.
Isle of Wight County Press: Kyle Drew (10) celebrates scoring.

Kyle Drew (10) celebrates scoring.

Afterwards, proud Shanklin boss Paul Haward said: "I'm delighted for the players and the club.

"We have been the nearly men for so long and W&B have been brilliant, year after year, including this season, but we have been getting closer and closer and I'm sure the tide of Island football has changed now.

"We know Brading are a good side and expected a tough game, so when they took an early lead, I thought 'here we go again'.

"But we reacted well and went on to play some great stuff in the second half.

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin boss Paul Haward, left, has won the Island League as a player and manager.
Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin boss Paul Haward, left, has won the Island League as a player and manager.

Shanklin boss Paul Haward, left, has won the Island League as a player and manager.

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin celebrate Corey Sanderson's goal to make it 5-1.
Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin celebrate Corey Sanderson's goal to make it 5-1.

Shanklin celebrate Corey Sanderson's goal to make it 5-1.

"There was a great atmosphere and the crowd were in good voice.

"When we scored the fourth, I knew we'd done it. It got quite emotional afterwards.

"This was the perfect day for the football club."

Club chairman, Richard Priest, echoed Paul's sentiments.

He said: "Paul, his players and his backroom team have shown character and determination this season and they thoroughly deserve this success — with hopefully more success to follow."

Isle of Wight County Press: Wild celebrations at the full time whistle.
Isle of Wight County Press: Wild celebrations at the full time whistle.

Wild celebrations at the full time whistle.

Isle of Wight County Press:
Isle of Wight County Press:

Gracious in defeat, Brading Town boss Steve Lawton added: "Well done to all at Shanklin — the table doesn’t lie and the best team over the season sits at the top.

"As for my boys, we gave what we had and on the day, but it wasn’t enough. Shanklin’s second half performance was outstanding and I have no complaints."

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