Our last game of the season was a thrilling affair at Wrekin College.
We played in a strong, cold wind and had to be at our best against a talented, hard-working team. Playing against the wind, we created some good chances, but we were up against a fine keeper and it was obvious we would find it difficult to score. Harry Cartwright was a safe pair of hands in our goal and, as ever, Gregor Beardsmore was a towering presence at the heart of our defence. We did well to hold out for 0 - 0 at half-time.
With the wind at our backs, we pressed more in the second half, and were rewarded when Max Raine latched on to a through ball, got to it just before the keeper and a defender, and finally tapped it into the net. Wrekin came back strongly, and a fine move saw them equalise. But we answered in the best possible way. Max Raine swept the ball out to Oliver Butters-Peers, who drilled it in to the near post, and Sean O'Reilly arrived in time to prod it past the keeper. 2 - 1. A fine, hard-fought victory.
After 18 years of coaching football to countless boys - and a few girls - this was my final match. It's time to hang my boots up. I may not have convinced most of them (any of them?) that Derby County are the team to support, but it's still been a labour of love. The boys told me they had to win the game for me, and they did just that. After the final whistle, unprompted, they all came to shake my hand and thank me. That's the sort of thing that makes Yarlet special.
Finally, thank you to the boy who waited until we arrived back at school and was sick in the toilet. At least he avoided throwing up in the minibus. He assures me it had nothing to do with the two plates of chips, sausages and beans he had for match tea. It must have been my driving.