Sunday 09th May 2004

Thamesmead cap of great season with first Kent League Cup success

In only his second season as Thamesmead Town manager, Paul Blade was a proud man after seeing his side win the Go Travel Kent League Premier Division Cup for the first time in their short thirty-five-year history, writes Stephen McCartney.

They beat Cray Wanderers, a side who had already clinched the league championship for the second successive season, and had already won the Kent Senior Trophy, but they were denied a unique treble by a terrific Thamesmead performance at the Westbourne Stadium in Folkestone on Saturday.

Marc Merridan's 32nd minute strike from close range, after an initial shot from Dean Burns from outside the box, was parried by thirty-nine-year-old agile  Cray goalkeeper Micky Simmons.  The follow up shot from Michael Power was blocked by David Gray, but Merridan latched onto the loose ball to fire home the winner from three yards.

Speaking after his side lifted the silverware, a delighted Blade, said: "It's brilliant - it's great for the players and the club.  We've had a great season and to finish it with a 1-0 win over Cray, you can't ask for more."

The Bayliss Avenue outfit capped of a good season with a runners-up spot behind Cray, and a piece of silverware to finish off the campaign.

Blade added: "Everyone played their part, so I can't ask for no more.  A last little effort for the season, and I thought we deserved it."

Twenty-year-old striker, Michael Power, put in a performance that should alert clubs at a higher level of the game, and he was delighted with his team-mates performance.

He said: "I think we were the better team, to be honest with you and we deserved it.  We've done all the hard work through the season and it's good for all the players and the management at the club.  We had great support from our fans and I would like to thank all the players and the board - they have done us proud."

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