Araglen Premier Division.
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Kings Heath United

End of season review...

The season had been a long and winding road, as sang by Gareth Gates and Will Young, but importantly ended on a high, as sang by the Lighthouse Family. The journey began in the late summer heat with a 2-2 draw against GOLDEN HORSE. The first battle of a long and often painful war against the Far Cotton side. They may have won the odd battle, but that cup final victory was sooo sweet, just like Homer's forbidden donuts. Speaking of donuts, MARTYN 'BOMBER' ALLEN was a name grabbing headlines throughout September, scoring both in the season opener and a hat-full more in the games that followed. These were care-free days, BOMBER was prolific, Manager STEVE 'GAFFER' IVEY was having cameos left right and centre and WAYNE HAMILL & GLENN 'GIGI' BILLINGHAM were flamboyant tricky wingers!!??? The mullett was king and Shawaddywaddy were dominating the charts.
September then gave way to October, and it was a red October. NORTHAMPTON UNITED inflicting the first defeat of the season with a 2-1 victory at the the North Oval. One of the Utd scorers was Bob Wager, who would return to haunt Heath again later in the campaign. Heath made it two defeats in two with a drubbing at the hands of a rampant ST MARGRETS. Vicky Park was the setting for a 7-1 defeat and GIGI BILLS suffering an injury that resulted in 10 stitches in his head. Luckily it had no effect on bizzare hair styles. Heath did manage to end the month on a high, with a hard-fought and much needed victory against BUGBROOKE FIVE BELLS. Contraversial scenes saw CHRIS DAVIES sent-off for no reason at all.
The taste of victory carried over into red-hot November, where cup fever was spreading across Kings Heath. Heath made progress in no fewer than three cup competitions with no league games played during the month. In the Billy Behan Cup it was a revenge mission for NORTHAMPTON UNITED, a 4-0 destruction at Dallington Park. The Sunday Vase also got underway, with an easy 4-1 victory over Alliance outfit, ROYALS. By this time OLLY URQUHART was earning a reputation for being the best keeper in Northampton, gaffer IVEY produced another clever hand when signing Ollys brother, JOSH URQUHART. Josh made his debut in the Intermediate Cup against a strong PATTISHALL RANGERS side. CRAIG 'SAMO' SAMPSON in the form of his life netting a brace. Kings Heath had em-barked on a winning streak, and it just carried on, and on, and on and on... and Ariston....
The month of December saw Heath return to the Billy Behan Cup group of death, BUGBROOKE were swept aside 5-2. SAMO was in the middle of a scoring streak with another pair, ROB 'THE HAIR' PAGE also netting. ABINGTON RANGERS were next up in the Sunday Vase, Rangers being easily despatched 4-0. Saturday 20th December 2003 saw the infamous KHUFC Christmas Party. The following morning, a drunk, giggling and nauseus Kings Heath meandered past TRANSPORT SOCIAL with a 4-3 victory in the next round of the Intermediate Cup.
Happy New Year, and same old happy winning Kings Heath. DYNAMO were brushed aside in the first fixture of 2004. a 6-0 win and hat-tricks for both MARC 'JEFFERS' JEFFERY and SAMO saw Heath progress out the Billy Behan Cup group stage. Having now forgotten what league fixtures are, KETTERING EXTRA were next up in the Sunday Vase Quarter-Final. After a slow start, a brace from ANDY BLENCO with further goals from NICK BLENCO and JEFFERS saw Heath through with 4-1 scoreline. Sunday 25th January saw a return to Araglen Premier Divison business. MEARS ASHBY JACKJAWS eventually being beated 5-2 after a very shakey first half. This day with go down in the history books after DELROY KILBORN scored one of the goals of the season, and GLENN BILLINGHAM urged everyone to keep the hunger.
Early February saw Kings Heath go goal crazy. A premier division clash with ABINGTON RANGERS on the 1st saw a 10-0 victory recorded. CRAIG SAMPSON smashing in 5 goals. As the day of St Valentine approached, Mrs Ivey was looking forward to another Sega Megadrive, but Kings Heath hearts were broken. The semi-final of the Intermediate Cup saw Heaths 4 month un-beated run come to an end. DYNAMO did the damage with a 4-1 thrashing at the North Oval. Then just 7 days later, GOLDEN HORSE knocked Heath out the Ken Parker Cup with a 3-0 defeat, again... in Heath's very own back-yard. Again, Heath managed to turn things around and end the month on a high. JEFFERS single handidly put Heath through in the Sunday Vase Quarter-Final. His brace was enough to despatch of KETTERING INNOVEX. The month drew to a close with a 2-0 premier division against MEARS ASHBY.
The month of March opened up with the PAUL 'PICKS' PICKERING show. The newly-signed striker smashed in all four goals in his debut against BUGBROOKE. This win re-ignited a genuine title challenge with St Maragrets experiencing hiccup after hiccup. Abington Park saw the clash of the titans as table-toppers DYNAMO provided the opposition. MARC JEFFERY was in-between the sticks as ROB PAGE netted to grab a point in a very end-to-end game. Heath also continued their red-hot cup form. BURTON DUKES ARMS were beaten in the Sunday Vase Semi-Finals. Goals from BOB TANSLEY, CHRIS DAVIES and the prolific MARC JEFFERY saw Heath through to the final. The month was rounded up with the return league fixture against DYNAMO at the North Oval. Once again, the sides battled well, but another stalemate was produced.
When people talk about busy months, they talk about APRIL 2004. After several sucessful cup-runs, there was a fixture back-log. No fewer than 7 games were played in April, along with many of the squad joining WAYNE LANCASTER for a weekend of fun and frolics in BLACKPOOL. The first fixture of April was a mid-week BILLY BEHAN CUP q-final. After spending the past few months on the sidelines, JULIAN ANGER returned from injury and smashed in four goals against a weak PIDDINGTON SAXONS. Other goals coming from Matty Slater and ROB PAGE. Heath through to another semi-final. GOLDEN HORSE were up just 2 days later, the Thursday night clash at Far Cotton Rec will be etched in the memory of the Heath faithful for a long time to come. A 1-0 win against GOLDEN HORSE saw the 10 men hold on, and hold on and hold on some more, all for a magical victory. Next up were back to back league clashes with NCC NUSPORT. Two 6-0 wins recorded with goals coming from all over the park. GLENN BILLINGHAM bagging his first of the season, keeper OLLY URQUHART claiming two in a week, ANDY BLENCO hitting the goal of the season with a sublime long-range left-foot effort and JOSH URQUHART still scoring two... but never a hat-trick! The Billy Behan Cup Semi-Final was up next, a poor team display against even poorer opposition but a 3-0 win was recorded. MARC JEFFERY, CHRIS DAVIES and CRAIG SAMPSON getting the goals against GRASSHOPPERS (not of Zurich). An un-defeated league run that had lasted since October had saw Heath creep into the title race. As of 25th April, Heath had two league games to play, and two wins would see the championship won. Unfortunatley, NORTHAMPTON UTD had other ideas, a 1-0 win at Dallington Park. Bob Wager again on-hand to crush any title aspirations. The league campaign fizzled out against ST MARGRETS, with a 6-1 drubbing and a display of football master-class. A disapointing finale as the title race drew to its most exciting climax in years.
After sucessful Semi-Finals in the Billy Behan Cup and Sunday Vase, the merry month of May was all about cup finals. Due to some bizzare early summer weather, both finals were played in the same week after postponements. First up was the NFA Sunday Vase against those old foes GOLDEN HORSE. After what can only be described as an epic clash, Heath eventually claimed silverware with a dramatic 6-5 victory on pens after extra time and everything. JOSH URQUHART scoring and OLLY URQUHART saving the decisive spot-kicks at Compton Park, Cogenhoe. Just 48 hours later at the same illustrious venue, Heath were sent into battle again, this time against ST MARGRETS RESERVES in the Billy Behan Cup Final. Allthough Heath matched their opponents for most of the game, the fixture prooved a bridge too far as tired legs came into consideration. An injury to GLENN BILLINGHAM didn't help matters as Heath succumbed to a 1-0 defeat.
All in all, the 2003/2004 campaign can be looked upon with smiles, laughs and a few tears along the way. The highlight has to be the NFA Sunday Vase Final victory, and the lowlight being the standard of the match-day programmes for the Billy Behan Cup Final. I would personally like to thank everyone who's been involved throughout the season; players, fans, helpers.... you have all made this a fantastic season. I cant remember ever enjoying a sunday football season like this one. (i promised myself i wouldnt cry!)

Written by (KHUFC) Sunday League Sports Correspondant...

Glenn Billingham

Kings Heath United
Written by Glenn Billingham
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