OHAFC Golden Boot race nears denouement
With each of the three Saturday sides having just one game left to play this season, the race for the OHAFC Golden Boot could not be tighter. Last season's runaway winner James Breeden is once again at the forefront of the chase to be crowned the club's leading scorer, but this time he has a fight on his hands...
Last year James defied all expectations to score an incredible 32 goals for the OHAFC 1st XI in League and Cup - a figure that may never have been bettered in the club's illustrious history (although Garth Bearman scored 38 goals in the 1969/70 season, but this total includes pre-season friendlies and goals scored on tour).
James, rightly, was lauded for his efforts and word soon spread of his abilities. He made his Arthurian League Rep team debut this season in the fixture against Lloyds of London at Enfield Town FC - sure enough he scored a hat-trick, crowning his display with an impudent dink over the keeper to seal his treble.
His total of 21 goals this season from just 14 appearances once again highlights a remarkable transformation from his early displays for the club, which whilst impressive, barely hinted at the heights he has attained in the last couple of years.
Whilst James ran away with the Golden Boot award last season, this season the race will go to the wire. Hot on his heels is 3rd XI forward Harry Bick, who has also scored 21 League and Cup goals this season, albeit at the more modest, yet still highly impressive, rate of just under a goal a game, having made 23 appearances for the club this semester.
Harry plays most regularly for the 3s, but he has turned out for all three Saturday sides this season, making a Man of the Match contribution when playing in the 2nd XI's 3-2 win away to Lancing 2s in November - a quickfire double from the speedy forward set the Blues on their way to a fine victory in Kingston.
Both players are currently four goals clear of 3rd XI joint-captain Alex Smith, who regularly tops the scoring charts for the 3s and who has been one of the most consistent goalscorers for the club over the past decade.
This trio represent the only OHAFC players to have reached double figures this season and each of them has one further opportunity to add to their tallies - although given the importance of both the 1s and 3s' final games of the season, the Golden Boot race will pale into insignificance depending on the results.
The 1s travel to the Old Cholmeleians at the end of April knowing that a win will seal promotion into the Premier Division. Similarly, the 3s travel north to face the Old Columbans on Saturday, again knowing that victory will seal promotion.
One thing is for sure: for both sides to succeed, the club's three leading goalscorers this season are likely to have starring roles to play in the final acts of this campaign.
Current season OHAFC Golden Boot standings:
- James Breeden & Harry Bick - 21 goals
- Alex Smith - 17 goals
- Alex Breeden - 7 goals
- Andres Hutchinson & Mike Okoigun - 6 goals
OHAFC Leading Goalscorers over the past 10 seasons:
- Gbeminiyi Soyinka - 94 goals
- Alex Smith - 67 goals
- James Breeden & David Lederman - 61 goals
- Harry Hoffen - 58 goals
- Alex Breeden & Alex Gilbert - 33 goals
- Max Curry - 27 goals
- Jack Alhadeff - 26 goals
- Quentin Baker & Harry Bick - 25 goals