Regent Rovers earn second successive promotion - and their first trophy
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 June 2014
Regent Rovers are celebrating a momentous season after earning their second successive promotion in the Islington Midweek League and securing their first piece of silverware after a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the Jack Walker Shield final.
Rovers, who were formed in 2012 by player-manager Shaun Banham, are mainly comprised of former students of Regent High School on Charrington Street, Somers Town.
In their first season of adult football, they gained promotion from Division Two of the Islington Midweek League.
Now Rovers have repeated the feat, finishing second in Division One and heading ever upwards into the Premier Division.
They were beaten to the top spot by FC Mutant, but the roles were reversed when the title rivals met in the Jack Walker Shield final, with Rovers emerging victorious and lifting their first trophy.
Rovers struggled to defend in windy conditions and conceded early in their final, but they equalised just before half-time as top scorer Abobaker Eisa pounced on a defensive error and, although his initial shot was saved, he reacted quickest to force the ball home.
That meant the tie had to be settled with penalties and Samuel Aggrey-Adams kept a cool head to net the decisive spot-kick as Rovers triumphed 5-3 and won the trophy.
Banham’s side finished the league campaign as comfortable runners-up with a seven-point gap separating them from third-placed Murphy Group, who Rovers took six points from during the course of the season.
A 9-1 thrashing back in November, twinned with a 3-0 victory, gave Rovers the definitive edge over their promotion rivals.
Although their form petered out in the last few games, Regent Rovers’ last league win of the season came in a 4-2 home victory over local rivals Clocktower.
All of the goals came from ex-Regent High School students, with Cem Gorman striking twice and man of the match Eisa and Simon Siriboe also finding the net in a triumph which all but assured promotion.
However, it wasn’t until the award of a home win in their next scheduled league fixture – when they didn’t even take to the field – that Rovers confirmed their Premier League status for next season.
Banham said: “The success has largely been down to the young players of the team, who are eager to prove their talent in adult football.
“Many thanks must also go to the work done by Jamie King at the Camden Youth Group and to The Francis Crick Institute, who have made the project happen with their sponsorship.
“The team would welcome any partnership with a Saturday club who would be keen to nurture the talent of many its young players.”
Any clubs who are interested in setting up such a partnership can email firstname.lastname@example.org.