Brilliant Braithwaite saves West's day in injury time
A last-gasp save from Sheldon Braithwaite kept West Hampstead in the South League Premier division two on Saturday. The goalkeeper, whose slack performance against Trojans a fortnight ago was so maligned, produced a stunning
West Hampstead 4
A last-gasp save from Sheldon Braithwaite kept West Hampstead in the South League Premier division two on Saturday.
The goalkeeper, whose slack performance against Trojans a fortnight ago was so maligned, produced a stunning reflex stop to tip the ball over after Maidstone had two successive short-corners in injury time at Brent Cross.
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West held on for victory to finish eighth in the table, one point and one place above the dreaded relegation play-off spot.
"We're absolutely delighted," said captain and right-back Jamie Dru. "It's been a tough season and we're not happy with the way it's gone, but we got it right on the day.
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"Sheldon's save was outstanding. I charged down the first corner and if it wasn't for his save on the shot from the second corner we'd be facing a play-off.
"He took some stick recently but he's a good keeper."
After a severely delayed start, West began the match in stunning form, racing into a three-goal lead against the second-placed promotion side inside 15 minutes.
John-Paul Murphy knocked the first goal in at the far post after Timur Asar had set him up.
Asar then bagged the second before Tom Kimberley tapped in on the far right-hand post.
Maidstone pulled two back before half-time from a short-corner and a penalty-strike from their Pakistani international.
Dru created the winner for West when his deflected shot was saved by the keeper and fell to Asar, who prodded home.
"We've used 26 players this season and that shows you what problems we've had getting a consistent team," admitted Dru.
"We've been without one of our top goalscorers and best player Michael Fraser since Christmas because he moved to Canada.
"We had a string of poor results, but we turned it around.
"We probably should have added to our squad after finishing sixth last year, but we didn't.
"I'll certainly try to recruit some new guys this year."
Simon Rylatt was named player of the season, despite his absence for the final match due to injury.
West Hampstead: Braithwaite, Dru, Lemon, Stevens, Brooker, Parker, Alfrey, Kutt, Murphy, Asar, Kimberley.