TAVISTOCK goalkeeper Josh Oak has paid tribute to the players who stuck together through thick and thin to eventually mount a successful assault on the Western League title.

The experienced shot-stopper, who has plied his trade at Langsford Park for the past six seasons, said: ‘The way we won was unbelievable – you don’t get many non leagues going to the last day and the last goal.

‘I’m elated for the lads, but it’s not something that’s happened overnight. Stu (manager Stuart Henderson) and Ken (assistant Ken Ord) laid the foundations for this five or six years ago and the same core of players, with a few new signings, have stuck with them.

‘Our squad has had consistency, loyalty and quality and that’s something you can’t buy. I’ve had offers to go elsewhere and I know some of the other lads have as well, but I never wanted to go anywhere else, because it wouldn’t have been right to do that to the other lads.

‘There’s been so many good people working behind the scenes to create an atmosphere at the club which is welcoming to everyone who goes there.’

Hot shot Liam Prynn scored the winning goal against Backwell from the penalty spot in the last minute of the match to send Langsford Park into delirium.

Oak said: ‘I wouldn’t have given it to anyone else. He’d come back from his holidays the day before and he was as cool as you like.’

Lambs boss Henderson said: ‘I’ve said it many times before, we were up there with (Plymouth) Parkway in the last two years which were cut short and when they went up and we didn’t, we felt hard done by, especially as we thought it was two clubs that would get promoted.

‘The lads have stuck at it, everyone was writing us off in pre-season when it was a struggle just to get a team out in some pre-season games because of Covid and injuries and losing the likes of Aaron Bentley, Jack Crago, Tyler Elliot and then Matty Andrew.

‘We had a difficult start to the season but, once we settled, we went on a 22-match unbeaten run after losing at home to Helston and that was the platform really to make the promotion push.

‘I think we have been the outstanding team in the division and have led the table for five months. Fair play to Exmouth, they put in a late charge and their form over the last two or three months has been brilliant as well, but we won our last ten home games on the trot and, at any level, that is a great record.’

Tavistock AFC v Ashton & Backwell - PHOTO: Dave Crawford
Tavistock AFC manager Stu Henderson (Dave Crawford)
Captains Ben Cross and Lewis Daw lift the Western League Premier Division title
Captains Ben Cross and Lewis Daw lift the Western League Premier Division title (Dave Crawford)