LITTLEHAMPTON Football Club goalkeeper Jon Hendrick struggled to contain his delight as Golds were crowned County League champions on Saturday.
The Golds secured a 3-3 home draw with Newhaven at The Sportsfield, while Arundel beat second-placed Dorking Wanderers 2-1 to ensure the title went to Littlehampton.
On what proved to be an exciting final day, both Golds and Dorking were top during Saturday afternoon.
Littlehampton trailed 2-0 and 3-1 on the day, while Wanderers were level at 1-1, which meant they were top at the time.
However, a fine comeback in the final 20 minutes from Golds saw them get back to 3-3 to clinch the league crown.
Littlehampton stopper Hendrick revealed that he felt his side had let their chance of winning the league slip as they found themselves two goals down on two occasions.
He said: “There were times in this one where I felt that we had lost the chance to win the league. But Mark (Bennett) always tells us to believe, that’s his word, believe, and we did.
“We work really hard in every game that we play and always go out to try to get the win. On some occasions this season we’ve dropped points with players out injured but we came through in the end.
“They say that the best team comes out on top over the course of the season and I felt we were that.
“Obviously, we were not at our best for the whole year but we deserved it and it’s such a great feeling knowing that we are champions.”
Hendrick joined Littlehampton four years ago with the club in Division 2.
He joined with manager Bennett and he revealed his delight at winning the title with the same man that brought him to the club.
He added: “I’ve been here for four seasons now and it’s been a great journey.
“I joined with the club in Division 2 and back then winning the County League looked a long way off.
“This is what we have been working towards over the course of my time here and now to finally achieve that is fantastic.
“It just goes to show the strength in this division as well, with the league title being decided in the final ten minutes of a really long season.”