As we go from strength to strength in the Spartan League, our celebrations have been tempered with the sad news that Akwasei Ajeakwa (AJ) has to leave both our club and the country because his visa has expired.
It was an emotional day at Second Meadow last weekend with a last gasp penalty that ensured we could bid farewell to AJ with a priceless win against AFC Dunstable, the league’s second placed side.
The match was played in front of more than 300 people, which made it not just United’s biggest crowd of the season but also the best attended game in the league so far this time around and was also the very least the wonderful, affable and enormously popular 23-year-old Los Angeles born AJ deserved.
AJ came to the club back in September and after just six games in the Under 23 side, he gained a call-up into the first team where he played 21 games, scoring 11 goals, including two in his debut in a cup match against Harpenden, the first coming from his very first touch of the ball.
In his time with us his kindness, empathy, good humour and easy going manner shone like a beacon and meant he very quickly became a vital and enormously positive part of our dressing room and everyone – players, coaches, directors and fans – will miss him.
Our loss will be the gain of Spanish side, Sabadell FC where he will try out, initially for their second string.
Sabadell is a large town about 12 miles from Barcelona. They were relegated to Spain Second Division B last season while the reserves play in the Spanish third division which is equivalent to the English division two.
He leaves us with a shirt signed by all his friends and team mates and with the heartfelt thanks and very best wishes of everyone at the club.
And he leaves us with the club in a far better league position than it was when he joined, following a stunning run of form that has seen us remain unbeaten for nine games, with eight wins and just one draw and 25 out of a possible 27 points.
In the past nine league games we have found the net no fewer than 21 times and have conceded just four.
Saturday’s victory against an AFC Dunstable side, coming on the back of two excellent 3-2 away wins at third placed Hoddesdon and local rivals, Stotfold, ensured a 100% success rate over the holiday fixture programme.
More importantly, against Hoddesdon after having taken the lead, we came back from 2-1 down to win a match that I am absolutely convinced we would have lost earlier in the season.
The belief is there and faith and confidence in your ability is contagious. Tomorrow sees us face another tough league challenge in the shape of Welwyn Garden City who thumped us 5-1 at Second Meadow back in August last year.
But, that was then, this is now and I’m fairly confident that this time around they won’t find us such an easy proposition. See you there.