GUILLEM BALAGUE: We did it together and that is our biggest victory

In his latest Chronicle column, Biggleswade United chairman Guillem Balague reflects on an incredible day in the club’s history as a 2-0 win over Bugbrooke St Michaels secured safety at Step 5.

Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:56 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:56 am
Guillem Balague celebrates after Biggleswade United's second goal as they beat Bugbrooke St Michaels 2-0 to ensure survival in the United Counties League
Guillem Balague celebrates after Biggleswade United's second goal as they beat Bugbrooke St Michaels 2-0 to ensure survival in the United Counties League

In a hugely emotional afternoon in front of our biggest crowd of the season, goals from Taylor Rhiney and Charlie Black in the final match of the season for our men's first team saved us from relegation into Sept 6 of the FA Pyramid.

To say I am proud to bursting does not even begin to sum up my feelings and probably those of just about everyone involved with this wonderful club of ours.

Relegation would have been a hammer blow for us at Biggleswade United, seriously affecting our ability to attract new players to the club and would also have meant we would not be eligible to play in the FA Cup.

Megan Molloy's free-kick gave Biggleswade United Women's Red team the lead in the County Cup final before Bedford Ladies hit back to win 4-1

In the end it all boiled down to a match against Bugbrooke St Michaels that we had to win if we were to remain in the United Counties League Premier Division South which, in truth, we had never wanted to join in the first place.

A league that, to be fair, welcomed us with open arms but a move that brought with it greater expense, less revenue and more arduous travel commitments.

In the end the FA's decision to move us because of of geographical border decisions meant that at a stroke we lost practically our whole first team squad not to mention the loss of most of the local derbies we had enjoyed for many years with our neighbours in the Spartan League.

That we survived is a tribute to those players who turned out for us in our hour of greatest need.

Our hastily put together, out of its depth, squad lost their first 17 games and conceded 32 goals in their first four league matches.

But despite the hammerings, by stepping up to the plate they ensured we fulfilled out league obligations.

At times such as these, the words, "thank you", seem hopelessly inadequate; the simple truth is that without them our club would quite simply not have been able to continue in its present form.

In the end we did it together and that is the biggest victory.

We never lost faith.

We adapted, battled, cried, supported each other, kept going, respected our essence and eventually prevailed.

We did it in the presence of all our youth teams, our women's sides and all of their coaches who came to cheer us over the line.

And our survival is just reward to the tireless efforts of so many at the club not least our coaches led by Cristian Colás and assisted by Tom, Bernat, Dan, Chris, Del, plus the brilliant help of the u23 coaches, Charlie, Darren, Marvs.

To those behind the scenes like club secretary Tracey James, fixtures secretary Heather Rennie, to Karen and Petula, Dave, Jeff, Steve, Nick and so many more that put their shoulders to the wheel when they were needed the most.

To our loyal band of supporters that never abandoned us even during the darkest of moments and to our fantastic media team that constantly beat the publicity drum that is so vital in keeping our wonderful club in the public eye as well as our financial team that knock on doors striving to raise money to keep our club on an even keel.

To all our sponsors from Recycling Lives to Veo to the magnificent Keech Hospice thank you for being there, for being a part of this great adventure and for trusting us to run this amazing and solid ship.

This year we became stronger through adversity and now we look to the future.

If you want to be a part of it as a volunteer, coach or player please contact me directly on [email protected]

Onwards and upwards!

Meanwhile, our Women's Red side went down 4-1 to Bedford Ladies in the final of the Bedfordshire Women's County Cup at Stotfold FC on Wednesday night.

But not before giving their higher-ranked opponents the fright of their lives when Megan Molloy put us in front with a screamer from a direct free-kick.

Congratulations to Bedford Ladies for turning the match around although, in truth, we did not get the rub of the green with some of the crucial decisions taken by the officials.

But that's football and we need to accept this as part and parcel of the game, learn from the experience and come back even stronger.

In the end though a fantastic effort from our Red team players in a debut season that has seen them finish as runners-up in the league as well as contest a County final.

Our Blue team have also had a great campaign and are still in with a chance of a top-three finish in their league.

And finally a huge thanks as well to all our fans who made the journey to cheer us on.

Biggleswade United’s great escape came about on a dramatic final day in the United Counties League Premier Division South.

United had to match the result of bottom side ON Chenecks to secure their place at Step 5 and they did just that as both sides won 2-0.

Chenecks were victorious at Desborough Town but it wasn’t enough as United came up trumps when it mattered the most.

Taylor Rhiney put them in front after 27 minutes and the nerves were finally settled 10 minutes from full-time when Charlie Black wrapped up the most crucial of three points to ensure United’s survival against all the odds.