East Midlands Counties League
Published 16th May 2011
The Moatmen beat Gedling Miners Welfare 1-0 to earn promotion to either the Baker Joiner Midland Alliance or the KoolSport Northern Counties East League.
And after ending the season with an impressive run of eight consecutive victories, Slater said: “We’re worthy champions without a shadow of a doubt.
“We said six weeks ago with eight games left that we’d got to win every single one and that’s what we’ve gone on and done.” At that point, following a goalless draw with title rivals Heanor Town, Gresley looked out of the race, but they capitalised on slip-ups by the Lions and fellow challengers Borrowash Victoria and Gedling Miners Welfare to emerge victorious.
Slater said: “We went to Heanor and at 0-0 we thought we’d blown it.
“The pressure was on, especially after the disappointment of last season.
“Heanor were the form team and if there was one team I’d want to win the league apart from us, it was Heanor.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for their management duo, Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins.
“They’ve wished us all the best this season, and I just wish a few more had done that because we’ve shown that we are worthy champions.” Slater scored the winning goal a week ago, and was delighted, despite admitting it was not the cleanest strike.
He said: “I don’t hit many with my left foot but in the last couple of games I’ve been shooting more.
“I’m probably doing myself out of a bit of justice, but it hit a bobble and went past the keeper.
“They say if you don’t buy a ticket, you don’t win, and that’s what has happened today.
“I was hoping we were going to get another one, but it’s nice to get the winner at the end of the day.”
The win marked a run of twenty games without defeat, and an honoured Slater said: “I’m so proud.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic — I can’t put it into words.
“After last season, picking up the runners-up trophy, we deserved to win the league — 20 games unbeaten — and the lads are brilliant.
“I’ve had ten years at the club on and off as I went away and came back again.
“To do it at home in front of such a great support is fantastic.”