AFC LUDLOW have clinched the West Midlands League Division Two title – barring a footballing miracle, writes LEWIS DEAKIN.
A hat-trick from Dale Hodge and a goal from Martin Jusko helped Ludlow to a 4-0 win last night at title rivals Team Dudley.
Dave Cooper’s men are now three points clear of Dudley at the top of the table.
Dudley travel to Wolverhampton Sporting Community Reserves in their final match this Saturday.
Second-placed Team Dudley have an inferior goal difference to Ludlow - to the tune of 24.
Wrens Nest’s title challenge ended last night with a 2-1 home defeat against Sikh Hunters.
Morris believes it would take a super human effort from Dudley to overturn AFC Ludlow’s superior goal difference.
He said: “We are 24 goals clear of Dudley. I can’t see them beating Wolverhampton by that margin.”
Hat-trick hero Dale Hodge and super-sub Marian Jusko made it eight wins of nine for AFC Ludlow.
And Morris revealed boss Cooper resorted to his own version of the hair dryer treatment to get the best out of AFC Ludlow.
Cooper’s men were deadlocked at 0-0 against Team Dudley in a disappointing first-half display.
But with the West Midlands League Division Two at stake the manager decided to let fly at half-time.
The Sir Alex Ferguson playbook delivered clear results as AFC Ludlow ran out 4-0 winners against Team Dudley to secure back-to-back championships.
He said: “It was 0-0 at half-time. We didn’t play well in the first-half. We showed Dudley too much respect. Dave gave the lads a rocket at half-time. They then went out in the second-half and got the job done.”
Hodge admitted he was surprised that Dudley were beaten so soundly by the final whistle.
He said: “After the first-half performance I couldn’t see it ending up as 4-0. The manager gave us a kick up the backside at half-time, and we went out and got the result.”
The youngster dedicated the Division Two championship to everyone involved with AFC Ludlow.
He said: “Everyone at the club deserves. Michael Seaborne, Tim Moriarty, our owner Matt Davies, the fans and our press officer Lewis Deakin. It’s been a fantastic season. We are the best team in the league. Our second-half performance against Dudley was the best 45-minutes I’ve ever been involved in in my career.”
AFC Ludlow have picked up 25 points from a possible 27 in a thrilling second-half of the campaign.
Morris insists Cooper deserves all the credit for his tactical prowess.
Bringing on Jusko who scored and set-up a goal proves Cooper’s managerial decisions are spot on, insists Morris.
He said: “Dave is a tactical genius. He brought on Marian off the bench. Marian then scored and set one up. The boss deserves all the credit for a thrilling end to an incredible second-half of the season.”
The coach heaped praise on midfield maestro Jake Pryce and tough-tackling full-back Liam Taylor.
Morris said: “Liam was superb. In my opinion Jake was our man of the match. Dale grabbed a hat-trick, but Jake was just superb. Everyone was just great.”