Upminster’s women produced their best-ever display at the East Indoor Championships to finish runners-up to Bedford at UEA on Sunday.
The club were the first to send two teams to the tournament and the first team had an unbeaten record in their group after drawing with Southgate (2-2) and Bedford (2-2) and beating Maidstone (4-3) and West Herts (4-2).
That set up a semi-final meeting on Sunday with St Albans, who had scored no fewer than 35 goals in their four group games, and Upminster claimed the only goal of the game for a 1-0 win.
But they lost out to final rivals Bedford by the odd goal in five and had to settle for second place.
The seconds, meanwhile, played with plenty of grit and determination to beat Wisbech Town (5-2) in their group, but lost to Norwich Dragons (2-1), St Albans (12-1) and Wapping (8-2), before a 5-1 defeat against Maidstone in their play-off.
A club spokesperson said: ‘We’re so fortunate to have so much talent in our club. It’s so good to see more people having that chance to lpay at this level.
‘They’ve worked so hard and impressed in every game. This year has been our highest-ever finish in this tournament and we couldn’t be prouder of what all the girls have achieved.
‘Thank you to everyone who has supported us and a big thank you to our sponsors Chris Szpak and the team from Fox Accountancy. We wouldn’t be here without your support.’
The men lost 4-0 at Old Southendian in their last East League Division One match of the year, but the seconds got the better of Southend, 2-1, in Division Three South East.
The early exchanges were fairly even, with chances few and far between, and Guy Robertson made a couple of good saves from short corners to keep the scoreline blank at the interval.
Upminster changed tactics in the second half, using the aerial pass more often, and looked more of a threat.
They went close before taking the lead as Sam Green pounced on a loose back pass to score.
An aerial ball then fell to Green, who set Dom Boyle loose on the left wing and his superb pass into the D was tapped in at the back post by Tom Dance.
Southend replied with a fine solo goal, but Upminster held on and remain in fifth place.