With the Vanarama South season now having come to a conclusion with Sutton being promoted as champions and Maidstone having gained a second successive promotion after beating Ebbsfleet on penalties in a dramatic play-off final, I decided it was right to look back on the best 5 duos that helped their clubs in all departments this season in the Vanarama South this season.
5. Ross Worner and Dean Beckwith-Sutton United
With the pair now playing for champions Sutton, the goalkeeper in Worner and centre-back in Beckwith both deserve a valued place on this list. With Sutton dramatically overtaking Ebbsfleet United, who looked certain to win the league until Weston-Super-Mare dramatically stole a 2-1 win over them in March, Worner and Beckwith both played a huge part in keeping Sutton’s defence organised at the back for Sutton’s consecutive unbeaten run in 25 games toward the back end of the season to end up as deserved champions come the 30th of April 2015.
4. Jonathan North and Jack Smith-Wealdstone FC
Yes, Wealdstone ended up near the bottom of the league but these two were superb for the London side this season. ‘Northy’ as he is called by the Wealdstone fans has spent years at the club and is one of the most flexible keepers in the league and it is easy to see why Wealdstone have achieved a joint-record of 17 draws this season. Smith has also played a pivotal role in Wealdstone’s season by using his experience at playing at higher levels of football to support Wealdstone and get them away from the drop zone multiple times throughout the season. The former Millwall, Watford, Swindon and Wimbledon left-back pulled ‘the stones’ out of dangerous situations and was a commanding voice across the back.
3. Scott Wilson and Dayle Grubb-Weston Super Mare AFC
These two really did single-handedly carry the seaside-based team away from relegation this past season. ‘Grubby’ as he is referred to by the Weston fans has come up through the Weston academy and is probably the one player at Weston who knows the club inside out and his 16 goals and 14 assists in all competitions this season has been a shining light for the whole club. And with Scotty having finished his first season at the club, everyone there is hoping the 23-year-old will stay for next season and with this looking likely after the 25-goal striker signed a new contract last week, everyone is hoping that the former Bristol City graduate can keep on banging in the goals with Dayle Grubb supporting him from midfield.
2.Matt Godden and Danny Kedwell-Ebbsfleet
These two are worthy of No. 2 on this list, although they could have managed to get No. 1 if Ebbsfleet had managed to keep hold of their spot at the top of the league and not bottling it after losing 2-1 away to Weston-Super-Mare on 25th March, which also counted as Ebbsfleet’s first away defeat of the league season. Godden was able to poach 26 goals for himself in the league this season to bring himself in at 2nd overall behind Stortford’s frontman Elliot Buchanan. Godden also grabbed 4 cup goals to take his tally to 32 overall for the season. Kedwell, the former Gillingham man, was to blame for Ebbsfleet not going up after missing the pen that sent Maidstone up but Kedwell was firing on all cylinders in the league by scoring 14 in the league, with 5 of them being pens, and the man also scored 1 goal in a cup competition to help bring him and Godden in with one of the deadliest duos in the league.
1. Dan Fitchett and Tom Bolarinwa-Sutton United
The midfield/striker partnership has been unreal this season. I have had the pleasure of watching these two down at The Woodspring Stadium this season and their chem was unbelievable. Fitchett managed to bang in 21 goals for the league champions this season from 35 league appearances and Bolarinwa netted 11 goals in the league this season from only 29 appearances, which all came from the centre of the park. These two were at the heart of Sutton’s title charge and that is why they win my best duo of 2015-2016 for the Vanarama Conference South season.