Athletic face an extended stay in Division IV.42 as our Championship dream turned into a nightmare against Accretia this afternoon, the home team winning 4-1 to secure the title.

Although Andy Hautala, who scored our consolation goal, won the Golden Boot for finishing off the Division’s top scorer, this proved scant reward and the Englishman admitted that in the circumstances the award was bitter-sweet.

“To be completely honest, I would rather be celebrating promotion than receiving this”, he admitted.

There can be no doubt that this afternoon’s outcome will rank as the greatest disappointment in the history of the club, a point not lost on Arjen Bogaert.

“Everyone, myself included, is absolutely devastated that so much promise has ultimately delivered nothing. Accretia were clearly hungrier for the title in every department, and that hurts… that really hurts”.

Athletic got off to a bad start, and Accretia deservedly took the lead in the ninth minute when Diomedes Bautista headed home. Indeed, the home side could have been out of sight by half-time had it not been for an excellent performance by Ville Yrjölä.

As it was however, when Yip Streekstra knocked in Accretia’s second goal right on the hour mark, the writing was well and truly on the wall for Athletic’s title challenge. His second of the match sixteen minutes later killed it stone dead.

Andy Hautala fired our consolation goal with four minutes left, however there was never going to be a fightback this late on, and two minutes later Streekstra struck again to restore the three-goal advantage and send Accretia off to Division III.