FELIXSTOWE & Walton United Manager Aren Howell felt his side were worthy winners of this season’s Days Sports Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup.
The Seasiders defeated holders Stowmarket Town 2-0 in Wednesday night’s final at Needham Market FC thanks to two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second-half from Harry Archer and an own goal off keeper Ben Hicks.
Howell said: “We were more organised in the second-half after we spoke about different things at half-time such as the midfield getting tighter and keeping the ball better when in possession.
“I brought on Joe (Hunt), Jake (Preston) and Rory (Porter) who are three 16-year-olds and they livened us up going forward which was just what we needed.
“We have defended well this season once we got people in the best positions. They had chances of course, but nothing clear-cut, and we could have perhaps scored one or two more in the second-half.
“Over the course of the game I felt we deserved to win it.”
Howell, who is in his first full season as manager of the side, continued: “Our oldest player is our goalkeeper (Ben Punter) who is 26, and the rest of the players are 21 and under.
“It’s a shame we could not get our Under-18s to a cup final this season as they have had a good year as well. Most of them are 16 or 17 so they have another year or two, but we are pushing them through.
“We are looking to go into Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League next season, where we will be playing the likes of AFC Sudbury and Needham Market’s reserve teams, so we are moving in the right direction.”
Stowmarket Town Manager Terry Hovell said: “We had a crazy five minutes where we conceded two sloppy goals.
“We had a couple of chances in the second-half, but it was not meant to be. Last year we put our chances away, and this year we didn’t, but that’s football.”
“We also lost 2-0 to Saffron Walden in the final of the Chell Trophy, so it just hasn’t happened for us in cup finals this season.”
Felixstowe & Walton United goalkeeper Ben Punter is pictured making a fine save from Stowmarket winners Hawri Abdulrahman's header from a corner late on in the final. Photograph courtesy of Paul Voller.