LEISTON Manager Glenn Driver spoke of his delight for Leiston Chairman Andy Crisp after the club lifted the Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup for the first time.
A 3-0 victory over ten-man Bury Town, who had skipper Ollie Fenn sent off just before the break, saw Leiston end their sequence of four Premier Cup Final defeats.
Matt Blake opened the scoring and Christy Finch netted twice as the Bostik League Premier Division side eased to victory in Wednesday’s showpiece final in front of 1,007 spectators at Portman Road.
Driver said: “In the first half we gave the ball away too easily. They set up to let us have the ball at the back, but we tried to force it too much and kept giving it away.
“I didn’t think we were worthy of our 2-0 lead at half-time, but that was because we showed more quality in the final third and took our chances.
“The sending off changed the game. You have to then use the extra man and Seb Dunbar did tremendously well getting down the left and we fizzed the ball across their goalmouth several times and could have had more goals.”
After losing in the Bostik League Premier Division play-off semi-final to Dulwich Hamlet six days before, Driver had mixed emotions about his side’s success.
He continued: “To win 3-0 in the final at a venue like this doesn’t make up for it in many ways, but does in others as we have created history by winning this cup for the first time.
“Winning the Premier Cup is a reward for our efforts to end what has been a great season for the club with some silverware.
“I am delighted for chairman Andy Crisp more than anyone at Leiston Football Club as he has been trying to get his hands on this cup for 15 years!”
Driver added: “Special thanks to Ipswich Town for allowing us to play the final here; no disrespect to other venues but they don’t have the same atmosphere.
“A cup final at Portman Road helps to bring the community together by getting them out of their houses and coming along to support their team.”
Bury Town Manager Ben Chenery said: “The sending off changed the complexion of the game. I didn’t have a clear view of the incident, but the referee deemed it a sending off.
“Even when it was ten versus eleven we created chances and might have scored once or twice, and I am very proud of my players.
“We certainly were not outclassed and you would not have thought there was a big difference between the divisions, but Leiston were excellent and showed their quality.”
Ollie Fenn, who received a straight red card after grappling with Leiston’s Byron Lawrence, said: “I have apologised to my team-mates as I know I let them down.”
Leiston players and management team are pictured celebrating above after the cup was presented by Ipswich Town's 1978 FA Cup Final goalscorer Roger Osborne (centre) and the medals by Andy Wilding (left) and Shaun Rudduck (right) of competition sponsors Omni Freight Services. Photograph courtesy of Paul Voller.