TOMMY Newbigging stepped off the bench to score twice and settle a thrilling KBB NEFF Suffolk Junior Cup Final in favour of Bildeston Rangers.
Newbigging, who did not join the action until the 62nd minute, scored in the 86th and 94th minutes as Bildeston beat Bacton United 4-2 at Portman Road on Tuesday night.
It was a fitting finale to the six county cup finals – the most to be staged at Ipswich Town FC in one season – as Bildeston and their Touchline SIL Division One rivals went toe-to-toe.
Bildeston led twice through Dale Munson after 11 minutes and Daryl Alexander after 51 minutes, but both times Bacton cancelled out their advantage through James Smith in the 31st minute and Sean Caley in the 66th.
Dale Munson (blue & white shirt) jumps highest to head Bildeston Rangers in front against Bacton United in the 11th minute. Photographs: Paul Voller
Just when the prospect of a penalty shoot-out was looming large, Newbigging struck twice to decide the outcome as Bildeston added the Suffolk Junior Cup to winning promotion to the Senior Division in front of 818 spectators.
Bildeston were quick out of the blocks and Munson was twice denied by goalkeeper Jack Hardy even before he climbed highest to head home from almost on the goalline after Alexander had headed Sam Sharp’s free-kick back across goal.
Bacton got a foothold in the game and Caley almost equalised, hooking just wide while on the ground after Charlie de Lara-Bell had blocked his first effort, before the keeper thwarted Nick Knights at close range.
They drew level just past the half-hour mark when Smith stabbed home via the inside of the upright after a high ball into the Bildeston box fell into his path.
Bildeston thought they had got their noses back in front when Sharp’s deep free-kick bounced in the Bacton penalty area and into the net, but the goal was disallowed for pushing.
However, they did re-claim the lead when Sharp did well to reach the dead-ball line on the left and cut the ball back for Alexander to drive into the far corner of the net.
Tommy Newbigging (not in picture) sends his shot over Bacton United 89 goalkeeper Jack Hardy to put Bildeston Rangers 3-2 ahead after 86 minutes.
Caley’s back heel brought a fine reaction save low to his left by de Lara-Bell and then Benham saw his header come back off the face of the Bildeston crossbar following a Jerome Haynes free-kick.
However, parity was restored eight minutes later when Caley sprinted clear following Smith’s flick-on and steered his shot beyond de Lara-Bell.
It was anyone’s game now and with just four minutes of normal time remaining, Newbigging wriggled clear on the right to lift his shot over Hardy and into the roof of the net from an angle.
In the fourth of a minimum five minutes of time added on, 22-year-old Newbigging showed good composure to sidefoot home the fourth to confirm Bildeston’s victory and break Bacton’s hearts.
Tommy Newbigging sidefoots home his second and Bildeston Rangers's fourth goal in their 4-2 victory over Bacton United 89 in the final at Portman Road
Bildeston Rangers: Charlie de Lara-Bell, Stuart Brooks, Josh Everett, Alfie Smith, Tim Rix, Ben Goodchild, Lloyd Dodsworth, Daryl Alexander, Kieran Dilloway, Dale Muinson, Sam Sharp. Used subs: Charlie Guy, Trevor Vinyard, Tommy Newbigging, Ben Baldwin, Paul Dodsworth.
Bacton United 89: Jack Hardy, Jamie Claydon, Nick Knights, James Hitter, Tom Fisher, Dan Steed, Kalum Benham, Jerome Haynes, Sean Caley, James Smith, Gavkin Mortimer. Used subs: Arben Kastrati, Warren Taylor-Holt, Ben Gutteridge, Archie Theobald, Sam O’Connor.
Referee: James Tebbit.