A ‘magical five minutes’ saw Bardwell Sports win the Suffolk Champions Charity Shield.
The McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup winners defeated Parkers Pitches Suffolk Junior Cup holders Stowupland Falcons 3-1 at the Atalian Servest Stadium, home of Bury Town FC, on Saturday.
All three goals came in a five-minute spell either side of half-time as the newly-promoted Macron SIL Division Two side condemned their Division One opponents to defeat.
Tom Dinley netted twice with Robbie Evans getting on the scoresheet inbetween, while Stowupland had just a Luke Ranson goal after 63 minutes to show for all their efforts.
Tom Dinley (maroon shirt, No.9) sidefoots home to put Bardwell Sports ahead in the 45th minute against Stowupland Falcons. Main Photograph: Bardwell Sports celebrate one of their three goals. Photographs: Paul Voller
Bardwell Sports manager Henry Cutting, who has taken over this season, said: “It was a very good win against a difficult side.
“We worked extremely hard throughout the whole game and it was a magical five minutes in the middle of the match which has won it for us.
“I can’t fault my players – they have been superb, and this is a great way for us to start the new season.”
Stowupland, who lost 5-0 to Bramford United in the corresponding fixture last season, looked the more likely side to open the scoring in the first-half, but were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal.
Ryan Rampley threatened early on and goalkeeper Olly Chaplin had to tip away his goal-bound header following Andrew Cason’s left-wing cross after eight minutes.
Fellow striker Craig Simpson then hooked his shot over the crossbar from a good position after the Bardwell defence had failed to clear a corner, before Chaplin turned Rampley’s shot round his near post mid-way through the half.
Laurie Ridsill-Smith produced a terrific tackle to stop Ramley in his tracks inside the box after 40 minutes and five minutes later came the turning point in the match.
Rampley got clear and poked his shot past Chaplin, but his shot struck the right-hand post and he couldn’t convert the rebound as Romaine Scott cleared the ball off the goalline.
Bardwell went straight down the other end of the pitch and Stan Evans, who was superb throughout, crossed from the left for Dinley to sweep home past the exposed Dale Watling.
Two minutes into time added on it was 2-0, Will Firrell sending in a low cross from the right and the unmarked Robbie Evans scored at the far post.
Within seconds of the restart a perfectly-weighted ball over the top of the Falcons’ defence from Guy Evans sent Dinley clear and he slotted home.
Rampley flicked a header wide of the far post five minutes later before Stowupland did reduce the arrears after 63 minutes.
Cason’s deep right-wing cross was headed home by centre back Ranson at the far post, with Bardwell claiming that Chaplin had been fouled in the build-up.
Bardwell had chances to extend their lead, Watling saving at close range from Scott and then from Kieran Waller at his near post.
Rampley came close to pulling another goal back, Chaplin saving before the ball was scrambled behind for a corner, but Bardwell comfortably saw out the remainder of the match.
The Bardwell Sports team pictured with the Suffolk Champions Charity Shield after their 3-1 victory over Stowupland Falcons. Photograph: Paul Voller
The shield was presented by Suffolk FA Vice-Chair Bruce Badcock.
Money raised for the match will go to the chosen charities of the two teams – Stroke Association for Bardwell Sports and the Red Gables Garden Project for Stowupland Falcons – and both has stalls inside the ground.
The match officials – referee Stephen Macken and assistants Tom Ling and Sam Holman – donated their fees to Macmillan Nurses.
Bardwell Sports: Olly Chaplin, Will Spence, Luke Pilkington-Amps, Robbie Evans, Laurie Ridsill-Smith, James Barrell, Stan Evans, Will Firrell, Tom Dinley, Kieran Waller, Guy Evans. Used subs: Romaine Scott, Sean Casey, Dylan Palfreyman.
Stowupland Falcons: Dale Watling, Blake Richards, Will Miles, Jordan Dye, Luke Ranson, Rueben Bailey, Louis Hart, Jack Yaxley, Craig Simpson, Ryan Rampley, Andrew Cason. Used subs: Craig Lockwood, Tom Lewis, Aston White, Baxter Smith, Lukas Fishlock.
Referee: Stephen Macken.