THREE late goals put the gloss on Bardwell Sports’ first McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup success.
Bardwell Sports, whose three Evans brothers played a prominent role in the outcome, beat fellow Macron SIL Division Three side Kesgrave Kestrels 4-0 in Saturday’s final at Colchester United’s Jobserve Community Stadium.
The two sides – Kestrels have won the league and Bardwell are currently second - largely cancelled each other out in a game of few clear-cut chances, before Bradwell took the lead in the 64th minute.
They then added three more goals from the 84th minute onwards to give the scoreline a flattering look which was harsh on their opponents.
Neither side had previously reached the Suffolk Primary Cup Final and it was 27 minutes before either registered a shot on goal, Tom Dinley finding Stan Evans whose low effort was tipped round the post by goalkeeper Luke Kingham-Jones.
Tom Dinley (maroon shirt, No.9) slides the ball beyond Luke Kingham-Jones to score the third goal for Bardwell Sports. Main photograph: Bardwell Sports' player-manager Stan Evans (maroon shirt, No.10) sidefoots home the fourth goal with almost the last kick of the game. Photographs: Paul Voller
Ian Thornton hooked over the crossbar following a long throw which the Kestrels’ defence failed to clear, while just before the interval Caleb Swan’s 25-yard drive was comfortably saved by Joe Duverne.
Guy Evans, who was influential in midfield for Bardwell Sports, was fouled as he got his shot on target from just outside the penalty area and it was from the resulting free-kick that they broke the deadlock.
Kingham-Jones saved superbly to tip Guy Evans’ free-kick onto the crossbar, but Robbie Evans was following up to score from the rebound.
With Kestrels pushing forward for an equaliser, Dinley dispossessed Andy Paczy-Smith and Will Firrell strode forward to score with an emphatic cross-shot in the 84th minute.
Four minutes later Stan Evans slid the ball through for Dinley to finish well past the advancing Kingham-Jones and make it 3-0.
The match had more than its fair share of injuries – Kestrels’ George Lilley suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder – and there were an additional seven minutes added on at the end of the second half on top of the four played in the first period.
With virtually the last kick of the match, Stan Evans rounded off the scoring when he latched onto Thornton’s knock-down from Guy Evans’ free-kick to complete the scoring.
Bardwell Sports celebrate after being presented with the McDonald's Suffolk Primary Cup. Photograph: Paul Voller
Bardwell's player-manager Stan Evans said afterwards: “This is a product of so many years’ hard work. It has been a slog at times, but we really, really wanted it today and we were clinical in front of goal.
“The first half was very even and there were nerves on both sides, but we knew that if we were able to get the ball down, we would create chances and it was a case of whether we would tuck them away.”
Evans, who is the club’s record goalscorer, revealed: “When we got the free-kick at the end the referee said there were only 30 seconds left, and I said ’let me get in the box’ before we take it.
“I knew that Ian Thornton, who I have known since we were nine-years-old, would win the knockdown and I was able to get on the end of it and score.”
Asked how it felt to be one of three brothers in a cup-winning team, Evans replied: “You dream about winning the cup the night before and being on the pitch with my two brothers and old friends and with our fans in the crowd makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“I am so pleased for my brothers and everyone else involved with the club.”
The cup and medals were presented by Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler and Vice Chair Bruce Badcock.
Bardwell Sports: Joe Duverne, Laurie Ridsdill-Smith, Ian Thornton, Angus Sadler, Brad Sandry, Nathan Ryder, Guy Evans, Robbie Evans, Stand Evans, Tom Dinley, Will Firrell. Used subs: Cam Clarke, Luke Pilkington-Amps, George Holmes, Blake Huckett, Ethan Huckett.
Kesgrave Kestrels: Luke Kingham-Jones, George Lilley, Harry Chittock, Sam Pattison, Louie King, Andy Paczy-Smith, Josh Hannant, Luke Yates, Harry Lay-Fulcher, Luke Johnson, Ryan Milbourne. Used subs: Alex Biondi, Caleb Swan, Ross Thompson, Ewan Thompson, Rob Laing.
Referee: Liam Botten.