MANAGER Chris Casement said he was delighted for the whole club after Stowmarket Town reached their first Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Final for 26 years.
Second-half goals from Ed Upson, Josh Curry and Jack Ainsley saw Stowmarket beat Bury Town 3-0 in Wednesday’s semi-final at Needham Market FC.
The victory sets up a meeting in the final on a date to be arranged against holders Needham Market, who won 1-0 in their semi-final versus Leiston on Tuesday.
Their win comes 12 months on from when the Old Gold & Blacks defeated Leiston 3-0 in the last four only to subsequently withdraw from the competition after realising they had fielded two ineligible players
After a tight first-half, a moment of real quality from Upson saw Stowmarket take the lead after 62 minutes; he turned away from one defender and dummied another before finding the bottom corner.
Ed Upson (second left) fires Stowmarket Town in front in the 62 minute against Bury Town. Main photograph: Stowmarket Town players celebrate. Photographs: Paul Voller
Josh Curry swept home the second from the edge of the penalty area ten minutes later and Jack Ainsley smashed home the third in the 89th minute to put the gloss on Stowmarket’s victory.
Casement, who played the whole 90 minutes in midfield, said: “I am delighted for the whole club.
“I am delighted for the people who have been on this journey for the last four, five, six years, some still at the club, some not, and the positive work from everyone – the Board, the volunteers, the fans, the players that have been here, short-term and obviously long-term, and it’s a really nice feeling.”
Casement said reaching the final partially made up for missing out on last season’s showpiece occasion.
He said: “No matter what level you are playing at, whether it’s the Premier League or where we are, every team wants to play in a cup final and to have the chance to win some silverware, so we are just really pleased as a club that we have managed to put in a performance that was very, very good.
“In the second half I thought we were excellent to a man, including young Zach (Gayfer) at right-back, who is only 16 years old, and to get Joel (Simmons) on there as well, who is another youngster, is good for the club.”
Casement admitted that the first goal, as is often the case in semi-finals, was always going to be crucial.
“To be fair to Bury I thought it was very, very tight, especially in the first-half, we had bits and they had bits and the first goal was always going to be really important.
“Luckily we got it and after that we didn’t dominate but we were always a threat. When the second goes in and the third it kills the game off.
“I thought Jack Ainsley was immense tonight. As a centre forward he backed in, both centre halves he worked really, really well and obviously his goal as well was first class,” he said.
Jack Ainsley (left) lashes home Stowmarket's third goal in the 89th minute. Photograph: Paul Voller
Interim Bury Town boss Alex Rossis said: “Unfortunately it wasn’t our night tonight. I thought we were good and it wasn’t a 3-0 result. I think at the time they scored we were on top of the game.
“I think we had the better chances, but they were better than us, if I am honest, in the final third, more clinical in front of our goal and that’s made the difference tonight.”
Bury Town: Charlie Woods, Joe Hood, Carlos Edwards, Ollie Fenn, Lewis O’Malley, Joe White, Ryan Jolland (sub Charley Barker, 84 mins), Lee Watkins (sub Ben Curtis, 55 mins), Max Maughn, Cemal Ramadan, Darren Mills. Unused subs: Ethan Flack, Ben Mayhew.
Stowmarket Town: James Bradbrook, Zach Gayfer, Tommy Smith, Josh Curry, Joe Jefford, Tom Bullard, Harvey Sayer (sub Kieran Morley, 81 mins), Ed Upson (sub Joel Simmons, 90 mins), Jack Ainsley (sub Scott Sloots, 90 mins), Chris Casement, Kane Munday. Unused subs: Ellis Girling, Luke Hipkin.
Referee: Alan Dale