Westerfield United 2 Bartons FC 1
At Portman Road
BARTONS FC manager Marco Crescitelli was left proud of his players despite their narrow 2-1 Suffolk Junior Cup final defeat to Westerfield United at Portman Road on Tuesday.
The Bury St Edmunds-based side missed out on an impressive quadruple, failing to add the cup to success in the Mick McNeil Cup, Division One Knockout Cup and Glasswells St Edmundsbury League Division One title after a first-half own goal from Aaron Marsden was added to by Jamie Sandilands in the 69th minute, in between Callum Brown’s equaliser for Bartons, as Westerfield clinched the title.
However, despite the defeat, after their season’s success and getting over the loss of goalkeeper James Curtis to a serious head injury just days before the final, Crescitelli had nothing but praise for his side, who also nearly folded just five years ago.
“It was a fantastic effort from the lads,” he said. “Losing our goalkeeper was a massive blow but Elliott Barrs has come in at short notice and I can’t fault anyone.
“I have told the players they have nothing to be ashamed of, they should be bursting with pride with what they have achieved this season and to get to the final is just fantastic for us.
“That day we almost folded we had three players but then everyone pulled together and we got a team together and I am immensely proud of what we have been able to build.
“We will push on from this now and everyone is already looking forward to next season.”
After a slow and tentative start to the tie, Bartons went closest to opening the scoring after 22 minutes, but captain Scott Rutterford’s curling free-kick on the edge of area, clipped the outside of the left upright.
And just nine minutes later they fell behind as, from Karl Sandiland’s corner from the left, Marsden inadvertently directed his attempted left-foot clearance past his own keeper Elliott Barrs and into the bottom right corner.
United were in the ascendency and they were inches away from doubling their advantage four minutes later when James Colchester cut inside Craig Defew before drilling a low left foot shot against the inside of the left post, keeping the deficit at just one goal going into the break.
The second half began as the first had ended with Colchester coming inches away from grabbing a second for Westerfield in the 57th minute.
Bartons gave Colchester too much space on the edge of the area and the striker took full advantage, turning on to his left foot, but his stinging drive whistled narrowly over.
And he was made to rue that missed opportunity seven minutes later as Brown’s tame effort somehow squeezed under goalkeeper Josh Woods to gift Bartons an equaliser.
However, his blushes were spared by fellow custodian Barrs five minutes later, as he dropped Joe Iacobucci’s deep cross from the right at the feet of Sandilands to tap home as Westerfield regained the lead.
United would not relinquish the lead for the second time and after Colchester passed up three opportunities to add to the scoreline, including two close-range headers, referee Julian Gibbon blew up for full time to bring the tie to a close.
Bartons: Barrs, Austin, Defew, Gifford, Marsden, Symonds (Eastlea 54), Eldridge, Jarboui (Hayhoe 79), Brown, Rutterford, Hills (Pinches 45)
Subs not used: Lusardi, Magginn
Shots on: 1 3
Shots off: 3 9
Woodwork: 1 1
Corners: 3 9
Offsides: 2 2
FK conceded: 11 8
Bookings: Bartons: Rutterford (foul) Westerfield: Solomon (foul)
Red cards: None
Referee: Mr. Julian Gibbons