Last-minute winner seals cup double for Bardwell during first ever season
SUNDAY TROPHY FINAL
Bardwell Sports FC 3
FC Monarchs 2
‘This is just the start’ — that was the message from Bardwell Sports’ player-manager Damon Trench after his side continued their memorable debut campaign on Sunday.
The club did not even exist 12 months ago, but since its formation over the summer, things have gone from strength to strength.
They got their hands on some maiden silverware earlier this month by beating Hardwick FC in the Bury and District Sunday League Division Four Cup final, but bigger and better was to come at the weekend.
Their clash with FC Monarchs in the final of the county-wide Sunday Trophy at AFC Sudbury swung one way and then the other before the outcome was settled in the last minute of normal time.
With the score locked at two goals apiece, the ball deflected kindly into Clayton Deane’s path and he neatly volleyed Bardwell to glory.
Now, Trench has turned his attention to further success next term, with an improved league campaign high on the agenda.
“We dug in, kept going and got our reward with that goal,” said Trench.
“We have some decent players, but we did not expect to be in two finals so early, let alone winning them.
“We were just hoping to get through a season. Bardwell have put a lot of money and effort into us, so we would not just be letting ourselves down if it did not work out, we would be letting down a club that has let us in.
“Hopefully these two cup wins will get us better known, especially in the Bury area.
“This year we focused on cups because a lot of the lads work shifts — some had to take holiday to play today.
“But next season, with hopefully a few new players, the attention will be on trying to get promoted.”
From the off, Bardwell’s Mason Thorogood caused Monarchs plenty of problems, popping up in central and wide positions.
Nevertheless, despite numerous bright moments from the attacker it was Monarchs of the Ipswich Sunday League that broke the deadlock in the 27th minute.
Dan Colthorpe was the scorer, tucking home a penalty he had won following a foul by Alex Thomson.
However, Bardwell had managed to turn the game on its head by half-time, with Thorogood their talisman.
His 25-yard free-kick after 32 minutes was too hot for Monarchs goalkeeper Josh Silburn to handle and Deane pounced to loop in a header.
And five minutes later Thorogood was the scorer when his first touch teed up a volley that he duly dispatched into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
To Monarchs’ credit they were the better side after the restart and deservedly got themselves level 16 minutes from time when Matt Baalham turned home Mark Roper’s low cross.
At this point the trophy was up for grabs and penalties looked inevitable, but Deane had other ideas.
There was still plenty for the centre-forward to do when the ball dropped to him 10 yards from goal, yet he expertly steered the ball beyond the reach of a diving Silburn and inside the far post.
There was still stoppage time for Bardwell to negotiate, but they did so with minimal fuss to spark scenes of celebration among the players, bench and travelling support.
Bardwell: Connell, Hammond, A Thomson, M Thomson, Billmen, Smith, Taylor, Pisarreira, Deane, Thorogood, Pilkington-Amps.
Subs: McQueen, Read, Wickham, Trench, Day
Free Press Man of the Match — Mason Thorogood: The attacker had the Monarchs defence constantly on the back foot