Cup victory would be ‘icing on the cake’ for Westerfield United

VICTORY at Portman Road tonight in the Suffolk Junior Cup final would be the “icing on the cake” of a successful season for Westerfield United, according to chairman Chris Cushnahan.

Westerfield face Bury St Edmunds side Bartons in the final, kick-off 7pm, just ten days after agonisingly missing out on promotion back to the Senior Division of the Kingsley Healthcare SIL at the first attempt.

A 1-1 draw in their final match of the season against Coplestonians meant their visitors were promoted along with Ipswich Exiles, with Westerfield finishing in fourth place.

Cushnahan said: “The last Saturday of the season was hugely disappointing, but on reflection the damage was done a month earlier.

“With disappointment comes a reality check. Reflecting back over the season, to be in there to the bitter end fighting for promotion, to get yourself to the final of the Suffolk Junior Cup and to get to the quarter finals of the Touchline Sports Cup and only going out to East Bergholt in a penalty shoot out, that is not a disappointment.

“That is an excellent season and to win on Tuesday evening at Portman Road would be the icing on the cake.”

Cushnahan said that the appointment of Bernie Fenn and Mick Bak as new first-team managers following relegation had turned the club’s fortunes around and they deserved some form of success this season.

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“They have brought a degree of professionalism both at training and at matches. They have both worked extremely hard and I know they will be working hard during the close season to add maybe two or three new players to the current squad to challenge once again for promotion back to senior level.

“To win on Tuesday night would be fantastic for the club, the managers and the players and will go some way to easing the disappointment of not gaining promotion.

“I think it’s going to be a tough game but Bernie and Mick, who really do deserve something for their great efforts this season, will have prepared the players well.”

Tonight will be Westerfield’s fifth appearance in the Junior Cup Final, but their first at Portman Road.

“Previous finalists were 1960-61, 1987-88, 2000-01 and 2001-02, with the latter being our only win. It would be fantastic for the club to emulate the feat of what the team achieved 10 years ago.

“The 1987-88 final was played at Stonham Aspal and featured Westerfield United Reserves and Walsham-le-Willows.

“I was player-manager at the time and it was a terrific feat by the reserve team even to get to that final.

“We lost 5-0 to a team who were playing outside of the Suffolk and Ipswich League but they joined the following year.

“They have done wonderfully well since as we all know,” added Cushnahan.

For updates on tonight’s final follow Nick Garnham @ Nick_Garnham

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