Ex-Ipswich Town star Roger Osborne happy to swap promotion for cup success
IPSWICH Town legend Roger Osborne revealed why he was happy to swap promotion for cup success after seeing his beloved Westerfield United win the Suffolk Junior Cup.
The former midfielder, who found fame after scoring the winning goal for Ipswich against Arsenal in the 1978 FA Cup final at Wembley, played for and then managed Westerfield either side of his professional career.
Osborne, who is now president of the Kingsley Healthcare SIL Division One side, was in the crowd at Portman Road last night to see Westerfield defeat Bury St Edmunds-based Bartons 2-1 just ten days after narrowly missing out on an immediate return to the top flight.
He said: “It is nice to win the cup after missing out on promotion. The team lost their way towards the end of the season.
“I said a couple of months ago we would be happy to win the cup and not go up because we have enjoyed playing in the First Division of the SIL this season, and it will be even more competitive next year with Ransomes and Framlingham being relegated and the two sides coming up from Division Two.”
Match-winner Jamie Sandilands, who was player-manager last season as Westerfield suffered relegation before handing over to Bernie Fenn and Mick Bak in the summer, said: “It is a brilliant feeling to score the winner at Portman Road.
“It was a deep cross from Joe Iacobucci and I thought the keeper was going to punch it, but he didn’t and before I knew it the ball dropped kindly for me. I managed to control it and it was an open goal for me.”
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Westerfield chairman Chris Cushnahan said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to win the cup. At the end of the day the better team won.
“The players looked really tired at the end, but it was a great performance and they should be really proud of themselves.
“It was hard luck on Bartons, who I know were missing their regular goalkeeper and we all wish him a speedy recovery.”
Marco Crescitelli, manager of Bartons, was not too downcast after seeing his side defeated.
He said: “I am very proud of them. We were quite nervous in the first half, but in the second half we came out and gave it a good go, but we have made a couple of mistakes which proved costly.
“Credit to Westerfield, who are a good side.”
He said that his side had missed the presence of injured goalkeeper and captain James Curtis, who suffered a fractured skull at the weekend.
“Although Elliot (Barrs) stepped in and helped out, the lads are used to having James in goal behind them.
“There is no doubt he was a big loss to us, and I am sure he would have held the cross that led to the winner.
“He is now out of hospital, but has got to go back for a check-up.”