GALLERY: Ruthless Bury Town retain Suffolk Premier Cup with victory over Felixstowe & Walton United
- Credit: Archant
Bury Town 4 Felixstowe & Walton United 1
Bury Town won the Suffolk Premier Cup, for the 12th time in their history, thanks to two goals in a three-minute spell midway through the second half at AFC Sudbury last night.
Opponents Felixstowe & Walton, two divisions below Bury in the non-league pyramid, had been the better team for the first hour and had certainly deserved to be on level terms at 1-1.
However, quickfire goals from Tom Bullard and Joe Whight, on 65 and 68 minutes, sealed the Seasiders’ fate in an entertaining final, brimming with chances at both ends.
Anthony Roulston had broken the deadlock for Bury, the defending champions, in the 17th minute, heading powerfully home from Danny Cunningham’s corner. It was the Australian’s fourth goal in his last three starts.
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But the Seasiders were deservedly level in the 32nd minute, thanks to a blistering long-range shot by Danny Thrower. His 25-yarder gave Blues keeper Marcus Garnham no chance.
The match was still finely balanced, going into the final 25 minutes, before skipper Bullard regained the lead for Bury.
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Substitute Liam Wales’ close range shot, from Cunningham’s free-kick, was blocked by keeper Daniel Crump, but Bullard had the simple task of slotting home the rebound.
And Cunningham was again the creator, just three minutes later, as his corner was rifled into the roof of the net by Whight.
There was no way back for the Seasiders, who have never won this competition – it was their fifth defeat in the final.
Keeper Danny Crump did save Whight’s late penalty, after Daniel Davis was sent off for handball, but Wales added a fine fourth with a low drive to seal Bury’s win.
Felixstowe had bossed the early possession and had several good attacking moves inside the first five minutes.
Thrower engineered a quickfire break and slipped the ball through for Thomas Dew, although he was well tackled by Seb Dunbar before he could unleash a shot.
These two players combined again in the fifth minute, Dew controlling Thrower’s cross-field pass at the far post. But his shot was blocked.
Two minutes later and Dew was again homing in on goal, having sprung the offside trap. This time keeper Garnham had to scurry quickly out of his penalty area to hoof the ball away,
It was against the run of play, therefore, when Roulston headed Bury in front from Cunningham’s 17th minute cross.
For a few minutes, the Blues threatened to run riot. Bullard tried to head home Cunningham’s 22nd minute corner, the ball flying over the bar off a defender.
From the next corner, again delivered expertly by Cunningham, Russell Short’s powerful header flew straight into the arms of keeper Crump.
Just before the half-hour mark, roving left-back Seb Dunbar had his sights set on directing a shot in at the near post, from a narrow angle, but his effort was blocked by a couple of defenders.
Felixstowe weathered the storm and drew level, out of the blue, thanks to Thrower’s spectacular 25-yarder in the 32nd minute.
It was no more than the Seasiders deserved, and Bradley Barber was not far adrift with another long range shot that curled wide on 37 minutes.
At the other end, Roulston’s backward header, from a free-kick routine, was comfortably caught by Crump under his bar. The header lacked power.
But it was Felixstowe who ended the first period on top. Another long-range rocket from Thrower was superbly parried to safety by Garnham in the 41st minute, and Ben Cranfield also spurned a great opportunity just three minutes later.
Cranfield turned neatly and should really have buried his shot from eight yards out. However, the Seasiders skipper blazed his effort over the top, with Garnham exposed.
Cranfield thought that he had amends, just two minutes into the second period. He clinically fired home from Barber’s free-kick, but the celebrations were cut short by an assistant referee’s offside flag.
The lively Cranfield was again in the thick of the action on 51 minutes, running clear of the Bury defence with just Garnham to beat. But his goal-bound shot was superbly turned around his post by the Blues No. 1.
It was Bury’s turn to threaten a second goal with a double chance – Cunningham’s initial shot was parried by keeper Crump, and Roulston could only hit the post with his follow-up from eight yards out, with an empty goal beckoning.
And yet it was Felixstowe continuing to create more of the opportunities, not least when Rhys Barber’s bullet header was kept out by a reflex save by Garnham.
But Bury finally struck, thanks to Bullard’s simple finish on 65 minutes, to take a 2-1 lead, before Whight added a quick third just three minutes later.
Wales’ late fourth was the icing on the cake for Richard Wilkins’ men.
BURY TOWN: Garnham, Smith, Dunbar, Bennett, Short, Bullard, Patrick (sub Wales, 60), Bailey, Roulston, Cunningham (sub Kennedy, 76), Whight. Unused subs: Allen, Call, Hayhoe.
FELIXSTWO & WALTON: D Crump, Pemberton, Hewitt (sub Clark, 78), A Crump (sub Powell, 69), Barber, Davis, Dew (sub Sheppard, 87), Barber, Matthews, Cranfield, Thrower. Unused subs: Laws, Birchfield.
Referee: Ady Sannerude