History-makers Debenham LC stun Whitton United with a fantastic Thurlow Nunn First Division Knockout Cup triumph
Debenham LC wrote their own history books on Friday evening as they famously defeated overwhelming favourites Whitton United 2-0 in an Cup final and performance they will never forget.
After a uneventful opening period, 19-year-old Jack Seccombe, who has been with the club since he was nine-years-old, was the two-goal hero for Debenham with two classy second-half finishes that left Woodbridge’s Notcutts Park in raptures of cheer and celebration.
Unbelievably, this was Debenham’s first senior cup final and the triumph was no less than they deserved after the underdogs raised their game on the big stage with the young head of Seccombe undoubtedly a class above.
Whitton went into the game with aspirations of a famous treble after convincingly winning the Thurlow Nunn First Division as well as having a foot in the final of the Suffolk Senior Cup (being played tomorrow), but were second best for the majority here in a flat performance they will want to forget in a hurry.
Backed by flocks and flocks of Debenham supporters, Paul Grainger’s men had to contain Paul Bugg’s Whitton for long periods in the first half before turning in a breathtaking second-half performance that thrilled their jubilant fans.
Whitton had a lot of possession in the opening period but did little with it, although Debenham’s giant keeper Sam Chilvers had to be at his best to claw Tom Bradlaugh’s fierce drive over the bar.
Debenham, who incredibly finished 43 points behind Whitton, started the second period in determined fashion and after a superb move really should have taken a lead moments into the half but Ed Cussons missed a glaring opportunity with his head, much to everyone’s bemusement.
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It was then that young Seccombe started to show glimpses of his ability as a mazy solo run, which saw him ride two or three desperate Whitton challenges, nearly brought a goal but Whitton stopper and skipper Liam Jones was out to block quickly.
Seccombe didn’t have to wait too much longer though and showed his composure with an excellent 71st minute finish through the legs of the exposed Jones after latching onto Adam Rickwood’s superb defence-splitting through ball.
Whitton were shocked while Debenham were in a state of ecstasy as the fans waved their black and yellow scarves and flags around at will.
James Burnett almost equalised for Whitton shortly afterwards but Chilvers flew to his right to deny him before the same combination of Rickwood and Seccombe combined in the 74th minute but after rounding Jones, the talented forward, for once, lost his composure as his shot from the angle flew across the face of the goal and to safety.
Still sensing blood, Debenham pressed and pressed, continuing to remain on top against a Whitton side, whose clear frustrations were becomingly increasingly apparent.
Jones kept out Rickwood from point-blank range before that man Seccombe had the final say with an excellent second goal that killed off any Whitton hopes of a comeback.
Veteran striker Stuart Jopling used his strength to good avail to release Rickwood and his precise cut-back was expertly rolled into the corner by Seccombe, who was mobbed by his team-mates.
Amidst the celebrations, Whitton’s Chris Williams was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after clashing with Chilvers while Anton Clarke was sent off right at the death for a late lunge which summed up Whitton’s night.
Wild Debenham celebrations sparked at the final whistle, and deservedly so - the players dug in with an excellent display that portrayed their outstanding team spirit. A night to remember for the Hornets.