Walsham-le-Willows' strong half-time talk sees them victorious in Reserve Cup final
PUBLISHED: 11:54 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 24 April 2019
Strong words at half-time led to Walsham-le-Willows lifting this season's Days Sports Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup, writes Nick Garnham.
Opponents Stowmarket Town were the better side in Tuesday night's final at The Denny Bros Stadium, home of Bury Town FC, but Walsham took their chances in the second period and ran out 3-0 winners in front of a crowd of 244.
Sweetly-struck shots from Taylor Waterson after 68 minutes and Nathan Birch in the 82nd minute, both following right-wing corners, and an unfortunate own goal by Stowmarket goalkeeper Liam Trickey in time added on gave the final score a flattering look.
It is the second time that Walsham, who were successful in 2014, have won this competition, while it was a second successive defeat in the final for Stowmarket in their third final in a row.
Walsham-le-Willows Manager Andy Atkins said: “We came into the final as underdogs as we are a young side and it was a case of making best use of the players we have got.
“Our two experienced centre backs (Nathan Birch and Chris Brock) helped us out in the first-half when we were under pressure and we had strong words at half-time and sorted it out.
“We were much better in the second-half and the youngsters gave us the impetus to go forward and once Taylor Waterson scored the first goal with a great shot we got on top of them and were the better team.”
Stowmarket Town Manager Craig Brown said: “We knew they are a good side so it wasn't going to be easy, but if we had taken our chances before half-time it would have been a different outcome as the first goal was always going to be crucial.
“Walsham were the better team in the second-half and deserved it – they won every first and second ball and we can't argue with the result.
“Their goalkeeper (16-year-old Dan Stobbart) was superb. He has played for their first team and you can see why, and I haven't seen a keeper as good as that for a long time. I am sure he will go a lot higher as he was the best player on the pitch.”