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Football: Sumners go down fighting in Essex Saturday Cup Final

Football / Wed 29th Apr 2015 at 11:07am

Sumners FCGREAT Baddow ended a 51-year wait to win a second Essex Saturday Junior Cup as they came from behind to defeat Sumners, 3-2, at Maldon & Tiptree FC.

The County Motor Works Vauxhall Mid Essex League Premier Division side had previously won the competition in 1964, but their return to the final got off to a tricky start when Sumners, from the top flight of the Hertford & District League, grabbed an early lead at the Wallace Binder Stadium. Baddow fought back through Dane Nelson, Luke Perry and an own goal to claim a 3-1 lead before a late goal led to a nervy finish.

“We’ve won every medal we could’ve, now!” said proud Baddow boss Sonny Neenan after the game. “We’ve won everything we can in our league and even the local charity cups, so to become county champions is superb. The attitude of the boys is brilliant and it’s all about them. They really seem to rise to the big occasion; sometimes they like to go about it the hard way, but they’ve done really well.”

“Go about it the hard way” is no doubt a reference to his side going behind inside 8 minutes, but Sonny was delighted with the response of his side: “Once we got our passing game together we looked much better, but Sumners are a good side and when they nicked a goal at the end they were probably on top, although I’m pleased with our reaction to that.”

Harlow-based Sumners’ early lead arrived as Sam Colson’s long free-kick from the left flank appeared to elude everyone and drop into the far corner. Baddow steadily worked their way into the contest and Perry saw his snapshot zip just wide before the game was levelled with half-an-hour played. Nav Arain’s low effort was parried out by goalkeeper Michael Burrell and Nelson collected the loose ball before firing into the roof of the net from an acute angle.

Two minutes before half time, Baddow found themselves in the lead as Arain’s corner was flicked into the bottom corner by the head of Perry. Sumners came within a whisker of an equaliser shortly after the hour mark when Scott Berry’s header hit the top of the crossbar but, with 72 minutes played, Baddow established a two-goal lead. Grant Hill’s corner crept over the line, seemingly via a Sumners defender.

In the aftermath of the goal, Sumners’ Sam Harris was dismissed for a second booking as his side looked to get themselves back into the game with a man disadvantage. Baddow should’ve grabbed a fourth when Perry fired wide from a matter of yards.

With three minutes left, Sumners pulled a goal back thanks to a fine move as Anthen Beveridge crossed for Sam Wadhams to nod in. That created a tight finish, but Baddow hung on to clinch the long-awaited title.

Great Baddow: Jack Sibley, Ashley Cole, Grant Hill, Max Johnson, Liam Saunders, Nav Arain, Dane Nelson, Luke Perry, Josh Brown, Ben Cross, Ben Childs. Substitutes (repeated): Ollie Evans, Adam Flack, Matt Patterson, Matthew Crick, Dan Booty.

Sumners: Michael Burrell, Blue Braithwaite, Sam Wadhams, John Houghton, Ross Barnes, Chris Slater, Jahbez E Snowdon, James Waggit, Liam Terrell, Sam Colson, Sam Harris. Substitutes (repeated): Anthen Beveridge, Scott Berry, Sam Crichton, Andi Pearce, Jack Thurgood.

Bookings: Great Baddow: Brown (18, foul). Sumners: Harris (19, foul and 72, dissent), Pearce (72, dissent), Crichton (79, foul).

Sent Off: Sumners: Harris (72, second bookable offence).

Referee: Thomas Whay (Harlow).

Assistant Referees: Richard Baker (Colchester) and Callum Cockley (Romford).

Fourth Official: James Beal (Tollesbury).

Attendance: 151.

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