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Lakenheath lift Suffolk Senior Cup after scoring two late goals to see off plucky Bildeston Rangers




A goal a minute from time from Tom Thulborn was added to deep into stoppage time by Kelvin Enaro as Lakenheath eventually made their dominance count against lower-league Bildeston Rangers to win the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup.

In front of a strong crowd at The New Croft on Haverhill Rovers FC's pitch the Thurlow Nunn League club struggled to find a way past the excellent Bildeston goalkeeper Charlie De Lara-Bell.

Just when it looked like a penalty shootout would be needed to decide who got their hands on the historic trophy, substitute Enaro found Thurlborn with a cross and the number 10 glanced it home from six yards out.

With Suffolk & Ipswich League side, who had fought tooth-and-nail throughout, then having to commit more men forwards the gaps started to appear and Enaro himself burst through in the 95th minute to wrap things up with a calm finish.

It was Thurlow Nunn League Lakenheath, who will be playing two levels higher in the pyramid next season following their recent promotion to the Premier Division following the FA's non-league restructure, who came out of the blocks flying.

De Lara-Bell, formerly with Ipswich Town Academy as a youngster, was behind two early Tom Thulborn efforts as well as doing well to tip a Shaun Avis bending effort over his crossbar.

Bildeston's first opportunity came from a deep ninth minute free kick, with Daryl Alexander's shot almost catching out Charlie Beckwith, who caught it from behind his goal-line.

De Lara-Bell blocked from Weaver at his near post after the number seven was slipped into the area while a breakthrough run at the other end from Sam Sharp was halted by Alex McIntosh's sliding challenge.

Bildeston's Shane Wanmer made an important recovery tackle in his area to stop McIntosh pulling the trigger as he Heath pressure continued to build.

Another breakaway move saw Rangers' players and supporters unhappy with a foul which was given to the goalkeeper after he rushed out to challenge the untracked player-boss David 'Bart' Lorimer, who also had support.

There was a big chance for Lakenheath just before the half-hour mark but Thurloborn could only steer McIntosh's dangerous cutback past the far post.

Weaver was next to break into the box but De Lara Bell was behind his stabbed effort.

Bildeston's first corner provided a dangerous moment in the 39th minute with Chris Cowan – who had scored from two in the semi-final – forcing Beckwith to push clear, with Lloyd Dodsworth firing the rebound over on the half-volley.

Bildeston come close to scoring in the first 10 minutes after Charlie Beckwith steps back into his goal before catching a free kick from Daryl Alexander Picture: Mecha Morton
Bildeston come close to scoring in the first 10 minutes after Charlie Beckwith steps back into his goal before catching a free kick from Daryl Alexander Picture: Mecha Morton

At the other end De Lara-Bell came to the rescue twice more, saving a powerful effort from inside the area from Thulborn as well as his low curling effort on the stroke of half-time.

Heath's Clarke and Manels sent efforts off target early in the second half before Cowan again went close from his next corner just after the hour mark, Beckwith again fisting it clear under pressure.

Charlie de Lara-Bell makes a save for Bildeston Picture: Mecha Morton
Charlie de Lara-Bell makes a save for Bildeston Picture: Mecha Morton

De Lara-Bell continued to be a thorn in Lakenheath's side, doing well to hold on to a strong Scott Callaghan shot from the edge of the area before pushing substitute Kelvin Enaro's fierce effort round his near post 15 minutes from time.

From the resultant corner Avis saw his effort come back off the crossbar before there was a good covering block ahead of Thulborn then glancing a header wide.

Bildeston began to look threatening late on as the game got stretched but were not able to call Beckwith into action, with Casey Underwood making an important headed interception.

It was a different story up the other end with Thulborn's touch lifting Weaver's shot over the crossbar before things came together for the number 10 in the box in the 89th minute.

Enaro picked him out from a cross from the left-hand side and the 21-year-old former Haverhill Borough player glanced it beyond De Lara-Bell from six yards out.

It was still not a comfortable passage to the finish line though as Bildeston poured forward and from a 93rd minute corner Sam Sharp's delivery, with Cowan having gone off, clipped the top of the crossbar before being scrambled clear.

Thulborn almost chipped De Lara-Bell, who had gone up for the corner, from the halfway line after picking up the clearance with his effort nestling on top of the netting.

But it was former Haverhill Rovers winger Enaro who sealed the deal on his old stomping ground in the 95th minute, bursting through before slotting the ball under the keeper.

You could not say Lakenheath did not deserve their second Suffolk Senior Cup title, with it being the club's third final, but it also seemed a rough way for a brave performance from Bildeston to end.

Bildeston Rangers: De Lara Bell (c), Smith, Sharp, Vineyard, Rix, Wanmer, Lorimer, Alexander, Cowan (Benham 89'), Dadsworth, Styles (Buxton 51'). Unused subs: Brooks, Goodchild, Munson.

Lakenheath: Beckwith, Logan, McIntosh, Hawley (c), Underwood, Callaghan, Weaver (Mazey 85'), Clarke, Avis, Thulborn, Manels (Enaro 60'). Unused subs: Banks, Webber.

SuffolkNews Man of the Match: He did not end up on the winning team but Bildeston keeper Charlie De Lara-Bell was the best player on the pitch.

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