Relief for Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling and pride in defeat for Bildeston Rangers player-boss David 'Bart' Lorimer following entertaining Suffolk Senior Cup Final
Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling was both relieved and delighted to see his side end the season with their hands on the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup.
The Heath had rained in shots on lower-league Bildeston Rangers’ goal throughout the final at The New Croft, home of Haverhill Rovers, on Monday, but found goalkeeper Charlie de Lara-Bell in great form.
The breakthrough eventually came in the 89th minute though as Tom Thulborn glanced in a header from substitute Kelvin Enaro’s cross, with the latter wrapping things up with a cool finish in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
“I’m delighted,” said Cowling. “It was relief in the end as we’ve obviously left it late.
“We’ve dominated the game from start to finish and I said to the keeper at the end I thought he was man of the match; he held absolutely everything.
“We started to get a bit frustrated at times but we always knew we had the squad to have someone like Kelvin come on.
“By Kelvin’s own admission he is not as fit as he would would like to be. But to come on on a hot day like this on a big pitch for the last half-an-hour, I said to him he was going to win the game and an assist and a goal later, there you go.”
He paid to tribute to Bildeston’s work-rate as they made it tough for his side but was pleased to cap a strange but memorable season in their history with a trophy, especially for his retiring assistant, Colin Sheldrick.
“It’s unbelievable for this club to now be at Step 5 (following non-league restructure promotion) and to have won this for the second time in our history, what an achievement. Well done to the boys and well done to everyone involved in the club.
“It is Colin’s last day with us today as he is retiring. It was a fitting way for him to go out as it has been a good journey with him over the last couple of years, so I am delighted for him.”
Disappointment but also pride for Bildeston boss
The circumstance of their Cnet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Final defeat made it a bitter pill to swallow but Bildeston Rangers player-manager David ‘Bart’ Lorimer says they can look back on the run and game with pride.
Despite Lakenheath being destined for Step 5 football next season, Step 7 Bildeston came close to causing another big upset at The New Croft.
“I am just devastated but at the same time I can be so proud of what the boys have achieved,” said Lorimer.
“You have got to look at it that it has now taken a team two leagues above to beat us and it took them 88 minutes to score and we could have scored.
“Regardless of what anyone says now there is only one way for our boys now and that is onwards and upwards.
“To come from where we have come from as a family club, we are all just immensely proud. Half of the village have turned out again for us.”
He heralded his defence for defending ‘like absolute champions’ and reserved special praise for the performance of goalkeeper Charlie De Lara-Bell.
“I don’t care what anyone says, my goalkeeper is the best goalkeeper around,” he said.
“The only reason he is playing for us is because he is my best friend.
“We have grown up together, he was at Ipswich all his youth career and I was at Colchester.
“He only got released when he was 16 or 17 because he was too short.
“As a goalkeeper at our level or two or three levels above he would be one of the best.
“He proved today he is a big game player.”
The former AFC Sudbury player, who felt there was a foul in the build-up to the second goal, added: “We came with a plan and it really worked for 88 minutes but what can you do? That is football.”