Matty sparks Ransomes

SUBSTITUTE Matty Starling earned Ransomes Sports a first-ever Omnico Cup triumph to continue the club's remarkable rags-to-riches success story.

By Mel Henderson

Ransomes 2 Achilles 1

SUBSTITUTE Matty Starling earned Ransomes Sports a first-ever Omnico Cup triumph to continue the club's remarkable rags-to-riches success story.

Delighted chairman Alan McDougall, who works for a firm of stockbrokers, admitted: “We have struggled to keep this club going - but this makes it all worthwhile.

“There were times in the past when we worried that we would have to pack in, but this win confirms we are moving in the right direction.”

McDougall heaped praise on manager Glenn Bradlaugh, assistant Danny Barber and the players, as well as his colleagues on the committee.

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Previously Fisons, the club found itself without a home and were forced to change their name when the company sold their Bent Lane ground to Ipswich Town.

They found temporary headquarters at Copleston High School and Gainsborough Sports Centre before moving into Sidegate Avenue when Ransomes FC folded.

Starling, at 26 the club's oldest outfield player, netted a stunning extra-time goal as Ransomes finally overcame Achilles in their fourth meeting of the season at Notcutts Park, Woodbridge, last night.

Achilles won both league games between the pair and also edged through in extra time when they met at the quarter-final stage of the Suffolk Senior Cup.

But a youthful Ransomes fully deserved last night's success thanks to Starling's superb strike midway through the second period of extra time.

Top scorer Ben Deacon set him up to drill a left-foot shot from the edge of the area across Achilles keeper Paul Carter - a fitting way to decide a final that looked to be heading for a penalty shoot-out.

The teams were level after Lee Grimwood's excellent solo effort in the 75th minute cancelled out Ransomes' opener soon after half-time, also created by Deacon but credited as an own goal by Achilles' defender Lee Osborn, who got the final touch at the near post.

It took a goal-line clearance by Ransomes' left-back Graham Stiff to prevent substitute Gavin Paul heading Achilles in front in the 80th minute.

Winning boss Bradlaugh said: “I am delighted for Matty. He has been on the fringe all season and hasn't played that often, but they don't come any bigger than this.

“I told the players at the end of 90 minutes that the team who wanted it the most would find the legs to go on and win.

“I felt we played the better football, but Achilles are a strong, powerful side. All our games against them this season have been really close.”

Apart from veteran keeper Jason Evans, 40, Ransomes are reaping the benefit of a tremendous youth policy that has seen several members of the side play alongside each other from the age of nine and ten.

Bradlaugh added: “I went to Portman Road for the Senior and Premier finals last week and both went into extra time, with the team that scored first losing on each occasion.

“I decided it was best to keep that to myself. I didn't want the players to think the omens were against them.”

RANSOMES: Evans, Sadler, Stiff, J Green (Starling 106), Gosling, A Green, Turley (Payne 116), Jennings (Elliston 115), B Deacon, Bradlaugh and Moore. Subs not used: Simpson, C Deacon.

ACHILLES: Carter, T Deller, Symonds, Bridger, Childs (Paul 65), O'Brien, P Deller, Osborn, Vince, Grimwood and Deasy (Reeder 91). Subs not used: Ransome, Pryke, Bennett.

Referee: T Poulton.

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