The Toolstation Western Football League
Published 7th May 2012
.....Toolstation Western League's Les Phillips Cup final.
The success, at Bitton's Rapid Solicitors Ground, came hot on the heels of last Thursday night's 5-0 GFA Challenge Trophy Final mauling of Uhlsport Hellenic League Shortwood United. Manor Farm boss John Black said: "I never dared to believe we could win both trophies."
It looked as though the midweek exertions would take their toll after Willand snatched a deserved 20th minute lead courtesy of James Ansell's unerring strike. At that stage Manor Farm appeared a pale shadow of the team that had torn Shortwood apart and their goalkeeper, Lee Ballard, was forced into making some important stops.
Manor Farm demonstrated renewed purpose after the break and were hauled level on the hour-mark by Luke Clarke's 30-yard free-kick.
Clarke almost clinched it inside 90 minutes for Farm when he found himself through at the death, but his finish was a tame one and the tie went into extra-time.
After a goalless first 15 minutes, both camps braced themselves for the prospect of a draining penalty shoot-out, but Ben Crewe had other ideas. The substitute turned the ball home after Steve Fitzpatrick's shot ricocheted into his path off a post a minute into the second period. It proved enough to win the trophy.
The contest was littered with bookings on both sides, but an ebullient Black wasn't too troubled by that.
"It was never that sort of game," he said. "We're just thrilled to have come through with a victory because we looked tired and sluggish in the first half and I was relieved to get our boys into the dressing room trailing by just a goal at half-time. The lads were shattered come the end because it took a great effort to last the pace after what they'd achieved on Thursday night. I'd have struggled to believe anyone telling me we'd win both our finals at the end of what was, in all honesty, a disappointing season league-wise.
"Our central defenders, Gary Saunders and Ben Murray, were magnificent on Sunday and they typified the spirit we've shown over these last few days."