Clapton assistant admits Barking scored at the right time in final
PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 May 2015
Tons number two discusses 4-2 defeat to Blues and more from Saturday’s final at Leslie Field
Clapton assistant manager Marc Nurse felt the timing of the opening goal in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy final on Saturday was key as his team suffered defeat to Barking.
The two Essex Senior League rivals contested a six-goal clash at Burnham’s Leslie Field, but it was Blues who were celebrating come full time.
Joe Staunton fired them ahead with an exquisite strike on the stroke of half time before Ben O’Brien made it 2-0 a minute into the second period.
James Briggs reduced the arrears for Tons with a stunning free kick before Tom Jeffes and Glen Golby scored in the 78th and 80th minute to ensure success would be going to Barking.
Jake Stevens pulled one back for Clapton three minutes from time and despite defeat, their assistant was proud of his team.
“The wind wasn’t helpful for us in the first half,” said Nurse, who watched Tons contest their first cup final since 1989.
“We had it against us for the whole of the first half and it was a strong wind as well so we were basically defending against the wind and they scored in the 46 minutes.
“If they don’t score then the game changes in a big way because we would have had the wind and it would have been all us in the second half.
“To concede 30 seconds into the second half wasn’t good either, but we responded back well with a free kick.
“When the third one went in from Tom Jeffes it wasn’t all over, but it was a lot harder to get back into the game.”
After Briggs pulled one back 10 minutes into the second period, another goal wasn’t scored for 23 minutes and unfortunately it went to the Blues.
Nurse felt if Clapton could have drawn level they might have gone on to triumph against Barking.
He added: “When Briggs scored we felt we could get another and then we are back in the game and with plenty of time to go.
“He scored in the 55th minute so we were hoping something could happen, but it didn’t.
“After they scored the fourth it was a case of thinking what is going to happen next, but Jake comes up with a nice little shot.
“If I think now, looking back, if the conditions were normal it would have been a lot more even.”
Although not happy to finish runners up in the final, Nurse is pleased with what the club have achieved this season with a second final to look forward too on Sunday.
“Where we are as a football club, we are going the right way so although I am disappointed to lose, I am happy about the future,” he concluded.
Clapton will be aiming to end a 26-year wait for silverware this weekend when contest another final.
Tons face Bowers & Pitsea in the Essex Senior League Cup final at Great Wakering Rovers Burroughs Park for a 3pm kick-off on Sunday.