Atletico Trotters 3-0 Hutton Old Boys (Saturday Veterans Cup Final)

Saturday Veterans Cup Final Glory for Atletico Trotters

Atletico Trotters 3-0 Hutton Old Boys, Wednesday 23rd March 2022, Kick-Off 7:45pm, Essex Saturday Veterans Cup Final, Concord Rangers FC.

Click here to view all the Paul Baxter Photography images from this match.

Ben Polley netted his 14th and 15th goal of a sensational cup run and Danny Downer also converted as Atletico Trotters won their first ever Essex County Cup with a 3-0 victory over fellow Essex Veterans League side, Hutton Old Boys.

Polley put Atletico ahead four minutes before the interval and Downer doubled their lead even later in the first half before Polley bagged a rebound minutes from the end of the game to seal the silverware. “To be honest with you, I’m still buzzing now! Massive achievement. Very, very proud of the boys,” reacted Corrie, the Trotter’s gleeful Manager.

“It was a real achievement in our first season at Atletico and I’m really excited at what we can go on to do now. I’m really proud of the boys who’ve put me in that position. They put a lot of effort in. We had a very tough cup run to get there. I’m still over the moon now!”

It was an emotional occasion for Hutton, who lost one of their players, Paul Linger, to Cancer last year. They dedicated this match to him by displaying the Paul Linger Trust “boldly and proudly” on their shirts, and this was a motivation on a cup run where they scored at least six goals in every tie. Though they weren’t all fully one-sided games, and a tight final was on the cards.

After a competitive first 25 minutes, Trotters were the first to go close as Dan Brook's cross picked out Polley, but his looping header dropped onto the roof of the net. Then a flurry of activity just before the interval started to shape the game On 41 minutes, this time Polley turned in the six-yard box and stabbed home Brook's centre, adding to his 13 goals in the run to the final.

Hutton’s Joe Galsworthy almost registered a reply within seconds, dragging a low shot agonisingly across the face of goal. But Trotters, based at Old Brentwoods Sports Club, brought down the curtain on the first half with their second, right on the referee’s whistle. The versatile Downer found the net with an excellent strike inside the near post to double his team's lead at the break.

Trotters are currently in mid-table in the Essex Veterans League Premier Division, with games in hand and aiming for a top-three finish, while Hutton sit in third place. In the sides’ only other meeting this season, Hutton prevailed 7-2 at home in December, with return match booked for later in the campaign. Trotters were determined that wasn’t going to be the result on this occasion.

Hutton boasted a wealth of professional and non-league experience and they were lining-up in their fifth final, having won the competition in three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016, then again in 2018. “They’re a great team,” Corrie added. “They’ve got some very experienced, good footballers. But I had a game plan - I knew exactly what I wanted to do with every individual.”

But Hutton, who play at Shenfield High School, had no intention of going down without a fight. Not long after play resumed for the second half, Michael Black bent an effort narrowly wide. Then the 50th minute brought about an impressive save from Trotters goalkeeper, Paul Butterfill, who denied long-range specialist Luke Pain as he pushed his shot around the upright.

Trotters wasted an opportunity to effectively put the match out of sight on 54 minutes. A foul by long-serving Hutton 'keeper, James Hussey, resulted in a spot kick. But Hussey atoned himself by blocking the penalty. Corrie felt that phase of the game was pivotal: “Two goals just before half time sort of knocks the stuffing out of you.”

“The third would have been lovely that early on because I believe we would have gone on to win five or six. They’d just had a glorious opportunity to score and Butts pulled out another worldy save and then we had the penalty. If that had have gone in, I think heads would have been down. It would have looked like a very flattering scoreline - spectators would have said it could have been a four-all.”

This gave Hutton fresh momentum, and their search for a reply forced Butterfill into a 56th-minute intervention to get in the way of Luke Pain's low strike. They tested him once more on 73 minutes, Butterfill making an excellent block at Leli Bajada's feet on the edge of the penalty area, with the usually prolific Michael Daniels rolling the loose ball frustratingly wide.

Four minutes from the end of the match, Trotters put Hutton out of their misery with the vital third to seal it. A free kick was pushed back out by Hussey, but Polley buried the rebound. Hutton’s last game in vets football ended with nine men due to dismissals for Michael and Tommy Black, though the mood was positive in the Trotters camp as they won their first ever County Cup.

This gave the Trotters Manager the chance to reminisce: “When I met the Chairman in the summer he said: Corrie, we want you over here, but what’s your goal this year? I went: I want the Essex Cup. And he laughed at me! I said I aim high, and that’s what I want. I remember saying to him on the cup final night: I told you I’d get it! Because I am ambitious.”

“Don’t get me wrong, it is hard work. You’ve seen the cup run - we’ve had to beat four of the better teams in the whole league, just to get to the final. It was a massive achievement. I’ve just got to convince the Old Brentwoods to build me a trophy cabinet because it’s all rugby trophies! It doesn’t matter how old you get, winning trophies never gets boring.”

Atletico Trotters: Paul Butterfill, Danny Dobson, Jerimiah Lyons, David Martin, Aaron Courtnell, Roy Roche, Leon Diaczuk, Steve Harding, Ben Polley, Dan Brook, Danny Downer. Substitutes (repeated): Steven Rowles, Mark Neal, Mark Steadman, Jon Wightman, Lee Forbes.

Hutton Old Boys: James Hussey, Elliot Styles, Chris Perkins, Greg Wiles, Leli Bajada, Chris Barry, Joe Galsworthy, Michael Black, Luke Pain, Andrew Grant, Jamie Wallace. Substitutes (repeated): Erkan Yousef, Glen Golby, Michael Daniels, Paul Marjason, Tommy Black.

Referee: Keith Meade.

Assistant Referees: David Sinclair and Christopher Crawford.

Fourth Official: Wayne Ratford.

Attendance: 168.

Atletico Trotters 3-0 Hutton Old Boys (Saturday Veterans Cup Final)

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