Teale drives bold Burscough to Trophy glory

Burscough 2 Tamworth 1

By Mike Rowbottom
Sunday 06 October 2013 14:28

Burscough succeeded where Southampton had failed yesterday by producing a major upset in the weekend's second showpiece final.

Whereas Gordon Strachan's men had found the FA Cup holders Arsenal just too much to cope with, the 400-1 outsiders from the little Lancashire village earned themselves a place at the peak of the non-League world as they secured the FA Trophy at Villa Park.

It was a personal triumph for the UniBond League side's player-manager, Shaun Teale, who at 39 was returning to the ground where he had spent four years as a defender for Aston Villa.

Teale, whose strength and experience was crucially important throughout to the men in green and white, had begun to sense the fates were in Burscough's favour after they earned a 2-0 sixth-round win over the holders, Yeovil Town. "Once we had got rid of Yeovil, I started to believe we could go all the way,'' he said.

The final was always going to be something of a surprise, given that it was the first in the competition's 34-year history not to feature a side from the Conference or its equivalent. Imagine an FA Cup final without a side from the top flight.

At 33-1 before the Trophy got under way, Tamworth, who will start next season in the Conference after winning the Dr Martens League, could also afford to be surprised at their progress. Predictably, the red-shirted supporters of the team from down the road formed the main part of the crowd, but it was the 2,000 or so Burscough fans – about a quarter of the village's population – who were given cause to celebrate after 26 minutes when their side took the lead.

As Burscough's swift forward, Peter Wright, dragged his marker across the area, space opened up for Gary Martindale and a swift pass from John Lawless, who had won the ball in midfield, enabled Martindale to beat the goalkeeper.

Within a minute, Mark Cooper – the son of the former Leeds and England full-back Terry – forced Matthew Taylor to save at full stretch from a free-kick. But the UniBond outfit looked hard to budge despite the vigorous promptings of Tamworth's former Leicester defender, Steve Walsh.

Ten minutes after the break Burscough doubled their lead as Lawless, after winning the ball again, produced a shot that Darren Acton could only deflect to the waiting figure of Martindale, who did the rest.

Tamworth's hopes rose 11 minutes from time when Cooper pulled a goal back with a near-post flick, but, with Teale a tower of strength, Burscough survived a hectic finish.

No one enjoyed the day more than Burscough's chairman Frank Parr, who helped found the club in 1946 as a 17-year-old. "A rare day, today,'' he said, misty-eyed, as his players and supporters cavorted. It was an understatement.

Goals: Martindale (26) 1-0; Martindale (55) 2-0; Cooper (79) 2-1.

Burscough (4-4-2): M Taylor; MacAuley (White, 77), J Taylor, Teale, Bowen; Byrne (Bluck, 85), Norman, Burns, Lawless; Martindale (McHale, 81), Wright. Substitutes not used: Maguire (gk), Molyneux.

Tamworth (4-4-2): Acton; Warner, Robinson, Walsh, Follett; Colley, McGorry, Cooper, Evans (Turner, 65); Sale (Hallam, 56), Rickards (Hatton, 89). Substitutes not used: Grocutt, Barnes (gk).

Referee: U Rennie (South Yorkshire).

Bookings: Burscough: Lawless. Tamworth: Robinson, Walsh.

Man of the match: Teale.

Attendance: 14,265.

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