Bedworth United Reserves – 2024 Nursing Cup Winners

Bedworth United Reserves turned Good Friday, 29th March, in to a Great Friday by deservedly winning the 2024 Nursing Football Association Cup Final, one of the oldest and most valued trophies in British amateur football, at a packed Oval Stadium. Playing against a far more experienced Fillongley team, the Greenback’s Reserve team put in an exceptional performance and ran out deserved winners. Right from the start the young Bedworth side, with an average age of just 18, demonstrated their exceptional footballing ability, dominating the match with an impressive display of passing football, which created several great chances throughout the first half. A combination of great goalkeeping and bad luck denied the Greenback’s the goals that their performance throughout the first half deserved. Just as it looked like the first half would be goalless, Bedworth’s top scorer this season, Sam Shuttleworth, showed great persistence and a cool head to hold off 3 Fillongley defenders and calmly slot home the opening goal of the game with 44 minutes played. The late first half goal was the very least that the performance throughout the first half, the Bedworth youngsters deserved.

 

Fillongley came out in the second half with a plan to nullify their younger and fitter opponents by making the game a far more physical encounter. Talented winger Aadam Hayles came in for some rough treatment as Fillongley played to their strengths, resulting in a flurry of bookings, before Fillongley scored a 64th minute equaliser somewhat against the run of play. However, BUFC stuck to their playing style principals, whilst also rising to the increased physical challenge and refused to allow themselves to be intimidated by the highly competitive opposition. Further chances for Bedworth came and went, with one goal line clearance and an instinctive save, denying Bedworth striker Dylan Reason the goals that his performance deserved. In the 84th minute Bedworth were awarded a penalty following a foul on the pacy Hayles. Protests from the opposition and a prolonged conversation between the referee and his assistant, meant that second half substitute Harvey Westwood had a lengthy wait before taking the spot kick. The talented young striker, a product of the BUFC Academy, who has since started several times for the Bedworth first team, was untroubled by the delay as he calmly slotted the penalty into the bottom left corner of the goal, with the Fillongley goalkeeper, who had impressed so much throughout, well beaten. The Bedworth team showed composure and determination, exemplified by the central midfield pairing of Captain Dan Makitadi and Vice-Captain Fin Ward, to play out the remainder of the game without allowing the opposition an attempt on the Greenback’s goal. After several minutes of added time, the referee blew the final Whistle, which sparked great celebrations both on the pitch and amongst the watching Bedworth supporters. A tough final, against a very determined and experienced Fillongley team was deservedly won by the Bedworth United Reserve Team, several of whom have featured in First Team playing squads throughout the season & will be pushing hard to make a more permanent transition to Stuart Storer’s side over the coming seasons. The future is bright. The future is Green!

 

The winning match day squad:

 

Dan Makitadi – Captain

Fin Ward – Vice-Captain

Logan Elliott

Sam Checketts

Jamie Flounders

Matthew Donaldson

Lenny Helilker

Joe Lewis

Archie Hollyhead

Dillon Baker

Tom Stenton

Charlie Donaldson

Dylan Reason

Sam Shuttleworth

Harvey Westwood

Aadam Hayles

The club would like to thank the Nursing Football Association and the competition sponsor’s Newdigate Builders for all of their dedication and hard work, which allowed the Bedworth team to create such great, lifelong, memories.