Park United celebrated the club’s 10th anniversary in style with a memorable 3-0 Brayford Cup final win against Bideford rivals Shamwickshire Rovers at a packed Sports Ground on Saturday night.
Goals by Nick Glover, Steve Skinner and John Downing ensured a new name on the old trophy – and jubilation following the disappointment of last week’s 2-1 Torridge Cup final defeat against Torridgeside.
It was the fifth time the two sides have met this season, Shammy having won twice in the league, with a win each in other cup competitions.
Park United only started life in 2007 and have spent a decade climbing the North Devon league tables.
So it was no surprise that in a gate of 400, the Sandymere-based club was outnumbered by around 10-to-one in terms of support.
But it was the Park contingent who had reason to shout the loudest after 10 minutes, when Glover headed home a Michael ‘Pickles’ Jones free-kick to make it 1-0.
The East-the-Water side, finalists for the first time since 2008, looked to use the pace of Nathan Bate to unlock the Park defence. But long balls over the top often found their way back to the keeper on a greasy surface.
Ten minutes before half-time it was 2-0 to Park, Skinner combining well with Mischa Howe to finish well with his left foot.
Rovers had a goal disallowed for offside, and with 10 minutes to play, substitute Downing gave Park room to breathe with a third, applying the finish to Tom Forrester’s cross.
Rovers had Rikki Kelly and Nathan Bate sent off for second bookable offences late in the game, but, by that time, Park had all-but written a big new chapter in the club’s short history.
“The third goal sealed it and we could start to relax and enjoy it,” said Park manager Adam Eley, who paid tribute to club founders, including Peter Yarde, James Lee, Bob Ashton and Mark Newman.
Dave Brown was named man-of-the-match by guest of honour, Bideford Ladies’ manager Roger Bonaparte, whose treble-winning side was able to parade their haul of trophies at half-time.