Ekin applauds his super troops

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BOROUGHBRIDGE boss Daz Ekin has praised his side for their best season in recent memory after they lifted the West Yorkshire League Cup last Thursday evening.

It ended a wonderful few days for the Aldborough Road outfit who toasted Whitworth Cup glory against rivals Knaresborough Town seven days before.

Ekin’s men now have four league games remaining as their long season draws to a close.

They travel to Whitkirk tomorrow (2.30pm ko) before a trip to Otley Town on Monday.

“Credit to the players,” said Ekin after their historic cup win.

“They’ve just beaten Knaresborough and they’ve just beaten Otley, who are two of the top sides.

“And we always believed, I told the lads at the start of the season to stick with us, we’ll win something and I’m just so proud of them.”

On Thursday ‘Bridge had to overcome a heavy Wakefield FC pitch and a stubborn Otley Town side to lift the cup for the first time (more on page 45).

The game looked to be beyond ‘Bridge who were 1-0 down with only minutes remaining before Paul Eagling took the game into extra-time with a last minute equaliser.

Then local lad Mark Burneston came off the bench to grab the winner to spark wild celebrations on the terraces.

“What can I say, we’ve just won one of the finest trophies. It’s a trophy we’ve never won, it’s just unbelievable and I think we’ve won it in style, it was a good game,” added Ekin.

“We brought one coach through, but I bet we brought another 100 people who have come in cars which is great.

“I’m glad for them as well, because it’s a long way to come from Boroughbridge.

“The facilities have been good, it would have been nice if it had been marked out but we’re so glad that people have come and we’ve given them something to shout about again.

“I think we played some really good football, both teams, but we really played some good stuff.

“We were just fitter, and that’s what did it in the end.”

As for the contribution Burneston made Ekin had this to say: “We pushed on went for the goal and young Burney, I’m absolutely thrilled to bits for the young kid.

“A young lad, coming on like that who was in the third team at the start of the season, and he’s just lifted the biggest trophy he’ll probably ever lift.

“It’s fantastic, a great story.”

The impact of ‘Bridge’s heavy schedule finally hit home at the weekend with the side’s fourth match in eight days against Altofts.

Chris Hastings opened the scoring in the first half with a long-range thunderbolt, before Altofts got themselves back into the match.

Dave Burneston, however, had to be substituted, and later received stitches following a clash of heads and ‘Bridge’s bench was further stretched going into half time after ‘keeper Alastair Hogg sustained an injury about ten minutes before the end of the half.

Wayne Fisher replaced Hogg in goal in the second half and ‘Bridge gaffer Ekin came on to fill Fisher’s place.

The now player/manager had an immediate impact.

‘Bridge lifted their game with another long range shot, this time from Martin Hutchinson, giving the home side the lead.

The lead became three when Ekin was fouled in the area. Eagling despatched the resulting penalty and that would be how things stayed until the final whistle.

Boroughbridge Reserves, meanwhile, played out a goalless draw on the road at Brighouse Old Boys Reserves on Saturday.

On Wednesday night ‘Bridge’s marathon campaign continued with a derby day clash against Knaresborough Town.

They picked up a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Brian Davey’s men to make it a superb few weeks for the Aldborough Road club.

‘Bridge twice came from behind to win the local fixture.

Town struck first to open up a 2-0 lead early in the fixture.

But Paul Beesley reduced the deficit on 32 minutes before Eagling safely dispatched a penalty following a foul on Beesley to take the sides in level.

‘Boro’ made it 3-2 six minutes into the second half but goals by Jimmy Tucknott and Beesley’s second of the night sealed the superb comeback.

More ‘Bridge reaction inside.