Chatteris Town 1-0 Outwell Swifts: treble in sight for the Lilies after Barnett's strike seals second cup success in a week
PUBLISHED: 12:12 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:36 28 April 2016
April 2016 is a month that will live long in the memory of those connected with Chatteris Town Football Club.
Ashley Taylor’s men bagged an unlikely Cliff Bullen Challenge Cup victory over higher-level Great Shelford last week, and continued their purple patch by sealing promotion to the Kershaw Premier Division and lifting the William Coad Intermediate Cup – all in the space of seven days.
The Lilies’ week to remember began last Saturday with an emphatic 6-1 success over Cambridge University Press, which sealed their passage into the Cambs League’s top division after a three year absence.
A hat-trick from star striker Craig Gillies – who now has found the net a staggering 43 times this term - and further strikes from Ben Matthews, Alex Ashley and Gary Smith secured Chatteris’ rise at West Street.
Taylor’s side then made the short trip across to March Town’s GER ground on Wednesday night, where they faced their fierce Kershaw Senior A Division rivals, Outwell Swifts.
The Swifts, who top the league and will also be playing in the Premier Division next season, proved stubborn opponents for the Lilies, but a second half strike from midfield man Lee Barnett was good enough to earn Chatteris their second piece of silverware in a week.
Barnett made his return to football at the start of this season after undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer, and says his winner has capped a wonderful season for him and the club.
He said: “It was an amazing feeling the score the winner. Ben Matthews did brilliantly to create the chance for me.
“It was a great team performance; we created a lot more and I think we deserved another goal with the chances we had.
“We’ve had a fantastic season with the two cup wins and gaining promotion to the Prem. Hopefully we can top it all off and do the treble on Monday.”
Chatteris will look to make it an unprecedented hat-trick of domestic cup victories on Monday night when they go head-to-head with Milton for William Cockell Memorial Cup glory, and boss Ashley Taylor hopes his men will carry their cup final heroics into Monday’s encounter.
He said: “Winning the cup on Wednesday is a fantastic achievement from the lads and they all deserve the credit coming their way.
“We’re a young side and sometimes you worry the occasion may effect the performance, but that hasn’t been the case with us and we’ve delivered in the big games.
“Winning a second cup was a great occasion for the club and I’d like to thank the supporters for a special night. We can now hopefully take both these cup-winning experience into Monday’s game.”