Two reasons to smile for Wonderful Wanderers
Michael Bailey AFC Wanderers 4-1 Prince of Denmark: Manager Steve Simpson was celebrating putting one over his former club after AFC Wanderers completed a league and cup double at the weekend.
AFC Wanderers 4-1 Prince of Denmark
Manager Steve Simpson was celebrating putting one over his former club after AFC Wanderers completed a league and cup double at the weekend.
Wanderers beat Prince of Denmark 4-1 in front almost 400 at Wroxham's Trafford Park in the Evening News Norwich Sunday League Cup final, adding it to their Division 1A title they picked up a couple of weeks earlier.
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And having left his role as manager of Denmark, then called William IV, after taking them to the 2005 final, Simpson admitted Sunday's win gave him extra pleasure.
“I was edged out there and the first game I watched when I was considering taking over Wanderers was against them, and we were stuffed. So we've progressed a lot since then,” said Simpson. “I couldn't have asked for a better team to play in the final, but there are no hard feelings. It was just nice to be there.
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“We're usually a very good footballing side but we didn't really play our usual game. But we won the battle and we're pleased with how the whole season has gone. Everyone has done what they have been asked to and we got the results we wanted.”
Gary Walsh opened the scoring for Wanderers from close range after only 11 minutes, before Denmark's Kyle Halsey punched Steve Kelly's effort off the goal line.
Referee John Coates sent Halsey off, leaving Denmark to face the remaining 55 minutes with only 10 men, and although Scott Sell's penalty brought a fine save from 'keeper Jimmy Warner, he was powerless to stop Lee Edwards thumping home the follow-up to double the lead.
Goals from Simon Davis and a second from Gary Walsh in injury time completed the Wanderers scoring, either side of Denmark's leading marksman Chris Holmes bagging an 80th minute consolation.
Next season, it is the Premier Division for Wanderers and Simpson has high hopes his side have enough to compete.
“We reached the quarter-finals of the Senior Cup this season and we played a few Premier sides. We did well against them, so I'm very proud of the boy's hard work and I'm optimistic that we'll do well at a higher level next season.”
Prince of Denmark manager Paul Winter added: “It was definitely a sending off and no one had any qualms about it. It was a disappointing end to the season. With relegation, this was our big moment but unfortunately, being a man down, the heat was always going to tell in the end - although to finish 4-1 was probably a little bit unjust.
“But hopefully this will make us stronger for next season. If you were a bookmaker and we were able to keep this side together, and the players reckon they will, then you would have to make us favourite. But it's not going to be easy either way.”
t The final business of the season will be taken care of over the coming weeks.
This year's presentation evening is admittance by ticket only and takes place at 8pm on Friday, May 23 at Norwich Airport's Hotel Inn.
Following the fishing up of awards, the 2008 annual general meeting will follow on Tuesday, June 17 with proceedings at the British Legion Club on Aylsham Road, Norwich starting at 7pm.
And the season may have only just finished, but thoughts are already turning to the next campaign.
Registration forms for the 2008/9 Norwich Sunday League season are already available, so to get yours, simply contact league secretary Will Jeffery on 01603 618896 or write to him c/o 7 Ashby Street, Norwich, NR1 3PT.