Attacking style brings reward for Cranfield

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CRANFIELD United have scored in excess of 120 goals this season, and finished their campaign in style by lifting their first piece of silverware for the best part of 20 years.

The team, jointly managed by Pat Booden and Lee Bearman, recorded a 4-1 win over Biggleswade Town in the North Beds Charity Cup final.

After falling a goal behind in the first half at Stotfold, the men from Crawley Road hit back with typical aplomb as goals from Seb Simpson, Sam Evans and a brace courtesy of Nat Peacock saw them secure the trophy, pictured, right.

The SML Division One side looked on course for league success earlier this season as they topped the table for three weeks after a superb start to the season.

Playing a 3-4-3 formation for the majority of the time, Cranfield went on to finish in eighth place, winning 22 of their 42 games. The fact that they only drew three times tells you everything you need to know about the win or bust strategy adopted by Booden and Bearman in their two and a half years at the helm.

Booden, a former U18 manager with Cranfield, said his young side had been somewhat naive at times, but praised them for saving their best defensive performance of the season for their very last game.

He said: “We might have dropped down the table after a great start to the season, but we’ve always been worth coming to watch, and we’ve had some fantastic support these last couple of years, particularly in the cup final last Tuesday against a very good Biggleswade side. It was great to finally give them something to cheer about.

“To be honest we were probably punching above our weight slightly when we went top of the league but we got carried away with it. It’s still been a very good season though.”

One of the reasons why Cranfield are able to play such good attacking football – that has seen them finish as the top SML side in the area – is that they have the benefit of taking to a pitch which is the envy of most local sides every other week.

Groundsman Ivor Kennet is in the running to win the ‘pitch of the year’ prize for the club’s level this season, and if he does it will put the icing on the cake of a very good campaign for everyone connected with the club.