Goalkeeper Burgess stars in FA County Youth Cup triumph!

Marcus Burgess shows a safe pair of hands at Portman Road
Marcus Burgess shows a safe pair of hands at Portman Road

While Ipswich Town’s play-off hopes were extinguished against the Clarets at Turf Moor, teenage goalkeeper Marcus Burgess was at the home of the Tractor Boys lifting the prestigious FA County Youth Cup.

The England Colleges stopper, who has spent the season on loan at Padiham in the Evo-Stik First Division North from Ramsbottom United, was part of the Lancashire team that beat Suffolk 3-2 after extra-time at Portman Road as the county secured the silverware for the fifth time in the competition’s 70-year history.

The captivating finale looked destined to be heading for penalties until substitute Cory Bent, who scored the winner in the semi-final against Devon FA, struck in dramatic fashion with just three minutes of the additional period remaining.

Suffolk, who had won two of their three previous County Youth Cup finals – in 2005 and 2008 – at the home of the Championship club, took an early lead when Harrison Ford beat Burgess.

But Lancashire responded well and turned the game on its head before the interval when striker Jack Williams levelled on the half-hour mark, sweeping full back Jack Higham’s centre past James Bradbrook, before Joel Khambay made it 2-1.

The hosts managed to force extra-time as substitute Sam Thrower - who had earlier replaced Ford - headed home the equaliser with his first touch of the tie, but it was coach Pete Wild’s choice to introduce Bent at the expense of Josh Smith that proved pivotal as the winger pounced late on.

Burgess, who made a stunning save to deny Jack Newman with the game locked at 2-2, said: “Celebrating that 117th minute goal and lifting the trophy at the end of the game was one of the best feelings in my life.

“The emotion running through me when Cory scored with three minutes remaining was amazing and something I’ll remember for a very long time. I was getting my mind ready for penalties and starting to focus on that so to see the ball hitting the back of the net was great.”

The 17-year-old, who in March was chosen ahead of Gateshead College’s Shaun MacDonald to represent England Colleges in the Roma Caput Mundi in Italy, added: “It was one of my best experiences in football and overall this has easily been my best ever season of football.

“To have represented both the England Schoolboys and England Colleges teams this year and to top it off by winning one of the most prestigious trophies in English football is something I will cherish forever. It’s something I can look back on with a huge amount of pride.”