THE CASTLE remain on course for the treble after adding the Westernsport Trophies-sponsored WG Parr Trophy to their Premier Division winners crown by defeating Sutton Benger 3-0 at Corsham Town’s Southbank Ground last weekend.
Benger, who went into the game as underdogs, were put under pressure from the off as Tom Perkins' Devizes-based Castle side asserted their their authority and it looked only a matter of time before the favourites would make the breakthrough.
On four minutes, Castle’s Marcus Wallen chased down a long clearance from keeper Matt Tilley and his effort from 20 yards was tipped onto the bar by Benger goalie Colin Hayward.
The rebound that fell to Adam Heath was somehow scrambled to safety after some desperate defending.
Castle were knocking on the door but could find away through Benger’s resolute back line and when they did, they couldn’t beat keeper Hayward, who did well to hold onto Heath’s curling effort on nine minutes.
Dan Sloan blasted an effort over for Castle and he fired his next attempt into the side netting although had the ball in the gone in, it would have counted for nothing as the assistant referee had his flagged raised for offside.
With 32 minutes on the clock, Benger were undone by Jack Bramwell, the defender finding himself in space 20 yards from goal and driving an effort through a crowd of players and wrong-footing the unsighted Hayward to give Castle what was a deserved lead.
A second goal looked only a matter of time away but Benger would have been pleased with the way they held on despite being under constant pressure, with Heath breaking clear only to fire a weak shot into the hands of keeper Hayward just before half-time.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first, with Castle grabbing their second of the morning in the 55th minute, with captain Gary Campbell bagging a 25-yard wonder goal to make it 2-0.
Benger were lacking firepower in front of goal could have done with an appearance from Ian Dawkins, who has netted 145 goals in his 20-odd years at the club, but after making a couple of substitutions it was a replacment who went closest to giving his team a lifeline back in the final, Rhys Marriman bringing a good save out of keeper Tilley on 66 minutes.
But it was game, set and match in the 77th minute, as Castle netted a third, with Benger's Marc Edwards headed beyond his own keeper when trying to clear a Joe Unsworth shot.
Not content with their three goals, Castle pushed on looking for a fourth and both Sloan and Jacob Wrobel went close, with the latter being denied by a great save from Hayward, who pushed the substitute’s snapshot onto the post before it was hacked to safety.
Castle were happy to see out the final few minutes and at the final whistle, it was job done as Perkins' side continuted to live up to their tag as pre-season favourites and can now look forward to their Knock Out Cup final against Corsham Centre Youth later this month.
Referee, Adam Osborne and his team of Maurice Chilcott, Sam Gooding and Steve Higgins had very little to do in a match that was played in a sporting manner by both teams.
League President and WG Parr Trophy sponsor Ken Clarke presented winning manager Perkins with the cup after the match whilst Benger’s 48-year-old player/manager Mark Merriman picked up the player of the match award.