GARETH Ainsworth celebrated his 46th birthday with a goal and a winner's medal as Finchampstead defeated Fernhill 3-1 in the Bracknell & District Sunday League Senior Cup final at Larges Lane, writes Dave Wright.

The Wycombe Wanderers manager and former player showed he had not lost much of his class, spraying long, accurate passes in addition to making swift bursts to set up attacks.

But he was pipped for the man-of-the-match award by Leon Mannion, who has played for Wycombe reserves.

Mannion was also on target and was a threat to the Fernhill defence for the whole game with his pace.

In Sunday morning football, it often needs just one above-average player to win a game and, fortunately for Finchampstead, they boast two.

They had only managed to finish sixth in the Premier Division, a massive 21 points behind runaway champions Fernhill, but proved the better side last Friday night.

A week earlier, Fernhill had their eyes on another treble or even a double, but those hopes came crashing down when losing 4-0 to Lightwater in the Aldershot Senior Cup final and then to Finch in the space of five days.

Yet, it looked promising for Jeff Lawrence's men when they took the lead in the 12th minute through defender Tom Baddeley following Charlie Evanson's long left-wing cross.

However, the cup holders were left reeling by a quick one-two. Mannion helped set up a 38th-minute equaliser for Brian Murphy and then scored himself two minutes later with a powerful drive after cutting in from the right wing.

There were plenty of chances at both ends in the second half as the game opened up, but most of the shots were fired well off target as players began to tire.

However, the one piece of high-level skill was provided by Ainsworth, who from just outside the area scored direct from a free-kick. Fernhill's wall and keeper Ashley East appeared to have the left side of their goal covered while leaving the right exposed, but the Wycombe boss still managed to find a way through to score.

The industrious Evanson was the best player for Fernhill, who were reduced to 10 men in injury time when Josh Lawrence was sent off for two yellow-card offences.

The Sunday League's Junior Cup final is being played at Larges Lane this coming Friday (8pm) with Sandhurst, who won Division Two without losing a game, taking on runners-up Woodley Saints.