Achilles beat SIL rivals Crane Sports to lift Suffolk Senior Cup
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk Senior Cup Final Achilles 2 Crane Sports 1 Achilles lifted the 2017 Suffolk Senior Cup at Portman Road this afternoon after defeating Crane Sports 2-1.
Two goals in quick succession, during the second half, from Liam Hillyard and Ivan Buxton gave Achilles victory in front of nearly 1,200 people, although brave Crane Sports had them sweating as time went on.
Mo Fike planted a fine 81st-minute header into the net, to set up a grandstand finish, but Achilles held on before celebrating passionately on Ipswich Town’s turf.
Achilles could have opened the scoring earlier than they did - Gavin Van Oene ran clear in the opening six minutes, after being played through by Buxton, but saw his effort deflected wide of the post by Ryan Bedingfield.
And just four minutes later, top goalscorer Hillyard scampered through, but lost his footing at the crucial moment.
Lee Grimwood then saw an effort hacked off the line by the impressive Jon Ince, whose inch-perfect diagonal cross moments later was headed over by Fike.
Both Fike and Hillyard went close again before the break, with the latter playing in David Grimwood 11 minutes into the second half, only for Bedingfield to save with his legs.
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James Blades almost got the better of Shaun Chaplin less than a minute later, but the sprawling goalkeeper saved well, with Hillyard then scoring beautifully after latching onto Joe Revell’s ball, curling beyond the onrushing Bedingfield into the far corner.
And in the 64th minute, six minutes after the first goal, Buxton coolly rolled home a second goal following David Grimwood’s brilliant pass.
Achilles then wasted chances to put the game to bed, with Fike making things interesting when he firmly met Mark Van Oene’s superb cross to make it 2-1.
The experienced Sean Benneworth was then at his best to secure Achilles’ victory by blocking from Lyndon Dowson-Alexander and Tye Webb late on.
Crane Sports squad: Ryan Bedingfield, Ross Rands, Jon Ince, Mark Van Oene, Mark Roper, Daniel Buck (Harry Froud, 66), Leigh Cooper, Harry Cole (Danny Garrad, 76), Mo Fike, Lyndon Downson-Alexander, James Blades (Tye Webb, 61).
Achilles squad: Shaun Chaplin, Sean Hanley, Joe Revell, Sean Benneworth, Matt Ryland, Kieron Donovan, David Grimwood, Gavin Van Oene (Daniel Allen, 68), Ivan Buxton, Lee Grimwood (Carl McCarthy, 86), Liam Hillyard.