Achilles defeat Haughley United in Bob Coleman Cup final
- Credit: James Ager
Achilles were impressive winners defeating Haughley in the Bob Coleman Cup final at Woodbridge Town’s ground in front of more than 250 spectators.
They largely dominated first half proceedings that culminated with Haughley capitulating in a six-minute spell before the interval.
Although Haughley doubtless were conscious of their Suffolk Senior Cup final at Portman Road on Wednesday, this could not detract from the excellence and superiority of the winners who played with great intensity throughout.
While Nathan Smith volleyed wide for Haughley it was Achilles who carried the greater threat with their expansive football and offensive play giving little respite to the defensive partnership of Tom West and Ben George who had been so dependable in recent weeks.
A Gavin Van Oene corner picked out Luke Hillyard whose header was palmed over by debutant keeper Dean Allum, and Hillyard’s corner beyond the far post was met by Kieron Donovan whose effort was scrambled away by Allum.
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Maintaining the pressure Andy Coote fired narrowly wide and then Hillyard’s header struck the underside of the bar.
Achilles went into a 29th-minute lead. albeit fortuitously. Matthew Ryland floated a free kick from the half-way line into the box and defender George headed past his own ‘keeper. They added a second on 39 minutes when Van Oene took advantage of a poor pass out from Allum to round the ‘keeper and score easily.
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The now beleaguered Haughley defence conceded again three minutes later when Hillyard released Van Oene who planted his left-foot shot beyond the ‘keeper and inside the far post.
With Haughley in disarray they added a fourth in the 45th minute. Hillyard was again the architect setting up Coote who drove home from eight yards.
Haughley pulled a goal back on 49 minutes when Achilles ‘keeper Shaun Chaplin was penalised in the area and Smith converted the spot kick.
Although Haughley improved, Achilles maintained their impetus with David Grimwood going close after rounding two defenders and substitute Lee Grimwood released Van Oene who. running into the box. was thwarted by Allum’s smothering save.
Man-of-the-match Ryland tested Allum with a free kick that was palmed over and then Allum punched clear a fierce shot from Van Oene.
Haughley pulled a goal back in injury time when the hard-working Ryan Wragg squared to substitute Yani Duka who tapped home from close in.
There were joyous scenes at the final whistle as the trophy was presented to Achilles, while Haughley have much to ponder in preparation for Wednesday’s Senior Cup Final against Waveney.
It all left Achilles Chairman Dave Morgan delighted with his side’s performance.
“After the disappointment of losing out on top spot in the SIL Senior League by the proverbial ‘whisker’ it was heartening to see the lads put their own disappointment behind them and certainly in the first half give as good a display as probably any team has given in the Senior League this season,” he said.
PHOTOS: JAMES AGER