Achilles unhappy at Senior Cup trip to Lakenheath
FOOTBALL: Achilles could have their season shaped over the next couple of games with a home Kingsley Healthcare SIL Senior Division fixture against Crane Sports on Saturday and a Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final at Lakenheath seven days later.
The race for the SIL title is boiling up to be a five-horse race with Woodbridge Athletic doing their best to hang on to the coat tails of Ipswich Athletic, Ransomes Sports, Grundisburgh, Felixstowe United and Achilles.
“As things are looking at the moment we will be playing five of the top six sides in our final six or seven fixtures,” said Achilles manager Alan Middle.
“So if we keep going as we are there is every chance it will all go down to the wire.
“It looks like being between five teams, but Woodbridge still have some of the top teams to play twice.”
Achilles have still to re-arrange both games against Ransomes and they are planning to fit them in on Easter Monday and then May Day Bank Holiday seven days later.
“They could be big games,” added Middle, who has a full squad to select from tomorrow.
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“And we are expecting a tough game tomorrow as form goes out of the window when we meet Crane because there are so many players who have played for the other club.
“Kevin Sharman will turn things around at Crane although they have not been getting the results they would have wanted in recent games.”
Achilles, who are still in the Omnico Cup and have a chance to record a significant treble, have not been dealt a good hand by Suffolk FA with their Senior Cup semi-final being staged at Lakenheath.
“It is disappointing,” said Middle. “It looked to me as though the FA decided to do away with neutral grounds last season because of weather disruptions and have carried it on to this year.
“We played at Lakenheath in the competition last season and their fans can be quite hostile.
“We were winning when Austin King was injured and the game was abandoned. In the ‘replay’ we lost heavily with a weakened team.
“Suffolk FA will take the gate receipts but Lakenheath will benefit financially from food and drink sales while we face the prospect of big transport costs for the hour journey.
“But most importantly teams lose more games away from home than at home and against the favourites our chances of reaching Portman Road will be considerably reduced by playing away.”
The SILhas entered the FA Inter-League Cup for the first time and they are at home to Bedfordshire County League in the preliminary round at Millfield, Hadleigh on Saturday April 2.
The winners will be away to Reading League or Kent County League in the next round early next season.
A total of 48 leagues have entered and the competition has the added bonus of the winner qualifying for the UEFA Regions Cup, last played in Croatia.
The three previous winners have been the Isle of Man League (2006), Southern Amateur League (2008) and the Guernsey Senior County League (2010).
Recent transfers in the Kingsley Healthcare SIL: Thomas Childs (Felixstowe United to Ransomes), Michael Clarke (Ransomes to Blakenham), Oliver Duncan (Ransomes to Coplestonians), James Nunn (Ransomes to Woolverstone), Adam Oxborough (Melton St Audry’s to Woodbridge Athletic), Steven Polanczuk (BT Trimley v Tattingstone), Adam Riggey, (Haughley to AFC Crowley), Maxwell Studd (Sproughton to Kesgrave Kestrels), Daniel Tatum (Coplestonians to Ransomes), Gavin Tyler (Sproughton to Willis), Glen Bradley (Crane Sports to Ransomes), Dean Forbes (Bramford to BROB), Sean Foster (St Johns to Bramford), Neil Herbert (Westerfield to Stowupland Falcons), Jason Hindley (Henley to Cedars Park), Tony Mayhew (Capel Plough to Haughley), Stuart Miller (Wickham Market to Dennington), Stephen Morley (AFC Crowley to Stonham), Lee Polley (Ransomes to Haughley), Thomas Vale (St Johns to Woodbridge Athletic).