‘Added spice’ to Senior Cup tie as finalists meet again
“ONE game is not going to change anything,” declared Whitton United manager Ian Brown ahead of the holders’ Suffolk Senior Cup quarter-final tie against Lakenheath tomorrow.
The tie of the round sees a re-match of last year’s final as Whitton, who won the showpiece Portman Road match 1-0 despite being down to ten men, travel to Lakenheath, who are currently top of the Kershaw Cambridgeshire League.
After seeing their 14-match unbeaten start to the Ridgeons League Division One season ended by successive defeats at leaders Thetford Town (2-0) and Ipswich Wanderers (2-1) either side of Christmas, Whitton bounced back to beat Long Melford 5-0 on Monday and sit third in the table.
Asked if tomorrow’s tie was the hardest Whitton could have had at this stage, Brown said: “Every game of football is hard. I have not heard much about Lakenheath this year. We gave them a good game at Portman Road, although we had a little bit of luck on the day.
“We have just got to make sure we compete on the day, but whether it is good enough or not we will have to wait and see.
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“But I know if we play to our potential we will give any team at our level a good game.
“There will be added spice to the tie because of the final last year, but one game is not going to change anything. If we don’t win - and I hope do - we will hope to learn something from the game.
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“Other teams would like to be in our position. Sometimes you have to be realistic bearing in mind we are competing against sides with bigger budgets than us.
“I believe some of our players are better, with all due respect, than Ridgeons League Division One and have a bright future in the game, whether it is at this club or not.”
Whitton will be without cup-tied duo David Lorimer and Danny Swain, who are both on-loan from AFC Sudbury and have already played in this season’s Suffolk Premier Cup for their parent club while Kevin Inglis, whose penalty secured the Senior Cup last season, is suspended.
On the plus side leading scorer Chris Williams returned to action against Long Melford on Monday after an ankle ligament injury.
Brown, who played professionally during his career, said: “I would have loved to have played with Chris. He is a very good player who is seven out of ten, and invariably more, each week, but one player doesn’t make a team.”
Former Colchester United full back Simon Betts, who later played for Whitton, has joined the club as assistant to Brown, who paid tribute to the work of committee members for improvements made at the club in the last couple of years.