Corton will start favourites, says Whitton United boss Paul Bugg

Whitton United's Anton Clarke, right, battling for possession with Grundisburgh's Lyndon Alexander i

Whitton United's Anton Clarke, right, battling for possession with Grundisburgh's Lyndon Alexander in last season's Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final - Credit: JAMES AGER

WHITTON United manager Paul Bugg has scoffed at suggestions his side start favourites in tomorrow’s LB Group Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final tie.

Whitton may have won the cup for the past two seasons, but Bugg is adamant that the Ipswich-based side will start as underdogs against Corton at Leiston, kick-off 3pm.

Corton, who currently sit fourth in the Anglian Combination Division One table, put out Newmarket Town 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in last month’s quarter-final tie.

Bugg said: “Someone said to me the other day the final has good Wanderers v Whitton written all over it, but that is certainly not the case.

“The dream final for a lot of people may well be Wanderers v Whitton, or Crane’s v Whitton, who are neighbours, but Corton have beaten Newmarket Town, who were the favourites, so I think we are the underdogs.

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“I dismiss the idea that we are favourites because although Ian Brown deserved great credit for getting Whitton to the final two years on the trot and winning it, only three or four players are left from last season’s side.

“It may come down to which team wants it the most on the day and I will be looking for my players to step up to the mark.”

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Although Bugg has received a couple of scouting reports on tomorrow’s opponents, the information has not been consistent.

“We could be going in blind, unless a third report I am waiting for is similar to one of those we have already received.

“To be fair, I am more interested in how we play than Corton as we are in a mini slump at the moment.”

Bugg is hopeful that the mix of players at his disposal will enable the Thurlow Nunn League Division One side to reach the showpiece final at Portman Road.

“Mical Moore, Ross Rands and Tom Bradlaugh have all played and lost in a semi-final so they have an added incentive to get to the final, while Kevin Inglis, Robbie Knott and Anton Clarke have all won it twice in the last two years.

“Then we’ve got goalkeeper Liam Jones, who has played in Premier Cup finals but never won the Senior Cup, and some youngsters who have never experienced playing in a final before, so we have got a good mixture of players.”

It will be a return to his old stomping ground for Bugg, who was reserve team manager at Leiston for 18 months up until the end of last season.

“I am happy with that – it is a good pitch that will hopefully suit us more than them,” he said of the Victory Road surface.

Whitton will be without Anton Clarke, who is ruled out with a groin strain, while both Mark Van-Oene and Clark Bruce are cup-tied after already appearing for Grundisburgh and Ipswich Exiles respectively in this season’s competition.

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