Crane Sports set up an all-SIL Suffolk Senior Cup final with upset of Haverhill Borough

Crane Sports captain Mark Roper scores from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 in his side’s 4-1 victor

Crane Sports captain Mark Roper scores from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 in his sides 4-1 victory over Haverhill Borough in the Suffolk FA Senior Cup semi-final at Hadleigh United on Saturday - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final Crane Sports 4 Haverhill Borough 1 The Touchline SIL is guaranteed its first winner in the Suffolk FA Senior Cup, sponsored by CNet Training, since the 2007-08 season.

Crane Sports beat Haverhill Borough 4-1 on Saturday to set up a final versus Senior Division rivals Achilles at Portman Road on the afternoon of Sunday, April 30th.

Haverhill Borough entered Saturday’s replayed semi-final – the first match, also at Hadleigh United FC, was abandoned a week earlier due to player injuries after a collision in the third minute – as favourites to reach the final.

But Borough, who are riding high in Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League, were second best on the day against a Cranes side who never looked back after taking the lead in the 25th minute.

It was fitting that Lyndon Dowson-Alexander, the Cranes player injured seven days earlier, should score the goal at the end of a superb breakaway following a Borough corner.


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Jon Ince brought the ball out of defence and found Leigh Cooper on the right. Cooper then laid the ball up to James Blades who allowed Dowson-Alexander to take it off him, drift between two defenders and bury a low shot into the bottom corner beyond Paul Walker.

Cranes doubled their advantage after 64 minutes, Tommy Hardwick fouling Blades in the penalty area and captain Mark Roper duly despatching the spot kick.

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It was effectively all over seven minutes later, Ince exchanging passes with Harry Cole on the left touchline before lifting the ball into the path of Blades, who thundered a left-foot drive into the roof of the net.

Cranes added a fourth in the 78th minute, the ball being switched from the left to right wing where Cooper crossed low into the six-yard box for Blades to supply a close-range finish.

Borough player-manager Martin Westcott pulled a consolation goal back after 86 minutes, glancing home Ryan Swallow’s right-wing free-kick.

Three minutes later skipper Jarid Robson received a straight red card for swinging an arm at Daniel Buck on an afternoon that Borough, who were also beaten semi-finalists last season, will want to forget.

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