Gallery and report: Whitton United defeat AFC Sudbury in Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final
- Credit: Archant
Miles Powell fired Whitton United into their first Suffolk Premier Cup Final with a dramatic semi-final winner against AFC Sudbury at Bloomfields last night.
The striker raced on to a long ball over the top of the Sudbury defence to give the Thurlow Nunn Premier outfit a 3-2 victory over their Ryman North opponens.
Whitton had twice gone ahead in normal time through Chris Williams and Jordan Dye, only to be pegged back by strikes from Jordan Blackwell and Tyler Kemp.
Whitton were first to pose a threat, the Ipswich side having strong appeals for a penalty turned down when Williams tumbled in the box, under pressure from James Baker.
The Thurlow Nunn Premier side were enjoying the better of the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead on nine minutes, following a well-worked free kick.
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Liam Bevis laid the ball off to Powell who, in turn fed Williams down the left – the striker having made a run down the line and into the penalty box.
The experienced frontman ran onto the ball and, without breaking stride, finished into the far corner.
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Whitton’s Ethan Clarke then forced a free kick 15 minutes in and Lance Akins almost connected with Bevis’ set piece.
AFC’s first real shot in anger came on 25 minutes, Josh Kerridge’s shot being deflected behind for a corner. Ryan Henshaw then saw a header go straight to Whitton ‘keeper Liam Jones.
Whitton almost doubled their lead in bizarre fashion in the 28th minute, Clarke charging down goalkeeper Luke Avenell’s clearance and seeing the ball ricochet inches over the bar.
Ayrton Coley was next to test the Whitton stopper before Blackwell volleyed just wide from range after collecting a pass from his team mate.
Blackwell did better five minutes later, grabbing the equaliser with a sweet half volley from the right side of the box.
Whitton didn’t let that affect them though and re-took the lead two minutes later. Avenell failed to hold onto a long-range Bevis free kick and Dye finished on the line.
AFC started the second half in determined fashion and equalised within five minutes of the restart. Ben Robinson delivered a superb outswinging ball from the right and left-back Kemp arrived at the back post to power a header past Jones.
Whitton struggled to exert the same pressure on the game in the early exchanges of the second half and the already-booked Williams was lucky to get away with just a warning after catching Baker late.
AFC almost went ahead for the first time late in normal time, Blackwell and Robinson dragging right foot volleys wide across goal from almost identical positions.
Blackwell went close again moments later, Jones producing a wonderful one-handed save to keep his bending shot out.
Sudbury were applying all the pressure and Terry Rymer had a shout for a penalty turned down after he was challenged by Robbie Knott.
Both sides had chances to go ahead in the first period of extra-time, Bevis testing Avenell with a free-kick and Scott Kemp blazing over the bar when well positioned after receiving a flick-on from Rymer.
AFC looked the more likely winners in the second period of extra-time but, as they had all night, they were once again caught on he counter attack and this time it proved crucial.
Dye won a strong tackle in midfield and after a long high ball was played forward, Powell took it on and ran to the edge of the box before coolly finishing past Avenell.
Jones then kept United’s lead intact in injury-time, tipping over Franco Mallardo’s volley.
AFC Sudbury: Avenell, Robinson, T Kemp, Kerridge, Henshaw (Ray), Clements (S Kemp), Blackwell, Berquez, Rymer, Baker, Coley (Mallardo). Subs: Ray, Chester, Brazitis.
Whitton Utd: Jones, Sheppard, Mead, Trevivian, Knott, Akins, Bevis (Squibb), Dye, Powell, Williams (Nogueira), E Clarke (Marjoram). Subs: Burnett
Referee: Oliver Morris-Sanders