Ipswich Town Ladies will be favourites against Kirkley & Pakefield

Ipswich Town ladies

Ipswich Town ladies - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town Ladies’ manager Ralph Pruden said it will be ‘awesome’ for his side to play on their ‘home’ ground in the final of the Suffolk FA Women’s Cup, sponsored by HomeStore Self Storage.

The final is back to Portman Road after being played there for the first and only time in the 2012-13 season, when Ipswich Town defeated Lowestoft Town 5-1.

Ironically, Ipswich will again face opposition from Lowestoft, this time Kirkley & Pakefield, in tonight’s final, kick-off 7pm.

Pruden, whose side play their home matches at Felixstowe & Walton United’s Goldstar Ground, said: “The players are really excited about it.

“The competition is one we earmarked at the beginning of the season that we should be looking to win.

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“The fact that the final is at Portman Road is awesome, and the fact it is our ‘home’ ground will make it an extra special occasion for us.”

Ipswich, who play in South East Division One of the FA Women’s Premier League, will start firm favourites to retain the cup against their opponents from Division Two of the Norfolk Women’s and Girls’ League.

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Pruden, whose team defeated AFC Sudbury 2-0 in last season’s final to win the competition for the sixth time, admitted: “We can’t deny we are favourites to win, but they need to be respected.

“They have romped their league this season and will clearly be confident after doing so well this year, but we are in a decent run of form ourselves at the moment.”

Kirkley & Pakefield Ladies’ Player-manager Sarah Meades said her side are relishing playing in their first Suffolk FA Women’s Cup Final.

She said: “The club are very proud of the team and we are all excited about the final, although we know it is going to be a tough game.

“We played Bury Town in the semi-final and they are three leagues above us, but it was quite clear early on in that game that we were in with a shout.

“It is 11 players against 11 players, so anything can happen. They play at a higher standard than us and have their reputation to uphold, whereas we have nothing to lose.

“I will be telling the players to make the most of the occasion; I always say to them to ‘go out and have fun, but it is not fun to lose’ but so long as they give 100% I will be pleased with their performance.”

Admission to the final will be £5 for adults and £3 for concessions. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted for £1.

A 20-page souvenir programme, priced £1.50, will be on sale.

The gates will open at 6.15pm.

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