Francis scores twice as Leiston get the better of a young Ipswich Town side

Joe Francis scored twice for Leiston last night

Joe Francis scored twice for Leiston last night - Credit: James Ager

Leiston advanced into the quarter finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup last night, after overcoming Ipswich Town 6-2.

Back in the competition for the first time since the 2012/13 season, Ipswich chose to field a very young side, as the experienced heads of Leiston comfortably progressed in an encounter full of goals.

Gareth Heath, Joe Francis (two), Leon Ottley-Gooch, Christy Finch, and Stuart Boardley were all on target for Leiston, while Kieron Cathline and Sam Ford scored for Ipswich.

The young Ipswich guns started brightly with Isaac Maynard firing over after a good move.

In fact, Ipswich, watched by former players Alan Lee and Richard Wright, matched their opponents for the majority of the first half with Maynard and Ronaldo Jones catching the eye.

Leiston soon took control though and nearly took the lead when a beautiful move down the left-hand side saw Seb Dunbar rattle the inside of the Ipswich post with a rasping left-foot shot.

Moments later, Tom Winter, a former Blues apprentice, broke down the right, to find Patrick Brothers, who curled over from the edge of the box as Leiston failed to test stopper Jacob Marsden.

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That changed right on the stroke of half-time as Francis’ deflected cross, via the body of Winter, found its way to the clinical Heath, who made no mistake.

Ten minutes after half-time, Leiston doubled their lead as Marsden, lucky to escape punishment for colliding with Francis earlier, hauled down Heath with Francis doing the honours from the spot.

Centre-half Cathline headed home a 63rd-minute free-kick given away by Ottley-Gooch to give Ipswich a lifeline, but the versatile Leiston player redeemed himself as he increased the hosts’ lead with a header from a corner just a minute later.

Francis then capitalised on a poor punch by Marsden in the 73rd minute, despite an Ipswich defender appearing to get the final touch as the ball hit the net, while two minutes later, Ford reduced the deficit with a cool finish.

Substitute Finch and captain Boardley added two more Leiston goals in the 90th minute in an exciting game.

Elsewhere in the Premier Cup last night, Bury Town defeated Kirkley & Pakefield 4-2 on penalties after the pair played out a fascinating 5-5 draw over 120 minutes.

In the competition’s other tie, Walsham le Willows beat Long Melford 3-2 in another dramatic game following floodlight failure at Summer Road.

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