Jamie’s ‘amazing feeling’ after four spot-kick saves

Ipswich Wanderers skipper Lee Smith leads the applause as they celebrate with their supporters after

Ipswich Wanderers skipper Lee Smith leads the applause as they celebrate with their supporters after winning the Suffolk Senior Cup final against Whitton United at Portman Road - Credit: Archant

Jamie Stannard spoke of the “amazing feeling” after he saved four penalties in his last-ever match before retiring as Ipswich Wanderers won the LB Group Suffolk FA Senior Cup in a dramatic shoot-out at Portman Road.

Wanderers and great rivals Whitton United had drawn 1-1 after extra time in Wednesday’s final, before Wanderers won a see-saw shoot-out 3-2 on sudden death.

Whitton goalkeeper Liam Jones saved Wanderers’ opening three penalties before Stannard got in on the act, saving Whitton’s next three spot kicks, culminating in diving to his left to keep out the fifth from Jones which would have won it for Whitton had he scored.

After Dan Tredway converted to take it to sudden-death, Stannard saved from Ryan Flynn before Luke Read stepped up to win it for Wanderers.

Stannard, 33, had lost 5-4 on penalties in the 2008 Suffolk Premier Cup final while at Leiston against Needham Market, when ironically Jones was in the opposing goal.

Stannard said: “A lot of people said beforehand it would go to penalties because they thought it would be so tight.

“I had everyone saying to me it was written in the stars that we would win, but I thought it was going to be deja vu because Liam (Jones) was in goal as well the last time, and it got to the point where I had to save a penalty and fortunately I went the right way and then we had to score.

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“It is an amazing feeling - this is up there with the best nights of my life in footballing terms which includes playing in the first round proper of the FA Cup. What this group of lads have achieved is amazing.”

Jones said: “I am very annoyed at missing and disappointed for the boys. I was confident enough to take a penalty. I said all along I would take one if needed to, but it was a poor penalty.”

Wanderers manager Glenn Read said: “It was a real roller-coaster. There was not much between us in the first half, but I thought we were the better side in the second half and had some good chances.”

Whitton United boss Paul Bugg lamented: “I feel sorry for the two 16-year-olds (Dale Hammond and Ryan Flynn, whose spot kicks were saved by Stannard) as they should never have been put in that situation.

“Credit to Wanderers. They were the better side in the second half.”

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