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Kirkley boss proud of his side in cup semi-final defeat to Leiston

Kyle Haylock is mobbed by his Kirkley & Pakefield team-mates after putting his side ahead against Leiston in the Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final. Photograph: STEVE WOOD

Kyle Haylock is mobbed by his Kirkley & Pakefield team-mates after putting his side ahead against Leiston in the Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final. Photograph: STEVE WOOD

Steve Wood Photography

Kirkley & Pakefield Manager Mark Willis had mixed emotions after seeing his side bow out of this season’s Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup at the semi-final stage, writes Nick Garnham.

The club, who were aiming to reach the final of the Premier Cup for the first time, lost 3-1 to Leiston at Lowestoft Town FC on Tuesday night.

Bostik League Premier Division Leiston fell behind to Kyle Haylock’s second-minute header, but recovered to equalise three minutes later through Christy Finch.

Jake Reed put Leiston in front after 25 minutes, and their place in the final was confirmed when Finch added his second in the 92nd minute.

Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Kirkley, who play two levels below Leiston, acquitted themselves well, and had chances in the second-half to draw level.

Willis said afterwards: “On the one hand I am massively disappointed at not progressing as in cup football you want to win the match, and we have not won it.

“On the flip side there were some excellent performances from all my lads. Their work rate was outstanding as they had a lot of running to do!

“For the players to maintain their quality of passing and decision-making after having to work that hard was really pleasing as they put in a real shift.

“We competed throughout, but there was a period when we were on top in the second half and creating chances, but unfortunately we could not get an equaliser.

“We still had half-chances at the end of the game, and with a slice of luck would have scored and taken it to penalties, but we got punished with the third goal right at the death.”

Willis, who was appointed manager in July 2016, added: “Credit to Leiston, who have had a job to do which was to get to the final and it is a job they have done.

“I would like to wish them all the best not only for the final itself but in their pursuit of reaching this season’s play-offs.”

Leiston will face Bury Town in the final at Portman Road, subject to Ipswich Town not being involved in the play-offs, in May.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski discussed being left out of the team by former boss Paul Hurst, new coach Jimmy Walker and Paul Lambert’s positive impact when he spoke to the media this afternoon.

Paul Lambert has confirmed Jordan Graham is no longer in his plans at Ipswich Town with the winger’s loan set to be cut short in January.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has told owner Marcus Evans that he believes defender Jonas Knudsen is worthy of a new contract.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert spoke to the media this afternoon ahead of the Friday night clash with West Bromwich Albion, and discussed the importance of the club’s fans creating a rocking Portman Road atmosphere as they try to escape the drop zone.

Mick McCarthy is the early favourite for vacant Republic of Ireland job following the departure of both Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today we look back to David Gregory scoring a hat-trick as Town progressed to the next round of the League Cup.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert is impressed with what he’s seen of the Blues’ academy during his early weeks of his reign.

Titus Bramble says Ipswich Town duo Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes were stand-out performers at the recent England Under-20 camp.

Mark Heath, Andy Warren and Stuart Watson are back with another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast.

Trevoh Chalobah was proud to captain England Under 20s in their 2-0 victory over Germany at Colchester on Monday night but has already turned his attention to Ipswich Town’s Friday clash with West Brom.

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