Leiston boss Glenn Driver: I hope Needham win Suffolk Premier Cup

Needham celebrate after their dramatic win

Needham celebrate after their dramatic win - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Leiston boss Glenn Driver hopes that the penalty victors in last night’s classic cup clash, Needham Market, go on to win the Suffolk Premier Cup.

Jake Hutchings (4) makes it 4-3 to Leiston in extra-time

Jake Hutchings (4) makes it 4-3 to Leiston in extra-time - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

After the most extraordinary semi-final, which saw Leiston lead three times in a 4-4 draw over 120 minutes of football, it was the Marketmen who held their nerve in the shoot-out to set up a final with Lowestoft Town at Colchester United in May.

“Full credit to Needham and Mark Morsley,” said a dejected Driver afterwards.

“I wish them well, and I hope they go and win in the final.

“I played for Needham Market, I love the football club, they gave me my first opportunity to play as a kid, and I’d love to see them win it now that they’ve knocked us out.”

Driver’s side were comfortably in control in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead into the interval, but comeback kings Needham made a game of it thereafter, with both teams throwing caution to the wind in an unforgettable and classic cup tie.

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“I felt both teams certainly went for it,” said Driver. “There were eight goals, and it had everything!

“We battered Needham in the first half, but fair play to them, they were a lot better in the second half, and looked strong in extra-time too.”

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Driver was less pleased with the refereeing performance of Ollie Morris-Sanders, who awarded Needham two penalties in quick succession right at the start of the second half, and sent Jack Ainsley off late on for two yellow cards.

“Unfortunately, everybody who watched the game and was supporting Leiston was talking about the referee’s performance,” continued Driver, whose side travel to Harlow Town in the Ryman Premier Division on Saturday.

“It was no less than an absolute disgrace, and I don’t think it would have been fit for Sunday morning football – and that’s no disrespect to Sunday morning football as I’ve played that for 25 years!

“I’ve never ever seen a referee performance as bad as that, his whole performance was shocking. How Jack Ainsley has warranted two yellow cards, I will never know.”

- Were you at the game? Where does it rank in the best games of football you’ve ever seen? Let us know!

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