Manager ‘gobsmacked’ at postponement of Suffolk Senior Cup final

LONG Melford manager Jason Maher said he was “gobsmacked” when told that last night’s Suffolk Senior Cup final at Portman Road had been postponed.

The showpiece final, between Ridgeons League Division One clubs Long Melford and holders Whitton United at Ipswich Town’s ground, was called off by the club yesterday morning.

A statement on Ipswich Town’s website said: “Heavy rain overnight has left the pitch very wet and with more rain forecast through the day it’s felt that there would be a risk to the surface ahead of Monday’s Championship game against Leicester.”

But Long Melford manager Jason Maher said he was “gobsmacked” and “astounded” that the game had been postponed.

“I had a text from my captain Ashley Skeggs, whose sister works at Ipswich Town, saying that the game was off. I texted back and said good joke, but April Fool’s was last week. He is a practical joker and I still didn’t believe him so I called him and he said it was definitely off.

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“I was gobsmacked and astounded, but then I had a call from our club secretary confirming the final had been postponed.”

Maher said that some of his players had taken the day off work and others a half day before meeting up for a lunchtime meal at a pub in Long Melford and spending the afternoon together before travelling to Portman Road by coach.

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He said some players had even booked today off work.

Maher added: “I just hope that a new date can be arranged to play at Portman Road. It would be terrible if we can’t get another date to play, but we will play at any time, even if it is a couple of days’ notice, because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some of these boys.”

Whitton United manager Ian Brown said: “Although I am disappointed, it is Ipswich Town’s prerogative, and if it is in the best interests of the club not to play we have to go along with that.

“Hopefully the final can be rescheduled for Portman Road on another date.”

Brown said that his players were due to meet at the club ahead of the game in keeping with their plans prior to last year’s final against Lakenheath, although a couple of them who work night shifts had taken the evening off.

Jairo Marin, football services manager at Suffolk FA, apologised for any inconvenience caused and said everyone would be notified of a new date as soon as possible.

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