Matty Ryland makes it third time lucky at Portman Road with Achilles
- Credit: Archant
Matty Ryland made it third time lucky at Portman Road yesterday.
The experienced defender helped Achilles deservedly lift the 2017 Suffolk Senior Cup after defeating SIL Senior Division rivals Crane Sports 2-1.
This was Ryland’s third cup final at Portman Road after experiencing defeat with Leiston previously.
“I’ve been here (Portman Road) twice before when I was 18 and 19 at Leiston, but I appreciated it a lot more at this age knowing that this might be my last time,” said the 31-year-old.
“This time was also a lot better because at Leiston, we lost 3-2 to Lowestoft after extra-time and then very heavily to Ipswich Town the following year!”
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Ryland was partnered next to the excellent Sean Benneworth in the centre of defence in Sunday’s victory, and admitted that he ‘loved’ the game.
“I loved it, but it was tough,” said Ryland, whose team took a 2-0 lead midway through the second half after goals from Liam Hillyard and Ivan Buxton.
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“James Blades (Crane’s striker) is a very good and strong player, and with two quick players off him (Mo Fike and Lyndon Dowson-Alexander), we didn’t get a chance to relax once, but we knew that.
“We came with a game plan, Luke (Hillyard, the Achilles manager) did his homework and within reason, we have executed it perfectly and came away with the win.”
Ryland said within reason because Crane made things interesting in the final 10 minutes, pulling a goal back through Fike, before applying more pressure to the Achilles back-line.
“That goal probably made it interesting for the neutral, but it made it hard for us,” continued the defender.
“Then again, it was an enjoyable and tough end because it made the final whistle feel all the better.
“I think we deserved it on the balance of play, but Crane put on a good show as well and it was a good advert for non-league football and a good cup final.
“It was a fantastic day out for the club.
“There are some real stalwarts at Achilles and it’s brilliant to win something for all the people at the club because without them there wouldn’t be a football club.”