Promotion still the priority for giantkillers Claydon
CLAYDON manager Trevor Wardlaw described his side’s Bob Coleman Cup quarter-final victory over Grundisburgh as their best display of the season.
The Division Two leaders thumped their Senior Division opponents and six times winners 4-0 to reach the semi-finals, where they will face Ipswich side Crane Sports.
Wardlaw, who maintained his side’s priority this season was still to win promotion, said: “It could have been a couple more as their goalkeeper was their best player.
“In the first half we had a gale against us. Grundisburgh had a succession of corners and we had to survive a ten-minute onslaught.
“We scored around ten minutes before half time, and during the break the gale turned into a breeze, but we played really well in the second half and it turned into a rout.
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“Saturday was a very good team performance – everyone was up for it including the substitutes, even the two who didn’t get a kick were very much a part of it. We are a very together squad at the moment.
“Overall I would say it was our best performance of the season, although in the last quarter-of-an-hour we missed three or four easy chances, but by then the game was won.”
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Wardlaw continued: “Our aim cup-wise this season was the Suffolk Junior Cup, but we have built up a head of steam and had a very good run in the Bob Coleman Cup.
“We have done exceptionally well in this cup. We have beaten Stonham Aspal, two of the better sides in Division One – Sporting 87 and BT Trimley – and Senior Division sides Leiston St Margaret’s and now Grundisburgh.
“But our priority is still very much the league. We still have a lot of work to do. We have nine matches to go and appear to have a nice lead, but we must remain fully focused.”
Claydon have an eight-point lead, and two games in hand, over second-placed Bacton United 89 at the top of Division Two. They are a further point ahead, with a game in hand, on Parkside United.
In the last four of the cup Achilles face Melton St Audry’s while Claydon, the only side left in the competition from outside the Senior Division, face a Crane’s side who have already lost one semi-final this season. Iain Radnor’s side were soundly defeated 4-0 by Ipswich Wanderers in the semi-finals of the LB Group Suffolk Senior Cup.
Wardlaw said firmly tongue-in-cheek: “We are wary about playing Crane Sports because they scored ten against us in a friendly this season, so if we can keep them down to eight that will be a result!
“When you are a Division Two side you are very much the underdog whoever you play, and I am not sure if a Division Two side has ever reached the final of this competition.
“I have always maintained we have got good players and we are capable of achieving results like Saturday’s on our day.
“But I still stick by what I said before and that is we could not do it week in, week out.”
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, April 13, with the final set for Friday, May 10, at Woodbridge Town FC, kick-off 7.15pm.