Suffolk FA invited to defend trophy

SUFFOLK FA have been invited to return to Old Newton to defend the John Thorndyke Memorial Cup next season.A Suffolk FA XI, consisting mainly of the 2008 FA County Youth Cup-winning squad, defeated Old Newton 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw against the Metaltec SIL Division One champions on Saturday.

Nick Garnham

SUFFOLK FA have been invited to return to Old Newton to defend the John Thorndyke Memorial Cup next season.

A Suffolk FA XI, consisting mainly of the 2008 FA County Youth Cup-winning squad, defeated Old Newton 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw against the Metaltec SIL Division One champions on Saturday.

The match was staged in memory of John Thorndyke, a member of Old Newton for more than 40 years as a player and then secretary, who also served on both the Suffolk FA and SIL committees for over 25 years, before he died from cancer last May, aged 61.


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A crowd of more than 300 witnessed an entertaining match in which Suffolk took the lead through a neat finish by Josh Curry just behalf half time, but were pegged back when Chris Steggall equalised from close range with 15 minutes remaining.

The match then went to a penalty shoot-out, with Luke Bailey netting the winning spot kick after Suffolk goalkeeper Tom Ross had saved two of Old Newton efforts.

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John Thorndyke's widow Margaret presented the cup to Scott Manning, skipper of the Suffolk FA XI, which was put together by manager Andy Gould.

Dave Shave, chairman of Old Newton, said afterwards: “The support we have received from everyone today has been fantastic.

“I was pleasantly surprised how some of our ageing players, who came out of retirement to play, coped in the conditions!

“Our thanks go to Suffolk FA and Andy Gould, who is keen to bring a Suffolk FA XI back next year and so we have invited them to come along and defend the trophy.”

Gavin Johnson, the former Ipswich Town and Colchester United player, who was born in Old Newton, turned out for the village side for the first time in more than 20 years.

The 38-year-old, who played at centre half and almost gave Old Newton the lead when he hit the inside of a post with a header, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.

“They are a good group of people here who have worked very hard to make it a special day in John's memory and have been rewarded with a good turnout.”

Proceeds of �1,816 from the match, and also Old Newton's end-of-season presentation evening that followed, will go towards the McMillan Ward at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

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