Suffolk FA Women’s Cup final preview: Ipswich Town v AFC Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town Ladies go in search of revenge at Bury Town’s Ram Meadow tonight, when they face holders AFC Sudbury Ladies in the Suffolk FA Women’s Cup final (7.30pm KO).
Sudbury defeated Ipswich in the semi-finals of the competition last season, before going on to beat Brandon Town Ladies in last May’s showpiece.
Town were the winners of the competition in 2013 and then, like this year, were playing at a higher level. Town play in the Women’s Premier League South East section, whilst AFC play in Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One North.
“AFC Sudbury are a decent team with some good players that have played at a good level,” said Ipswich boss Ralph Pruden, whose team have finished second-bottom of their division.
“Although they are a couple of leagues below us we can’t underestimate them.
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“But my players are really looking forward to the game and we have been pretty positive in the second half of the season.
“The first half of the season we played some good football and stayed competitive in almost every game so some of our results were quite difficult to take, and we were able to grab defeat from the jaws of victory on some occasions.
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“We have had some good wins recently though and kept a couple of clean sheets and this is a great way for us to end the season.”
As for Sudbury, manager Jemel Fox, who plays Thurlow Nunn Premier Division football with Stanway Rovers, hopes his side can continue making positive strides.
“This is the second year in a row we have made it to the final and we were fortunate enough to win it last season,” he explained.
“It would be a good statement from us to win it this year. We have beaten Bury Town in the semi-finals and we have come a long way in a short space of time, finding ourselves second or third in the Eastern Region table.”
AFC will be without two of their key players, leading goalscorer Charley Roach is suspended while Laura Yarrington is pregnant, while midfield trio Samantha Carson, Amanda Crump and Dani Bitten could be crucial for Ipswich.
While Fox is keen to land the cup again, he hopes the game provides a good spectacle.
“Hopefully there will be a few people come to watch on Tuesday that will have their heads turned and see a lot of good football,” added the former AFC Sudbury and Leiston defender.
“I love coaching women’s football. It’s not all about physicality, it’s more about technique and skill and understanding the game.
“Us blokes that play are a bit more arrogant; We have been there and done that, whereas women players want to take ideas on board and be pointed in the right direction.”