Suffolk Senior Cup first for St Johns

THE meteoric rise of Ipswich-based club St Johns continues apace tomorrow when they play their first Suffolk Senior Cup game.Paul Buckingham's side entertain Coplestonians at Gainsborough Sports Centre - with six of the squad having played for the club in the Suffolk Primary as well as the Suffolk Junior Cup.

Elvin King

THE meteoric rise of Ipswich-based club St Johns continues apace tomorrow when they play their first Suffolk Senior Cup game.

Paul Buckingham's side entertain Coplestonians at Gainsborough Sports Centre - with six of the squad having played for the club in the Suffolk Primary as well as the Suffolk Junior Cup.

Promoted seven times in the last eight seasons, St Johns opened up a new chapter in their remarkable rise last Saturday when they won their first-ever senior match - 5-0 against Felixstowe United in the Senior Division of the Metaltec SIL.


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“The Felixstowe result has given us a boost after taking time to find our feet at our new level,” said Buckingham.

“It normally takes us a while to acclimatise to a new level - and it has proved no different this time.

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“The league has to be our priority. And, if we keep our place in the Senior Division, our season will have been a success.

“But it is always nice to win matches and we shall be looking to do that against a Coplestonians side that had an excellent result with their 2-2 draw with Grundisburgh last weekend.”

Goalkeeper David Jacobs, plus Alex Harvey, Andrew Smallwood, Craig Pilborough, Lee Hammond and Michael Wood, are set to complete their full set of Saturday county cup competition appearances tomorrow in a squad that has an average age of 24.

Michael Lewis returned to the side against Felixstowe after injury on Saturday and grabbed a hat-trick, while Wood is the leading scorer in the SIL Senior Division with six goals.

Buckingham says that he might have a couple of selection problems tomorrow as he was meeting up with two players who expressed their dissatisfaction this week after being overlooked for the Felixstowe match.

“There might be one or two on the transfer list by the time we play Coplestonians,” added Buckingham, who now has former Ipswich Town FA Youth Cup winner Steve Vale on his coaching staff and assisting Chris Wood.

Holders and 2006/07 beaten finalists Grundisburgh travel to Bungay Town, while a couple of little-known names from the north of the county have home ties, with Corton entertaining Ipswich Wanderers and Sole Bay United hosting Simon Fryatt's Melton St Audry's.

One of the favourites, Brantham, visit 1993 finalists Stonham Aspal, with Capel Plough player manager Pat Tynan wary that Woodbridge Athletic might be inspired by their return to a competition that has its final at Portman Road.

Trevor Wardlaw managed Framlingham Town to promotion last season and he returns tomorrow as part of the Ransomes Sports management team.

All tomorrow's Senior Cup matches, with the exception of the Framlingham game (2.30pm), kick-off at 2.15pm.

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