AFC Sudbury A Manager Craig Power said winning an open-age competition was a ‘massive’ milestone for his Academy side.
They defeated Old Newton United Reserves 4-2 in Monday’s KBB NEFF Suffolk Primary Cup Final at Portman Road to lift the trophy for the first time.
Goals from Ethan Mayhew after 17 minutes and Sam Girling on the stroke of half-time put the Academy side 2-0 ahead at the break, with Freddie King added a third from a penalty in the 63rd minute.
Old Newton United Reserves defender Mark Theobald (yellow shirt, No.6) tangles with AFC Sudbury A left back Harry Critchley (red shirt, No.3) which resulted in a penalty. Main image: Sam Girling slots home AFC Sudbury A's second goal from a tight angle. Photographs: Paul Voller
John Hutton pulled one back for the village side four minutes later, before a Gary Newland own goal made it 4-1. Mitch Standing added a second for Old Newton eight minutes from time to complete the scoring.
AFC Sudbury’s success followed on from the club winning the KBB NEFF Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup at Portman Road last Thursday and both the Crown Imperial Boys’ Boys’ U13 and U15 Cups on Sunday. AFC Sudbury were also runners-up in the U14 and U16 finals.
Power said: “It is really good for the Academy. This is the first time we have won the competition. I think it is really important as the boys are all first-year scholars, so to win an open-age competition is massive, especially at a place like here.”
With AFC Sudbury’s second coming just prior to the interval and their superior fitness expected to play a part the longer the game went on, the prospects of Old Newton mounting a challenge looked slim.
However, the two teams shared four goals in the second period before a healthy crowd of 504 spectators.
Old Newton United goalkeeper Adam Burch goes the right way but can't save Freddie King's penalty which made it 3-0 to AFC Sudbury A.
Power said: “I think it was just a matter of how many more wide free-kicks we would give away and they would score from, but it was certainly a game I thought we were comfortable in for long periods.”
Goalkeeper Sam Wright and striker King were both also members of the AFC Sudbury side that won the Boys’ U18 Midweek Cup, and are likely to be involved in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Play-off Final versus Walsham-le-Willows at Diss Town.
Power added: “Hopefully on Friday night we can wrap up the Thurlow Nunn Under-18 Play-off Final. We have a few boys from tonight who need to dust themselves down and go again on Friday and then it is off to America on the Tuesday, so it is a great end to the season.”
AFC striker Freddie King (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute at Portman Road.
Old Newton United Reserves Manager Nibby Whomes said he brought on top goalscorer Charlie Shave at the interval and switched to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation to try to get back into the game.
He said: “We went in 2-0 down at half-time and the guys were disappointed with conceding the second goal with a couple of minutes to go.
“Sudbury are a class team and played the ball around well like we know they would. We scored from positions that we thought we would score from such as free-kicks when we looked dangerous.
“We took our chances, but unfortunately they created more and converted their chances.
“I thought we conceded a harsh penalty and a goal that wasn’t given offside that I felt should have been given offside, but I don’t want it to sound like sour grapes as Sudbury were the better side on the day.
“It has been a great experience and I am really proud of the lads.”