BUNGAY Town boss Richard Daniels was struggling to take in the achievement of his side reaching the final of this season’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup in the aftermath of victory.
The Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division One side beat Brantham Athletic Reserves 7-1 in Friday evening’s tie at Walsham-le-Willows FC.
Brantham had taken a ninth-minute lead through Aaron Lehain, but a Tom Hunter hat-trick plus goals from Dom Mirner, Ash Canham, John Riches and an Aiden Chaplin own goal completed an emphatic win.
The result means Bungay will appear in their first Suffolk Senior Cup Final for 55 years when they face Woodbridge Town at Portman Road on Friday, May 11th.
The ex-Gorleston manager said: “I can’t take it all in. We have had a long wait to play the semi-final but tonight we put a performance on and to take Bungay Town to Portman Road is one of my biggest achievements in the game.
“I thought we played really well after we started slowly and fell behind the first time they ventured into our half, although our keeper should have saved the shot.
“It was key that we equalised quickly – if they had gone 15 or 20 minutes leading 1-0 it would have made it much more difficult for us to get back into the game.
“I thought our back four – Jamie Weston, Craig Hunting, Shaun Whiteman and Tom Daniels plus Sam Olley when he came on – were outstanding.
“Tom Hunter showed what a good prospect he is, while John Riches, who has been so loyal to the club, deserved his goal.
“We signed Ash Canham from Wenhaston – fortunately he wasn’t cup-tied – and he has now scored five goals in three games for us.”
Daniels had praise for Bungay’s youthful opponents, who play in the Premier Division of the Essex & Suffolk Border League.
He said: “The players of Brantham Athletic Reserves were a credit to their club; they could easily have given up but kept going till the end. The same goes for their management team who showed great dignity.”
Looking ahead to the final, Daniels added: “Woodbridge Town deserve the success they have had this season, and have already won promotion to the Premier Division of the Thurlow Nunn League.
“We will clearly be underdogs, but we aim to go there and enjoy the day.”
Brantham boss Paul Bertram said: “I have no complaints about the result, the best team won. Resilience is developed over time. The trick is to learn from it, and hopefully our youthful team will.
“We wish Bungay all the best for the final.”
Brantham Athletic (pink shirts) are pictured above in possession early in the match against Bungay Town (sky blue shirts) at Walsham-le-Willows FC.