JOINT Cornard United Manager Matt Grove says his players are ‘buzzing’ ahead of their CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final.
Cornard face fellow Thurlow Nunn League Division One North side Ipswich Wanderers on Friday at the Millfield, home of Hadleigh United, kick-off 7.45pm
Grove, who took over as joint manager with Michael Schofield earlier in the season, said: “It is a big game for the club and the players are buzzing.
“It has come at a good time, but it is the same for Ipswich Wanderers who are also in good form.
“It will be a tough game, but we are ready for it and we feel we have got the squad to win it.”
Cornard have suffered just one loss in their last eight games – and that was a 3-2 defeat at second-placed Mulbarton Wanderers.
“We had not lost away from home since October, so we are going into the game with as much confidence as possible,” said Grove, who is also the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
The duo were not in charge when Cornard lost 6-0 away to last-four opponents Ipswich Wanderers in mid-August, but had taken over the reins by the time they won 4-0 in the return a month later.
Grove said: “They were two contrasting games. I think Ipswich Wanderers turned up thinking they had already won the game before they had kicked a ball.
“But they found we had new players and a different style of play. They have watched us play recently and know what we are all about and we have been to watch them.
“I think it will be down to who turns up on the day and who wants it more, and it will be up to Michael and myself to rally the boys.”
It is 30 years since Cornard appeared in a Suffolk Senior Cup Final, which resulted in a narrow 1-0 win over Sudbury Wanderers at Portman Road in 1989.
Grove admitted: “It has been a long time coming – Cornard were whipping boys for a few years – so it is nice to be bringing some success to the club.
“It is good for the local community and hopefully we can get more people through the gate to come and watch us.”
Cornard have so far defeated Trimley Red Devils 3-1 and Beccles Town 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw, before beating Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves 1-0.
Grove said: “We didn’t have many players available at Kirkley, so had to field several under-18s. I played in midfield and goalkeeping coach Colin Athey went in goal, but we ground it out and got through.”
Cornard do not have any injuries and will have a full squad to choose from apart from centre back and captain Dan Clark, who is unavailable.
CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Finals: Achilles v Henley Athletic at Felixstowe & Walton Utd FC (7.45pm), Cornard Utd v Ipswich Wanderers at Hadleigh Utd FC (7.45pm).