CORNARD United are through to their first CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Final for exactly 30 years.
The Ards defeated fellow Thurlow Nunn League Division One North side Ipswich Wanderers 2-1 at Millfield, home of Hadleigh United, in Friday’s semi-final.
They will now face Touchline SIL side Achilles, who knocked-out Henley Athletic 5-4 on penalties following a goalless draw at Felixstowe & Walton United FC, in the final at Portman Road on Friday, May 10th.
It was back in the 1988-89 season that Cornard last lifted the cup following a 1-0 victory over Sudbury Wanderers, with the closest they have come since being a 2-1 loss to Haughley United in the semi-final three years ago.
They will return to Portman Road thanks to goals from Lewis Blanchett after 19 minutes and Max Dinnell in the 73rd minute, ten minutes after Josh Folkes had levelled for Wanderers.
Wanderers threatened early on through Marcus Taylor, who lobbed wide from a good opening after just six minutes and a James Watling header that hit the top of the bar, although the offside flag was raised.
However, it was Cornard who got their noses in front when joint manager Michael Schofield’s left-wing corner was allowed to travel all the way along the ground to Blanchett, whose clever back heel found the net.
Cornard’s Jack Graham fired over the angle of the bar and near post, before Taylor saw his header from a free-kick safely held by Grove, and then the keeper saved with his legs from the same player.
Ben Mayhew dived to his left to keep out Michael Schofield’s free-kick ten minutes into the second period, and Andy Schofield curled wide from distance.
However, it was Wanderers who drew level when substitute Jack Severy, whose left-foot dead-ball deliveries provided a real threat, whipped in a free-kick from the right and Folkes glanced into the far corner.
The winner arrived ten minutes later, Dinnell supplying the finishing touch from close range after Christian Walsh had knocked Jack Graham’s low cross beyond keeper Mayhew.
Watling lifted a shot over the crossbar and then sidefooted wide from a good position after substitute Camillo Douglas had got behind the Cornard defence.
In the last of eight minutes of added time Wanderers almost equalised as keeper Mayhew came up for a corner and saw his powerful header strike the inside of the post, before hitting the head of Dinnell and being scrambled clear amid appeals for a penalty.
Cornard United (red shirts) and are pictured above Ipswich Wanderers (blue shirts) are pictured above taking part in the RESPECT handshake before the match.
Ipswich Wanderers: Ben Mayhew, Nathan Speed, Paulo Coelho, Taureen Hamilton (sub Camillo Douglas, 82 mins), Sam Garwood, Gavin Flurrie, James Watling, Josh Folkes, Marcus Taylor (sub Jamie Curran, 73 mins), Sam Cheetham, Alexandru Bobonete (sub Jack Severy, 62 mins). Unused subs: Tom Curits, Stefan Mallet.
Cornard Utd: Matt Grove, Michael Schofield (sub Kyle Hurley, 77 mins), Brad Dix, Ryan McGibbon, Charlie Hayes, Kieron Baker, Max Dinnell, Andy Schofield, Sean Bartlett (sub Ezra Drann, 33 mins), Lewis Blanchett (sub Christian Walsh, 57 mins), Jack Graham. Unused subs: Dave Dowding, Lewis Brennan.
Referee: Paul Kent.