HARRISON Bacon came off the bench to send holders Leiston through to this season’s KBB NEFF Suffolk Premier Cup Final.
The 17-year-old swept home a 92nd minute to secure a 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town’s Under-18 side in Wednesday night’s tie at the Goldstar Ground, home of Felixstowe & Walton United FC.
Ironically, it was a 92nd minute in last season’s quarter-final meeting between the two sides that saw Leiston progress en route to winning the trophy for the first time.
It was tough on Town’s youngsters, who had fallen behind to Tom Bullard’s 14th minute opener only to impose themselves more on the game the longer it went on and deservedly equalise via Tom Hughes after 68 minutes.
In a frenetic opening to the match Leiston could easily have been a couple of goals to the good with more composed finishing, but they did get their noses in front when Bullard buried his shot beyond Toby Egan following Kyle Hammond’s left-wing corner.
Both sides had chances, but Egan had to make a smart double save to first deny Joe Jefford’s header and then Christy Finch’s follow-up and Harry Knights almost scored from another corner, but Ipswich scrambled the ball clear.
Leiston could have been more than a goal to the good at the break, but Ipswich started the second period on the front foot and Marcus Garnham was forced into saves from Armando Dobra and Conor McKendry.
However, Leiston’s Matt Rutterford passed up the most clear-cut chance of the night, getting to Seb Dunbar’s lofted pass ahead of Egan, knocking the ball past the keeper and composing himself before shooting straight at Pat Webber, who cleared off the line.
Garnham palmed Brett McGavin’s well-struck free-kick over the bar and then got down to keep out Dobra’s fierce shot, before the goal Ipswich had been threatening arrived.
Left winger Tom Hughes fired home at the second attempt after his first effort was blocked following a good cross from Lounes Foudil on the right.
It was now anyone’s game, but with penalties looming Leiston broke quickly down the right and Christy Finch pulled the ball back for Bacon to supply a smart finish to settle the tie.
Bacon is pictured scoring the 92nd minute winner above. Photograph: Paul Voller.
Leiston: Marcus Garnham, Harry Knights, Seb Dunbar, Rob Eagle, Joe Jefford, Tom Bullard (sub Harrison Bacon, 72 mins), Kyle Hammond, Matt Rutterford (sub Josh Cheetham, 72 mins), Matt Blake, Will Davies (sub Mason Sinclair, 79 mins), Christy Finch. Unused subs: James Gaffer, Joe Potter.
Ipswich Town: Toby Egan, Dylan Crowe, Bailey Clements, Brett McGavin, Ross Marshall, Pat Webber, Conor McKendry (sub Tyreece Simpson, 79 mins), Lounes Foudil, Kai Brown, Armando Dobra, Tom Hughes. Unused subs: Jake Alley, Alex Henderson, Dylan Ruffles, Teddy Baker.
Referee: Adrian Sannerude.