A PENALTY shoot-out win in the final match of the day ensured that AFC Sudbury will have four teams in this season’s Crown Imperial County Youth Cup Finals.
AFC Sudbury sides had already reached the finals of the Boys’ U13, U14 and U16 competitions, but their Under-15 side trailed Wickhambrook 2-0 at half-time, before two second-half goals forced the shoot-out.
It was AFC Sudbury who held their nerve to emerge 4-2 winners and so confirm their place in four finals as Sunday’s County Youth Cup Semi-Finals Day at The New Croft in Haverhill reached its conclusion.
That followed on from AFC Sudbury booking their place in the KBB NEFF Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup Final for the fourth year in a row and the club’s A team also making it to the final of the Suffolk Primary Cup.
The Crown Imperial County Youth Cup Semi-Finals Day attracted good crowds to The New Croft in Haverhill. Spectators are pictured above watching the Boys' Under-13 tie on the 3G pitch between Moreton Hall Dynamo (blue & white striped shirts) and Whitton United (green & white striped shirts) which Whitton United won 6-1.
They defeated Mildenhall Town 4-0, also at the New Croft, last Wednesday evening to set up a repeat of the 2017 Boys' Under-18 Midweek Cup Final, which AFC Sudbury won 5-2 at Colchester United FC.
A total of 20 Suffolk FA county cup semi-finals took place across the six boys’ and four girls’ age groups at The New Croft on Sunday, the second time in three years that the event had been hosted on the site operated by the Haverhill Community Sports Association.
AFC Sudbury’s 3-0 victory over Needham Market EJA Green in the Boys’ Under-16 semi-final prevented an all-Needham Market final, Needham Market EJA Blue beating Cornard Dynamos Blue 2-0 in the other tie. AFC Sudbury are pictured celebrating one of their goals in their 4-1 success versus Stowmarket Town in the Boys' U13 Cup on the main pitch.
However, Needham Market will have three representatives in the finals – the club’s Boys’ U14 and U15 sides winning their last-four ties.
There was late drama in the Girls’ U12 tie between Felixstowe & Walton United and Haverhill Rovers, the hosts scoring a last-gasp winner to seal a 2-1 success.
Haverhill Rovers celebrate after their last-gasp 2-1 victory over Felixstowe & Walton United in the Crown Imperial Girls' Under-12 Semi-Final at The New Croft
Only two ties required penalties to determine the winners – the other one saw East Bergholt United progress past Brandon Town Community 3-1 following a 1-1 draw.
Suffolk FA County Cup Competitions Manager Adrian Moye said: “What a great day we had at Haverhill for our County Youth Cup Semi-Finals Day. “Peter Betts and his team did an absolutely fantastic job, everything ran smoothly and Peter even arranged great weather!
“The team at the New Croft are masters of such occasions and their efforts are greatly appreciated by all at Suffolk FA.
“Highlights for me have to be the Girls Under-13's 1-1 draw between Brandon Town Community and East Bergholt United. East Bergholt eventually won on penalties but I doubt there was a game where two teams enjoyed the match so much.
“Then there was nearly the upset of the day when Wickhambrook Under-15s gave AFC Sudbury the shock of their lives but surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
“Needless to say with a win so close Wickhambrook were absolutely devastated to lose and it showed how much passion and desire the Wickhambrook boys had for the competition.”
The Crown Imperial County Youth Cup Finals Day will be staged on Sunday, May 12th at a venue to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, Woodbridge Town are through to their fifth successive Suffolk Veterans’ Cup Final, after a 3-0 win against ETC Lowestoft at Leiston St Margarets FC.
Their opponents in the final will be Whitton United, who had a narrow 2-1 victory over Capel Plough at Old Newton United FC. Whitton’s only previous final appearance resulted in a 3-2 loss to Leiston in 2012.
The final will be part of Super Sunday at Needham Market FC on Sunday, April 28th on the same day as the Suffolk Sunday Cup, Suffolk Sunday Shield and Suffolk Sunday Trophy.
Crown Imperial Boys’ Under-12s Semi-Finals: Ipswich Valley Rangers Blue 4 Waveney Tigers 0, Kirkley & Pakefield Royals 4 Bury Town Colts 0.
Crown Imperial Boys’ Under-13s Semi-Finals: Moreton Hall Dynamo 1 Whitton Utd EJA 6 AFC Sudbury EJA 4 Stowmarket Town EJA 1.
Crown Imperial Boys’ Under-14s Semi-Finals: Leiston EJA 0 AFC Sudbury EJA 6, Needham Market EJA 11 Brandon Town Community 0.
Crown Imperial Boys’ Under-15s Semi-Finals: AFC Sudbury EJA 2 Wickhambrook 2 – AFC Sudbury won 4-2 on pens, Needham Market EJA 1 Stowmarket Town EJA 0.
Crown Imperial Boys’ Under-16s Semi-Finals: Needham Market EJA Green 0 AFC Sudbury EJA 3, Needham Market EJA Blue 2 Cornard Dynamos Blue 0.
Crown Imperial Boys’ Under-18s Semi-Finals: Ipswich Valley Rangers White 1 Bury Town Saints 3, Bacton Utd 6 Ipswich Wanderers 1.
Crown Imperial Girls’ Under-12s Semi-Finals: Coplestonians 1 Waveney 2, Felixstowe & Walton Utd 1 Haverhill Rovers 2.
Crown Imperial Girls’ Under-13s Semi-Finals: Coplestonians 1 Ipswich Valley Rangers 3, East Bergholt Utd 1 Brandon Town Community 1 – East Bergholt Utd won 3-1 on pens.
Crown Imperial Girls’ Under-14s Semi-Finals: Beccles Town 2 Waveney Lionesses 3, Ipswich Valley Rangers 6 Felixstowe & Walton Utd 1.
Crown Imperial Girls’ Under-16s Semi-Finals: Capel Plough 5 Waveney U15s Foxes 1, Stowupland Falcons 8 Kesgrave Kestrels 0.
Suffolk Veterans’ Cup Semi-Finals: ETC Lowestoft 0 Woodbridge Town 3 at Leiston St Margarets FC, Capel Plough 1 Whitton Utd 2 at Old Newton Utd FC.