BURY Town, Lowestoft Town, Needham Market and Stowmarket Town will contest this season’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Semi-Finals.
Both Bury and Lowestoft had comfortable victories at Walsham-le-Willows and Hadleigh United respectively, Needham knocked-out holders Leiston, while Stowmarket required penalties to beat Brantham Athletic in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
Leiston manager Glen Driver apologised after his side had Noel Aitkens sent off for two yellow cards inside two minutes and picked up a further six bookings in their 1-0 defeat.
The winning goal came after just two minutes when Jose Santa De La Paz snapped up a rebound after Sam Donkin had spilled Callum Page’s shot.
Needham had chances, most notably Page striking the crossbar, to put the tie to bed, but that early strike was enough to knock-out Leiston, winners of the competition for the past two seasons.
Needham manager Kevin Horlock said his players were ‘buzzing’ after beating their Betvictor Southern League Premier Central rivals, but victory came at a price with Dan Morphew picking up an injury following one of several late tackles.
Horlock said: “We knew it was going to be a tough game – it was their cup final in many ways as obviously it is a local derby and they have had a tough season.
“I thought we started really, really well and scored nice and early and played with an intensity with and without the ball, and it looked as though it was going to be more comfortable than it was.
“In the second half we had chances to kill them off and it could have been two, three or even four, but it didn’t happen and then it turned into disarray with bad tackles and late tackles flying in.
“We are buzzing with the win, but we have picked up another injury.”
Needham Market's Callum Page (No.11) sees his shot saved by Leiston goalkeeper Sam Donkin. Main photograph: Jose Santa De La Paz (left) turns to celebrate his goal with Craig Parker as Adam Mills looks on. Photographs: Paul Voller
Stowmarket Town kept alive their dreams of a treble this season after beating Brantham Athletic 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out following a goalless draw at Greens Meadow.
Brantham led 2-0 in the shoot-out through Patrick Brothers and Jack Madley, with Callum Caulter, signed on loan from Colchester United, saving from Jack Ainsley and Christy Finch.
However, Stowmarket goalkeeper James Bradbrook saved two of the next three from Jack Sibbons and Tom Watkins, as Robbie Sweeney and Seb Dunbar drew the old gold & blacks level.
Josh Mayhew converted Stowmarket’s fifth spot kick, before Brantham player-manager Michael Brothers, who came on for the final five minutes, missed the target to send Stowmarket through to the semi-finals for the second season in a row.
Stowmarket manager Rick Andrews said: “We are extremely pleased to get through as Brantham Athletic were outstanding on the night as they dug in and defended really well.
“It is always disappointing when one team has to go out with the lottery of penalties, but Lady Luck was shining on us and we are now in the semi-finals for the second successive season and hopefully we can go one step further than last year.”
Lowestoft Town comfortably overcame Hadleigh United 5-0 at the Millfield, with all five goals coming in the first half.
Jacek Zielonka put the visitors in front after 17 minutes and Malachi Linton added a second just four minutes later. Josh McIntosh netted the third, before Andrew Fisk made it 4-0 after 41 minutes.
Linton converted a penalty a minute before half-time to conclude the scoring, although goalkeeper Jack Spurling saved a penalty from McIntosh late on in a goalless second half.
Bury Town eased past Walsham-le-Willows thanks to a 3-1 victory at the Morrish Stadium.
First-half goals by Ollie Hughes and Cemal Ramadan put Bury in the driving seat and Cruise Nyadzayo made it 3-0 early in the second period.
Craig Nurse pulled one back after 82 minutes for the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side, who had new manager Trevor Collins tasking charge for the first time.
The semi-final draw will be made from 8.30pm in the Non-League hour on BBC Radio Suffolk’s during this week’s Thursday Night Sports Social and also streamed live on the Suffolk FA Twitter feed.
Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Finals: Hadleigh Utd 0 Lowestoft Town 5, Leiston 0 Needham Market 1, Stowmarket Town 0 Brantham Athletic 0 – Stowmarket won 3-2 on pens, Walsham-le-Willows 1 Bury Town 3.