HALESWORTH Town won the delayed 2019-20 Total Football Suffolk Junior Cup in a ten-goal thriller against Sudbury Sports.
The Macron SIL Senior Division side defeated their young opponents 6-4 in a goal-fest at The Morrish Stadium, home of Walsham-le-Willows FC, on Tuesday night.
The tone was set as early as the second minute when Halesworth’s Toby Kerslake sent a diving header into the bottom corner of the net following Lewis Chenery’s free-kick on the right.
Sudbury Sports were on level terms after ten minutes, Jake Banyard scoring at the second attempt after his first effort was saved by goalkeeper Alan Anderson following a quick break.
Josh Ambrose then miscued a cross that struck the top of the near post as Sudbury Sports went in search of a second goal as the mist swirled around Summer Road.
Two goals in three minutes then put Halesworth, whose only previous win in the competition came in the 1923-24 season, on top.
A poor punch by goalkeeper Josh Blunkell resulted in the ball dropping to Pat Summerfield to drill home after 23 minutes.
Then centre back Kurtis Thickett forced the ball home home at the far post after Blunkell and his defenders had failed to clear.
Halesworth Town players celebrate scoring one of their six goals in the final. Main photograph: The Halesworth Town squad and management team pose with the Total Football Suffolk Junior Cup. Photographs: Lily Chiang
It was 3-2 in the 39th minute when Curtis Harvey scored following a goalmouth scramble to reduce the deficit for the Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier Division side.
There was no let up in the second period, Halesworth’s Toby Payne finding the bottom far corner after good work by Ashley Canham five minutes after the restart.
Back came Sudbury Sports and Ambrose scored with a shot across the keeper to make it 4-3, before his shot struck the top of a post after breaking clear.
Halesworth Town striker Toby Payne (black & white striped shirt) holds the ball up as Sudbury Sports' Ted Penn (yellow shirt) waits to challenge. Photograph: Lily Chiang.
Halesworth then scored twice in four minutes to give themselves from breathing space.
Shaun Whiteman powered home at the far post following Chenery’s right-wing free-kick in the 68th minute, before Payne was fouled in the box and Summerfield netted from the spot.
Owen Lennie pulled a goal back after 78 minutes, but that proved to be the end of the scoring as Halesworth, who last appeared in the final in the 1988-89 season, ironically losing 1-0 to Walsham-le-Willows, lifted the cup.
Halesworth Town: Alan Anderson, Ashley Canham, Tommy Smith, Toby Kerslake, Kurtis Thickett, Shaun Whiteman, Lewis Chenery, Toby Payne, Pat Summerfield, Jimmy Morrissey. Used subs: Curtis Moore, Calvin Vincent. Unused subs: Hayden Ling, Callum Read, Karl Goodwin.
Sudbury Sports: Josh Blunkell, Curtis Harvey, Joe Gunn, Ted Penn, Bradley Byrne, Jack Palmer, Sam Cooke, Luke Hipkin, Finley Long, Jake Banyard, Josh Ambrose. Used subs: Callum Field-Mullins, Owen Lennie, Josh Stokes, Kasey Brannan, Jayden Cohen.
Referee: Alex Shipp.