“WE WILL go into the game on the ropes and keep punching.”
Those are the words of Bildeston Rangers’ player-manager David ‘Bart’ Lorimer, who is well aware of the task facing his side ahead of their CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final against Ipswich Wanderers.
In only their second season in the competition, after winning the Suffolk Junior Cup and promotion in the 2018-19 campaign, Bildeston face the holders in the last four at Claydon FC on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.
Bildeston, who lost to Ipswich Town Under-18s in the first match in the competition in the opening round last season, defeated fellow Macron SIL Senior Division side Trimley Red Devils 2-0 to reach the semi-finals.
They are now the sole remaining SIL side in the competition – all three of the other semi-finalists were playing in Division One North of the Thurlow Nunn League this season.
Lorimer, whose two second-half goals secured Bildeston’s place in the semi-final draw, said: “I said after we won at Trimley that regardless of whoever we drew and whatever happens, we are the last SIL side standing which in itself is a massive achievement.
“Of the three other sides to reach the semi-finals, Lakenheath are going to be playing in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division next season and Wanderers should be playing at that level, so I feel for them after the season was cut short.
“I was asked who I would prefer to draw, but you have to beat the best teams if you want to win it.
“We were always destined to draw the toughest side, which we have done, but we will go into the game on the ropes and keep punching.
“They will probably feel they have got the easiest draw, so that may work in our favour.”
Bildeston’s quarter-final game plan thwarted Trimley, who were a pale shadow of the side who had knocked out higher-league Haverhill Borough in the previous round.
Lorimer continued: “We will have a game plan and stick to it and see where it takes us. Our players will be up for it as we have nothing to lose.
“What we may lack in quality we make up for in our determination, fight and togetherness.
“Trimley are probably one of the best footballing sides we have played against, but we know we have got goals in us, and if we concede a goal we come back even stronger.”
Bildeston had good backing at Trimley and with lockdown restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic eased further since, Lorimer is anticipating a good turnout from the village.
“We are lucky as a club in that we always get a good level of support and we are expecting there will be a strong following there on Saturday,” he said.
Bildeston will be without George Buxton who is suspended after receiving two yellow cards against Trimley Red Devils, while Lorimer will play although only 50 per cent fit.
He has been struggling with a hamstring injury and now faces keyhole surgery on his knee after the end of the season. Lorimer is pictured above celebrating one of his two goals against Trimley. Photograph: Paul Voller
Tickets now on sale for cup semi-finals
Six semi-final ties to be held on same day
Bildeston Rangers are in dreamland