IPSWICH Wanderers won’t be taking anything for granted in their CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final.
So says joint manager James Buckle, whose side will start firm favourites to defeat Bildeston Rangers in Saturday’s tie at Claydon FC, kick-off 2.30pm.
The holders play in the Thurlow Nunn League Division One North – two steps above their Macron SIL Senior Division opponents, who will be appearing in their first Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final.
It will be Wanderers’ third last-four tie in as many seasons, after losing 2-1 to Cornard United in the 2018-19 season and then defeating Henley Athletic by the same scoreline last season.
Wanderers went on to lift the trophy when they won 1-0 versus SIL side Coplestonians in the final that was delayed until last October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Buckle, who is joint manager along with Mark Goldfinch, said: “It’s our third semi-final is as many years. We lost the first one to Cornard United, so we know what it feels like to suffer a defeat, just like we know what it feels like to win as we did last season against Henley Athletic.
“We will be going into the game not taking anything for granted as we know they will give 110 per cent and won’t feel under any pressure just like Halesworth Town in the last round.”
Wanderers won 3-0 at Halesworth Town, who like Bildeston Rangers play in the SIL Senior Division.
Buckle said he didn’t expect there to be any complacency so far as Wanderers are concerned.
“We know we can’t let them get into the game and we will have to take the game to them.
“We know they will want to beat us, but we will look to play like we did in the first half versus Halesworth Town. I have never known us play so well and if we had been four or five-nil up at half-time (Wanderers led 2-0 at the interval) I don’t think they could have complained.
“We have a lot of experience in our team – players like Mark Roper, Rhys Barber, Matt Blake and Connor Field are used to playing in cup finals and most of the team played in last year’s final.”
One of those is Marcus Taylor, who was dual registered this season so that he could play in the final versus Coplestonians and has now returned to Humber Doucy Lane full-time after Crane Sports folded.
However, Wanderers will be missing two vastly experienced players in Danny Cunningham and Danny Thrower.
Cunningham is cup-tied and Thrower picked up a groin injury in a friendly which caused him to miss the last round so he will miss out again.
Goalkeeper Craig Brand is pictured above claiming a cross in last season’s final against Coplestonians (maroon shirts) at Humber Doucy Lane.
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