AFC Sudbury made it five successive victories in the Blue Square Solutions Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup Final.
They defeated Leiston 7-1 in Thursday night’s final played on the 3G pitch at Bloomfields, home of Needham Market FC.
After AFC Sudbury swept into a two-goal lead, Leiston reduced the deficit before the break and an intriguing second half was in store.
AFC Sudbury's Shane Temple (yellow shirt, No.10) backheels home his side's second goal against Leiston in the Blue Square Solutions Suffolk Boys' Under-18 Midweek Cup Final on the 3G pitch at Needham Market FC. Main photograph: AFC Sudbury celebrate with the cup. Photographs: Paul Voller
But AFC Sudbury scored three unanswered goals in the space of six minutes at the start of the second period to settle the outcome, before adding two more late on.
The scoreline was harsh on Leiston, who played their part in a competitive and entertaining encounter but it underlined just what a dominant force AFC Sudbury are at this level in the county.
AFC Sudbury opened the scoring after 13 minutes, Jake Banyard curling home with his left foot into the top far corner after cutting into the penalty area following Luke Hipkin’s pass.
It was 2-0 in the 35th minute, Shane Temple expertly backheeling home Banyard’s low cross from the right.
Leiston' s Tyler Blair (not in photograph) scores his side's goal against AFC Sudbury in the Blue Square Solutions Suffolk Boys' Under-18 Midweek Cup Final on the 3G pitch at Needham Market FC. Photograph: Paul Voller
But Leiston, who had given almost as good as they got up to that point, pulled a goal back six minutes later. Josh Blunkell saved Oliver Godbold’s initial shot, but Tyler Blair, following-up, sent a rising drive into the roof of the net.
Leiston keeper Harvey Garnham got a good hand on Jack Palmer’s 54th minute shot but was unable to keep it out, and two minutes later Ambrose scored with a low cross-shot just inside the far post.
AFC Sudbury put the result beyond doubt on the hour, Garnham saving from Hipkin but Alfie Adams was there to slot home the rebound.
Temple’s effort was saved by Garnham, allowing substitute Curtis Harvey to score the first of his two goals in the 85th minute and two minutes later he added the seventh.
There was an impeccably observed minute’s silence before the game in respect of Suffolk FA Life Member Brian Tatum, who recently passed away at the age of 81. Brian was a long-serving official of AFC Sudbury as well as serving as Chair of the Essex & Suffolk Border League.
AFC Sudbury's Jack Palmer (No.15) is about to be congratulated after scoring his side's third goal against Leiston in the Blue Square Solutions Suffolk Boys' Under-18 Midweek Cup Final at Needham Market FC. Photograph: Paul Voller
AFC Sudbury: Josh Blunkell, Finlay Long, Jesper Laurence, Ted Penn, Alfie Adams, Luke Hipkin, Jack Palmer, Jake Banyard, Josh Stokes, Shane Temple, Josh Ambrose. Used subs: Luke Craigie (GK), Owen Lennie, Curtis Harvey, Dan Smith, Brad Byrne.
Leiston: Harvey Garnham, Koliniuo Biaukula, Callum Pearce, Tyler Blair, Taylor Sumpter, Kyle French, Oliver Godbold, Ben Morling, Grant Overett, Ash Wilding, Drew Connick. Used subs: Callum Tucker, Owen Andrews, Josh Bailey, Hayden Brown, Jawobi Tugman.
Referee: Kahlan Sannerude.
Leiston through to their first U18 final