REACHING the HomeStore Self Storage Suffolk Women’s Cup Final is a ‘great achievement’ for Needham Market.
That’s the view of head coach Warren Lewis-Claxton, whose side face holders and favourites Ipswich Town in Sunday’s final at AFC Sudbury, kick-off 5pm.
Asked what it meant to reach the final for the second time in three seasons, Lewis-Claxton said: “It’s a great achievement, especially with the circumstances that we’ve had over the past couple of seasons, this is a great way to round it all off.
“I’m really proud of the group for their hard work since the restart in getting to this point. We will always strive to get a successful cup run, so we are really pleased we could make the final again this year.”
Needham, who play in Division One north of the East Region Women’s League, enjoyed the occasion, if not the result, when they lost 8-0 in the final to Ipswich two years ago
“To reach the County Cup Final, in our first season, and for it to be played at Portman Road – it doesn’t get much better than that really! For us, it was all about the occasion and the experience, anything more from the game would have been a bonus.
“We never had any expectations on us, so there was no pressure, this really allowed the players to embrace the moment and enjoy it, especially with all the support we had too.”
With Ipswich bidding to win the cup for a seventh season in a row, Lewis-Claxton said: “We just have to believe in our own ability and give 100% effort throughout. It’s a game of football, just like the rest, so we don’t need to overthink it.
“I have every confidence in my group of players, we’ve worked hard to get to this point, and that won’t stop now.”
He said he is hoping Needham, who had terrific backing for the final at Portman Road, will be well supported at Sunday’s final.
“It may not be at the same levels as what we had two years ago – a lot has changed in the world since then.
“But I do know that we have a good number of followers, be it friends, family, or locals that I hope will be cheering us on!”
Needham players are pictured above celebrating their second goal, scored by Nia Evans (No.4) in their 3-0 semi-final victory over Haverhill Rovers at Recreation Way, home of Mildenhall Town FC.
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