THE Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup is one of the hardest senior county competitions to win when compared with other counties.
That’s the view of Stowmarket Town manager Paul Musgrove, whose side face Ipswich Town in their rearranged second round tie at Greens Meadow on Wednesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
Musgrove was assistant manager at Stowmarket Town when they reached the semi-final of the competition on both the previous two occasions it has been completed.
Stowmarket lost 3-0 to Felixstowe & Walton United in 2018-19 and then 4-1 to current holders Needham Market the following season in the last four.
The competition was shelved last season due to the Covid pandemic after five of the eight second-round ties had been completed.
Musgrove, whose side currently sit top of Pitching In Isthmian League North in their first season at Step 4 after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Great Wakering Rovers, underlined the importance of the competition to his club.
Stowmarket opted not to take part in the Velocity (League) Cup this season, went out on penalties in their first ever tie in the Buildbase FA Trophy to Great Wakering Rovers and lost to AFC Sudbury in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying Round after a replay.
It has meant that Stowmarket have been able to concentrate fully on the league since late September, but Musgrove said: “It is a cup I want to win.
“We have got to the semi-final in each of the last two seasons it has been played but have not been good enough to get past that final hurdle.
“It would be nice to get through to the semi-finals again and then see if we can reach the final.
“I believe it is one of the hardest county cup competitions to win when compared with other counties, bearing in mind the quality of the clubs that take part in it.”
The county currently boasts three Step 3 sides – Leiston, Lowestoft Town and Needham Market – plus four at Step 4 – AFC Sudbury, Bury Town, Felixstowe & Walton United and Stowmarket Town.
Added to that are an Ipswich Town XI as well as the county’s Step 5 clubs who play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
Musgrove added: “We are looking forward to welcoming Ipswich Town and hopefully having a good crowd coming down to watch.
“When you play Ipswich you are never sure what side they are going to put out, so we are just trying to concentrate on our own preparations.”
Stowmarket Town striker Josh Mayhew (yellow & black shirt) is pictured scoring one of his four first-half goals in his side’s 10-0 win at Whitton United (green & white striped shirts) in last season’s second round tie. Photograph: Hogan Cobbold