EAST Bergholt United will enter their CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final without any fear.
Manager Leighton Chenery believes his SIL Senior Division side will be underdogs against their Thurlow Nunn League First North Division opponents in the last-four tie at Woodbridge Town FC, kick-off 2.30pm.
But while East Bergholt United will respect their opponents, Chenery said his side will not be fearful of them
He said: “I prefer going into any game as the underdog. I think everyone would have preferred to avoid Ipswich Wanderers in the draw, but if you want to win trophies you have to beat the best sides at some stage.
“It doesn’t bother me that Leiston play in a higher division than us as I think if we were playing in their division we would do okay.
“We are expecting a tough, tight game as most semi-finals tend to be. We are going into it without any fear but will respect our opponents.”
Jamie McGrath has scored more than 30 goals for the village side this season and recently dual registered with higher-league Brantham Athletic, who he will play for midweek when East Bergholt don’t have a game.
Chenery said: “If I am being honest, I don’t think he has been as sharp this season as the previous two seasons when he was at university and playing midweek games in Bournemouth.
“He was playing in the No.10 role in those two seasons but has moved up front this season and has been fantastic for us. He is a top talent and will play at a higher level.”
Chenery said his side have developed over the course of the season, resulting in them also reaching the semi-finals of the Morrison Freight Cup.
East Bergholt United beat Benhall St Mary 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out last Saturday to set up a semi-final tie against Sporting 87 in early April.
Chenery said: “During the three seasons I have been in charge I have never doubted the talent in the squad, but we were not consistent enough or resilient enough to challenge for trophies and that is where we have evolved as a team this season.
“We were 2-0 and 3-1 down against Benhall, scored a late equaliser and then won 5-3 on penalties.”
Chenery, who watched Leiston Reserves lose 5-1 away to Needham Market Reserves recently, said he should have a full squad to choose from.
East Bergholt United goalkeeper Sam Colver is pictured above diving to his left to make a save against Needham Market in their quarter-final tie. Needham Market won 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw but were subsequently eliminated after deciding not to appeal against the charge of fielding an ineligible player.
The match is all-ticket with no cash payment on the day. To purchase tickets for the match click the button below.