Halesworth black white Haverhill Borough blue Senior Cup QF March 2023 2

Cup victory would be 'huge' for SIL side

WINNING the Suffolk Senior Cup this season would be ‘huge’ for Halesworth Town.

WINNING the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup this season would be ‘huge’ for Halesworth Town.

The SIL Senior Division side face higher-league AFC Sudbury Reserves in the semi-final at the Atalian Servest Stadium, home of Bury Town FC, on Friday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.

It will be Halesworth’s first appearance in the last four of the competition – a fact not lost on manager Carl Chenery.

He said: “It’s another step in the right direction for the football club. It’s the first time we have been this far in the competition. I remember playing for Halesworth when I was 18 in the quarter-finals and we lost.

“We have a bus full of supporters coming over as well as others travelling by car, so we should have a decent following there.

“The Senior Cup is a big cup in Non-League football. We won the Junior Cup two-and-a-half years ago, so to win the Senior Cup would be huge for the club.”

Halesworth defeated Sudbury Sports in the final of the 2019-20 Suffolk Junior Cup in a match which was delayed until September 2020 due to Covid.

Chenery said: “It was a helluva game – we won 6-4, but afterwards the bar had to shut at 10pm and we couldn’t celebrate winning the cup properly.

“It was the same when we won promotion from SIL Division One, but hopefully we can win the semi-final and be able to celebrate, as it’s not the round you want to lose in.”

Halesworth, who sit third in the table, are having to contend with a fixture backlog, with ten Senior Division matches still to play as well as their involvement in the Senior Cup.

They have five matches in hand on league leaders Henley Athletic and, should they win them all, will move two points clear at the top.

Chenery said: “You need little things to go your way and have luck with injuries and player availability. When you are kicking off midweek games at a quarter past six you want to be there an hour before kick-off, which if you are playing away, can mean leaving work at 3 o’clock.

“The Senior Cup is a distraction from the league, but at the start of the season it is one that we said we would really like to win, and most of the clubs in the Senior Division would think the same.”

Chenery is under no illusions as to the task his side will have to overcome if they are to reach the final.

He added: “AFC Sudbury are a big club with a lot of players on their books. I have looked at their squads and they have been moving players around, so we don’t know what team they will put out, but they have a lot of talented youngsters.

“I haven’t watched them as if you only see one game it can be dangerous. You can catch them on a good day or a bad day or maybe with only half their players.”

Halesworth (black & white striped shirts) are pictured above in action against Haverhill Borough (blue shirts) in their quarter-final tie which ended in a 2-2 draw before Halesworth won 5-4 on penalties to reach the semi-finals.

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