Primary Cup Final Gipping Gnats Coddenham Ath May 2023 1

Coddenham lift cup after shoot-out win

CODDENHAM Athletic won this season’s Suffolk Primary Cup following a penalty shoot-out.

CODDENHAM Athletic won this season’s McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup following a penalty shoot-out.

Striker Owen Clemson slotted home the decisive penalty to secure a 4-3 victory in the shoot-out after a 2-2 draw against Gipping Gnats at Colchester United FC on Thursday evening.

Torrential rain forced the kick-off to be delayed, but after the sterling efforts of Colchester United staff and Suffolk FA officials to clear standing water, the pitch was declared fit for play.

The final kicked-off at 8.15pm – 45 minutes later than scheduled – and as a result was reduced to 40 minutes each half, but the two sides served up an entertaining encounter despite the conditions.

Clemson put Coddenham ahead after 20 minutes, firing low into the bottom corner, before Gipping Gnats restored parity in the 37th minute, Liam Macken’s back header from a free-kick squirming into the bottom corner.

Primary Cup Final Gipping Gnats Coddenham Ath May 2023 2

Liam Macken (orange shirt, No.7) equalises for Gipping Gnats with a header after 37 minutes against Coddenham Athletic. Main photograph: Coddenham Athletic celebrate after receiving the trophy. Photographs: Paul Voller

The Macron SIL Division Four side then almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Zac Eales saw his shot from just outside the penalty area strike the underside of the crossbar.

Their Division Five opponents regained the lead in the 53rd minute, substitute Idris Tabrizi shooting into the bottom far corner from Ryan Clarke’s pass.

It was all-square 11 minutes later, Jawa Tacey meeting a deep cross beyond the far post that had eluded everyone to score with a shot back across goal.

That was the way it stayed, so the outcome was settled on penalties, with Sean Liggett, Clarke, Max Holland and Clemson scoring and Reece Saunderson missing for Coddenham.

Daniel McLaughlin, Tacey and Colby Donowa-Bartlett all scored for Gipping Gnats, with Jack Dawson’s effort saved and Aidan Whight, like Saunderson, putting his spot kick over the crossbar.

Coddenham Athletic manager Aaron Pryke said afterwards: “My initial feeling is one of relief. It was really tricky in the build-up because we were not even sure the game was going ahead until 15 minutes before kick-off.

“When we won the Divisional Cup we had our full side out, but we have had players cup-tied for this competition, so it was good that players who have not featured much this season were able to play their part.

“If we had lost the penalty shoot-out we wouldn’t had had any complaints as there was nothing to choose between the two teams and either side could have won it.

“It was a really good game of football which was played in the right way.”

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Coddeham Athletic's Owen Clemson slots home the winning penalty past Gipping Gnats goalkeeper Kieran Wilding to secure a 4-3 victory in the shoot-out, while his own keeper, Daniel Hammond, can't bear to watch. Photograph: Paul Voller

Gipping Gnats manager Jason Hiskey said: “It was a cracking game. I think the boys showed great resilience to twice come from behind.

“We played some good football at times, considering the difficult conditions, with the ball skidding about and holding up.

“We very nearly nicked it right at the end, but it wasn’t to be, and it was settled by the lottery of penalties.

“But I am really proud of the boys and it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved. I would like to thank Colchester United and Suffolk FA for getting the game on and congratulate Coddenham Athletic on their win.”

The cup and medals were presented by Dustine Miller of competition sponsors McDonald’s and Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal.


The Teams

Gipping Gnats: Kieran Wilding, Dan Walden, Ethan Wright, Liam Macken, Aidan Whight, Ross Henry, Ashten Banthorpe, Jack Dawson, Zac Eales, Danniel McLaughlin. Used subs: Leon Dix, Jadyn Pennock, Colby Donowa-Bartlett. Unused subs: Joshua Kennell, Ryan Campany.

Coddenham Athletic: Daniel Hammond, Ryan Clarke, Jack Hay, Tom Stone, Sean Liggett, Cameron Crowder, Michael Hammond, Max Holland, Owen Clemson, Kieran Perez, Kyle Hall. Used subs: Joshua Abbott, Luca Mulley, Jack Bignell, Idris Tabrizi, Reece Saunderson.

Referee: Andy Murphy.

Attendance: 460.

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