Leiston U23s yel Bungay Town sky blue Senior Cup SF March 2024 1

Holland the hero as Leiston reach final

LEISTON Under-23s are through to this season’s Suffolk Senior Cup Final.

SUBSTITUTE goalkeeper Kevin Holland was the unlikely hero as Leiston Under-23s reached this season’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Final after a penalty shoot-out.

Holland came off the bench to save three Bungay Town penalties as Leiston won the shoot-out 2-1 following a 1-1 draw in Friday night’s semi-final at Lowestoft Town’s Fosters Community Stadium.

The 42-year-old, twice a losing semi-finalist in this competition, was called into action after keeper Oliver Dawson was injured as Bungay equalised after 79 minutes through a header from captain John Riches.

Leiston U23s yel Bungay Town sky blue Senior Cup SF March 2024 2

Goalkeeper Kevin Holland celebrates Leiston U23s victory after saving three penalties in the shoot-out. Main photograph: Leiston U23s players run towards goalkeeper Holland as they celebrate their victory. Photographs: Shirley Whitlow.

It was no more than the Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination side deserved for a stirring second-half display as conditions worsened due to heavy rain.

Leiston Under-23s had been the better side in the opening period, striking the woodwork twice, but they had to wait until the 48th minute before Mackenzie Travis fired them in front.

After going behind Bungay hit both the post and crossbar and saw two efforts cleared off the line before they eventually drew level.

Substitute Beau Mullett then received a straight red card in the 84th minute as he slid into a challenge on Holland, but there was no further scoring so the tie was settled on penalties.

Jackson Williams converted Bungay’s first spot kick, but Holland saved three of their next four attempts from Daniel Drage, Corey Thurston, Stanley Dossett and Jack Child.

Kian Wilson and Tom Stacey netted either side of Josh Yaxley and Ethan Oldman failing to score to send the Thurlow Nunn League Division One North through to a second final in three seasons.

Leiston U23s yel Bungay Town sky blue Senior Cup SF March 2024 3

Two Bungay Town (sky blue shirts) look to break clear of a Leiston U23 opponent during Friday night's tie at Lowestoft Town FCPhotograph: Shirley Whitlow.

Leiston U23s manager Neil Smye said he thought his side may have been left to rue not taking their chances when they were on top in the first half.

He said: “In the first half I thought we moved the ball really well and created some decent chances and hit the woodwork twice and their keeper made two really good saves as well.

“We just said at half time to continue how we were, and we got the breakthrough just after half time with a very good goal by Mackenzie (Travis) so that was good.

“But with the heavens opening the pitch just became pretty much unplayable and that played more into their hands than our style of football and we lost our way a little bit, but when it came to the penalty shoot-out Kev Holland came up trumps in goal and done the business.

“I have known Kev for a while. We know what he is like on penalties, and we know it is a bit of a speciality of his saving penalties, so I am very pleased for him.”


The Teams

Bungay Town: Aiden Way, Daniel Drage, Sam Fisher, Jackson Williams, James Whightman, John Riches, Jack Child, Callum Maloney, Liam Williams, Ashley Varley, Charlie Deakin. Used subs: Stanley Dossett, Corey Thurston, Beau Mullett. Unused subs: Adam Bray, Ole Alexander.

Leiston U23s: Oliver Dawson, Kian Wilson, Jack Dawson, Billy Jordan, Ethan Oldman, Oliver Griggs, Ashdon Fowler, Warren Buckman, Reagan King, Josh Yaxley, Mackenzie Travis. Used subs: Elliott Young, Thomas Stacey, Max Crane, Kevin Holland.

Referee: Kahlan Sannerude.

Attendance: 263.


The tie between East Bergholt United and Trimley Red Devils, which was scheduled to take place at Felixstowe & Walton United FC on Friday, was called off in mid-afternoon due to a waterlogged pitch.

The match will now take place, weather permitting, on Monday, March 4th at the same venue, kick-off 7.45pm.

Ticket holders have been contacted and notified that their tickets purchased for Friday’s match will be valid for Monday’s game.



Related News

View All