Womens Cup Final AFC Sudbury fuchsia Stowupland Falcons yellow May 2024 1

Record-breaking night in cup final

AFC Sudbury won the Suffolk Women’s Cup on a record-breaking night at Portman Road.

AFC Sudbury won the MH Goals Suffolk Women’s Cup for the third time on a record-breaking night at Portman Road.

They defeated Stowupland Falcons 11-1 in Tuesday evening’s final at Portman Road, where play had to be suspended for around 90 minutes due to torrential rain.

AFC Sudbury were winning 6-0 after 40 minutes when referee Isabel Chaplin suspended play due to player safety, but the final was able to continue after two pitch inspections.

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Water sprays up from the Portman Road pitch as torrential rain falls during the final between AFC Sudbury (fuchsia shirts) and Stowupland Falcons (yellow shirts) on Tuesday night. Main photograph: Kaylee Dodd  (fuchsia shirt, No.3) fires home AFC Sudbury's fifth goal. Photographs: Paul Voller

The Yellows scored five more times to complete an emphatic victory - both the biggest winning margin and the highest aggregate score in a Suffolk Women’s Cup Final.

The match was also watched by a record attendance of 920, underlining the rise in the popularity of women’s football.

Alex Penny, who started on the bench following her return to action after suffering an ACL injury, scored a hat-trick, with Sophie Jeffrey netting twice.

There was one goal apiece for Aliyat Lambe, Eva Frazzoni, Kaylee Dodd, Yasmin Drake (penalty), Jess Allen, and Ava Jouvenel.

Frazonni’s thumping drive from just outside the box which went in off the underside of the crossbar for the fourth and Dodd’s solo run and cross-shot finish for the fifth were the pick of the goals.

Stowupland Falcons, who play three leagues below AFC Sudbury and were appearing in their first final, scored a consolation effort in the 86th minute through substitute Enya Moore to the delight of their large following.

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Enya Moore (yellow shirt, No.22) scores a late consolation goal for Stowupland Falcons. Photograph: Paul Voller

The 12-goal aggregate surpassed the previous best of nine in a final, which had been achieved twice before when the competition was formerly the Norfolk & Suffolk Women’s Cup.

The previous biggest winning margin of eight goals - all 8-0 victories - was recorded in 2000-01 (Stowmarket v Haverhill Rovers), 2015-16 (Ipswich Town v Kirkley & Pakefield) and again in 2018-19 (Ipswich Town v Needham Market).

AFC Sudbury manager Luke Mallett said afterwards: “At the start of every season our goal is to either regain or retain the cup and last year we were very disappointed not to retain it.

“That’s the first goal we have conceded in this season’s competition, but the amount of goals we have scored (35 in four ties en route to the final) and the way we have won it, I could not be happier for the girls.

“I was pleased with the way we played overall, especially before the break in play, although we tried to force it too much towards the end.”

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AFC Sudbury celebrate after being presented with the cup. Photograph: Paul Voller

Mallett was delighted the match was so well attended, the figure of 920 surpassing the previous highest of 769 who watched the 2018-19 final the last time it was played at Portman Road.

“It says a lot about the support for women’s football in Suffolk. It’s now about pushing on the level of teams lower down.

“We want to be in the same bracket as Ipswich Town - we are getting there - but we need all the clubs in Suffolk to push on to raise the standard,” he added.

Martin Huggins, who is joint manager of Stowupland Falcons with Simon Gant, said: “We were up against a team who are leagues above us and who played some brilliant football tonight, so we can’t fault our girls who continued to battle.

“For us it was about the occasion. We are proud of our girls for getting this far and they have enjoyed the occasion and the experience, despite the weather.

“It is always disappointing to lose, but when you look at it, we are a few divisions apart and the facilities they have got and the coaching they get gives us something to aspire to.”


The Teams

AFC Sudbury: Millie Carter, Ronni Harrison, Kaylee Dodd, Leonnie Bezant, Aliyat Lambe, Amber Provan, Sophie Jeffrey, Maisie Goodwin, Yasmin Drake, Eva Frazzoni, Jess Allen. Used subs: Jess Egan, Amy Jarvis, Ava Jouvenel, Ella Edwards, Alex Penny.

Stowupland Falcons: Emily Huggins, Eloise Flack, Anya Williams, Ebonie Calvert, Millie Gant, Ellis Rabey, Laura Brame, Clare Bevan, Amy Gilson, Mollie Frost, Lucy Daly. Used subs: Caitlin Jackson, Millie Bloom, Enya Moore. Unused subs: Porscha Rampley, Lydia Denny.

Referee: Isabel Chaplin.

Attendance: 920.

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