Woodbridge Town through to first Suffolk Senior Cup final for 24 years

Woodbridge Town players celebrate after Ryan Keeble (third from left) put them into the lead against Achilles in their Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final on Wednesday. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Woodbridge Town players celebrate after Ryan Keeble (third from left) put them into the lead against Achilles in their Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final on Wednesday. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

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Assistant manager Glenn Snell said Woodbridge Town’s fitness levels were key to their CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final victory over Achilles, writes Nick Garnham.

Woodbridge Town�s Aaron Churchyard (red shirt No.5) and Mark Ray turn away to celebrate Ryan Keeble (out pf picture) putting Woodbridge 2-1 ahead against Achilles in Wednesday�s Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final. Picture: PAUL VOLLERWoodbridge Town�s Aaron Churchyard (red shirt No.5) and Mark Ray turn away to celebrate Ryan Keeble (out pf picture) putting Woodbridge 2-1 ahead against Achilles in Wednesday�s Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

The Woodpeckers came from a goal behind at half time to win 3-1 in Wednesday’s tie at the Goldstar Ground, home of Felixstowe & Walton United FC, to reach the final at Portman Road on Friday, May 11th.

Liam Hillyard gave the Touchline SIL Senior Division champions-elect the lead after 40 minutes, but second-half goals from Dale Hammond, Ryan Keeble and substitute Callum Sinclair saw the Thurlow Nunn League Division One leaders deservedly progress.

It will be the Woodpeckers’ first appearance in a Senior Cup Final since a 4-0 success against Saxmundham Sports in the 1993-94 season, the club having competed in the Suffolk Premier Cup for the majority of the past 24 years.

Snell, who felt the tie was fitting of the final itself, said: “We fully respected Achilles before the game and we knew what they were about and what we wanted to do, but we were intimidated in the first-half.

“We were not brave enough, with or without the ball, so we addressed that at half-time.

“We were always hoping our fitness levels would tell the longer the game went on and if we could get hold of the ball they would tire.

“Achilles were excellent in the first-half and deserved to be ahead at half-time, but when we got control of the game in the second half you saw the real Woodbridge.

“Fair play to them for stifling us in the first-half, when they could have been even further ahead, but we were really pleased with the reaction we got from our players in the second-half.

“We have used squad rotation over the whole season, and it proved the depth we have with the substitutes coming off the bench and making an impact.

“We are delighted because our two targets at the start of the season were to win promotion and to the reach the final of the Senior Cup and we have achieved both of them in the last four days.

“We hope that Achilles go on to win their league, and wish them good luck for the rest of the season. I have known (Achilles manager) Luke Hillyard for a long time and have a lot of respect for him.”

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