Needham and Stowmarket battle through to last four of Suffolk Premier Cup

PUBLISHED: 14:32 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:32 11 March 2020

Jose Santa De La Paz, left, turns to celebrate his winning goal for Needham Market as team-mate Craig Parker runs to congratulate him with Adam Mills looking on Photograph: PAUL VOLLER

Jose Santa De La Paz, left, turns to celebrate his winning goal for Needham Market as team-mate Craig Parker runs to congratulate him with Adam Mills looking on Photograph: PAUL VOLLER

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Manager Kevin Horlock said his Needham Market players were ‘buzzing’ after reaching the semi-finals of this season’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup, writes Nick Garnham.

Needham defeated holders Leiston 1-0 in last night's quarter-final tie thanks to Academy product Joe Santa De La Paz's second-minute goal.

Leiston manager Glen Driver apologised after his side had Noel Aitkens sent off for two yellow cards inside two minutes and picked up a further six bookings.

Victory over their Betvictor Southern League Premier Central rivals came at a price for Needham as Dan Morphew picked up an injury following one of several late tackles.

Horlock said: 'We knew it was going to be a tough game - it was their cup final in many ways as obviously it is a local derby and they have had a tough season.

'I thought we started really, really well and scored nice and early and played with an intensity with and without the ball, and it looked as though it was going to be more comfortable than it was.

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'In the second half we had chances to kill them off and it could have been two, three or even four, but it didn't happen and then it turned into disarray with bad tackles and late tackles flying in.

'We are buzzing with the win, but we have picked up another injury.'

Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews described opponents Brantham Athletic as 'outstanding' after his treble-chasing side required penalties to reach the last four.

Following a goalless draw at Greens Meadow, Brantham led 2-0 in the shoot-out before eventually losing 3-2.

Andrews said: 'We are extremely pleased to get through as Brantham Athletic were outstanding on the night as they dug in and defended really well.

'It is always disappointing when one team has to go out with the lot-tery of penalties, but Lady Luck was shining on us and we are now in the semi-finals for the second successive season and hopefully we can go one step further than last year.'

The semi-final draw, which will also feature Bury Town and Lowes-toft Town, will be made on BBC Radio Suffolk from 8.30pm tomorrow night and also streamed live on the Suffolk FA Twitter feed.

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