AFC youth team want to create end-of-season cup final legacy
Four goals in just 15 minutes saw AFC Sudbury romp to a 5-2 victory over Walsham-le-Willows in the Suffolk FA Midweek Cup Final on Monday.
It was the Academy’s second win of their three cup finals, with just one match remaining in their treble dash.
The full-time outfit were always favourites to take the under-18 title in the Colchester United-hosted final — but they lived up to that billing.
Danny Laws, director of football and youth development at AFC Sudbury, said: “I’m really pleased with the way they played.
“I said to the boys that I want our name on the trophy every year. We won it last year and now again this year too.
“I want this to be the start of a legacy.
“There were really good performances and we played like a team. If it weren’t for a couple of great saves too, we’d have scored even more.
“This 10 days is a big ask for the boys mentally though. They need real mental strength to deal with the pressure and emotions of three cup finals so close together.
“So I’m very proud of them getting this second win; we can’t wait for Friday now.
“I want them to do something special.”
Having beat Dereham Town 5-4 on penalties after their Thurlow Nunn League Cup Final ended 0-0 on Friday, tomorrow sees them complete their last final, against Swaffham Town in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Championship at Diss (May 19, 7.30pm).
A win would see the Academy, who are only in their second season, score a hat-trick of trophies in 2016/17.
But Walsham did not make it easy for them for much of Monday’s county cup final, scoring the only goal of the second-half in front of a healthy crowd of 426.
AFC Sudbury were unstoppable for a 15 minute window however, as they fired in four goals including two in two minutes before the break, on their way to the win.
The holders took the lead after just three minutes with Mekhi Mckenzie’s lob.
But Walsham levelled minutes later as Ryan Gibbs sent a free-kick past the ‘keeper.
It was Walsham who came closest to scoring next in an evenly -matched half-an-hour.
But AFC Sudbury then stepped up a gear, with Ollie Dunlop supplying an assured sidefoot finish in the 31st minute.
They extended their lead less than 10 minutes later as Sam Mills planted a firm header into the roof of the net.
A minute later and it was 4-1 as Mckenzie headed home his second to leave Walsham shell-shocked.
Worse was to follow for Walsham just before the interval as Ollie Peters fired home from close-range to effectively put the outcome to bed.
The second half did not match the excitement of the first but Walsham, to their credit, scored the only goal, and Gibbs’ second.
That AFC did not add to their tally was largely down to Walsham’s ‘keeper, who was on top form.
Both managers praised and thanked Colchester United for their hosting efforts.