Reigning champions spurred on by promise of Portman Road final

CELEBRATIONS: Bures United congratulate each other after they score one of their two goals in the semi-final    Picture: Clive Pearson
CELEBRATIONS: Bures United congratulate each other after they score one of their two goals in the semi-final Picture: Clive Pearson

SUFFOLK PRIMARY CUP

SEMI-FINAL

St Edmunds 1965 1

Bures United 2

Dennis Handley said the allure of Ipswich Town’s home ground as the location of this year’s final was a major ‘incentive’ to overcome a ‘spirited’ St Edmunds 1965 side on Friday night.

The Bures United manager praised the work ethic and dedication of their Suffolk Primary Cup semi-final opponents, as his side came from a goal behind to seal a place in the Portman Road final via Toby Mitchell’s 57th minute winner.

He said: “We made hard work of it in the first half, they are a very good side and they played with a lot of spirit.

“They threw everything at us and just kept going, we had to defend hard.

“But knowing the final will be in Suffolk this year definitely helped to wake us up — it was a massive incentive.

“This is the third time in four years we have been in the final, an impressive record for any team. But it shows where we are as a side at this level, that we are consistently up there with the best.”

The side, who are also targeting promotion from Division Two of the Essex & Suffolk Border League, have enjoyed a number of successes in recent years.

Handley said: “We have had a good time of it, and that has continued into this season.

“This result shows that, by making another final we are proving to ourselves that we deserve to be here.

“It’s a chance to win back-to-back trophies, and it’s proof we’re a top side at this level. It’s going to give us a push in the league as well.”

It was a game played in attack, with both teams showing a real desire to overcome the other and reach the final.

St Edmunds 1965 took Bures United by surprise with their high tempo before being rewarded in the 24th minute.

Callum Brown headed in from a Peter Griffith cross across the face of the goal, but at a difficult angle, to put the St Edmundsbury Football League side a goal up.

But Bures United fought back and Thomas Bailey equalised in the 36th minute as he latched on to a loose ball in the box to make it 1-1.

The equaliser seemed to drain St Edmunds 1965’s energy as they started to rock under increased Bures pressure.

They had a shout for a goal dismissed in the 46th minute, the ball bouncing down off the inside of the crossbar but deemed not to have crossed the line, before Bures’ Toby Mitchell scored a worthy winner after 57 minutes.

The ball fell to him on the edge of the area and he connected well with a shot to leave the ‘keeper rooted to the spot and put his side a goal ahead.

St Edmunds 1965 kept trying, but were unable to find an equaliser against a well-organised, fit and hungry side who now progress to the final.

Bures will face their opponents from last year’s final in AFC Yourshirts, who also won their semi-final with a 2-1 score. The date for the final has yet to be announced.

Free Press Man of the Match: Toby Mitchell.