SUFFOLK SENIOR CUP
Cornard United 1
Haughley United 2
Chris Tracey conceded his Cornard United side were just not good enough as they missed out on a place in the Suffolk Senior Cup final.
With a chance to walk out at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road as an incentive on reaching the final, the Ards were aiming to live up to their higher-league billing and overcome their Suffolk and Ipswich League opposition.
However, it was not to be for the Thurlow Nunn League side as Haughley responded brilliantly from falling behind to Luke Payne’s opener as goals from Ryan Wragg and Romeul Cordington completed the turnaround to seal their place in the final.
“I’m really disappointed, we just didn’t really turn up,” conceded Tracey.
“We had a great start with the goal, but they hit back straight away and caused us all sorts of problems all afternoon.
“We had players out there who have been giving us sevens and eights out of 10 in previous weeks dropping to fours and the confidence wasn’t quite there in the team.
“But all credit to Haughley, they took their chances and thoroughly deserved to go through to the final.
“We are all disappointed but we have come a long way and that is the positive to look at.
“We just need to learn from experiences and disappointments like this and hopefully come back stronger from it in the future,”
After an even opening to the game, it was Cornard who opened the scoring after 15 minutes as Payne brilliantly curled home a 25-yard free-kick into the top left corner.
However, with some Cornard fans still celebrating, their Suffolk and Ipswich League opposition struck back immediately as man-of-the-match Dom Arnold’s pinpoint corner was bundled home by Wragg despite the best efforts of Aaron Robinson on the line.
In what proved a hard-fought first 45 minutes, it was Haughley who built on the momentum of their equaliser to go ahead after 35 minutes with a clinical counter attack.
A Cornard free-kick was cleared as far as Wragg, who kept hold of possession before releasing the onrushing Cordington, who burst into the right-hand side of the area before drilling a right-footed effort across Ards’ goalkeeper Ben Baldwin and into the bottom left corner.
And moments before the break, Haughley came close to extending their advantage as Arnold’s cross found Mark Theobald, whose acrobatic volley was parried away by Baldwin before the ball was scrambled away.
The second half failed to live up to the excitement of the first 45 minutes, but it was Cornard who enjoyed the clear openings, with Liam Morley, Payne and Shaun Malarkey all spurning opportunities.
But despite the late onslaught of pressure, Haughley held firm to book their place in the final at Portman Road.
Cornard: Baldwin, Melarkey, Carnaliyo, Morley, Nwawrani, Dowding, Payne, Sloots, Swann, Claydon, Robinson.
Haughley: Mayhew, Robinson, Nicless, West, George, Arnold, Smith, Theobald, Wragg, Cordington, Vincent.
Man of the match: Arnold