Lavenham lift Suffolk FA Sunday Trophy after hitting Haverhill & Hove Albion for six at Needham Market FC
After the heartbreak of losing in extra-time two years ago, Lavenham got their hands on the Suffolk FA Sunday Trophy at the weekend thanks to a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Haverhill & Hove Albion.
Lavenham had already got the better of their fellow Treadfirst Sudbury & Haverhill District Sunday Football League side 8-4 and 5-2 on their way to being crowned Division One champions.
And they produced the goods once again as part of Suffolk FA’s Super Sunday event at Bloomfields, home of Needham Market Football Club.
Scott Sloots, who has played for the likes of Long Melford and Hadleigh United in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, was the hero, with four goals to go alongside the hat-trick he scored in the 5-4 defeat at the hands of Haverhill Borough in 2017.
Meanwhile, Lavenham’s other two goals came courtesy of Albion players on what turned out to be a day to forget for the Haverhill side, who had plenty of Thurlow Nunn League experience within their starting line-up.
George Day, who played in attack on the day but has also kept goal for Lavenham this season, said: “It was a decent performance and in a way it was a little bit of an anti-climax because we did not expect it to be so comfortable.
“We had already played them a couple of times and beaten them well, but in a final you are expecting teams to rise to the occasion a bit more.
“You are never quite sure what sort of team you are going to face at this level but we did our job well and I am proud of the lads.”
It took Lavenham just 12 minutes to break the deadlock on the 3G playing surface when Sloots managed to squeeze his downward header from a corner inside the far post.
Albion attacks were rare throughout the opening 45 minutes, but when lively winger Ash Botten did manage to break clear and bore down on the Lavenham goal, retreating defender Anthony Waugh timed his sliding tackle to perfection to protect the lead.
And that advantage was duly doubled in the 33rd minute when Sloot’s effort from 20 yards out took a wicked deflection that Albion goalkeeper Hamish Stewart with little chance.
However, while Stewart was helpless on that occasion, he was culpable three minutes later has Lavenham went further in front.
While Sloot’s driven effort was powerful it was straight at the Albion stopper, yet the ball squirmed from his grasp and trickled over the line.
Stewart was also involved a mix-up during a scramble just before the break to make it 4-0 to Lavenham.
The fifth goal arrived two minutes shy of the hour mark and it was another one gift-wrapped by Albion as a sliding Mark Palmer turned the ball into his own net as he bid to thwart a cross.
Fittingly, the final say on proceedings went to Sloots, who, after pouncing on some poor Albion defending, fired into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
Up the other end Lavenham goalkeeper Ben St Ledger did well in the closing stages to his preserve his clean sheet when he got across his line to push clear Jarid Robson’s goalbound free-kick before getting up to save the rebound.
Lavenham, who have found the net 111 times from their 16 league outings, still have three matches left to play before the season is concluded.
They host Melford AFC on Sunday before taking on Assington a week later (10.30am) while they will wrap things up at Haverhill Rovers’ New Croft facility in the final of the Challenge Cup against league runners-up Cole Green on May 19 (2.30pm).
More by this authorLiam Apicella