Blues 2 Ipswich Town XI 1
Late, late Jefford goal seals a seventh successive semi final place
Could this be the year the Blues finally get their hands on the Suffolk FA Premier Cup after four failed final appearances? Who knows, but they are certainly doing it the hard way as for the second successive round they needed a stoppage time winner to progress in a MATCH SPONSORED BY LAST & TRICKER PARTNERSHIP. After a 2-1 success over Mildenhall Town in November the Blues repeated the same score and ending thanks to Joe Jefford’s late intervention.
After the disappointing defeat at home to Worthing the Blues were looking to end a run a three successive home reverses and the side reverted to 3-5-2 formation but they were soon on the back foot as the youthful Ipswich Town side began strongly on the front foot. The pitch had a light covering of snow that allowed for a zip to the pace of the ball and Marcus Garnham was called into action within minutes, thwarting Foudil. This set the pattern for the opening quarter of an hour as Leiston defended strongly with only some wayward finishing and good goalkeeping keeping the scores level. The Blues first real foray of the half saw Christy Finch smack an effort against a post but not to be undone Ipswich did likewise via Emilzouni’s strike. It was an enthralling contest as the lively Ipswich side were neat and tidy in possession moving the ball round well while Leiston were somewhat subdued and were clearly looking forward to get into the comforts of the dressing room unscathed. But just as the majority of the crowd were trudging round to seek the warmth of the clubhouse, Ipswich struck in first half stoppage time. A sweat curling effort from Elmizouni giving Marcus Garnham no chance and deservedly firing the visitors into an interval lead.
Upon the restart the game continued in the same vein of the first, but after a serious of wasted opportunities in the Ipswich penalty area the Blues levelled, Chris Henderson sweeping home from ten yards after some heroic defending and lack of composure in the six yard box saw the ball fall invitingly for him. The goal breathed new life into the Blues performance and now it was the hosts that dictated, attacking at will and creating chances. Hayes in the Ipswich goal made a fantastic save low to his right to claw out Christy Finch’s effort with two Matt Blake efforts either side of that chance while an instinctive header from the Blues number nine rolled agonisingly wide. Blues boss Glen Driver made a trio of changes to try and stave off the threat of a penalty shoot-out and his ploy worked in the second of the four additional minutes added on at the end of the game. Joe Marsden’s attempted corner routine to find Chris Henderson failed but fell kindly to Kyle Hammond whose teasing cross found Joe Jefford who nodded high beyond Hayes to seal a seventh consecutive semi-final appearance.
FT – Blues 2 Ipswich Town 1
Blues – Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence (Docherty 74 mins), Henderson, Blake, Finch (Trotter 83 mins), Brothers (Marsden 81 mins). Subs not used – Knights
Ipswich Town – Hayes, Ronan, Barley, McGavin, Marshall, Vega, Cahill (Murrell 78 mins), Elmizouni (Brown 85 mins), Lankester, Foudil (Wilton 71 mins), Hughes. Subs not used - Ware and Henry.
Match Sponsors LAST & TRICKER PARTNERSHIP Man of the Match – Seb Dunbar
Attendance - 153