Haverhill 1 Seasiders 3

Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup

Semi Final

Saturday 31st March 2018

Played at Ransomes FC.

Report: Mark Owen

Reserves Book Place in Final

A youthful looking reserves side deservedly booked their place in the final of the Days Sports Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup with an excellent 3-1 win over Haverhill Rovers at Suffolk & Ipswich League Ransomes Sports Ground on Saturday. They must now wait until April 11th to discover who their fellow finalists will be when Whitton United and Stowmarket Town go head to head at Ipswich Wanderers ground in Humber Doucy Lane.  

They also await confirmation of where and when the final will be played!  

The Ransomes FC pitch was in good nick for the start but became increasingly difficult to play on as conditions deteriorated with the rain lashing down, and all credit to both sides who tried to play football, and in the end to the Seasiders, who produced a quality performance to outplay the opposition.   

The lads were cheered on by a large group of supporters, plus the first team management as the first team match at Ely was postponed, and it was so good to see so many come and support the side with their famous Seasiders chant. The official gate was declared as 60 but there looked more watching at the start.  

It was a positive start for Felixstowe right from the off, having the lion’s share of possession.  

Lewis Smy saw an early effort blocked as he latched on to Harry Archer's threaded through ball, and Shane Forbes headed wide from a corner. Harry Archer who was lively throughout, forced a good save from the Haverhill keeper, tipping his effort round the post for a corner.  

Rovers struggled to break out for long periods of the first half, and when they did, it was an impressively organised back four performance, with Joe Allum winning most of the aerial battles and Lewis Owen producing a last ditch block to deny the Haverhill front man a clear shot on goal.   

Rory Porter and Will Ransom linked up well and Lewis Main was unlucky not to capitalise, with Joe Allum heading over the top of the opposition defence just beyond Main' s reach. 

The only goal of the first half came to the Seasiders. A clever passage of play starting with Macauley Howell and Rory Porter linking up well down the right, feeding Lewis Smy, who delivered a brilliant whipped in cross that Lewis Main met perfectly, to head down into the bottom right hand corner. The goal was no more than the Seasiders deserved as they continued to press up to the half time whistle.

For the second period the Seasiders expected Haverhill to up their game, but from the restart it was the reserves who dominated, especially in midfield, and they got the all-important second goal, this time with a Joe Allum header from a corner on the right. The two goal advantage soon became three, this time Lewis Smy being on the receiving end of a great free kick from the right side.    

Full credit to Rovers who never gave up, and but for two great saves from Ben Punter, Haverhill might have made more of a game of it. The first of Punter's saves was a wicked cross shot that was palmed over the cross bar and the second just getting finger tips to a long range effort.  

As the changes rang during the second half for both sides - young Jake Preston was extremely lively and creating chances, along with Joe Hunt, as the game opened up and the pitch got progressively heavier.  

Macauley Howell won a 50/50 against the keeper down the right side to keep the pressure on, and Harry Archer turned to shoot, but was just off target after being set up by Lee Burns.  

With ten minutes to go, a rare Haverhill attack caught out the Seasiders when a cross from the right and a shot on target was saved by Ben Punter, only to spin back back into the net to give Haverhill a lifeline.  

However, full credit to Aren Howell’s side who played sensible football, retained possession to see out the game and to book that all important place into the final in May.  

All the players played their part, receiving a good response from the supporters at the end for what was a well-deserved, hard working, team performance.  


Seasiders: 1 Ben Punter, 2 Macauley Howell, 3 Will Ransom, 4 Shane Forbes, 5 Lewis Owen, 6 Joe Allum, 7 Lewis Smy, 8 Rory Porter , 9 Lewis Main, 10 Sam Segger, 11 Harry Archer  

Subs: Josh Horton, Jake Preston, Dan Poxon, Joe Hunt, Lee Burns 


Manager Aren Howell: What an excellent performance from the young Reserves today, a massive turnout from the supporters, the lads loved it, thank you for coming, congratulations to all the side, well done ,enjoy the final!

Coach Alex Egelton: Quality performance from all the squad today; Suffolk FA Senior Reserve Cup Final here we come!!!