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Achilles aiming to address defensive issues in search of SIL Senior Division title

PUBLISHED: 18:24 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 25 August 2017

Achilles have been runners-up for the past three seasons in the Senior Division.

Achilles have been runners-up for the past three seasons in the Senior Division.

Archant

Early leaders, Achilles may be without a game tomorrow, but manager Luke Hillyard will be leaving no stone unturned as he chases cup success and an elusive SIL Senior Division title.

The Mighty A’s boss will be watching Framlingham Town’s Thurlow Nunn Division One game at home to Woodbridge Town tomorrow, ahead of Achilles’ Suffolk Senior Cup clash with Mel Aldis’ side next month.

But Hillyard has also been working hard in training, trying to shore up his defence, following three successive runners-up spots in the Senior Division.

The 2014 champions missed out to Henley Athletic last season, and Hillyard, who won the Division One title with Ipswich Athletic in 2015, said: “We scored around 160 goals last season, whereas Henley scored about one-hundred, but we conceded a lot more and we know we are not perfect in that area.

“We are working on our weaknesses in that area and we have kept two clean sheets so far.”

The early season victories over East Bergholt and Wenhaston United have seen Achilles score a total of eight goals without reply, despite being without Matty Ryland, Sean Benneworth, David Grimwood and Ryan Bedingfield, and Hillyard added: “We have been working hard and I am determined to get that first league title as a manager, that’s the motivation for me this year.

“It’s early days though and we know Henley are going to be strong, even though they have lost Chris Williams (to Whitton).

“Cranes have made a slow start but they will come good eventually, while Felixstowe Harpers have strengthened their squad.”

In the Senior Division tomorrow, AFC Hoxne host Westerfield United, second-placed Felixstowe Harpers go to newly-promoted Benhall St Mary, Capel Plough entertain Ransomes Sports, Wenhaston United go to Crane Sports, Grundisburgh are at home to Bramford and Leiston St Margarets welcome last season’s champions, third-placed Henley Athletic.

The Division One fixtures, meanwhile, kick off tomorrow.

AFC Kesgrave host Bacton 89, Sporting 87 go to Bildeston, Claydon entertain Ipswich Athletic and Stanton are at home to Trimley Athletic.

Winning games of football is the best way to heal a damaged relationship between touchline and terrace, former Blues boss George Burley insists.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has apologised for any offence he caused while celebrating Luke Chambers’ goal at Norwich on Sunday, but has reiterated he did not aim his comments at the Blues fans.

Match highlights from Ipswich Town’s dramatic 1-1 draw with rivals Norwich in the East Anglian derby.

Ipswich Town U23 1

Charlton Athletic U23 2

Shane McLoughlin was on the scoresheet but it wasn’t enough as Ipswich Town’s Under 23’s were beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic at Playford Road this afternoon, writes Kieren Standley.

Police have said they are working to identify supporters responsible for criminal damage at Norwich City’s ground ahead of derby clash against Ipswich Town in the East Anglian derby.

Luke Chambers insists Ipswich Town will be fuelled by a desire to finish above rivals Norwich between now and the end of the season.

What an absolute kick in the teeth, writes Karl Fuller in the wake of Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road.

What a shame. Mick McCarthy was only seconds away from having another favourite DVD to add to his collection of perfect away performances. You know the ones – shut up shop for the entire second half, then nick a winner from a set-piece, writes Northstander Terry Hunt,

No amount of counselling can get this increasingly fractured long-term relationship with Mick McCarthy and Ipswich Town back on track now.

As the dust continues to settle following Ipswich Town’s dramatic 1-1 draw at Norwich, sports writer Andy Warren hosts our weekly webchat to discuss all the latest goings on at Portman Road.

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