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Achilles can close gap on leaders but must defeat in-form Grundisburgh

Achilles' Lee Grimwood (right) battles with Capel Plough's Matthew Easton during last week's Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final, which Achilles won 2-0.

Achilles' Lee Grimwood (right) battles with Capel Plough's Matthew Easton during last week's Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final, which Achilles won 2-0.

Archant

Leaders Henley Athletic are without a game in the SIL Senior Division tomorrow, while second-placed Crane Sports replay their abandoned Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final with Haverhill Borough, at The Millfield.

All that means that third-placed Achilles, who have booked their place in two cup finals in recent weeks, can move into the runners-up spot, where they finished last season and – still with a game in hand on Henley – narrow the gap to eight points.

Manager Luke Hillyard will not have given up entirely on winning the league, and will hope there is still all to play for come the final day of the season, when Henley host Cranes, but it looks a big ask.

Today, Achilles face a reinvigorated Grundisburgh, one of the form teams of this calendar year, Micky Squirrell having dragged his side out of what looked to be a hopeless position at the foot of the table at Christmas.

They are now 11th, 10 points clear of the bottom two, following four victories on the trot, and another success today would virtually ensure their top flight status for another year.

Bottom club Ipswich Athletic will be playing Division One football next year, Mark Peck’s side can only pick up 12 points from their remaining games, which would still leave them one short of Stanton, who are third bottom, and just outside the relegation zone.

Athletic are without a game today but just above them, Westerfield United, five points off safety, face a must-win clash at mid-table Ransomes Sports.

Stuart Spreadbridge’s side are five points behind Stanton and Capel Plough, who host Coplestonians and Felixstowe Harpers United respectively today.

Wenhaston are a further two points clear of that duo and they entertain East Bergholt United.

The remaining game sees Bramford, in fourth, host Haughley, in ninth.

In Division One, third-placed Sporting ‘87 will go top if they can better current leaders Claydon’s result, while Benhall, in fourth can close the gap.

Claydon lead the way on 48 points from 21 games and go to Stowupland Falcons tomorrow, while Sporting, on 47 from 21, host Ipswich Exiles.

Second-top Hoxne (47 from 22) do not play, whilst Benhall (41 from 19) visit AFC Kesgrave.

Ipswich Town’s Bryan Klug was spotted keeping an eye on Colchester United and Wycombe at the weekend.

Sports writer Andy Warren takes a look at Ipswich Town’s business in the January transfer window so far.

FA Youth Cup Fourth Round

Ipswich Town U18s 2

Dagenham & Redbridge U18s 1

Ipswich Town’s U18 Academy boss Alan Lee praised his side after they progressed in the FA Youth Cup after beating Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 at Portman Road last night.

FA Youth Cup

Ipswich Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

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