Achilles’ Suffolk Senior Cup triumph leaves manager Luke Hillyard ‘over the moon’
PUBLISHED: 19:04 30 April 2017
Achilles boss Luke Hillyard was ‘over the moon’ after his team lifted the 2017 Suffolk Senior Cup this afternoon.
Hillyard’s side edged past SIL Senior Division rivals Crane Sports, by two goals to one, at Portman Road.
“I’m over the moon,” said the boss.
“It was a huge occasion and an even bigger achievement for the club.
“I thought we deserved it as I think we had the better chances over the 90 minutes.”
Luke’s brother, Liam, opened the scoring for Achilles in the 58th minute, before Ivan Buxton calmly dispatched goal number two six minutes later.
However, Hillyard was not entirely happy up until that point.
“I was disappointed with the boys in the first half and I think the occasion got to a few of them,” said the boss, whose side also have a Bob Coleman Cup final with Benhall St Mary to look forward to next month.
“We had words at half-time, and they listened as they scored two good goals.
“It was a great ball by Joe Revell down the line to my brother (Liam Hillyard) and he showed his class (with the finish).
“Ivan Buxton, who lost here (in the 2016 Suffolk Senior Cup final) with Haughley last year, scored and was excellent, he was my man-of-the-match.
“That’s his first goal of the season and a few of the lads on our WhatsApp group joked that he was going to score the winner, and low and behold look what happened!”
Hillyard also praised Crane’s efforts, with the runners-up pushing Achilles all the way in a tense finale following Mo Fike’s 81st-minute header.
“Crane were never going to give up, they’re a top team and they pushed numbers forward, putting us under pressure,” continued Hillyard.
“They beat Haverhill Borough 4-1 (in the semi-final) and like us, have players who can play higher.”
This win will go down in Achilles folklore, with Hillyard overjoyed at the tremendous support shown at Portman Road.
“To come here as a local lad is excellent,” he said.
“My boy was a mascot, and it was a great occasion with all the families here.
“It’s a huge achievement for the club, and especially for Dave Morgan who has been here 60 plus years, doing the bits that people don’t see.
“I’m sure he’ll have a pint or two tonight, and so will I.”