Stowmarket look for cup final lift

STOWMARKET Town chairman Andy Horrex today spoke of the tremendous lift it would give his club to reach the final of the Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup.

By Elvin King

STOWMARKET Town chairman Andy Horrex today spoke of the tremendous lift it would give his club to reach the final of the Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup.

The Greens Meadow-based side play fellow Ridgeons League, First Division Cornard United in the semi-final at Hadleigh tomorrow (kick-off 2.15pm).

Success over the last few years has been hard to come by for Stowmarket, and a place in a Portman Road final against either Debenham Leisure Centre or Grundisburgh would be very timely indeed.

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“A win tomorrow would give us a tremendous lift,” said Horrex.

“Hopefully our players will rise to the big occasion, although Cornard will be difficult opponents and I have the greatest respect for their manager Chris Symes.”

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It was ten seasons ago that Stowmarket last reached the final of a Suffolk cup competition, losing the Premier Cup 1-0 to Newmarket after a replay.

Since then they have been relegated from the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

Stowmarket manager Dave Hubbick played in Suffolk Senior Cup wins for Woodbridge Town at Portman Road in 1993 and 1994 and knows the magic of the big day.

“It has to be a good draw for us, and it is down to us to perform,” said Hubbick. “I know our level, and we have not been able to gain results against teams above us.

“This tells its own story. Cornard are level on points having played three games more.”

Hubbick, who found considerable success managing Woodbridge, has an open mind on his future.

“I am not committing myself to next season yet,” he said. “I have an open mind.

“I used to be football mad, but it is not the same now although I am still fully committed.”

New signings Ollie Langham and Jamie Sandilands are cup tied, but otherwise Hubbick has a full squad to select from.

Skipper Matty Platt, who has played over 600 games for the club, has recovered from a fractured cheek bone sustained in the quarter-final win over Crane Sports.

Austen King is now playing again after a lengthy injury absence, while 16-year-old schoolboy Chris Gray is in contention for a striking role alongside Tony Cracknell, who won this trophy with Hadleigh in 2004.

Stowmarket beat Cornard 2-1 at home in the league this season.

Grundisburgh, the one remaining Metaltec SIL club left in the competition, will be looking for their seventh final appearance in the last 19 years - five previous wins. Debenham will be seeking their first.

They meet at Framlingham with a 2.15pm kick-off.

Grundisburgh are after a treble as they are top of the SIL and in the latter stages of the Omnico Cup.

They will have to play three midweek league games, while their only serious title rivals Haughley have none scheduled.

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