Lowestoft Town advance through to Suffolk Premier Cup final with win over Bury Town
Lowestoft Town set up a Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup final date with Needham Market thanks to this evening's 2-0 triumph at the expense of a depleted Bury Town.
The two sides, who have won the competition on a combined 26 occasions, had been due to meet in March before Covid-19 struck.
However, they finally faced off tonight at Felixstowe & Walton United's Goldstar Ground, where it was Jamie Godbold's higher-league outfit who came out on top.
An entertaining first half took less than 60 seconds to hot up when Lowestoft’s lively winger Kieran Higgs jinked inside Carlos Edwards and stung stand-in Bury goalkeeper Ben Mayhew’s palm with a near-post drive.
Lowestoft full-back Owen Murphy again tested Mayhew just three minutes later with a strike from distance as the Step 3 side made a bright start to proceedings.
Bury, in contrast, took a little while to find their feet. Yet, in the 16th minute they carved out the tie’s clearest opening up to that point.
Jake Chambers-Shaw floated a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the Lowestoft defence for Cemal Ramadan. He had the time to take a touch, but with former Bury goalkeeper Luis Tibbles advancing off his line, his first-time volley drifted wide.
And just four minutes later, Lowestoft took the lead. It was former Bury youngster Josh Curry who applied the finishing touch, rising highest to head home from a corner.
The advantage was then duly doubled in the 28th minute via Louis McIntosh’s free kick. Situated to the right hand side of the box, down to Mayhew’s left looked to be most natural route to goal, but he instead whipped his effort across the penalty area and inside the far post.
It looked a long way back for Bury at this juncture, but within two minutes they were handed a golden chance to halve the deficit.
Travis Cole was deemed to have barged Chambers-Shaw over inside the box, but Ramadan – usually so reliable from 12 yards – saw his effort saved by Tibbles.
The half ended with Lowestoft, and in particular Jake Reed, hunting a third goal, but on two occasions he was thwarted by Mayhew.
Bury – ravaged by injuries to six players, as well as new signing Baris Altintop being cup tied – were improved after the restart, but too often the final pass was lacking.
Ramadan broke through early in the second half and shot straight at Tibbles, while in the 74th minute Olly Hughes latched on to Chambers-Shaw's slide rule pass, but an onrushing Cruise Nyadzayo was unable to make contact from a few yards out with his fizzed low cross.
All the while Lowestoft remained professional in their defensive work, with the central defensive partnership of Adam Tann and Cole clearing the large majority of what was thrown their way.
Bury: Mayhew, Edwards (Frank 86'), Hood, Hastings, Gardner, Snaith (Cook 79'), Maughn, Chambers-Shaw, Hughes, Nyadzayo, Ramadan (Mills 77')
Lowestoft: Tibbles, Curry (Wells 86'), Murphy (Lopez 65'), Jarvis (Delgado 89', Cole, Tann, Zielonka, Fisk, Reed, McIntosh, Higgs
* For video reaction from Lowestoft boss Jamie Godbold, check back on Suffolk News tomorrow morning.