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Stowmarket Town give up place in Suffolk Premier Cup final to Leiston after realising breach of rules occurred in semi-final



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Stowmarket Town FC have withdrawn from this season’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final.

The club made their decision after an ‘administrative error’ led to them fielding ineligible players in their semi-final versus Leiston, who will now take their place in the final.

Stowmarket had defeated Leiston 3-0 at Needham Market FC on Wednesday evening to reach the final of the competition for the first time in 25 years.

Josh Mayhew (right) had come off the bench to score two goals against higher-league Leiston that he thought had secured his chance to play at a professional stadium with Colchester United FC hosting the Suffolk Premier Cup Final on April 21 Picture: Mecha Morton
Josh Mayhew (right) had come off the bench to score two goals against higher-league Leiston that he thought had secured his chance to play at a professional stadium with Colchester United FC hosting the Suffolk Premier Cup Final on April 21 Picture: Mecha Morton

Stowmarket Town FC Chair Neil Sharp said: “It is with great regret that Stowmarket Town have made the decision to withdraw from this season’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup.

“An administrative error came to light following Wednesday’s semi-final tie versus Leiston which resulted in two players who were not eligible to play participating in the tie.

“The club have clearly breached the rules of the competition and were left with no option other than to withdraw or face being removed.

Ipswich Town loanee Tommy Smith was one of two players, along with Maciq Jakemi, to make their Stowmarket Town debuts in the semi-final, meaning they had not been part of the club's run to the last four Picture: Mecha Morton
Ipswich Town loanee Tommy Smith was one of two players, along with Maciq Jakemi, to make their Stowmarket Town debuts in the semi-final, meaning they had not been part of the club's run to the last four Picture: Mecha Morton

“I would like to apologise to our management team, players and supporters, but assure everyone that this decision has been made in the best interests of the club.

“We have informed Suffolk FA of our decision and would like to wish Leiston all the best for the final.

“The club will not be making any other official comment on the matter in the foreseeable future.”

Stowmarket had won four matches to reach the final, defeating higher-league sides Lowestoft Town and Leiston either side of victories over Ipswich Town and Lakenheath.

Leiston will now play either Kirkley & Pakefield or Needham Market in the final at Colchester United FC on Thursday, April 21 (7.30pm).

Those two teams are scheduled to play their semi-final at Leiston FC on Tuesday, April 12 (7.45pm).