SUFFOLK PREMIER CUP
Bury Town 3 Needham Market 1
BURY Town midfielder Lee Reed declared his desire to retain the Suffolk Premier Cup trophy after netting twice in a re-run of last year’s final against Needham Market.
Tuesday night’s quarter-final tie saw the Blues come from behind to defeat the Marketmen 3-1.
The last eight clash was an almost identical repeat of April’s showpiece with Needham starting brightly before two second-half strikes from a Reed — Lee taking over the goalscoring duties from Sam — settling it.
The in-form midfielder said: “Winning is a good habit, no matter what competition you are in. We had a good run to the final last year and it was a good day out.
“I’d love to get there again and, being in the semi-finals, we should really be looking to do that and be winning the competition. That night was a great night. To play at that stadium and win was something we don’t do very often so we want to get back there this year and try to defend our title.”
Man-of-the-match Lee Reed had a first-minute shot turned around the post by visiting stopper Andrew Plummer, but when Roscoe Hipperson tangled with Deakin Napier in the penalty area, the latter was awarded a soft penalty that was converted by Angelo Harrop to put Needham ahead.
With Harrop pulling the strings in midfield, the Marketmen continued to threaten and it needed a wonderful double save from Marcus Garnham to keep Bury in the game.
The home custodian superbly beat Bradley Barber’s header away from Danny Thrower’s corner and then reacted quickly to keep out James Evans’ follow-up.
Garnham palmed away a stinging shot from Thrower, but Bury were handed a way back into the match when Billy Clark exchanged passes with Sam Reed and burst into the penalty area, only to be halted by a tackle from Needham’s Pip Boyland.
Although it appeared Boyland got the ball, referee Nick Cooper awarded a spot-kick — much to Needham’s disbelief as they surrounded the official in protest — but it did little to put off Danny Cunningham, who calmly scored his 12th goal of the season.
Just four minutes after their leveller, Lee Reed put them in front when he dispossessed Bradley Barber, advanced into the Marketmen’s half and hit a rasping drive into the net.
Sam Reed stung the hands of Plummer at the start of the second half and the Needham stopper — who had problems with crosses all night — had to recover to keep out John Sands after flapping at Cunningham’s delivery from the right-hand side.
Scott Chaplin miscued the visitors’ best chance of the second half after superb build-up play between Thrower and Rhys Barber.
But the match was settled 15 minutes from time when Cunningham’s right-wing corner was cleared only as far as the edge of the area, where Lee Reed met the ball with a sweet half volley into the bottom left corner of the net.
The double goalscorer had chances to complete his hat-trick but could not do so, the best coming from six yards after Sam Reed headed the ball into his path from Russell Short’s cross.
Sam Reed forced Plummer into a good save in stoppage time as Bury comfortably eased their way to a semi-final with Lowestoft Town, Leiston or Haverhill Rovers.