FA Cup qualification on Debenham LC's agenda after disappointing Suffolk Senior Cup exit
After letting themselves down during Saturday’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup tie against Coplestonians, manager Guy Hayes has challenged his Debenham LC players to make amends by qualifying for next season’s FA Cup.
The visit of lower-league opposition provided the Hornets with a good opportunity to advance through to the last four of the county competition, taking a step closer to a potential Portman Road final in the process.
However, Hayes’ side found themselves four goals down at the break, with their Macron Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division visitors eventually running out 5-1 winners.
With Debenham 10th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, hopes of winning silverware this term have now been extinguished.
Yet, the boss has stressed that there remains plenty left to play for between now and the season’s conclusion as he eyes a place in the world’s oldest cup competition for the first time since 2015/16.
“We are very disappointed to go out, especially the manner in which we do so,” said Hayes.
“To concede four goals in the first half is very poor. Credit to them because they played well, but that is a game we should have been looking to progress from.
“We wanted to do well in the competition but have saved probably our worst performance of the season for one of the biggest games.
“There is a way to lose and the performance on Saturday was not acceptable – we let ourselves down.
“But like we said to the lads afterwards, there are still plenty of games left to play this season.
“We want to be in the FA Cup next season because it has been a few years since the club has been in it.
“It is done on a points per game basis, but usually finishing in the top eight gets you there, so that is the aim and hopefully a real incentive for the players.”
Debenham are currently seven points adrift of Sheringham in eighth, but they have played just 22 matches in the league this term – a joint low with King’s Lynn Town Reserves.
It means Debenham have games in hand on all of the sides around them – as many as five in some cases.
Tomorrow, they will play host to a Great Yarmouth Town side that are one place and two points below them in the table (3pm).
Hayes is unlikely to have any new faces to pick from in time for the clash with the Bloaters, but he is hopeful of having some fresh blood on board soon.
“We have been missing some key players recently. On Saturday we had two players injured, two cup-tied and another has gone travelling,” he added.
“That is not making excuses because we got what we deserved, but it does not help.
“When we were on a good run earlier in the season we had some competition for places and so we are looking to get back to that.
“Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, we will have added to the squad.”
More by this authorLiam Apicella