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Framlingham Town will not take any team lightly in quest to win Suffolk Senior Cup for the first time

Going off league positions alone, Framlingham Town should be regarded as favourites to win this season’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup.

Tonight they will take on lower-league Claydon in the semi-finals at Hadleigh United FC (7.45pm), with the winner going through to face either AFC Sudbury Reserves or Halesworth Town – at Bury Town tonight – to compete for the trophy.

Like Claydon, Halesworth ply their trade a level below the Castlemen in the Macron Suffolk & Ipswich League (SIL) Senior Division, while they have collected four points off Sudbury’s second string in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North this term.

Josh Lucraft is hoping to play a role in Framlingham reaching the Senior Cup final. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Josh Lucraft is hoping to play a role in Framlingham reaching the Senior Cup final. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Nevertheless, having been pushed all the way in the quarter-finals by SIL outfit Henley Athletic before eventually winning 2-1, midfielder Josh Lucraft has insisted that Framlingham will not be taking anyone lightly.

“If you judge it on league tables then we probably are favourites but we know there are some very good sides in the SIL,” he said.

“Henley gave us a really good game and Sudbury are probably one of the best sides we’ve faced this season. When they’re on it they’re very good.

“We can’t afford to take any team lightly. The club lost in the semi-finals of the competition a few years ago and I know that hurt them.

“The club has never won the cup before – and nor have the other teams – so that’s an extra incentive to take everyone seriously.”

Alongside their Senior Cup commitments, Framlingham are also readying themselves for an assault on the First Division North play-offs.

They were held to a 0-0 draw by FC Parson Drove on Saturday and then a much-changed side were beaten 4-3 by Great Yarmouth Town in a rearranged fixture last night, with their final league match scheduled for a week tomorrow at title hopefuls Downham Town.

After that Liam Abraham’s side will seek to go one better in the play-offs than they did last year when they were beaten 2-1 by Harleston Town in the final.

Lucraft added: “Last year we were just really happy to get in the play-offs.

“When I arrived there was still a fight to get into it but this year was different.

“At the start we were probably looking to fight for the title. That hasn’t happened but we’ve known we’ll be in the play-offs for a while now.

“The experience of last year can’t hurt us. We were narrowly beaten by a very good Harleston team.

“If we turn up and play to our best level we can beat anyone in this league.”

And in Lucraft, Framlingham have a player that is thoroughly enjoying his football.

The former Ipswich Town trainee has had stints with the likes of Walsham-le-Willows, Diss Town, Haverhill Rovers and Scole United in recent years, but he feels at home at Badingham Road – highlighted by the 12 goals that he has scored in all competitions from midfield.

“I’ve played quite a bit in the number 10 role and recently a bit more deeper. It’s definitely been my best and most enjoyable season in men’s senior football,” he said.

“I knew some of the boys before I joined and that helped as well. It’s a tight knit group and we all look out for each other.

“The manager gives me a bit of freedom to go out and show what I can do and I’ve enjoyed that.”

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