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Rovers swept away by irrepressible Saints as season ends in stylish Cup Final win

Thursday, 03 May 2018 16:03

Huntingdonshire Football Association Senior Challenge Cup Final

St Neots Town     6        Eynesbury Rovers       1

St Neots brought down the curtain on their season with a spanking victory over town neighbours Eynesbury Rovers to record the biggest margin in a Senior Cup Final for more than 50 years with this 6-1 victory.   Playing some of their most controlled attacking play they crushed their opponents with two very early goals setting the stage for a memorable evening.   The gap between level Three St Neots and level Five Eynesbury was always apparent but to Rovers credit they never stopped trying and were rewarded with a deserved late consolation goal.   A good evening crowd of 318 must have enjoyed the spectacle whichever side they were supporting, and they saw a performance from the winners that ranks as one of their most complete of the season.   Holders Eynesbury who lifted the trophy at the same venue over the same opposition just twelve months earlier must have dreamt about a repeat performance, but they were never really in the match whilst St Neots scored the goals they had always looked capable of, but seldom achieved.   St Neots recalled skipper Luke Knight, Taylor Parr and Tom Wood and were arguably able to field their strongest team in a match Manager Matt Clements had described as their ‘most important’ of the season.

St Neots could hardly have made a better start because after just six minutes they led 2-0.   In the fourth minute the tricky Dylan Williams set up Nabil Shariff who beat visiting keeper Aaron Butcher with a well-placed shot and two minutes later St Neots leading scorer Dylan Williams added a second after a mesmerizing move involving Dion Sembie-Ferris and Shariff.  Eynesbury looked shell-shocked and their first sortie into the penalty area resulted in Dan Draper being booked for simulation after losing control of the ball.  After 25 minutes Jack Uttridge upended the lively Williams to concede a free kick on the edge of the area, but Butcher dived to his right to brilliantly turn away Luke Knight’s well-struck free kick.    Curtis Hartley then cleared off the line from Sembie-Ferris and the keeper was back in action to deny Shariff and Williams as St Neots increased their pressure.  Rovers might had scored six minutes before the break when former Saint James Tricks was played clear, but his effort was well saved by St Neots teenage goalkeeper George Bugg.   A third St Neots goal two minutes before the break effectively ended Rovers’ hopes of a revival as defender Tom Wood netted from a Williams corner and there was still time for Shariff to see a shot rebound from the crossbar.

A fourth goal for the home side four minutes into the second half multiplied the Eynesbury woes as Williams beat two defenders on the left to cross for David Bridges to score and then tempers became frayed with Hartley and Williams both booked after54 minutes.   Three minutes later Dylan Williams claimed his seventeenth goal of the season to make it 5-0 from a Wood cross but was then substituted with Scott Sinclair replacing him.  Uttridge then handled a Sinclair cross but Butcher guessed right to push away Johnny Herd’s tamely hit penalty kick.    After 67 minutes a delightful back-heel by Shariff set up David Bridges for his second goal of the match to see the score at 6-0 but Eynesbury showed defiance and was rewarded eight minutes from time when substitute Craig Smith forced the ball home from close range after Bugg had pushed a first effort onto his cross bar.   Bridges was then denied his hat trick by an outstanding save from the overworked Butcher.   

The trophy and replicas were presented by Hunts FA Chairman Maurice Armstrong.

St Neots:  Bugg, Wood, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Williams (D), Bridges, Sembie-Ferris, Shariff, Norville-Williams

Subs:  Sinclair (for Williams 58 mins), Bradshaw (for Wood 61 mins), Broccoli (for Norville-Williams 70 mins), Wiltshire and Butler

Cards:  Williams (Y – 54 mins), Sinclair (Y – 78 mins), Broccoli (Y – 85 mins), Bridges (Y – 88 mins)

Goals:  Williams 2 (6 & 57 mins), Bridges 2 (49 & 67 mins), Shariff (4 mins), Wood (43 mins)

 

Eynesbury:  Butcher, Draper, Hartley, Ducket (R), Ducket (J), Uttridge, Brown, Warwick, Tricks, Bream, Hartley

Subs:  Smith (for Bream 46 mins), Miles, Vieira, Westley and King.

Cards:  Hartley (Y – 54 mins), Draper (Y – 65 mins), Smith (Y – 77 mins)

Goals:  Smith (82 mins)

Referee:  Ashley List (Eaton Socon)

Attendance:  318

 

John Walker

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