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Saints blown away by rampant Rovers in Senior Cup Final

Thursday, 11 April 2019 09:39

 

HUNTINGDONSHIRE SENIOR CUP FINAL

St Neots Town       0         Godmanchester Rovers        6

In the end it was a disappointing showpiece Senior Cup Final best described as men against boys. Godmanchester full of confidence and on a high chasing the runners-up spot in the Thurlow Nunn League for the third time, facing a depleted and out-of-sorts St Neots side, who were the trophy holders very low on both experience and confidence.   St Neots faced the loss of two of their most charismatic players – Dan Trendall to injury and Jordan Norville-Williams recalled by parent club Cambridge United – and they never really competed.   Joe Hood was also unavailable and into their places St Neots had no option but to draft in three of their Youth Cup winners Leon Fulianty, Jacob Joseph and Owen Dunnett.   The ‘visiting’ side smelled blood from the off and always were certain winners from as early as the fifth minute when they scored their first goal.   The St Neots defence was ragged and disorganised and the rampant visiting side were gifted several goals by elementary errors not really expected at this level of football.    Records will show that this was the second time in three years that St Neots have lost to Step Five opponents in this final – both times on their own pitch.  Ironically last season St Neots scored six goals themselves in beating Eynesbury Rovers in the final, but this was St Neots biggest Senior Cup defeat for 35 years having been beaten by Eynesbury Rovers 7-2 in 1983/84 season.

Godmanchester got the perfect start when after five minutes a clever flick by Charlie Bowen set up Cavan King to hook the ball over St Neots 17 years old goalkeeper Michael McCormack.   They then lost Matty Allan to injury but undeterred they continued to dominate with Charlie Bowen adding a second goal firing through a packed defence after 18 minutes when Jack Chandler’s initial effort had been blocked.   St Neots had little to offer in the way of retaliation or resistance and when Buster Harradine joined the goals spree after 31 minutes when McCormack failed to gather a long clearance from his opposite number, the game was effectively over.   Jacob Joseph mis-kicked in front of goal to waste St Neots’ best chance seven minutes before the break and Godmanchester went straight to the other end where the irrepressible Buster Harradine scored from a narrow angle across the bemused McCormack.   In a defiant flourish just before half time Joe Sutton twice broke down the left to test Niall Conroy in the Rovers goal and Stevan Shaw combined well with Prince Mutswunguma but could not find a telling final shot.

In a bid to regain some credibility St Neots sent on two further Youth players after the break but it was Godmanchester substitute Tom Spark who broke to almost further increase the lead, but his shot rebounded from the foot of a post.   The momentum seemed to drop with Godmanchester seemingly happy with their first half efforts but after Joe Rider had headed narrowly wide for St Neots a Harradine corner after 71 minutes created confusion in the box and Austin Diaper added his name to the score sheet.    It was then only left for Buster Harradine almost inevitably to complete his hat trick ten minutes from time whilst St Neots best effort was a Ben Bradley shot that failed to bother Conroy.   Injuries to McCormack held up the flow of play and the game fizzled out with Godmanchester delighted to earn ownership of the County Senior trophy for the first time since 2014.   For the record it was the first time in living memory that St Neots fielded a side, none of whom had played in the Senior Cup until this season.

St Neots Town:  McCormack, Shaw, Fulianty, Miles, Hughes, Dunnett, Joseph, Rhiney, Mutswunguma, Bradley, Sutton

Subs: Clarke (for Shaw 46 mins), Rider (for Rhiney 46 mins), Trendall and Abbott.

Cards:  Bradley (Y – 28 mins), Mutswunguma (Y – 59 mins)

Goals: none

 

Godmanchester Rovers:  Conroy, King (R), Brown,Unwin, Bowen, King (C), Allan, Diaper, Harradine,      Hyem (M), Chandler

 Subs:  Spark (for Allan 17 mins), Munro (for Diaper 79 mins), Bull (for Harradine 87 mins), Hyem (C) and Walker.

Cards:  Hyem (M) (Y – 45+3 mins), Diaper (Y – 59 mins)

Goals:  Harradine 3 (31,38 and 80 mins), King (C), Bowen and Diaper

 

Referee:  Josh Crofts  

Attendance:       259

John Walker

 

 

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