St Neots Town FC 3 : 1 Eynesbury Rovers
Match
HSC Round One
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Eynesbury Rovers
Tuesday 23 September, 2014 19:45

HUNTS SENIOR CUP FIRST ROUND

ST NEOTS TOWN   3 - 1    EYNESBURY ROVERS       

Holders St Neots progressed to the semi-final of the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup beating neighbours Eynesbury Rovers and a partial floodlight failure on the way. 

The victory will have gone some way to restoring the sides’ flagging confidence after winning just one of their last six League and Cup matches but Eynesbury did not make their task easy performing very creditably against a side that plays two levels above them. It was rather fortune that the floodlight problem which was apparently a local power surge came right on the stroke of half time and after a 28 minutes elongated half time delay play was able to resume.  

The St Neots management team opted to rest several regulars making five changes in their starting line up from the Saturday trip to Banbury so several fringe players got some useful playing time and still delivered the right result.  

So St Neots who have lifted the trophy in each of the past two seasons go on to an away semi-final tie at Yaxley early next year.

Both sides made a rather tentative start with their defences looking confident and sure. In fact in the first 25 minutes there were only two legitimate chances – one at either end – with Andrew Wale doing well to block an early shot by Matt Nolan and Alex Marsh bringing a routine save from Jamie Greygoose after good work by Jordan Nicholson.  

However during this period St Neots enjoyed the greater share of possession but their progress towards goal was not very effective.   On the half hour Wale did well to block a shot from Nathan Frater who had burst through the defence to collect a Nolan flick and then a minute later St Neots forged ahead with a set piece goal as Ryan Frater rose almost unchallenged to firmly head a Matt Spring corner beyond Wale.  

Now St Neots grew in confidence with Nathan Frater bringing a good save from Wale and Gavin Hoyte heading wide from another Spring corner delivery.   Rovers had one excellent chance to level when Marsh pounced on a defensive error by Ben Farrell to release Lee Bassett but he could not finish. Martell Powell forced a full length save from the busy Wale and Lorenzo Ferrari twice cut inside his marker to shoot wide of the target on both occasions.

St Neots started the second half with a boost of confidence with Ferrari unable to beat Wale after an eye catching run past three defenders but around the hour Rovers had their best spell of the match. Now Greygoose was in the spotlight in only his second appearance for St Neots as he twice pushed excellent shots from Tom Coles and James Freshwater over the bar and then denied Freshwater again pushing his low shot around a post. 

Nathan Frater was looking lively for the home side and the pivotal moment came 17 minutes from time when he scored the second St Neots goal that really put then in control.  It came from a superb sixty yards pass over the visiting defence by Matt Spring to pick out Powell and his early cross found Frater who finished with a crisp shot.  

Four minutes later following a corner the Referee spotted a push by Josh Bickerstaff on an Eynesbury player and a penalty was awarded which Lee Bassett slotted home.  

However any hopes of a Rovers revival were quickly snuffed out as five minutes later Jay Davies on as a substitute made his first touch significant as he played Powell clear on the right and the tiring defence had left another St Neots substitute Drew Roberts unmarked at the far post – the sort of chance he does not spurn. Rovers’ last effort was a clinical finish by Bassett well saved by Greygoose who could be well pleased with his performance on the night.

 

St Neots: Greygoose, Spence, Bickerstaff, Farrell, Frater (R), Hoyte, Ferrari, Spring, Frater (N), Nolan, Powell

Subs: Wilson (for Ferrari 64 mins), Roberts (for Nolan 74 mins), Davies (for Spring 80 mins), Hilliard and Wyer.

Cards: none

Goals: Frater (R) (31 mins),Frater (N) (73 mins), Roberts (82 mins)

 

Eynesbury:  Wale, Duckett (R), Duckett (J), Herring, Woodend, Clark, Coles, Freshwater, Bassett, Marsh, Nicholson

Subs: Fox (for Nicholson 78 mins), Inskip (for Freshwater 85 mins), Flack (for Bassett 89 mins), Smith and Field.

Cards: Herring (Y – 30), Duckett (J) (Y – 69)

Goals: Bassett pen (77 mins)

Attendance: 171

Referee: Neil Hair (Peterborough)

John Walker