Friday, August 30, 2013
AFTER watching his side destroy Wisbech Town on Saturday, Huntingdon Town manager Ricky Marheineke was set to miss two of his team’s biggest games of the season because of a training course at work and a charity sky dive.
But within minutes of the start of Wednesday night’s brilliant 1-0 win over AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Marheineke arrived at Jubilee Park to guide his team to second place in the United Counties League Premier Division table.
Now, tomorrow (Saturday), the manager will be hoping that the weather doesn’t make him miss the start of Huntingdon’s big game at Swaffham Town in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.
The 32-year-old will be jumping from a plane over Peterborough; an event pencilled into his diary by his wife Lisa. They are both jumping to raise funds for Zane Smith, the four-year-old son of their friend Lee Smith. Zane has CCM3, a genetic mutation that could kill him at any time. Fewer than 100 people are known to suffer from the little-known condition. His parents Lee and Kim need to take him to see a specialist in Chicago.
“Some things are so much more important than football,” said Marheineke, who is still hoping he will be able to make some of the game.
“My arrival will be dictated by the weather,” he said. “The jump is near Peterborough and if it goes to plan I should be able to get to Swaffham for some of the game. If the flight is delayed, I may just ask the pilot to drop me above Swaffham.”
Declan Rogers scored the only goal of Huntingdon’s win in front of 400 against Rushden. The phoenix-club started life in Division One of the UCL last season and beat Eynesbury Rovers to the second promotion place. This season they are one of the favourites for promotion again.
“I’m still buzzing about it,” said Marheineke two days later. “It was a very good performance.
“I thought they were better in the first half but we had at least four chances on the counter attack – but in the second half we were exceptional.”
Rogers’ goal came in the second half with a header from a long Ollie Medwynter throw. Missing were the injured defender Mark Cox and strikers Stuart Eason, Jack Werndly and Niks Savalneiks – so Curtis Ben Seymour-Shove and Jamie Graham played up front without their usual third strike partner in an adjusted formation of 4-1-2-1-2.
“For some of the players it was the first time they have really played in front of a crowd the size of that one,” continued the manager.
“The thing is, there were probably 100 people from Huntingdon – which was great. I hope they come back again.”
If the team keeps on playing this well, maybe they will.
Meanwhile, there are two more clubs in FA Cup action tomorrow: St Ives Town are at home to Soham Town Rangers at Westwood Road while Godmanchester Rovers go to Sleaford Town.
Goddy are due some luck: they were 1-0 up on Saturday at Stanway Rovers in their Eastern Counties Premier Division game when it was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch.
If Huntingdon win their FA Cup game and Godmanchester Rovers win theirs, the two clubs will meet in the next round of the cup. “That would be fantastic,” said Marheineke.