Seb Hayes will bring a player in on loan to help Hinchingbrooke Cup finalists Huntingdon Town get through three matches without Declan Rogers.

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Huntingdon’s top goalscorer for the season so far was sent off on Saturday when his team drew 1-1 with Cogenhoe Town in a feisty game at Jubilee Park.

Troubled flared up in the second half with Cogenhoe already down to 10 men, following the sending off of Tom McGowan, when Stuart Eason was fouled and the two groups of players clashed. Rogers was shown a straight red for supposedly ‘raising his hands’, while Cogenhoe’s ranks were further reduced with Elliott Lamb-Johnson walking after first being shown a yellow card and then a red on the advice of one of the referee’s assistants.

Despite the sending offs, it really wasn’t the worst natured game in history but some decisions by the referee were open to interpretation and left both benches confused and at times irate.

After the match, for Huntingdon just their second in the Premier Division of the United Counties League this year, Hayes told The Hunts Post the club would be looking at a video of the incident and could appeal against Rogers’ red card. However, the board decided on Sunday not to go down that road for fear of the league adding further games to the ban.

“If we failed with an appeal we could lose Declan for another two games,” said Hayes. “I have not got a problem with the decision. We will look to make a loan signing to cover for the three matches.”

Reflecting on the incident, Hayes said: “How we ended up with a player sent off is beyond me. The referee said to Declan he raised his hands. He is our top goalscorer and the last thing we need is to lose him for three games.

“It was just one of those days. We weren’t at the races from the word go really.”

Coming just three days after Huntingdon stuffed Yaxley 5-0 to reach the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup, it was a surprise when the team laboured in the first half – but against the run of play they scored first, on 36 minutes, when the visitors were surprised by a long throw to the back post by Ollie Medwynter and Eason glanced the ball home. But within minutes Cogenhoe had equalised through Tom Liversedge.

There were chances for both sides in the second half but the game was bitty and tetchy on a uneven surface. Ben Seymour-Shove had two shots saved to add to the one he put wide in the first half.

It had been a different story from the Wednesday night when Huntingdon breeze in to the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup with a convincing 5-0 win over Yaxley.

Eason scored twice in that game with the other goals coming from Rogers, Seymour-Shove and Jacob Joyce.

Hayes said: “To get to the final we have played two top-six side and have not conceded a goal against either of them and scored seven. So when we are on it we are a good side – but today Cogenhoe did exactly to us what we do to sides.

“We are busy, we press and work hard and give teams no time on the ball – but from the word go today we were sloppy.

“We didn’t adjust to the game and the conditions. We told the players what to expect and they did the exact opposite of how we wanted to play.

“It is frustrating from our point of view but as usual we battled well and we will take that. We can’t always be at our best but I am disappointed in our performance and how we applied ourselves.”

Still sixth in the division, but with numerous games in hand over all of the teams above them, Huntingdon host Boston Town at Jubilee Park tomorrow night (Wednesday) and go to AFC Kempston Rovers on Saturday.

The final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup will be played in May and Huntingdon will likely as not have home advantage against one of four clubs yet to fight through from the quarter-finals.

Stotfold and Peterborough Northern Star will meet in their quarter-final on Thursday, March 6, while a date for the remaining match between Eynesbury Rovers and Saffron Walden Town is yet to be confirmed.

Huntingdon will have home advantage because the Huntingdon-based competition, which is more than 100 years old and one of the oldest football competitions in the world, is run by a committee who are guided by a set of rules that maintain that whenever possible the final should be played in the town. Teams from a radius of 50 miles from Huntingdon and who play Step 5 and 6 football are invited to compete.

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