LOCAL FOOTBALL: Eaton Socon complete second-half comeback to close in on a repeat Hunts Intermediate Cup triumph

PUBLISHED: 10:07 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:58 30 January 2018

Rhys Thorpe (right) hit Eaton Socon's winner against Hemingfords United. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY

Rhys Thorpe (right) hit Eaton Socon's winner against Hemingfords United. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Holders Eaton Socon are 90 minutes away from another Hunts Intermediate Cup triumph.

Eaton Socon manager Mark Spavins (front) is chasing a third Hunts Intermediate Cup success in five years. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY Eaton Socon manager Mark Spavins (front) is chasing a third Hunts Intermediate Cup success in five years. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark Spavins’ side booked their place in the county showpiece by coming from behind in the final 20 minutes to beat fellow Cambs League Kershaw Premier Division side Hemingfords United in a semi-final last Saturday.

Teenager Callan Irvine levelled before Rhys Thorpe hit the winner as Eaton Socon came from behind to prevail 2-1 at the Mick George Stadium.

They fell behind when a Max Roberts cross flummoxed debutant goalkeeper Josh Bonaiti, who has been borrowed from Bedford Town after having a brief spell at Eynesbury Rovers earlier in the season, during the first half.

But Lewis Gordine-Francis marked his return to the Eaton Socon fold following a spell out with illness by being the architect for both of their goals.

Ryan Vale saw a header tipped onto the bar from the first of his fine deliveries, but Irvine was on hand to prod the ball home to level.

And Thorpe then benefitted from the same supply line when completing a quick turnaround to earn Eaton Socon a final clash against Somersham Town, who play a level lower in Kershaw Senior A Division, at St Neots Town FC on April 11.

And while his side will start as hot favourite to retain the trophy, Spavins insists nothing can be taken for granted against a Somersham outfit he represented as a player almost 30 years ago.

He said: “We certainly had to work hard to reach the final – and we know it will be just as tough to keep hold of the trophy.

“We found it tough in the first half against Hemingfords, but we got control of the game in the final half-an-hour and managed to get the goals we needed.

“It was great to see Callan come into the team at 17 and play superbly, and it was also terrific to have Lewis back involved.”

It could actually be a third Hunts Intermediate Cup success in just five years for Spavins. He guided former club Great Paxton to glory in this competition back in 2014 and a handful of his current players also featured in that side.

Eaton Socon are also chasing promotion into non-league football this season. Extensive work to bring their River Road base up to the required standard is taking place.

Assuming that task is successfully completed, Spavins’ men will simply need to finish higher than the other team to apply for promotion – Lakenheath – in the Kershaw Premier Division standings.

They currently sit sixth, one place and three points above Lakenheath, and also boasting three matches in hand. Their next test is a trip to lowly Foxton this Saturday.

Spavins added: “It’s great to be through to the Hunts Intermediate Cup final, but we have to forget about that now and focus on the big league games we have coming up.

“There is loads of work being done at the club and everything is looking good for promotion, so it is up to us to perform on the pitch and get the results we need.”

Somersham are also currently sixth in Kershaw Senior A Division following a 2-0 defeat to title-chasing Fowlmere last Saturday. Chris Bailey’s side beat Huntingdon United in the other Hunts Intermediate Cup semi-final on January 13.

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