NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Centurion Coles in upbeat mood as Eynesbury Rovers aim to cause a shock in the Hunts Senior Cup final
PUBLISHED: 15:20 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 22:30 24 April 2017
Eynesbury talisman Tom Coles is optimistic his side can succeed where they failed 12 months ago and lift the Hunts Senior Cup on Wednesday night.
The United Counties League Premier Division side make the short trip to St Neots Town for a showpiece clash in which they will start as massive underdogs against higher-level hosts.
But Coles is convinced the two-rung gulf between his side and their Southern League Premier Division opponents can be overcome in the space of 90 minutes of cup-final football at the Premier Plus Stadium, 7.45pm.
Eynesbury certainly shouldn’t be overawed by the occasion as they play in the Senior Cup final for the second successive season. They were beaten 2-0 by St Ives Town last term.
“We haven’t really spoken about the final much to be honest,” said Coles, who played for St Neots as a youngtser. “The gaffer wouldn’t allow it as he wanted us to concentrate on the league.
“But we’re all excited about being in the final again and we’re confident that, if we turn up and play well on the night, we can give them a good game.
“St Neots have picked up lately and they’ll be on a high after avoiding relegation, but we’re determined to give it everything.”
Coles recently reached a memorable milestone when completing a century of goals for Eynesbury on Easter Monday. Tonight would be a great time to keep that fine tally, achieved in just 245 appearances, ticking over.
He reckons his prolific form is down to a lot of luck and no shortage of aerial ability.
He added: “The ball just keeps finding me in the right places, and it definitely helps that I can head it.
“I think everyone knows that I’m better with my head than my feet. I’ve scored 19 headers this season!
“I just try to get in the box as much as I can. I’ve got good timing and I always want to get my head on it.”
Eynesbury warmed up for the final with their heaviest defeat of the season. They went down 4-0 at champions Peterborough Sports in the UCL Premier Division last Saturday.
Rovers are assured of a top-six finish for the second successive season with one league match remaining. That’s at home to Desborough this Saturday.
Admission prices for the Hunts Senior Cup final are £8 for adults and £5 for children.
COLES’ GOALS . . .
We asked Tom to recall the best of his big bunch
November 22, 2016
vs Yaxley (a) – United Counties League Premier Division
Yaxley keeper Aaron Butcher was left helpless as Coles’ 30-yard strike goes in via the goal frame.
April 23, 2014
vs Raunds (h) – United Counties League Division One
Not one goal – but four of them as Coles bagged the lot for Eynesbury in a 4-1 win which sealed their return to the Premier Division after a 13-year absence.
August 6, 2016
vs Peterborough Northern Star (h) – FA Cup extra preliminary round
This was another memorable batch from Coles, who followed up a pair of first-half headers with a smart finish from just outside the box in a 3-1 win.
January 14, 2017
vs Northampton Sileby Rangers (a) – United Counties League Premier Division
Coles displayed precision and quality worthy of players at much higher levels when deftly chipping a stoppage-time equaliser to earn Eynesbury a 4-4 draw.
November 3, 2012
vs Wellingborough Whitworths (a) – United Counties League Division One
Coles showed he has an eye for the acrobatic when striking with a terrific scissor-kick in a Rovers victory five years ago.