Champions St Neots lead extraordinary Hunts celebrations
On an astonishing day for Huntingdonshire football, St Neots Town won their Southern League title and promotion to the Premier Division, while Huntingdon Town also secured their promotion to the UCL Prem - and Godmanchester Rovers were crowned Ridgeons Division One champions.
ST Neots Town won promotion to the Premier Division of the Southern League on Saturday by thrashing North Greenford United 8-0 at The Hunts Post Community Stadium while their rivals for the top spot Slough Town lost 3-0 to Leighton Town.
Ben Mackey and Dan Jacob scored a hat trick each with Stefan Moore finding the net twice in a game that was all but over within the first four minutes.
At the final whistle there was even the hint of tears in the chairman Mike Kearns’ eyes when he talked to The Hunts Post.
“When we beat St Ives to win the title last season, I did say don’t be surprised if we do the same thing this year,” he said, quickly adding: “Whether I meant it not is a different matter.
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“But we have been superb this season - we deserve it, we have played football and we have had great support. Every accolade these boys get they deserve.”
The manager Dennis Greene said: “Everything that our team is good at, we did well today. What a way to win a league.”
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Leading goalscorer Moore put the Saints 1-0 up inside the first minute and in the fourth minute Jacob ran through a crumbling Greenford defence to make it 2-0 with a sublime goal.
It was 4-0 by half time after two Mackey strikes and the powerful forward completed his hat trick in the 52nd minute, two minutes after Moore had doubled his tally.
Greene substituted his two front men then and Jacob finished the job with goals in the 78th and 82nd minutes.
It was exhilarating stuff and, as the news leaked through the Twitter grapevine to the 800-plus Saints fans that Slough were 1-0 down, 2-0 down, and then 3-0 down, the promotion party began.
But St Neots weren’t the only team celebrating a title or promotion on Saturday. Godmanchester Rovers, who had already secured their promotion to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons Eastern Counties League, beat third-placed Whitton United 5-0 to take the top spot ahead of Thetford Town.
And, after missing out on promotion at Harborough Town last weekend, Huntingdon Town beat Northampton ON Chenecks 7-0 at Jubilee Park to secure their place in the Premier Division of the United Counties League.
It was simply an astonishing day for Huntingdonshire football.
Ricky Marheineke was hoping his Huntingdon players didn’t celebrate their promotion too much when he spoke to The Hunts Post. Huntingdon can now go on and win the UCL Division One title by beating bottom-of-the-table Rothwell Town on the final Saturday of the season.
“I’m sure they had a couple of beers but it’s not over yet,” he said. “We knew we had a chance with Harborough slipping up during the week and we couldn’t have asked for a better last two fixtures.”
Against ON Chenecks, Marheineke said his side could have been 2-0 down in the first 10 minutes, but as soon as Niks Savalnieks grabbed the first goal, the team settled down and after further goals from Declan Rogers (a penalty), Jamie Blackwell, Jake Waterworth and Rogers again, they were 5-0 up at the break.
“We missed at least six opportunities in the second half,” said the manager. “But Ben Colmer got the fifth and Stuart Eason got the last one.”
At Bearscorft Lane the already-promoted Goddy won their title with hot shot striker Paul Bass scoring a second half hat trick after Jason King had hit a wonderful volley for the opener and James Hall had lobbed the Whitton goalkeeper for the second.
“What a fantastic day,” said joint manager Nev Nania. “We certainly did it in style.
“In the last couple of weeks we have been very clinical and, after winning promotion against Debenham last weekend, we set up this game with a great win over Thetford in the week.”
After their 2-0 home win over Thetford on Tuesday night Goddy went into their final league game ahead of their Norfolk rivals on goal difference.
“Promotion was always our first objective,” said Nania. “But in the end we beat them to the title with six more goals.
“The boys deserved to win the title because they proved they are the best team in the league.”
Match reports and further interviews will be in this week’s edition of The Hunts Post.