Excellent Eynesbury ease to Hunts Senior Cup success in battle of the Rovers

Lee Bassett (left) was among the Eynesbury Rovers scorers as they reached the Hunts Senior Cup final

Lee Bassett (left) was among the Eynesbury Rovers scorers as they reached the Hunts Senior Cup final. - Credit: Archant

There was glory for Mark Ducket and Eynesbury over Matt Clements’ Godmanchester in a battle of the bright, young managers and their in-form teams last night.

What promised to be a close contest between two sides earning rave reviews of late - and lining up with some influential players missing - turned into one-way traffic as the visitors waltzed into the Hunts Senior Cup final with a crushing 4-0 victory at the David Wilson Homes Ground.

Eynesbury, with only one defeat in 14 United Counties League Premier Division games, proved far too strong for hosts, who had been on a seven-game winning streak stretching back to Boxing Day in Thurlow Nunn League competitions.

Ducket has moulded a team who play with confidence and discipline. His players were creative on the ball and tireless off it as they made smooth progress into the showpiece.

On the other hand, Godmanchester lacked imagination and ideas going forward while being opened up far too easily defensively as they bowed out – with one of their former players an architect of their downfall.

Matty Bannister certainly enjoyed his return to his old stomping ground as he launched the Eynesbury charge with their opening two goals.

He set the ball rolling with a cool 20th minute finish as home defenders appealed in vain for an offside flag.

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That was the only breakthrough of the opening period although the dangerous Rhys Thorpe twice tested Godmanchester goalkeeper Evan Jeckells following marauding runs from the right flank. The home side offered little going forward. Luke Seaber-Shinn provided a tame finish to their best opportunity of the opening period with Eynesbury goalkeeper Kyle De Garis’ toughest challenge being beating away a swerving cross from Jonny Hall that could have embarrassed him at his near post.

Eynesbury were considerably more ruthless in front of goal and needed only three second-half minutes to double their lead as Bannister was left unattended to head in a free-kick.

And moments later their passage was effectively sealed when Lee Bassett burst clear and buried an angled shot with precision.

Eynesbury could even afford to squander a spot-kick as James Freshwater steered his penalty against a post, but they did extend the margin of victory with 20 minutes to go.

Young substitute Owen Dixon finished coolly only minutes after being introduced to put the seal on a polished display.

Rovers’ reward is a final date against higher-level St Ives Town on Wednesday, April 13 at the Premier Plus Stadium – the home of St Neots Town - as they attempt to end a 14-year wait to lift the most prestigious crown in the county.

Meanwhile Godmanchester’s exit came at a high cost as they picked up a catalogue of injuries.

Two right-backs (starter Matty Haniver and his replacement Lewis McDonald) had both hobbled off injured by the break and Seaber-Shinn joined them on the casualty list when suffering cracked ribs and shoulder damage in a second-half challenge.