Eynesbury Rovers’ FA Cup adventure goes on as they see off Godmanchester in replay

Matty Bannister struck twice for Eynesbury Rovers.

Matty Bannister struck twice for Eynesbury Rovers. - Credit: Archant

Eynesbury Rovers sealed their place in the FA Cup first qualifying round for the first time in more than 20 years after defeating Huntingdonshire rivals Godmanchester Rovers 3-1 in a preliminary round replay.

The two sides couldn’t be separated in the first clash at Hall Road; however Matt Bannister’s brace and Tom Coles’ seventh goal of the season saw Eynesbury through to the next round, after Ben Keating had given Godmanchester the lead early on in Wednesday night’s tie.

It was Godmanchester who drew first blood in the battle of the Rovers; Reece King’s close range effort was parried straight into the path of Ben Keating who bundled the ball over the line to give his side a 13th-minute lead.

King came agonisingly close to doubling Godmanchester’s lead a few moments later, as he danced his way past five Eynesbury players, before toe-poking the ball onto the outside of Jamie Greygoose’s near post.

Tom Coles’ continued his fine start to the season by nodding home the Eynesbury equaliser shortly before half-time. The midfielder flicked the ball past Carl Mackney, after rising to meet Dan Moyes’ long throw-in.

The introduction of Craig Smith in the second half turned out to be the moment the game swung in Eynesbury’s favour. Three minutes after his arrival, he raced to the by-line to square the ball to Matt Bannister, who side-footed home from close range. The two front-men linked up again to put the tie beyond doubt, as Smith’s block landed at the feet of Bannister who slotted the ball past the on-rushing Carl Mackney.

Godmanchester didn’t go without chances however, as both Jake Burton and Chae Simons fired narrowly wide when put through on goal. Jack Jefferson had a golden opportunity to make it a nervy final few moments for Eynesbury, but the Godmanchester youngster rushed his volleyed effort, which cleared the crossbar.

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The win means Eynesbury are through to the first qualifying round, where they will host Step 3 opposition Sutton Coldfield, from Birmingham. The tie will take place on the September 3.