LOCAL FOOTBALL: How Eynesbury Rovers fluffed their lines from the penalty spot, but still made county cup progress

Mark Spavins (front) when Eaton Socon manager last season. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark Spavins (front) when Eaton Socon manager last season. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Mark Spavins’ hopes of a Hunts Intermediate Cup hat-trick are still alive – despite his Eynesbury Rovers Reserves side knocked out last Saturday.

The Rovers second string were beaten 2-0 on penalties by Yaxley Reserves following an eight-goal thriller in the first round which ended 4-4.

But, following an investigation by the Hunts FA, the winning team have now been booted out of the competition for fielding ineligible players with Spavins’ men reinstated.

Spavins, who guided former club Eaton Socon to success in the county competition in each of the last two seasons, saw his current side fall 3-0 down inside 15 minutes.

They fought back impressively through Lee Bassett and Shane Fox struck only for their hosts to net again on the stroke of half-time.

But Rovers Reserves clawed their way level in the second period thanks to a Ryan Baxter effort and a Neil Morris equaliser before Gianni Battezzato was denied a last-gasp winner by the crossbar.

It meant the contest would be on penalties and Spavins’ side, who had missed three previous spot-kicks this season, fluffed their lines again.

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All four of their efforts were saved by keeper James Blake, but he was one o the ineligible players in the Yaxley Reserves side after playing in the higher-grade Hunts Senior Cup earlier in the season.

Hunts Intermediate Cup, quarter-final draw (ties to be played November 24): Eaton Socon v St Ives Rangers, Bluntisham Rngers v Hemingfords Utd, AFC Barley Mow v Brampton, Peterborough ICA Sports v Eynesbury Rovers Reserves.

* Hemingfords United, came unstuck from the spot in the quarter-finals of another competition last Saturday.

They were beaten 8-7 by Cambridge University Press in an epic Kershaw Premier Division KO Cup shoot-out which followed a goalless stalemate.

Eaton Socon also bowed out of that competition as they went down 4-2 to Cherry Hinton despite goals from Ben Cole and Shaun Flack.