Godmanchester Rovers are preparing for the latest chapter in a big cup rivalry tomorrow (Saturday).
Matt Clements’ men travel to regular rivals Yaxley in the preliminary round of the FA Cup - their fifth knockout meeting against the United Counties League promotion hopefuls in little more than a year.
A mouth-watering clash is in prospect against a team they dumped out of the same competition at the extra preliminary round stage early last term and then thumped in the season-ending Hunts Senior Cup final. But Yaxley did have joy of their own when beating Rovers in an FA Vase replay.
Goddy chief Clements admitted: “The two clubs are no strangers to each other, but we are both under new management and have a number of new players now. I don’t expect the games last season to have any bearing on what happens this Saturday.
“I know the Yaxley boss Ian Benjamin well and I’m sure he will have them well drilled.
“They’ve just put a 3G pitch down which may prove to be an advantage for them, but it is certainly not something I would dream of using as an excuse were we to be knocked out.
“To be honest we fancy our chances against any team at the moment given the way we are scoring goals and not conceding.”
Rovers have been rampant since slipping to a surprise defeat at Brantham on the opening day of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division season.
They have slammed in 20 goals in four games with three emphatic home league triumphs and an extra preliminary round FA Cup success at Walsham-le-Willows.
Two of those victories arrived in the past week with Stanway Rovers, who had goalkeeper Jack Cherry sent off for picking up a second caution early in the second half, being thumped 6-1 at the David Wilson Homes Ground last Saturday.
James Hall hit a hat-trick for the second successive league match while debutant substitute Luke Seaber-Shinn, who has followed boss Clements from Cambs League side Hardwick, struck twice. Ben Yeomans bagged the other goal.
That was followed by a 3-0 midweek win at Haverhill when Seaber-Shinn struck for the third time in two games. He was joined on the scoresheet by defender Charlie Bowen and midfielder Jamie Blackwell.
Rovers certainly don’t appear to be missing 53-goal hitman Tom Meechan, who stepped up to St Neots Town in the summer.
Clements addedd: “I’m delighted to see James scoring a lot of goals. I said ahead of the season that I felt he become a 30-a-season player and seven so far is not a bad start at all.
“It was vital we proved we could replace the goals provided by ‘Meech’ last season and we are doing that. We’ve got players chipping in from all areas of the team and long may it continue.”
THE RECENT RIVALRY
Godmanchester Town games against Yaxley last season . . .
Extra preliminary round – August 16, 2014
Yaxley 0, Godmanchester 3
Striker Tom Meechan, defender Taylor Parr and substitute Jordan Brockett fired Rovers to a comfortable success at In2itive Park.
First round – November 1, 2014
Godmanchester 0, Yaxley 0
The two sides cancelled each other out during two hours of football at Bearscroft Lane as this tie went to a replay.
First round replay – November 4, 2014
Yaxley 4, Godmanchester 0
Yaxley claimed a slice of revenge for their FA Cup exit by trouncing Rovers in this Vase battle with two goals in each half.
HUNTS SENIOR CUP
Final – May 15, 2015
Godmanchester 3, Yaxley 0
Rovers lifted the country crown with a victory considerably more emphatic than the scoreline suggested.
Hot-shot striker Tom Meechan signed off with a hat-trick in his final game for the club – and they could have scored several more.