IT might have taken extra time to get a result out of this one but the Huntingdon Town manager said it might have been fairer if the game had finished 3-3 and gone to penalties.
In the end, it was Eynesbury Rovers who tired first and Huntingdon’s Niks Savalneiks struck early in extra time to win their Hunts Senior Cup quarter final tie 1-0.
“To be fair, it was probably the worst result for both clubs,” said Huntingdon manager Ricky Marheineke.
“Okay, the Hunts Senior Cup is the one everybody wants to win, but Eynesbury had played 120 minutes on Tuesday night, when they beat St Ives Town on penalties in the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
“The last thing they probably wanted was another 120 minutes.”
It was Latvian striker Savalneiks who scored the only goal of extra time when he bundled home a Jamie Graham cross. After that Eynesbury’s legs failed them a little and Huntingdon should have scored more but Ben Seymour-Shove hit a post twice and Charlie Bowen missed a sitter.
Eynesbury manager Matt Plumb told The Hunts Post: “The players were gutted because we had done all that hard work to get to extra time and then we threw it away in two minutes.
“I wasn’t overly disappointed with the performance because once again we proved we can be a match for a club in a higher division than us – and we are hoping to carry on this form in the league.”
For 90 minutes it had been an even affair with Tom Coles setting Ben Cole for an early Eynesbury shot which cleared the crossbar.
Huntingdon’s Bowen shot straight at Andrew Wale before Cole saw another effort spin off a defender. Jack Weeden beat two defenders but Huntingdon’s former Eynesbury goalkeeper, Carl Mackney, dived low to his left to push the striker’s shot wide.
From the resulting corner kick David Fisk crossed but Barry Albone’s glancing header went wide.
At the other end, Wale saved a close-range Seymour-Shove shot and Savalneiks missed a golden opportunity when clear through on goal. Just before half-time James Freshwater tried his luck for Eynesbury but Mackney saved the shot easily.
Early in the second half Craig Green blasted a Huntingdon effort over the bar and Tom Coles headed over from a corner before squandering the hosts’ best chance when Aaron Greene sent him in on goal. He fired the ball wide from inside the penalty area.
Rovers should have taken the lead when Mackney palmed Jack Weeden’s shot into the air but Greene blasted his follow-up shot over the bar.
Eynesbury could have snatched it in stoppage time but Fisk shot wide after Weeden’s shot was blocked.
Just two minutes into extra time Graham provided the right wing cross for Savalnieks to bundle the ball home at the near post.
Eynesbury: Andrew Wale, David Fisk, James Ducket, Rob Ducket, Barry Albone, Ross West (Luke Swain), Jack Weeden, Tom Cole, Ben Coles (Ben Colmer), James Freshwater, Aaron Greene.
Huntingdon: Carl Mackney, Ashley Yeomans, Victor Torress, Charlie Bowen, Ryan Spencer, Ben Seymour-Shove, Ricky Dear, Craig Green (Jack Warwick), Niks Savalneiks, Jamie Graham, Dan Drane (Ben Sawyer).
LAST season’s losing finalists Godmanchester Rovers made their Hunts Senior Cup bow with a 1-0 away win at Yaxley on Saturday.
Joint managers Neville Nania and David Hurst used the game to give a run out to several squad players – and the move paid off according to Nania, who told The Hunts Post: “The win was even more satisfying as we took the opportunity to give the squad a run out and we went for local youth in the starting line-up with five players 20 and under.
“The youngsters were Aaron Mackay, Jordan Brockett, Joe Furness, and goalkeeper Luke Shipp. Making his debut was Tom Spark, who we recently signed from St Ives because of a lack of first team opportunities there.”
It was Brockett who scored the only goal of the game, firing home his chance on 40 minutes after James Hall, Mackay and Spark had all gone close.
The first chance fell to Mike Hyem but his shot was saved by the Yaxley goalkeeper.
Before half-time Brockett almost got a second goal but put the ball wide after setting himself up with a mazy run.
Goddy continued to press in the second half and Dan Chillingworth went close with a header before Shipp made a decent save late on.
This Saturday, Goddy are home to Cambridge University Press in the FA Vase.
“I have faith in the players and I think we have enough in the tank to see us through that one,” said Nania, who confirmed striker Russell Bull had returned to Royston Town after scoring three goals in two loan games.
“We still have Paul Bass, Rob Mackney and Adam King injured – and Jason King will miss Saturday’s game because he will be on holiday – but I was pleased with the way the youngsters played against Yaxley and we are a very difficult side to beat.”
Goddy: Luke Shipp, Stephen Hurst, Chris Hyem, Jason King, Nicky Hurst, Joe Furness, Tom Spark (Dan Chillingworth), Mike Hyem, Aaron Mackay, Jordan Brockett (Rob Stamper), James Hall.
IN the first round of the Hunts FA Benevolent Cup, the previous Saturday, St Ives Rangers were 3-0 down against Buckden following a series of errors, but in a dramatic last 10 minutes, Dorien Sarsby, Frazer Worthington, Luke Ackerman and Andrew Bays all scored to drag their side into the quarter finals.
Brampton beat AFC Peterborough 11-0 with substitute Chris Shelford scoring a hat-trick and Nick Garner, Liam Hemming, Lee Miles, Adam Naylor, Nick Parker, Andrew Sinnock, Chris Stephens and Wayne Ambler getting the others.
Eaton Socon beat Warboys on penalties after drawing 1-1 and Ash Lew scored four goals in Great Paxton’s defeat of Somersham Town.
Huntingdonshire FA Benevolent Cup, quarter finals (Saturday, November 10): Huntingdon United RGE v Ramsey Town, Huntingdon Town Res v Needingworth United, Eaton Socon v St Ives Rangers, Brampton v Great Paxton.