Huntingdon Town welcomed fans back to Jubilee Park for the first time since the lockdown – and manager Laurence Revell is hoping that the experience and 1-0 win over Stevenage will entice some to come back again.
The League Two club, managed by Revell’s brother Alex, sent a young squad to the fixture, played for the annual Mayors Cup.
And while it is not the first time the siblings have crossed swords, he was happy to get one over Alex and put on a show for the 150-strong crowd.
He said: “When I was at Potton last year he brought a team across to help us raise money when we had a break-in.
“I’ve played against him before too so no, it’s not the first time, but I think it is the first time I’ve won though.
“I’m really grateful for Stevenage to come here and give us a game. It means a lot to the lads.
“And I’m really hoping that people have looked at it and enjoyed what they saw and that they now think I’ll go and watch Huntingdon in the future.
“It’s the first time we’ve won the trophy so that’s nice but for us it was more of a fitness exercise in pre-season so the result didn’t really matter.
“It was about the performance and playing in the brand and the style we want to play in.
“We showed that. We got the ball down and played some nice football in what was the first competitive match we’ve had since March.
“I’m really pleased. There were some very nice partnerships being built.”
The game was decided after 64 minutes with Ashley Ingham’s goal, moments after the Stevenage spot-kick was chipped harmlessly over the bar.
And the taking of the chance when it came along is what pleased the Hunters’ boss.
He said: “We knew they were going to have a lot of possession, they are lads at a full-time club.
“But for us it was about making sure we could soak up that pressure and then when we got our opportunities, it was about making sure we could break and we could take them.
“We did that quite well actually, despite the fact they had a number of opportunities and our keeper made some tremendous saves.
“But we also had opportunities and just couldn’t quite get the final ball through or find the finishing touch.”
They now have two games to go before the United Counties League Division One season starts all over again on September 5.
And Revell says the team is exactly where he wanted them to be.
“We’ve got another two games starting with Kempston Rovers here on Saturday,” he said. “They are a step four club and will be a different type of game for us.
“Whereas Stevenage like to get the ball down and play all the time, Kempston will be a bit more direct and a bit more physical and that will give us another dimension to play against.
“That will be good as the UCL has a number of clubs who will be physical.
“Then we play Shefford Town & Campton away on Tuesday.
“I’m more than happy with how pre-season has gone. We’ve signed some really good players and this club has been in the doldrums for too long and I’m hoping that the people can see the shoots of success.”