WITH the first team not in action, attention switched to St Neots Town’s Reserve outfit at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday.

Hunts Benevolent Cup

St Neots Town Reserves 4-0 Eaton Socon Reserves

WITH the first team not in action, attention switched to St Neots Town's Reserve outfit at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday.

And Saints' second string didn't disappoint as two goals from midfielder Rob Hughes helped Rob Woods' side into the last four of the Hunts Benevolent Cup with a convincing victory over their neighbouring Eaton Socon counterparts.

However a spirited Socon side, currently sitting in mid-table in Cambs League Division 1A, put up a brave fight, despite being reduced to 10 men for the final half an hour of the match.

But for poor finishing, Socon would have made the final scoreline more respectable and they can be proud of having pushed their neighbours all the way in an end-to-end contest.

Neots are now just 90 minutes away from contesting their seventh Benevolent Cup final in the last eight years, as they bid to become the first team ever to win the trophy three years in a row, on two occasions.

The reward is a semi-final against CSV United which is scheduled to take place in March.

After a lively opening it was the hosts who took the lead on 16 minutes, when Jack Warwick skipped around his marker to pull back a cross and Rob Duckett rose to send in a powerful header off the underside of the bar.

Socon should have been level though within two minutes when Jamie Godfrey's pacey cross found Lee Griffin, who somehow got the ball stuck between his feet with the goal gaping at his mercy.

And they were made to rue that chance as, on the half-hour mark, Saints doubled their lead when Duckett got inside his marker to cross to the far post, where the unmarked Josh Sadler slid the ball home.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Luke Askinazy was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Hughes.

But Hughes soon dusted himself down to curl a free-kick around the wall and into the corner of the net to make it effectively game over at 3-0.

Neots' comfortable passage into the last four was signed and sealed on 69 minutes when Sadler crossed from the right for Hughes, who was perfectly placed to score his second – and Saints' fourth – from close range.