AFTER making an excellent debut for Huntingdon Town on New Year’s Eve, Latvian striker Niks Savalnieks scored twice for his loan club when they brilliantly beat Wootton Blue Cross 4-0 on Monday.
However, fellow United Counties Division One side Eynesbury Rovers found goals harder to come by over the Christmas and new year period - and have now fallen behind in the promotion race.
Savalnieks, the former Brampton player, who signed for Cambridge City two months ago but who has now joined Ricky Marheineke’s side on a month-long loan deal, made an impressive debut in Town’s 2-1 win over Bugbrooke St Michaels at Jubilee Park, before opening his account at Weston Road in Bedfordshire two days later.
“I saw him when he was at Brampton – and there were a few teams interested in him when he went to Cambridge,” said Marheineke. “Once it was known he might be available on loan, Godmanchester were in for him and I think Lakenheath and a couple of teams from the United Counties Premier like Deeping were interested, too.
“But he works in Huntingdon and lives in Huntingdon, so I spoke to the Cambridge manager Gary Roberts and thankfully we were the club he opted for.
“He’s going to be a big player for us.”
Talking after his side had beaten high-fliers Bugbrooke to go second in the United Counties Division One table, Marharineke added: “Niks had a couple of half chances in the first half and talking to him after the game he was disappointed he didn’t put one of them away – but yeah, he’s going to be a good player for us, especially at this stage of the season with Jamie Blackwell on his way back and the introduction of Jack Warwick from Eynesbury.
“We have an extremely strong squad.”
After their disappointing loss at Wellingborough Whitworth on December 17, Huntingdon’s nine-point Christmas-new year haul means they are now only second to promotion favourites Harborough Town, who are five points clear at the top.
At Jubilee Park on Boxing Day Huntingdon beat Bourne Town 1-0 with Joe Jordan getting the all-important goal, before the visit of Bugbrooke the following Saturday.
That one was a feisty affair with both Ryan Spencer and the player he was alleged to have head-butted, Chris Davies, being sent off early in the second half, before another visitor, Nick Ling, was shown a second yellow with five minutes to go.
Dan Moyes scored the first goal in the 2-1 win with a sweet free kick on 16 minutes and Declan Rodgers doubled their lead from the penalty spot five minutes into the second half.
At Blue Cross on Monday Rodgers scored another two goals to add to Savalieks’ double in the 4-0 win.
Meanwhile, Eynesbury Rovers had a disappointing Christmas period, but then took three points from Potton United on Monday to record their first win since November 12.
An injury to the Potton goalkeeper Aaron Loney gave the visitors problems early on with outfield player Simon Pearce donning the gloves for the remainder of the match. It was Pearce who was beaten by Ross Randall in the 34th minute and Barry Albone in the 69th.
But that result came after Eynesbury were beaten 4-1 at Raunds Town on Boxing Day and 2-1 at ON Chenecks on Saturday, December 31.
Having steadily climbed the Division One table following an unsettled start to the season, Rovers surprisingly hit their dodgy patch after a magnificent 2-1 win over Wellingborough Whitworth. Just one league draw against Bourne, and defeats to Bugbrooke, Rothwell Corinthians, Raunds and Chenecks has seen Paul Dodson’s side slip down the table and possibly out of the race for promotion since then.