Huntingdon Town chairman Paul Hunt was parading the Hinchingbrooke Cup around the town over the weekend and is now targeting some national silverware and Wembley next season.
Huntingdon won the historical trophy with a 2-0 defeat of Bedfordshire side Stotfold at St Neots Town’s Cozy Stadium on Thursday evening – 119 years after a previous incarnation of the club were the very first winners in 1895 – and the proud chairman, who visited the pubs of Huntingdon with the trophy in tow on Friday and Saturday, said: “It has been an absolutely brilliant season. Fantastic.”
The Hinchingbrooke Cup win came just three days after the team beat Deeping Rangers 5-4 in extra time to add the United Counties League Cup to their Premier Division runners-up trophy.
The board of directors are still discussing whether they will apply for promotion to Step 4 next season – but there is no lack of ambition. “What is really important now is that we progress as well off the pitch – with this great team of directors – as well as we have done on the pitch,” said Hunt. “And that will hopefully take us to the next level.
“We haven’t decided yet about promotion – out first aim is to try to win the FA Vase. That’s a bold statement, that’s a big shout, but that’s what our intent is.”
Defender Charlie De’Ath scored both of the goals that won the cup and Huntingdon Town’s name will now be inscribed on the heavy base of the silver trophy for the first time since the inaugural season of the competition when the original Huntingdon Town beat Wisbech Town 3-2.
Criteria of entry is always evolving but loosely, teams in a 50-mile radius of Hinchingbrooke Park compete in the committee run competition which has always been independent of the Football Association. A Huntingdon team – Huntingdon United – had won the trophy just once in the intervening years, back in 1965.
For the manager, Seb Hayes, it topped an amazing first season in charge after he stepped up from his role as assistant to Ricky Marheineke, who left for Histon last year. “We didn’t lose a manager, we gained one,” said Hunt.
Hayes told The Hunts Post: “I was really nervous when I took over from Ricky because he had done such a good job. But it has been unbelievable.
“We only lost three games this season, we came second in the Premier Division and we won two trophies. And we won the Hinchingbrooke Cup without conceding a single goal. It has gone perfectly.”