ST Neots Town’s most successful season ever ended in style on Sunday afternoon when they beat Stotfold of the Molten South Midlands League 6-0 at The Hunts Post Community Stadium in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
It was the 10th time the club has lifted the famous trophy which has a history going back to its inception in 1894. Only Chatteris Town, who now play in the Cambs & District Premier Division, and United Counties Division One side Eynesbury Rovers, come close to that total number of wins with eight and seven respectively.
But St Neots won’t be able to defend the trophy next season. They will be playing Step 3 football – a Step too far for the competition – after winning promotion to the Premier Division of the Southern League two weeks ago.
“It was a great day and a great way to end the season,” said owner and chairman Mike Kearns, who was as equally excited by the inclusion of five youngsters in Dennis Greene’s team against Stotfold.
“It was really exciting to see five under-18s in the team and they slotted in really well,” he told The Hunts Post.
“We still played our brand of flowing football. It was great to see.”
Kaine Felix, making his full senior debut, caught the eye from the off. The young striker set up Stefan Moore for an early header which the more experienced striker put wide.
And then, on 27 minutes, he exchanged passes with Ben Mackey, outpaced two defenders, and put his side 1-0 up from close range.
Felix was the provider again when Moore picked up a neat pass in the area but was bundled over by Stotfold’s Andy Carter. Moore took the penalty himself and a cheeky lob down the centre of the goal later it was 2-0.
Another youngster, Ryan Sharman, set up number three when he found Mackey and the striker found the net. Goalkeeper Michael Duggan was on hand to stop a Rob Groves strike just before half-time.
Sam Spencer replaced Dan Jacob at half-time and Moore went close twice before Mackey saw a shot ping back off the crossbar in the second half. Soon after, Mackey got his second, hitting home a cross from Aaron Greene.
Lewis Hilliard struck a post with a free kick with 10 minutes to go before substitute Chris Manangu scored goals five and six.
IT was a busy week in the competition for St Neots who had to play their semi-final against Huntingdon Town on the Wednesday before the final.
They beat Ricky Marheineke’s freshly promoted United Counties League side 3-0 at Jubilee Park with goals from Lewis Hilliard, Dan Jacob (following a deflection from Huntingdon defender Jake Waterworth) and Stefan Moore, from the penalty spot.