Gary King was disappointed with the way St Neots Town ended their Southern League season but says the club can finish on a high with a win over St Ives Town in the Hunts FA Senior Cup on tomorrow night.
St Neots will have home advantage when St Ives visit the Cozy Stadium and King says he and his co-manager Zema Abbey will have a strong squad to pick their team from.
“The only player we definitely won’t have is Jake Woolley who has now returned to Luton Town after the end of his loan spell,” said King. “And our only injury concern is Ed Adjei, who got a knock on his ankle on Saturday.”
St Neots lost 2-1 at home to Chippenham Town with their only goal – a first half equaliser – coming from Lorenzo Ferrari. “We did enough to win but we didn’t take our opportunities,” said King. “We left ourselves open to the sucker punch and we got done by a smash and grab.
“So we are looking forward to Friday because we want to end the season on a high. We want to add the Senior Cup to the Red Insure League Cup so we are taking this game very seriously.”
King said he watched St Ives when they lost 5-0 at home to Royston on April 1. “Apart from that we don’t know much about them to be honest,” he said – though the manager will have noted that a week ago St Ives went to Royston and won 4-1.
St Ives beat St Neots in the semi-final of the competition two years ago with Conor Washington scoring a sensational goal. In the final that year they beat Godmanchester Rovers. St Neots are the holders after beating Huntingdon Town on penalties at Yaxley last May – and Jez Hall, co-boss with Warren Everdell, is happy to admit their opponents will be hot favourites this time.
“We are the underdogs – but if we can cope early on then we should have enough to deal with them,” he said. “Nothing beats a cup final at the end of a season. It is something we have been looking forward to.
“There is no pressure on us because they are the favourites and it being at their home probably makes them hot favourites. But we will give it our best shot.”
In their 11th year as managers, Hall and Everdell have taken St Ives to six Hunts Senior Cup finals and their record currently stands at won three, lost two. “I think that is something to be proud of,” said Hall.
Jon Stead will definitely miss the game after the midfielder spent two nights in hospital following a clash of heads that left him unconscious in their 2-0 home win against Aylesbury on Saturday.
“That’s a shame because Steady is one of the stars of our team and one who could play at the same level as St Neots. Other than Steady, we are pretty much at full strength.”
The game kicks off at 7.45 and @huntpostsport will be tweeting live.