This was hardly the performance of a team supposedly out-of-sorts and far too direct for their own good.
St Neots Town made smooth Hunts Senior Cup progress last night (Tuesday) by breezing to a 6-1 success at lower-level Yaxley.
They certainly didn’t look like a side struggling for form, short on confidence or devoid of ideas as they ran riot on the 3G pitch at In2itive Park on the outskirts of Peterborough.
Of course a big-spending Southern League Premier Division side would be expected to take care of hosts who operate two levels lower in the United Counties League Premier Division, but the manner in which they did it was particularly eye-catching.
Tom Ward guided Isaac Galliford’s corner into the net as Saints’ first spell of pressure resulted in a fourth-minute opener, but they were by no means infallible in the first half as goalkeeper Ollie Sutton denied Jon Stead and Dan Cotton before Scott Carter dragged a glorious chance wide as Yaxley should have levelled.
At the other end, Tom Meechan squandered some sumptuous approach play before Saints succeeded in doubling their lead in their very next attack as Galliford’s low cut-back was helped on by Meechan into the path of Luis Vieira to finish.
But Yaxley responded well as Carter converted a Stead cross at the second attempt to halve their arrears before Stead himself squandered a fine headed chance to level soon afterwards.
However, a match which appeared to be delicately poised at the break soon became a cakewalk as Saints showed their class in the second period. They played with pomp, swagger and quality to fully emphasis the gulf between the sides.
Teenage substitute Claudio Ofosu announced his 55th minute arrival from the bench by benefitting from Meechan’s unselfishness and striking with his second touch.
That effort triggered Saints’ dominance for the remainder of the contest with further goals inevitably following.
Captain Adam Tann steered in a Galliford corner and Meechan slammed in a fine Ofosu delivery before Galliford added a picture-book sixth after some delicious inter-play with the impressive Ryan Horne.
St Neots’ reward is a trip to St Ives in the semi-finals while holders Godmanchester Rovers will host Eynesbury in the other last-four clash.
Godmanchester also made progress in another knockout competition last night with a 3-1 success at lower-level Potton in the opening round of the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
They came from behind to triumph in Bedfordshire thanks to a Michael Hyem leveller, a Dan Kerrigan effort and a headed clincher from leading scorer James Hall – his 21st goal of the season.