Huntingdon and Godmanchester face tough test when they face each other in Hunts Senior Cup
- Credit: Archant
A mouthwatering derby tonight (Wednesday) pits in-form sides from different leagues and different sides of the Great Ouse together, when Huntingdon Town host Godmanchester Rovers in the Hunts Senior Cup.
Seb Hayes’ Town have won five out of five in the United Counties League top-flight, rising to fifth at the weekend, while Rovers lie sixth in the Eastern Counties Premier Division.
Their joint-manager Nev Nania switched to a 4-4-2 in Saturday’s 7-0 win at Diss in preparation for the Cup quarter-final tonight, an experiment that clearly worked well.
“We should be able to nullify Huntingdon’s threats,” said Nania. “I expect to win. The boys are playing very well. We’ve scored 40 goals in 10 games in all competitions and conceded just seven.”
He puts Rovers’s success down to two new appointments. Matty Hanniver has seamlessly moved across from player-coach to player-joint-manager over the summer, while fitness coach Errol McGammon has been recruited by the club from St Ives this season.
“Matty is very good tactically. He’s the best coach in the league, definitely. Also, our fitness has been key, coupled with one or two players that have come in.”
Players such as Michael Hyem – signed a fortnight ago from Town – Tom Meechan, Taylor Parr and Matty Banister have proved to be excellent signings so far this term.
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Hayes obviously knows what to expect from Hyem.
“When he’s on his game he’s hard to stop. He’ll probably score against us, it’s the old football rule, but it’s not about Mikey,” said Hayes.
“If we play up to our potential, then we will do well. We want to win a local derby and reach the semi-finals.
“We will have our strongest squad for the game. They are a very good side, scoring goals for fun, it’s the opposite for us, we are not letting them in. There may only be eight sides in the cup, but all of them are very good sides.
“We are not scoring enough but we know that will come. If we keep the squad together hopefully they will improve. They are responding very well. At this stage of the season it’s about staying unbeaten. We know the performances can get better.
“If we play well we are a very hard team to beat. But the way the UCL is, if you are not on it, you can get beaten by anybody.”
Nania is confident his side will have a sharp cutting edge.
“We’ve got good players. Lots of goals in us, and we’ve won every game we’ve won by at least three goals. The fitness and calibre of player we have this season is very high. When we have everyone available there will be few sides that can stop us.”
On that front, Rovers will be weakened for tonight’s quarter-final. Chris Hyem and Jamie Blackwell will be missing due to work commitments.
On Saturday Rovers host 13th-placed Felixstowe and Walton. “They have lost a few players and a few games. I think we will win by a single goal. We will always create chances with this side, we should have enough in our locker,” said Nania.
Huntingdon travel to 19th-placed Harborough.
Hayes said: “They are starting to pick up points, and Rushden & Diamonds only won 2-1 there. We are not taking them for granted. We’ll hope to keep the good run going.”