LOCAL FOOTBALL: Eaton Socon go into county cup defence on a high ahead of Somersham showdown

Eaton Socon celebrate their Hunts Intermediate Cup success last season. Picture: KEITH MOSS

Eaton Socon celebrate their Hunts Intermediate Cup success last season. Picture: KEITH MOSS - Credit: Archant

Eaton Socon enjoyed the perfect warm-up ahead of their bid to retain the Hunts Intermediate Cup.

Mark Spavins’ men are hot favourites to lift the county crown for the second successive season when facing lower-level Somersham Town in the final tonight (Wednesday, 7.45pm) at the Premier Plus Stadium.

They will go into the showpiece clash at the home of St Neots Town buoyed by what Spavins dubbed their best performance of the season last Saturday.

Eaton Socon hit a stack of unanswered second-half goals to slam fellow Kershaw Premier Division promotion hopefuls Lakenheath 5-1.

They had fallen behind late in the first period and only a couple of smart saves from goalkeeper Josh Bonaiti prevented further damage, but Spavins’ side dominated after the interval as Dean Parratt levelled before Rob Gooch completed the turnaround.

Another super Bonaiti stop kept them ahead before Ryan Vale tucked away a penalty to extend the advantage.

Star performer Luke Swain also got in on the act before substitute Ryan Whittingham completed the scoring.

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“That’s as well as we’ve played all season,” said Spavins. “It’s a great way to go into the cup final.

“It was a great experience to win the Hunts Intermediate Cup last season and we desperately want to keep hold of the trophy.

“We certainly can’t take Somersham lightly though. League form and even league divisions go out of the window in a final.

“Anything can happen in 90 minutes and we know we need to perform.”

Somersham tasted defeat in their final Kershaw Senior A Division outing before the final. They were beaten 2-0 at Hundon last Saturday and have won just one of their last eight league games.

That’s the first of two county finals in as many nights.

The Premier Plus Stadium is also the stage for a rescheduled Hunts Junior Cup showpiece tomorrow (Thursday, 7.45pm) when AFC Barley Mow face St Ives Rangers.

The two sets of Division 1B title-chasers were initially set to do battle last Wednesday, but the match was postponed due to heavy rain over the Easter period.

Both sides were in winning form last Saturday when picking up important league results.

The Barley boys climbed back into top spot after a 3-1 triumph at Mildenhall Town Reserves which featured goals from Salv Merola, Sam Phillips and player-boss Sean Sweeney.

They lead Alconbury, who have two matches in hand, thanks to a superior goal difference. Alconbury were held to a 1-1 draw by Houghton & Wyton last Saturday.

But third-placed Rangers are still firmly in the promotion picture after beating Fenstanton 2-1 in another all-local affair. Jack Haycock and Jordan Cornwell hit the crucial goals in that game.