LOCAL FOOTBALL: Promotion mission for ambitious Eaton Socon - and a big Cambs League derby date

Rhys Thorpe scored for Eaton Socon against Gamlingay and when they knocked Brampton out of the Hunts

Rhys Thorpe scored for Eaton Socon against Gamlingay and when they knocked Brampton out of the Hunts Intermediate Cup in November. They face Brampton again in a league clash this Saturday. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Eaton Socon hope their promotion dream can become a reality.

The ambitious Cambs League club are aiming to step up into the world of non-league football for the first time next season.

Eaton Socon currently sit fourth in the Kershaw Premier Division following an eight-match unbeaten run. They ended 2017 with a 3-1 win at Gamlingay last Saturday.

The club have carried out significant improvements at their Mick George Stadium in the past 18 months – a project driven by long-serving chairman Nev Cooper which will also include lengthening the playing surface at the River Road venue to ensure it meets the criteria for a rise into Step 6 football.

Eaton Socon manager Mark Spavins said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for the club. We submitted our application for promotion before the December 31 deadline and hopefully everything will come together.

“We’ve already done a lot of work to bring the ground up to standard and there is plenty more still going on.

“A stand with 50 seats, which can later be extended, will be going up in the next few weeks along with a hospitality unit.

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“We’ve also got to extend the pitch by four metres which will involve moving a public path. That is going through the planning process at the moment.

“We’re hoping to install floodlights as well. We’ve applied for a grant and the wheels are in motion on that front.

“There is a real buzz around the place. All three of our teams are doing well on the pitch and big things are happening off it.”

Lakenheath, who currently sit six points behind Eaton Socon, are thought to be the only other Kershaw Premier Division side to apply for promotion. If both were successful, the team finishing highest would go up.

Eaton Socon are currently in fine form. All of the goals arrived in the first half of the success at Gamlingay in their final 2017 fixture - Lee Bassett, Rhys Thorpe and Ryan Whittingham were the players to find the net.

Spavins’ side, who have finished fourth in the last two seasons, entertain table-toppers Brampton this Saturday (2pm) in another derby clash.

He added: “It’s going to be a huge game and hopefully it will attract a decent crowd. We had a tough start to the season, but we’ve been on a really good run lately and we know we need to perform on Saturday.

“Brampton might be our local rivals, but they deserve a hell of a lot of praise for the job they have done this season.”