Lomas pledges future to St Neots after cup win
St IVES TOWN 2 – 3 ST NEOTS TOWN AT THE end of a season during which they had flattered to deceive, St Neots finally gave their fans something to cheer about when they claimed the 100th Hinchingbrooke Cup. The win also put an end to rivals St Ives hopes
St IVES TOWN 2 - 3 ST NEOTS TOWN
AT THE end of a season during which they had flattered to deceive, St Neots finally gave their fans something to cheer about when they claimed the 100th Hinchingbrooke Cup.
The win also put an end to rivals St Ives' hopes of a cup hat-trick, though the result was in the balance until the final whistle.
Jubilant St Neots manager Steve Lomas took the chance to pledge his future to the club, saying, "I'm looking forward to next season already, and we'll be doing everything we can for promotion."
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All three of the season's meetings between the teams had gone the way of St Ives, but St Neots sealed the one that mattered most, storming into a 3-0 lead early in the second half and holding off a St Ives fight back, to lift their first Hinchingbrooke Cup for 20 years.
"We took a bit of pressure in the early stages, weathered the storm, took our chances and held on. I'm so pleased for the lads," said Lomas.
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St Ives co-manager Jez Hall lamented the mistakes that cost his side the cup.
"Defensive errors gave away three chances. I'm disappointed that having dominated most of the match we left empty-handed, but they took the chances we presented them with. I thought our lads showed character to hit back with two fine goals."
St Ives must now pick themselves up for the Hunts Premier Cup this evening (Wednesday), their third of the season, where they will meet Ramsey.
For the first 30 minutes of Monday's game, all the pressure came from St Ives with Ives goalkeeper Rob Mackney no more than a spectator.
At the other end his counterpart Lee Crockett was performing heroics as he kept out McDougald and Scott Fielding. He then denied Dan Moyes from 12 yards a goal looked certain.
St Neots had only had a couple of half chances before going in front on 35 minutes. With the St Ives defence spread out Luke Abraham hit a pin-point cross to Pete Okechukwu who controlled and fired past Mackney. Within six minutes Steve Dogbe found time and space following a corner to plant the ball firmly past Mackney to give St Neots a two-goal lead.
Worse was to follow for Hall's men as straight after the break it became three when Kenneford's initial shot was parried by Mackney, and Michael Hyem forced the keeper into a poor second clearance which Kenneford hit home.
It looked like the game was over, but St Ives suddenly regained their fluency. Inside two minutes sub Liam Kennett, on for the injured Junior McDougald, fed Ricky Dear who gave Crockett no chance from distance. Luke Knight then sent a free kick wide, but just after the hour Moyes hammered St Ives' second past a diving Crockett, and St Neots began to creak. St Ives continued to batter their opponents in search of an equaliser but St Neots stifled all that was thrown at them to lift the cup.