NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Eynesbury boss sets his sights on victory in cup clash

Eynesbury Rovers manager Mark Ducket, pictured during last season's Hunts Senior Cup final.

Eynesbury Rovers manager Mark Ducket, pictured during last season's Hunts Senior Cup final. - Credit: Archant

Eynesbury boss Mark Ducket master-minded a giant-killing of one set of Saints . . . now he has his sights set on another.

Rovers caused a Hunts Senior Cup shock when beating holders St Ives Town 2-0 in a semi-final tie last Tuesday night.

A first-half strike from Hayden Bream and a stoppage time clincher from Allan Owen earned victory for the United Counties League Premier Division side against a side who play two levels higher up the non-league ladder in the Southern League Premier Division.

Their reward is a final showdown against the county’s other Step 3 outfit, St Neots Town, on Wednesday, April 26, in a showpiece occasion which will also be staged at their opponents’ Premier Plus Stadium.

And Ducket is adamant his men can upset the odds again to lift the trophy after being runners-up to St Ives last season.

Ducket said: “When I saw the St Ives teamsheet the other night, I thought ‘Jesus Christ’. Their team was as strong as it could be and it showed they were serious about trying to retain the trophy.

“But I’m very proud of my boys for managing to beat a team who play two steps higher up the ladder.

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“I would class beating St Ives as our best result yet, but we didn’t celebrate it - we were too tired!

“There are two Step 3 teams in this county so for a Step 5 team to have reached the final two years running is a great achievement.

“No one tends to remember the runners-up in cup finals, though. We had to play second-fiddle to St Ives last season so hopefully we can go one better this time around.

“Can we beat St Neots? Of course we can, but I’m not stupid. They have come into form in recent weeks and have some very good players.

“But we have a lot of lads who have been at St Neots at one time or another, and a lot of them don’t think they were treated well there.

“Hopefully it’s a final full of attacking football with lots of goals. We won’t have the nerves that we did last year. I’ve got no issue with it being at St Neots either. It’s the best ground in the county and a fitting stage for the final.”

Ducket has enjoyed a terrific start to his managerial career at Eynesbury in the last 15 months. He took over with the club languishing in the bottom six of the UCL, but led them to a sixth-placed finish last term and they are on course to end the current campaign in the top three.