NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Manager Matt Clements admits all the pressure is on his St Neots Town side in Hunts Senior Cup final
- Credit: Archant
St Neots boss Matt Clements accepts that all the pressure will be on his higher-level side in the Hunts Senior Cup final tomorrow night (Wednesday).
It’s been a difficult campaign for Saints as they fought a long, but ultimately successful, battle against the drop in the Southern League Premier Division.
And buoyed by that escape from relegation bother, which was achieved with one match to spare, they are determined to lift the county crown for the first time in three years by beating near neighbours Eynesbury Rovers in a showpiece clash at the Premier Plus Stadium, 7.45pm.
Clements said: “We might be the away side technically, but we’re playing at home to a team from a couple of levels lower. That means all the pressure is on us against a good Eynesbury side who have absolutely nothing to lose.
“There is no chance of us under-estimating them. We were very fortunate to get through our semi-final on penalties against another Step 5 side in Godmanchester Rovers.
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“We scraped through whereas Eynesbury beat St Ives, who are the best team in the county in terms of league positions.
“The main goal for me when coming in as manager at the turn of the year was to ensure we stayed up. We managed that and now the next target is to win the county cup and give something back to the fans for supporting us throughout a tough season.
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“It’s our final game of the season and we hope to end it holding the trophy.”
Saints won’t be able to call on frontman Declan Rogers after he suffered a broken foot in the Easter Monday success against Dunstable, which secured the club’s Premier Division safety.
But Clements rested top-scorer Jevani Brown and skipper Micky Hyem for a final league outing last Saturday when Saints, who end the campaign in 19th position – one point and two places above the relegation zone - went down 3-0 at local rivals Cambridge City. That result was not enough to spare their opponents from the drop.
Clements handed first senior starts to youngsters Erhan Nurettin and Saul Williams, but his young side fell behind after just six minutes to a Norman Wabo strike.
Former Saints defender Jordan Gent doubled the City lead with a free header from a corner on the hour before Wabo bagged his second with a quarter of an hour to go. He missed the chance to complete a hat-trick when seeing a late penalty and follow-up kept out by Saints keeper Alex Archer.