NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Red-hot Eynesbury Rovers homing in on a club record after wonderful winning run
- Credit: Archant
Eynesbury boss Mark Ducket is backing his players to equal a long-standing club record in his absence tomorrow.
The Rovers chief misses a home clash against Sleaford Town in the United Counties League Premier Division at Hall Road due to work commitments.
He will leave his red-hot side in the capable hands of coach Ben Watts as they bid to secure a ninth successive league victory - a feat Eynesbury have only ever managed once previously at Step 5 level.
That was achieved a quarter-of-a-century ago in the 1990/91 campaign, but can now be emulated by the class of 2016/17.
Ducket said: “It would be great to create a little piece of club history.
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“We’re 90 minutes away from a feat that Eynesbury last managed more than 25 years ago and hopefully we can not only equal it, but also go on to better it.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around every day and the lads will be made aware of the significance of Saturday’s game. They will also be reminded they face a tough job against a strong Sleaford side.
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“It is even more incredible that we are in this position without having produced a complete 90-minute performance all season.
“We’ve shown glimpses of quality in virtually every game, and also put a couple of great halves together, but I feel sure there is still more to come.
“Winning is a great habit to be in and we’ve managed to put this run together despite experiencing a lot of injury problems. We now have almost everyone available again which creates a different kind of situation where competition for places is really high.”
Rovers’ winning run began on September 6 when they roared to a 7-1 triumph at a struggling Cogenhoe side. They have also seen off Peterborough Northern Star, Deeping, Sleaford, Huntingdon, Harrowby, Wellingborough and Rothwell Corinthians.
And they translated their terrific league form into knockout action on Wednesday night when cruising into the semi-finals of the Hunts Senior Cup.
Top-scorer Craig Smith led them to a 4-0 success at Huntingdon Town with a hat-trick on a night when he also saw two other efforts ruled out for offside.
He latched onto a glorious pass from fellow former Peterborough Northern Star man Hayden Bream before dancing round Town goalkeeper Richard Roberts to hit a 12th minute opener.
Smith swiftly doubled the advantage when pouncing from close range after a Jordan Brown cut-back had not been cleared before Rovers survived a scare as Huntingdon frontman Addie Staffieri fired against a post.
Smith saw two more efforts in quick succession scrubbed out just before the break and he was also denied by a pair of fine Roberts saves during a spell of dominance.
They remained in control in the second period and clinched their passage when Smith unselifhsly laid a third goal on a plate for substitute Rhys Thorpe just after the hour.
Huntingdon were handed a potential lifeline with 15 minutes to go when awarded a contentious penalty, but justice was done as Jamie Greygoose kept out Staffieri’s spot-kick.
And there was a fitting final addition to the scoreline with seven minutes to go as Smith completed his richly-deserved treble with an effort which forced a mistake from Roberts.