NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town see off Huntingdon Town to reach Hunts Senior Cup semi-finals following a flurry of second-half goals
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town avoided being on the receiving end of a Hunts Senior Cup shock following a second-half goal spree in midweek.
The Step 3 hosts beat Huntingdon Town, who play three levels further down the non-league ladder, 4-2 in a quarter-final at ProEdge Westwood Road on Tuesday night.
All six of the goals arrived in the closing half-an-hour of the contest with United Counties League Division One outfit Town briefly holding the lead before the Southern League Premier Division hosts hit top gear.
Huntingdon soaked up stacks of St Ives pressure before hitting the front just after the hour. Corey Kingston raced onto a ball over the top from Ben Panting and fired past returning Saints goalkeeper James Goff, who was back in action after a bout of concussion.
And the Step 6 side held onto their lead for 10 minutes until Chris Down scythed down Ben Seymour-Shove to concede a penalty. James Hall did the honours from the spot only three minutes after being introduced as a substitute.
The turnaround was completed in the 78th minute when Dubi Ogbonna gratefully tucked away a rebound after Town keeper Quincy Shorunmu bravely saved at the feet of Hall.
Jimmy Hartley sealed victory for Saints with two minutes to go as he classily lobbed an effort past the out-of-position Shorunmu and two covering defenders.
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There was still time for both sides to strike again in stoppage time. Hall struck again when seizing on a poor Shorunmu clearance before Huntingdon hit back with a Ben Page consolation after a terrific run from Christian Le.
Saints manager Ricky Marheineke said: “Huntingdon have had a lot of bad publicity from their poor results over the last couple of years, but their current team put in a performance that everyone connected to the club could be proud about.
“They made it an uncomfortable evening for us even though we dominated the game.
“Every time we got around their box for an hour we seemed to hit a brick wall, but we were confident they wouldn’t manage to keep it up for a full 90 minutes.
“That’s how it turned out and ‘Hally’ absolutely terrorised them when he came on. It was very pleasing to see him get a couple of goals and he probably should have had four.
“The game was a bit more comfortable than the final scoreline suggests, but take nothing away from Huntingdon. The main thing was getting through and we did that.”
Defenders Lewis Ferrell and Daniel Moyes also featured for Saints following lengthy spells out with injury, while new defensive recruit Lloyd Groves made his full debut.
Huntingdon manager Jimmy Brattan was delighted with the efforts of his players.
He said: “It was a super performance from my boys. They knew they would have to work hard and be up against it for 90 minutes, but they did themselves, me and the club proud.
“They gained a lot of respect from the St Ives team and management.”
St Ives’ reward is a home semi-final tie against St Neots Town in the new year. Holders Eynesbury Rovers host Yaxley in the other last-four clash which means a Step 5 team are guaranteed to reach the final again.