Oh what a Knight! Skipper Luke sets St Ives Town on the way to Hunts Senior Cup glory for the first time in four years
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town lifted the most prestigious piece of Huntingdonshire footballing silverware for the first time in four years tonight.
Ricky Marheineke’s men eased to a 2-0 victory against Eynesbury Rovers in the Hunts Senior Cup showpiece courtesy of a couple of high-class goals.
The higher-level Saints – who sit fifth in the Southern League Division One (Central) standings - hit the front at the Premier Plus Stadium in St Neots with a stunning 24th minute strike from Luke Knight.
The skipper rifled in a swerving 25-yard blast with the aid of a kind kiss off an upright.
And they doubled their advantage just before the hour in equally smart style as Phil Draycott caressed a free-kick around the Rovers wall and into the far corner beyond motionless goalkeeper Kyle De Garis.
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Draycott had earlier squandered a glorious opportunity to fire his side ahead. His close-range half-volley in the seventh minute landed closer to the nearby station than the Rovers net.
Saints goalkeeper Brendan Brown was then required to fly to his left to keep out a wickedly deflected drive from Tom Coles before the deadlock was broken by Knight.
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He succeeded in finding the net in spectacular fashion, but Eynesbury - a side sitting fifth in the United Counties League Premier Division – were far from overawed by the occasion.
They produced some patient passing football but often lacked the cutting edge in attack. Their best opportunity fell to Matt Bannister after strike-partner Lee Bassett had glanced a cross into his path, but he could only steer his own header wide.
They were fortunate not to fall further behind in the opening minute of the second period when De Garis pulled off a fine double-save. He kept out Andrew Phillips’ initial effort and picked himself up to block Draycott’s well-hit follow-up.
Knight sent another effort fizzing inches wide of a post before Draycott did find the target with his set-piece effort.
Tom Coles headed over, Bannister saw a cross-shot blocked and Bassett thumped a shot over on the turn as Eynesbury searched in vain for a route back into the game.
Saints could even afford to squander a late spot-kick as substitute Danny Watson blasted his effort against the bar after referee Jonathan Burridge spotted a handball, but they already had the trophy in the bag by then.
St Ives Town: Brendan Brown, Harry O’Malley, Jordan Jarrold, Charlie De’Ath, Daniel Moyes, Jack Higgs, Ben Seymour-Shove, Luke Knight, Jack Warwick (sub Jared Cunniff), Phil Draycott, Andrew Phillips (sub Danny Watson). Unused substitutes: Declan Rogers, Tim Trebes.
Eynesbury Rovers: Kyle De Garis, Ben Hickling, Elliott Bentley, Darren Woodend, James Ducket, Daril Ngwala, James Freshwater (sub Joe Bradbury), Rob Ducket, Tom Coles, Daril Ngwala (sub Alex Marsh), Lee Bassett, Matt Bannister. Unused substitutes: Owen Dixon, Mark Van Berg, Conor Inskip.
Officials: Referee – Jonathan Burridge. Assistant referees – Richard Hart and George Younger. Fourth official – Joshua Crofts.