Saints lose Hinchingbrooke Cup final
Kempston Rovers deny Dennis Greene’s men the treble
Hinchingbrooke Cup final
St Neots Town 0
AFC Kempston Rovers 1 (Baldwin 32)
A TREMENDOUS trophy treble slipped from Saints’ grasp as they ended their spectacular season with a low-key 1-0 Hinchingbrooke Cup final defeat by AFC Kempston Rovers at Jubilee Park on Friday night.
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Aaron Baldwin’s decisive goal on 32 minutes earned a deserved success for the UCL Division One champions against a Neots side whose own exhausting double-winning efforts finally seemed to have caught up with them.
It was only their fourth competitive defeat in 58 matches and the first time they had failed to score in a match this season.
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Injuries sustained in the Hunts Senior Cup final win against St Ives four days earlier meant the UCL Premier champions were shorn of the services of Mickey Hyem, Will Fordham and Stefan Moore.
But that didn’t excuse weary-looking Neots’ poor first half performance, which they ended fortunate just to be the one goal behind.
Although second best for much of the match, Saints did at least improve after the break and were denied a leveller by Kempston keeper Martin Conway, who pulled off a string of fine saves.
Earlier, a misunderstanding between defender Ian Gayle and stranded keeper Luke McShane allowed Baldwin a clear sight of goal early on, but his clever lob bounced off the turf and just over the bar.
However the Walnut Boys did take the lead two minutes after the half-hour mark, as a through pass caught the St Neots back line square and Baldwin sailed clear to beat McShane with a low shot across his body.
A stern word or two at the interval triggered Saints into action in the second period and only some good goalkeeping from Conway denied both Junior Kanuda and Shane Tolley.
Dominic Green squandered a great chance when clean through, while Dan Jacob also had an effort cleared off the line.
Saints: McShane, D Moore, Hilliard, Webb (C), Gent (Fuff 83), Gayle, Kanuda (Scully 70), Strachan, Jacob, Tolley, Green.