St Ives celebrate brilliant double weekend

ST Ives Town finished off their best ever season with a flourish over the weekend when they first won the Hunts Senior Cup on Friday and then followed that up with the Hinchingbrooke Cup on the bank holiday Monday.

Against Godmanchester Rovers at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Friday night the Saints went a goal up through Junior McDougald, but were pegged back by Rovers when Nicky Hurst equalised to set up a fascinating and dramatic second half.

It was a moment of madness late in the second half that swung things St Ives’ way. With 18 minutes left, the referee had no choice but to send off Godmanchester defender Stephen Hurst after he handled the ball on line to stop a Will Fordham header that was destined for the net. McDougald coolly slotted home the spot kick.

Having already started the game without ill star striker Paul Bass, Goddy lost forward James Hall 11 minutes after the break when he went down in an aerial challenge. A post-match visit to A&E confirmed the damage: a fractured eye socket and broken nose.

It was to Goddy’s credit that they kept St Ives out for so long after losing Hall and then going behind – but Conor Washington celebrated goal 49 of his brilliant season in front of the Saints fans after a beautiful one-two with McDougald. He beat Rovers’ goalkeeper Rob Mackney with the sweetest of strikes.

“The big moments went our way and we won the trophy our season deserved,” said joint manager Jez Hall. “It was never a classic, but I thought we just shaded it.”

SIXTY-eight hours later Hall, his co-manager Warren Everdell, and St Ives’ players and fans were celebrating again – this time at Yaxley where they destroyed big favourites King’s Lynn Town in the final of the United Counties League Cup.

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All eyes were on Washington, who was outstanding again, scoring a fantastic hat-trick, but it was much more than a one-man show after the Saints were forced to bounce back from an early Danny Beaumont goal.

Stuart Cobb got on the end of a great cross from David Cobb – there was a hint of offside – for the equaliser, before Washington found the net for the first time with a brilliant cross-goal strike after he had beaten a couple of defenders and cut inside from the right.

It took a couple of seconds for the 696 fans in the crowd to realise Washington had scored his second goal – on 65 minutes – after his shot beat Matt Hails but flew through a hole in the net. Even Washington cast a worried glance at the linesman before celebrating.

“The third one was a classic Conor goal,” said Hall. “He has that burst of pace and he has lobbed plenty of goalkeepers like that this season. I knew it was going in.”

Elsewhere on the field, captain Lee Ellison was especially productive in midfield and at the back Fordham man-marked King’s Lynn’s big striker Jack Defty out of the game. A shout from the crowd: “When are you bringing Defty on?” summed up the Linnets’ talisman’s afternoon.