St Ives Town boss has sights set on Hunts Senior Cup trophy after semi-final triumph
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke has urged his players to finish the job and become county kings for the first time in five years.
The Saints booked their place in the Hunts Senior Cup final with a 2-1 triumph at higher-level hosts St Neots Town last night.
Two former St Neots men – Peter Clark and Luke Knight – found the net for Marheineke’s side in a victory more conclusive than the final scoreline actually suggested.
St Ives are now hot favourites to lift the trophy in a final showdown against either Godmanchester Rovers or Eynesbury, who are due to contest the other semi in early March.
Marheineke said: “I’m a local lad myself and we have plenty of players from around this area in our own.
“We want to win the trophy and I know it would mean a lot to our supporters as well.
“The holders of the Hunts Senior Cup have the bragging rights locally and we want to be in that position.
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“It would be particularly sweet to win the trophy after what happened last season when we had to pull out of our semi-final.
“Being in the final gives the lads something to look forward to later in the season, but we have plenty of big games ahead in the league as well.
“We expected an exceptionally tough game last night. St Neots might be having a tough time, but they are the higher-level team with the higher-level players.
“The fact we were under no pressure was clear from kick-off as we played with freedom and bravery, and produced some very good football to get a deserved win.”
However, Marheineke did fear there might be a case of déjà vu as his team failed to add to Clark’s opener on the half-hour.
They had found themselves in a similar scenario before eventually succumbing to a late St Neots comeback in a Red Insure Cup tie between the sides back in October.
But, even though Ben Seymour-Shove fired against the bar and Dan Moyes headed a glorious chance over the bar last night, there was no twist on this occasion.
Substitute Knight doubled St Ives’ advantage with five minutes remaining to secure their passage before 16 year-old debutant Dan Lewis hit a stunning consolation for the hosts in stoppage time.
Marheineke added: “I did fear this game might be going the same way as the last one.
“We needed the second goal to make sure we didn’t end up being stung again and fortunately Luke provided it.
“St Neots did hit a terrific consolation and I felt it was going to take a special strike for them to score as they only really threatened us from set pieces.”