STOTFOLD v GODMANCHESTER ROVERS
Hinchingbrooke Cup Second Round
I don't know much about The Hinchingbrooke Cup. I know it has been played for over one-hundred years and (I think) is now open to clubs playing at Step Five and Six who are within a 30 or 50 (to be confirmed) mile radius of Huntingdon.
Goddy are having a very good season and went into the last sixteen of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday with a fantastic 1-0 home win over TotalMotion Midland League Premier Division side Sporting Khalsa as well as challenging for the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title. Head Coach Ollie Drake didn't tinker with his starting XI too much for this game making only three changes with Harry Walker replacing Nial Conroy in goal along with Leon Fulianty and Arran Mackay starting.
The hosts are currently bottom of the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division and only just recorded their first league victory on Saturday against Harpenden Town. The victory was after two very creditable draws against fifth placed Potton United and third placed Biggleswade FC.
Former Tring Athletic first team coach Julian Robinson whom also had coaching experience at Hadley and Edgware Town had been appointed their new manager last summer but left the club in early September. Mark Nervais had stepped into the hot-seat and had been working with Marce Collington since November who had brought in some new players to the squad. Collington had took over as Manager last Thursday. Collington who as a player represented West Ham United at Academy level as well as Preston North End, Crawley Town, Dagenham & Redbridge and Thurrock.
He retired as a player in 2010 after a serious injury and has since been coaching at various pro-academies along with Harlow Town u21s.
It was a really entertaining game throughout with Stotfold the better side for the opening half an hour or so as they fought for every ball in the midfield area and the pace of forward's Khy Cyrus and Desejado DaSilva working the Goddy back four well.
On 22 minutes they took a deserved lead when DaSilva pressured Joe Walker on the edge of the box who was marking him very tightly and after a neat bit of skill dragging the ball back to get past him he was adjudged to have been fouled in the box. DaSilva got up and scored the resulting penalty kick to make it 1-0.
DaSilva is only nineteen years old and is on a dual registration with Evo Stik Southern Central Division side Hitchin Town - I think he has a really good future in the game and is a name to look out for in the future. TheColdEnd saw him score a hat-trick for Hitchin's under 18 side in October 2017 against Hoddesdon Town in the FA Youth Cup (LINK HERE)
At 1-0 down some of the of Goddy supporters who had made the trip South down the A1 were discussing that this game maybe a case of 'After the lord mayor's show' following their Vase victory but their side played some good football. They had a number of good chances to score in the first half with Arran MacKay being very unlucky when his shot from outside of the box which was dipping below the bar was pushed away by Stotfold keeper Matt Fallon.
It was 1-1 in 56th minute when defender Ross Munro headed home a corner into the net. I heard him say that he didn't even see it and shut his eyes when he headed the ball.
Stotfold scored on the break on 86th minute when DaSilva got his second nicking in following a mix up between goalkeeper Harry Walker and Munro to place the ball into a virtually unguarded net.
Full credit must go to Godmanchester who never gave up and it Austin Diaper who scored from close range following a goal bound header after a cross from the right had side.
The game went to penalty kicks and there were nine perfect ones scored before Dan Harper's was well saved by Walker to win the game for the visitors.
Despite the defeat Collington and his coaching staff can take many positives from this performance for Stotfold in running a side who are currently topping the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division. They can take confidence into their forthcoming important league fixtures. They have three very tough fixtures travelling to Arlesey Town (6th), Biggleswade United (4th) and then hosting current table topper's Tring Athletic in the next few weeks.
Goddy host eighth placed Brantham Atheltic in a league fixture on Saturday.
Matt Fallon, Marc Ansell-Carter, Dan Harper, Josh Miles, George Ezekiel, Tommy Carroll, Joe Ryan, Bernard Nkansah (Eben Mbona) , Khy Cyrus (Antoine Akinola), Charlie Cullen (Tim Obisanya) , Desejado DaSilva.
Subs unused - Jack Holmes and Alix Girdlestone
Harry Walker, Reece King, Leon Fulianty, Tom Spark, Ross Munro, Joe Walker, Arran MacKay (Simon Unwin), Joe Furness, Austen Diaper, Mike Hyem, Jack Chadler.
Subs unused - Chris Hyem, Buster Harradine and Nial Conroy.
including the penalty shoot-out