The Hinchingbrooke Cup is a bit of mystery at the moment. It's been around a long time, possibly since the Victorian era. It seems to be contested by Step 5 sides and below from the central Eastern side of the country and, this year, is sponsored by our favourite skip provider Mick George Ltd. I am sure that someone out there has more information about this cup and can enlighten BoTP somewhat.
Meanwhile, onto Tuesday evening. Another new ground for BoTP and two new teams to take a look at. With the away side being a step above their hosts, this had the potential to be a classic cup match so it was with soem anticipation that I made the 90 minute journey across to Sandy.
The Hollow, home of Potton United, is situated just on the edge of Potton and is part of a sports complex that also hosts cricket and tennis. The ground has a single covered seating area along the car park side of the stadium. The clubhouse and players facilities are situated behind the right hand goal as you enter the ground and between the clubhouse and the far corner flag is another small covered standing area. The dugouts are on the far side of the pitch, opposite the main stand.
Entrance to pitchside is via a gate where a local in a shed, either named or supplied by Beaver Sheds, takes your £4 (plus £1 for a programme). The pitch, I have to say, looked to be in immaculate condition.
The teams took to the field on what was a very mild night for the time of year. There was a few spots of rain in the air but no sign of the downpour threatened by the weather forecast heard on the radio earlier.
Potton, The Royals, were clad in their home kit of all royal blue with Rovers sporting, what I am told was, a brand new red away kit. A quick glance at the squad lists in the programme revealed that the home side had one Joe Jordan in their ranks, whilst Godmanchester boasted a certain Jason King (this is one for the older reader) in their ranks.
Unfortunately, I believe that Jason is out with an injury at the moment.
Going a goal down seemed to wake Godmanchester from their slumbers and the gradually began to take control of what was
becoming quite a niggly affair. One or two 'tasty' challenges were flying in and the referee was forced to have words on a couple of occasions.
Two goals in the space of two minutes then gave the away side an advantage that they would not let slip. First, on 25 minutes, Mick Hyem skimmed a 20 yarder into the keeprs right hand corner. One minute later a cross from the left went over everyone before falling to Dan Kerrigan at the far post, he cut inside and fired home to give Goddy a 2-1 lead.
A 50-50 challenge two minutes after the goal, in which the home player appeared to take more man than ball, sparked a brief session of handbags which was dealt with by a very long discussion from the referee. He did seem to like having protracted chats with the players.
As far as I could see, no cards were issued at this point. However, for the remainder of the half, you had the feeling that every 50-50 challenge could easily flare up. I'm glad to say that this didn't happen and the sides went in at half-time with Goddy leading, deservedly, by 2 goals to 1.
Somewhat surprisingly, the second half seemed to lose the tension that the first half had. Maybe the referee had words at half-time, but it seemed that both sides had calmed it down a little. This played very much into the away side's hands though. With a 2-1 lead and what seemed like a slightly subdued home side, they were able to start playing the ball around in the style you would expect from a team from one divison above. What they did seem to lack, though, was a final ball. Time and time again they made good progress, especially down their right flank, only to let the move break down with a poor final ball or cross. If they had been more ruthless in the final third, the game could well have been over with 30 minutes remaining.
As it was, just a goal behind, Potton sensed that they could possibly get something and did start to make some inroads into the Rovers half.
However, all thoughts of a comeback were extinguished in the 85 minute when Goddy finally sent over a decent cross which was met with a glancing header by James Hall. The ball flew over the keeper and went in off the underside of the bar. Game over.
So, Godmanchester progress to play St Neots Town Saints or Peterborogh Sports in teh Quarter Finals. Potton, currently sixth in Division One, have the league to concentrate on.
Potton United - @pottonunited
Godmanchester Rovers - @goddyroversfc