Stilton United aim to finish a frustrating season with a smile by lifting the Senior Cup
Stilton United saw the chance of a Peterborough Premier Division title snatched away, but they’ll take lifting the competition’s Senior Cup as a big consolation prize.
Chris Bartlett’s boys were top of the top-flight when the Peterborough League was finally declared null and void.
But they set out in a revamped Senior Cup competition at First Division side King’s Cliffe tomorrow (April 10) in great spirits.
Teams from the top two divisions have been placed in groups which will be followed by knockout games to determine the winners.
Fellow Premier Division clubs Peterborough North End Sports, Long Sutton Athletic and Crowland Town are also in Stilton’s group along with Stamford Bels from Division One
“Of course the Premier League title was our main goal for this season,” manager Bartlett said. “But the Senior Cup is a prestigious competition so we will give it our best shot and try and win it.
“We are in a very tough group, but we are just delighted to have the opportunity to get outside and start playing again. Peterborough North End Sports are strong and Long Sutton and Crowland are very awkard opponents. We only just beat both of them earlier in the season.
“Stamford Bels also have some quality players.
“I’m sure there will be some rustiness, but whereas we normally get 15-16 at training we had 24 turn up last week which shows how keen everyone is to get going again.
“I have some very fit lads like Lewis McManus and Dan Stephens, but I’m sure others will be absolutely awful for a start! But every team will be in the same situation.
“Fair play to the Peterborough League for being proactive and giving all their clubs something to play for. We are treating it as a chance to finish the season with a smile.”
Stilton last played competitively on December 12 when they won 2-0 at Leverington Sports to establish a four-point lead at the top of the Premier Division.
Netherton United were second, but Moulton Harrox were lurking in third place having won all six of their Premier Division matches.
Harrox host Netherton in the pick of the group matches on Saturday. The top two from the four groups of six will advance to the quarter-finals.
It’s the same in the Peterborough League’s Junior and Minor Cups which also kick off on Saturday.
Whittlesey Athletic and Pinchbeck United are the only local United Counties League sides taking part in a KO Cup competition. Whittlesey start at Huntingdon tomorrow, while Pinchbeck host Harborough.
FIXTURES: Senior Cup: Group One: FC Peterborough v Eunice, Moulton Harrox v Netherton NECI v Peterborough Northern Star Res. Group Two: Ketton v Wittering Premiair, Warboys Town v Eye Utd, Whittlesey Ath Res v Cardea. Group Three: King’s Cliffe v Stilton, Oundle v Long Sutton, Stamford Bels v Crowland. Group Four: Crowland Res v Uppingham, Leverington v Thorpe Wood R, Pinchbeck Res v Tydd.
United Counties Cup: Premier Division: Pinchbeck United v Harborough Town. Division One: Huntington Town v Whittlesey Athletic.