SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

Berkhamsted        3          St Neots Town        1           

Twelve minutes from time with St Neots bossing the game and looking odds on to steal a goal to level the contest against their table topping hosts, an outrageous decision by Referee Grzegoorz Konasiewicz saw influential St Neots midfielder Jonny Butler pick up a totally undeserved second yellow card to reduce the visitors to ten men.   Butler won the ball in a 50/50 challenge that left the Berkhamsted player prone on the pitch and the Referee allowed play to continued for several seconds before stopping the game to get assistance for the home player.   Then to the amazement of all he issued Butler with his second caution – even though he had not awarded a free kick for the challenge.   Asked about his decision after the match the official replied, ‘I think I reacted too slowly’.  That forced a quick St Neots reshuffle and in time added for stoppages leading Berkhamsted scorer Lewis Toomey broke clear to plunder a second goal for himself and a third for his side to give the final score line an almost unrepresentative picture of the contest.   The home side started the day as league leaders not having lost any of their twelve league matches this season but St Neots’ second half performance was described by a home official as ‘our toughest test so far this season’.   No reward then for St Neots but it should do the team confidence no harm as they go into next weekend’s crucial test against bottom of the table Wantage Town at the Premier Plus Stadium.   There were two changes in the starting line-up for St Neots with Ben Bradley back to replace suspended skipper Lee Watkins, and recent signing Ben Stokes replaced Sam Gomarsall who was on the bench.

Both sides got off to a speedy start with home danger man Lewis Toomey lobbing narrowly wide with St Neots keeper James Philp stranded after just twenty seconds, and a minute later Prince Mutswunguma spotted home keeper Xavier Leon off his line but sent his lengthy effort over the bar.   Toomey was then impeded by a defender on the edge of the penalty area, but Jon Lacey sent his free kick high over the bar.   However, Berkhamsted then struck an early significant blow when after eight minutes a Lacy cross saw Lewis Toomey time his run to the near post perfectly as he flicked the ball past Philp.   St Neots responded with Ben Bradley bringing a good save from the home keeper, but the home side were showing just why they are promotion favourites with some clinical attacking play as Alex Taylor had a net bound shot deflected for a corner.   The match was competitive with Joe Sutton finding his way into the Referee’s notebook, before another lengthy effort by Aaron Smith tested the keeper.   Nine minutes before half time the home side stamped their first half superiority on the game as Jon Lacey got on the end of a Joshua Chamberlain cross to extend his sides’ lead.   Both Philp and Sam Goode blocked further home side efforts, but two minutes before half time an Alan Musoke cross picked out Prince Mutswunguma and his acrobatic overhead kick put St Neots back in the match at 2-1.

After the break St Neots bossed the contest although they failed to capitalise on superior possession because they lack a significant finish.   It was 24 minutes into the second half before Berkhamsted had a shot at the St Neots goal, and then Philp kept his side in the contest with a brilliant save to deny Lacey’s searching chip.   St Neots’ substitute Jake Kerins, on for Stokes, made an early impact having a shot cleared off the line by Ryan Kinnane, and as the second half reached a critical stage the dismissal of Butler had its effect.   After a six minutes delay whilst home skipper Ben Spaul received extensive treatment the match had lost much of its intensity, further slowed down by more substitutions.   With three minutes of normal time remaining, Toomey was denied a second goal when he went clear but failed to finish, but he only had to wait four more minutes before he was again at the near post to take advantage of some hesitancy to convert a Chamberlain cross to dash St Neots’ hopes.   Mutswunguma almost had the final word with an effort deep into added time that he sent wide of the far post.

 

St Neots Town: Philp, Boxer, Smith, Butler, Shaw, Goode, Sutton, Bradley, Musoke, Stokes, Mutswunguma

Subs:  Kerins (for Stokes 60 mins), Foster (for Bradley 84 mins), Gomarsall (for Musoke 84 mins) and Abbott

Cards:  Butler (RED – 2 x Y – 39 & 78 mins), Sutton (Y – 31 mins)

Goals:  Mutswunguma (42 mins)

 

Berkhamsted:  Leon, Taylor, Cooper, Amu, Kinnane, Farrelly, Summerfield, Spaul, Toomey, Lacey, Chamberlain

Subs:  Hercules (for Summerfield 60 mins), Witham (for Amu 72 mins), Sexton (for Spaul 84 mins), Murphy and Stobbs.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Toomey 2 (8 & 90+1 mins), Lacey (36 mins)

 

Referee:  Grzegoorz Konasiewicz (Oxford)

Attendance:       206

 

John Walker

 

 

 

UPCOMING MATCHES PREVIEW

It does not get any easier for St Neots Town......  

Their recent improvement has been reflected in far more impressive performances against sides above them in the table and have resulted in a deserved away draw at Biggleswade and two narrow single goal home defeats by Daventry and Aylesbury – matches they could well have won.  The net result of these improvements has yielded just one point from their last nine, and they have seen the gap in the table between themselves and the Clubs above them increase to five points.

And so on to Saturday and a trip to Berkhamsted who just happen to be the current league leaders.   Promoted to Step Four in the Southern League from the Spartan South Midlands League in 2018 they finished sixth in their first season at that level, just three points shy of a play-off place.   However, they looked well placed to improve on that this season having won nine and drawn three of their twelve completed league matches this season and have only conceded six league goals.

Marc Abbott’s team will go there looking for only their second league victory of the season but it may be a case of damage limitation given the hosts record.

 

John Walker

 

 

 

 

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        0           Aylesbury United       1

A deflected first half goal condemned St Neots to an undeserved sixth league defeat in as many home starts this season.   Once again, the performance was improved overall, but there was still no reward.    In a defiant second half the home side did everything but score a goal, but they should reflect on the fact that dominance of possession does not automatically produce the quality of chances to break down a determined stubborn defence.   Manager Marc Abbott had senior players back from injury in his squad, but he kept faith with his players to opt for an unchanged starting line-up for only the second time this season.    With Kempston Rovers pulling off a surprise away victory over league leaders Corby Town, the gap between St Neots and the sides above them was extended to five points.

St Neots began well and created the first two chances of the match – the first after just 90 seconds when Joe Sutton darted between defenders to be upended on the edge of the penalty area but Prince Mutswunguma sent his free kick tamely over the crossbar.   Then Lee Watkins did well to get to the bye line, but his cross was headed wide of target by Sam Gomarsall.   James Philp then did well at full stretch to parry a shot from David Manu but to St Neots’ relief Jamie Jellis skied his effort over the bar.   However, after 14 minutes another cross by the lively Manu was only cleared as far as Sonny French and from around 25 yards, he sent in a snapshot that deflected off a defender to leave the St Neots custodian flat-footed.   At that point St Neots did not deserved to be behind but it did seem to boost the confidence of the visiting side and they could have capitalised on a free kick just outside the penalty area by Ollie Hogg that was deflected over the bar by the defensive wall.   However, St Neots were soon on the offensive again with Jonny Butler moving forward to fire over the bar, and then Alan Musoke went through the visiting defence but delayed his finish and a defender got back to smother the shot.   Little was seen of the visiting attack apart from a 34th minute effort by Jellis that Philp did well to push away one-handed under pressure from Ken Feyi.   The half ended with St Neots skipper Lee Watkins picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign for a mistimed tackle meaning a one-match ban at the end of the month.

It was a resolute and determined unchanged St Neots line-up that reappeared after the break.   They adopted an attacking approach with Gomersal volleying over the bar when he should perhaps have done better, and then a Lee Watkins free kick only just cleared the crossbar with the visiting keeper looking beaten after Sutton had been brought down in full flight.   Gomarsall then made way, in a straight swap, for Ben Bradley who quickly featured in an attack that broke down on the edge of the penalty area.    Aylesbury seemed to have decided to sit on their narrow advantage pulling off their two most attacking players and filtering back to blunt the St Neots attack.   The match became very polarised with the visitors happy to depend on breakaway attacking moves and in one of these St Neots last defender Stevan Shaw was unjustly yellow carded when his opponent appeared to trip himself up!   With thirteen minutes left and the pressure firmly on the visiting defence Prince Mutswunguma slipped his marker but shot disappointingly across the face of goal, and then in successive attacks Aaron Smith shot wide and a rising shot from Bradley was parried by Jack Hopwood.   St Neots now had four players in attack, but their final pass was not incisive enough and they looked vulnerable to a counterattack, with Philp having to save bravely at the feet of Harry Jones.   Aylesbury tried successfully to ruin the clock down with some legitimate time wasting and they could have snatched a second goal deep into added time when Jellis broke clear and only a back breaking save by Philp at the expense of a corner foiled him.    It was a disappointing outcome, but the improvement must not be overlooked.

St Neots: Philp, Boxer, Smith, Butler, Shaw, Goode, Watkins, Gomersal, Musoke, Mutswunguma, Sutton

Subs:  Bentley (for Gomersal 54 mins), Foster (for Sutton 66 mins), Kerins (for Boxer 87 mins), Stokes and Badiani.

Cards:  Watkins (Y – 43 mins), Shaw (Y – 72 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Aylesbury:  Hopwood, Jones, Bewley, Wood, Jenkins, Riddick, Jellis, Hogg, Feyi, French, Manu.

Subs:  Seaton (for Manu 66 mins), Williams (for Feyi 66 mins), Rudd (for French 82 mins) and Deacon.

Cards:  Williams (Y – 74 mins), Jones (88 mins), Jellis (90+4 mins)

Goals:  Sonny French (14 mins)

 

Referee:  Luke Scott (Northampton)

Attendance:       216

 

John Walker

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        1           Daventry Town       2

With fifteen minutes remaining St Neots led 1-0 and were on course for their first home league victory of the season.  However, two goals by the visiting side in three minutes left them and their fans despondent.    Overall it was a much-improved performance on their two previous home defeats but after such a traumatic start to the season points are far more valuable than performance.   It was a contest marred by some inconsistent refereeing, especially in the second half when the official seemed to penalise some very petty offences by the home players whilst ignoring similar ones by the visiting side.   Manager Marc Abbott had been busy in the week prior to the match drafting in four new signings, one of which Jonny Butler, returning to the club from Hertford Town, began the match in place of the injured Jake Kerins and two more of the new faces Ben Stokes and Lewis Foster made substitute appearances.   The other team change saw Sam Gomersal return to the starting line-up in place of the injured Ben Bradley.   For well over an hour St Neots looked solid defensively so the problem of leaking goals almost at will seemed to have been remedied but then in just a short three minutes spell the bad habits reappeared with one of the visiting substitutes going the damage down the left hand side.   However, the side now has two further home matches in four days to try to retain their overall improvement whilst looking for another clean sheet.  

St Neots got off to a confident start with Prince Mutswunguma skilfully setting up strike partner Alan Musoke after two minutes, but his close-range effort was smothered by a defender.   At the other end Jack Bowen shot across the face of goal after good work by Adam Creaney, and then Aaron King sent his effort high over the St Neots crossbar.   St Neots continued to look confident, but they looked vulnerable to set pieces and two in three minutes midway through the half were repelled.   Firstly, an effort from the edge of the area from Creaney was watched over his crossbar by James Philp and then a second free kick from a similar position was blocked by the defensive wall.   After 29 minutes home supporters thought their side had won a penalty kick when Mutswunguma was sent sprawling in the box by a defender but the Referee waved play on, and then the same St Neots player wriggled past two defenders but overran the ball, and visiting keeper Justin Cerga saved bravely at his feet.   More chances followed as Lee Watkins sent a free kick over the bar and from a Sam Gomarsall cross, Joe Sutton shot wide.   Mutswunguma was again brought down on the edge of the penalty area but taking the free kick himself, he sent the ball well over the bar.    The first half ended with Adam Confue squandering probably the visitors’ best first half chance as he headed a Fitzgerald cross wide.

The second half began as the first with St Neots taking the game to their visitors and they were rewarded just four minutes after the restart when Sam Gomarsall picked up a clearance from a Daventry corner to run half the length of the field before finding Prince Mutswunguma unmarked on the left and he cut in to beat the keeper with a low shot for his sixth goal of the season.   Jonny Butler, settling in confidently to the side, then intercepted a wayward pass but could only fire wide, and Joe Sutton set up Musoke, but he was robbed by a defender.   The visitors then made a significant team change introducing Taylor Orosz for Creaney and it was to be his incisive play on the left flank that was to prove the match-winning difference.   The match then lost much of its fluency with far too many free kicks conceded by both sides and it was now that St Neots players picked up a clutch of yellow cards that seemed to dent their confidence.   With fifteen minutes left that man Orosz rounded his marker to pull the ball back to the feet of Aaron King and he beat Philp’s despairing dive to level the scores.   Daventry’s tails were now up and in their next attack they fashioned the winning goal as another Orosz cross was not cleared and from close range Jack Bowen claimed what proved to be the winning goal.   It did require a good save from Cerga in added time to de Mutswunguma a late equalizer.

 

St Neots Town: Philp, Boxer, Smith, Butler, Shaw, Goode, Watkins, Gomarsall, Musoke, Mutswunguma, Sutton

Subs:  Stokes (for Gomersal 61 mins), Foster (for Butler 83 mins), Olive and Abbott.

Cards:  Smith (Y – 21 mins), Prince (Y – 56 mins), Watkins (Y – 62 mins), Sutton (Y – 67 mins), Butler (Y – 79 mins), Shaw(Y – 81 mins)

Goals:  Mutswunguma (49 mins)

 

Daventry Town:  Cerga, Stanbridge,Print, Harris, Barnett, Confue, Fitzgerald, Finch, Bowen, King, Creaney

Subs:  Orosz (T) (for Creaney 57 mins), Orosz (J) (for Fitzgerald 67 mins), Wilkinson (for King 90+4 mins), Alexander and Finlay

Cards:  Harris (Y – 56 mins}, Confue (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals:  King (75 mins), Bowen (78 mins)

 

Referee:  Tom Hancock (Newmarket)

Attendance:       142

 

John Walker

 

It’s Four in and Two out as Marc Abbot strengthens his Saints squad

We are pleased to announce that we have today captured the signatures of Jonny Butler, Lewis Foster, Ben Stokes and Rajan Badiani.

JONNY BUTLER (27), needs no introduction to Saints fans, having spent time here under the reign of Matt Clements before joining Barton Rovers and Hertford Town. A Centre Half / Right Back who brings with him much needed experience at Steps 3 and 4 and joins us from Langford FC.

LEWIS FOSTER (28), is a striker who has Step 3 experince with Arlesey Town when they were in the Southern League Premier Division and numbers Aylesbury United, Crawley Green, London Colney, Stotfold and after taking time out from the game, Joins us from Langford FC

We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Langford FC for allowing us to complete the transfers of both players in such a smooth manner.

Our third signing is BEN STOKES (21), a dynamic midfielder who has turned out for Carlton Town and Coalville Town, again plying his trade at Steps 3 and 4.

Our final signing of the day is youngster RAJAN BADIANI, who joins us from AFC Rushden and Diamonds, where he has been part of their Elite squad, winning Manager’s Player of the Year last season and has captained the team this season. 

Please join us in welcoming all four lads to St Neots Town FC and we hope your time with us is both rewarding and enjoyable.

At the same time we can confirm that both Mikey Davis and Daniel Olusemo have both departed the club after just a couple of appearances each, with the former returning to Cambridge City.

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

Biggleswade FC        0            St Neots Town        0       

 

After conceding thirteen goals in two away league matches the previous week, a reshaped St Neots side rolled up their sleeves and produced a resolute and determined performance to deservedly take a point in their second away goalless league performance of the season.   Manager Marc Abbott once again rang the changes as he seeks his best line-up and will regret that his side could not find the goal that would have afforded them a full haul of three points.   League newcomers Biggleswade FC promoted from Step Five at the end of last season have a similar problem in front of goal having only scored nine in ten league outings – the same number as their visitors who have three points less.   The game took a long time to get going with defences dominant with St Neots restoring Stevan Shaw at the back and Lee Watkins and Ben Bradley in midfield,  In addition Prince Mutswunguma was back in the attack with Jake Noble Mikey Davies and Daniel Olusemo making way plus Alfie Connor having returned to Soham Town Rangers after just ten appearances.   Another ten day break now with the next match at the Premier Plus Stadium on November 2nd.

 

The first half was almost a non-event in terms of goalscoring potential.   The respective defences were tight and well-organized giving nothing away to the opposition, and although the football was neat and end-to-end, there was little of note.   Biggleswade suffered an early setback after 17 minutes when midfielder Matt Richardson was injured and limped off to be replaced by Danny Payne.   St Neots seemed to be growing in confidence and around the half hour Joe Sutton was crudely upended on the edge of the penalty area, but the free kick was fired tamely into the defensive wall.   In the next attack Sutton fired narrowly over the bar and the home side replied quickly with the lively Kieran Barnes going free but Sam Goode got back to clear.   The main threat from the home side came down either flank where Barnes seemed able to get around his marker and just before the break Prince Mutswunguma wriggled his way past two defenders to be fouled, but the Referee played the advantage rule and the St Neots player went on to shoot wide.

 

The game opened up after the break.   The first test of either keeper came from Lawrie Marsh, but James Philp saved well, and then at the other end, from a Lee Watkins cross, Ben Bradley fired wide.   Tom Coles headed wide and St Neots main threat was coming from long throws by Aaron Smith that kept the home defence under pressure.  Philp then needed two attempts to keep out a rising shot from Marsh, but he did well to keep out a spectacular overhead kick by Coles.   St Neots looked dangerous on the break but generally lacked a finish although Mutswunguma did fire in a lengthy effort that Tyler Josephs was glad to see clear his crossbar.   Ryan Inskip squandered the best chance of the match after 71 minutes sending a volley high over the bar from six yards and then St Neots substitute Sam Gomersal saw his effort deflected over the bar by a defender.   A flurry of late substitutions saw the intensity of the contest drop and before the final whistle there were signs that both sides were content to see the points shared.  

For St Neots it was the conclusion of a run of six successive league defeats and will have boosted their confidence ahead of three of their next four league matches on home soil.

 

St Neots Town: Philp, Kerins, Smith, Boxer, Goode, Shaw, Watkins, Bradley, Musoke, Mutswunguma, Sutton

 

Subs:  Gomersal (for Bradley 54 mins) Olusemo (for Mutswunguma 78 mins), Noble (for Watkins 89 mins).

Cards:  Sutton (Y – 37 mins), Gomarsall (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Biggleswade FC:  Josephs, Simpson, Oswick, Richardson. Newton, George, Barnes, Coles, Cookman, Marsh, Inskip

Subs:  Payne (for Richardson 17 mins), Moriarty (for Cookman 67 mins), Fisher (for Barnes 86 mins), Kelly and Joy.

Cards:  Cookman (Y – 37 mins), Payne (Y – 64 mins), Oswick (Y – 86 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Referee:  Alan Cresswell (Milton Keynes)

Attendance:       144

 

John Walker

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL 

Thame United        6            St Neots Town        0       

“How can a side dominate the opening 30 minutes of a match and go on to lose 6-0?”  

That was the unanswered question circulating amongst the visiting side after their latest drubbing.  It is sufficient to say that the visitors fell apart after conceding the first goal, but the fact is that once behind they never really looked like getting back into the match.   If you drill deeper into the match details, it is apparent that very poor defending was a major contributory factor but coupled with this a lack of confidence and determination to make amends for mistakes hangs heavily in the answer.   Overall it was a better performance than the midweek defeat at Welwyn, but Manager Marc Abbott and his staff must conjure up some swift improvement in performances after just a single victory in nine league outings.   Up until last weekend the side had conceded just two goals in three away fixtures but a further thirteen in four days on their travels has further dented their poor overall record. 

In a bid to freshen up his team and in a surprise move, Abbott left skipper Lee Watkins and former skipper Ben Bradley on the substitutes bench bringing in Alfie Connor and Joe Sutton in a revised line-up with Jake Noble handed the key centre half role.   Their cause was not helped when Alfie Connor became the third player this season to be sent off, after picking up two yellow cards in less than a minute for some very injudicious tackling.   It left his side with ten men for the final twelve minutes during which period they conceded a sixth goal.

The start was quite impressive.   St Neots carved out three early chances against what looked to be a hesitant home defence.   Alfie Connor sent a free kick the wrong side of the far post, Joe Sutton was also just off target with a snapshot from distance, and Daniel Olusemo shot over the bar – all in the first quarter of an hour.   Thame replied when from a Morgan Green cross, Thomas Ashworth stabbed the ball wide at the far post after 22 minutes and two minutes later Green was back defending at a corner to clear a Sutton cross off the goal line.    The Thame breakthrough came then, slightly against the general run of play after 32 minutes, when Jack Tutton moved inside Jake Noble to curl a shot around retreating goalkeeper James Philp.   Panny Boxer was felled by a lunging tackle earning Ben Sturgess the first caution of the match, and then two minutes before half time, Green crossed to the far post where Daniel West headed back across goal and when goalkeeper and defender failed to clear Tom Ashworth forced the ball in from close range.   There was still time for Boxer to pick up the first St Neots yellow card for a late tackle.

Philp produced a good save upon the resumption getting down to parry a shot from Gregory Hackett and on a counter-attack Sutton was just wide with his effort.   However, St Neots hopes of a quick comeback were dashed just five minutes after the restart when from a Hackett cross Ryan Blake rose high above the St Neots defence to head past Philp to make it 3-0 with all the goals down to shoddy defending.   At that point with 54 minutes gone, Marc Abbott decided to ‘go for broke’ sending on all three permitted substitutes.   Before the reshaped side had time to settle a fierce free kick was only parried to the feet of James Essex and he completed a simple finish after 56 minutes.   For a ten minutes spell St Neots looked revived with substitutes Ben Bradley and Lee Watkins driving them forward from midfield, but apart from off-target efforts from Jake Kerins and Jake Noble they failed to bother the home goal.   The fifth Thame goal after 65 minutes came from a Jordan Balogun cross to the far post where Gary Hackett rose to head home off the underside of the crossbar.  Connor’s dismissal followed before substitute Marcus Mealing became the sixth home player to put his name on the scoresheet as he converted a late penalty kick awarded for a goal line handball offence.

St Neots: Philp, Kerins, Smith, Connor, Noble, Goode, Sutton, Boxer, Musoke, Alusemo, Davies

 

Subs:  Watkins (for Sutton 54 mins), Mutswunguma (for Boxer 54 mins), Bradley (for Olusemo 54 mins), Shaw and Gomersal.

Cards:  Connor (RED – 2 x Y – 77 & 78 mins), Boxer (Y – 45+1 mins), Watkins (Y – 90 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Thame:  Hill, Balogun, Green, Essex, Jewell, Ashworth, Hackett, Tutton, Sturgess, West, Blake

Subs:  Harris (for Tutton 60 mins), Goss (for West 64 mins), Mealing (for Hackett 73 mins), Mapley and Lynn.

Cards:  Sturgess (Y – 36 mins), Blake (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  Tutton (32 mins), Ashworth (43 mins), Blake (50 mins), Essex (56 mins), Hackett (65 mins), Mealing (80 mins)

 

Referee:  Mark West (Northampton)

Attendance:       147

 

John Walker

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

Welwyn Garden City        7            St Neots Town        1       

It was hardly ideal preparation for an important away midweek match.   Most of St Neots’ players and officials (plus the Referee and his Assistants) were held up on the A1(M) because of a serious accident, for more than an hour and three quarters in stationary traffic on the way to the match.   As a result, the start was delayed, and the match eventually kicked off at 8.30 pm.    Not the perfect start for St Neots three recent additions to the squad all who made their debut at Welwyn.   The host side flying high at present with only one defeat in eight league starts, plus two victories over Premier Division teams in the League Cup, proved just two good for St Neots, and inflicted on them their heaviest ever Southern League defeat, and their worst league reversal for 13 years.   It must have been a salutary experience for the three newcomers to the side, forwards Alan Musoke from Amersham Town and Daniel Olusemo from Royston Town,  and midfielder Mikey Davis from Cambridge City, who had little opportunity to show their potential.   They replaced Prince Mutswunguma, Sam Bennett, Sam Gomarsall and Stevan Shaw in the starting line-up with Jake Noble recalled to the side.   There are now two further away trips to Thame (Saturday) and Biggleswade FC (Wednesday) to regroup and try to salvage some pride.

 

St Neots looked good enough in the very early stages, but they were rocked back on their heels when Welwyn went ahead after seven minutes in their first attack in which they won a corner from which home skipper Dave Keenleyside volleyed into the net.   That seemed to set a pattern for the first half with Callum Stead rampant for Welwyn on the right and Elliot Bailey and Eusebio Da Silva squandering promising openings.   St Neots one clear chance was a breakaway attack in which the home keeper came 30 yards from his line to head clear and although James Philp saved well from Stead the pressure was growing.   After 28 minutes the home side doubled their advantage when from a Lee Close free kick, Da Silva knocked the ball down to the unmarked Elliot Bailey to convert and four minutes later the same Welwyn player scored again after more unselfish play from Da Silva.   St Neots look shell-shocked and having to defend in numbers on a permanent basis but there was more punishment to come four minutes before half time when Dave Keenleyside unleashed a powerful shot from 35 yards that seemed to mesmerise the St Neots goalkeeper and establish his side with a game-winning 4-0 lead.

St Neots needed to dig deep to find a device to stop the non-stop attacking from the home side but any plan to do this was further damaged just three minutes after the restart when Elliot Bailey completed a twenty minutes hat trick to make it 5-0 before making way to a substitute to deserved rapturous home applause.   St Neots also sent on two substitutes and seemed to be able to stem the flow for around twenty minutes during which time full back Jake Kerins pulled back a consolation goal – his second from outside the area this season.   However, towards the end the home side began to assert themselves again as St Neots seemed to tire, and eleven minutes from time Callum Stead produced Welwyn’s sixth goal with a solo effort.   Three minutes later Kerins almost scored a second goal for the visitors – another lengthy effort that beat the home keeper but rebounded from the crossbar.   Predictably Welwyn had the last word as substitute Tony Cathline completed the scoring through a weary St Neots defence.

St Neots: Philp, Kerins, Smith, Noble, Boxer, Goode, Bradley, Watkins, Musoke, Alusemo, Davies

 

Subs:  Sutton (for Noble 54 mins), Shaw (for Boxer 54 mins), Mutswunguma (for Davies  73 mins), Connor and Bennett.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Kerins (65 mins)

 

Welwyn:  Tavares, Bradshaw,  Alomenu, Walklin, Rolfe, Close, Stead, Ironton, Da Silva, Keenleyside, Bailey

Subs:  Ebengo (for Da Silva 61 mins), Cathline (for Bailey 61 mins), Payne (for Stead 69 mins), Mensah and Smaldone.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Bailey 3 (28, 32 and 48 mins), Keenleyside 2 (5 & 41 mins), Stead  (68 mins) and Cathline (77 mins)

 

Referee:  Ryan Dix (Milton Keynes)

Attendance:       125

 

John Walker

 

We would like to welcome three new signings this afternoon (Monday 14th October 2019)

Please join us in welcoming ALAN MUSOKE, DANIEL OLUSEMO and MIKEY DAVIS to St Neots Town Football Club.

Alan Musoke (24) is a six foot tall Centre Forward who was at Cambridge United, Stevenage, Oxford United, Hayes and Yeading  and AFC Bournemouth as a youngster and numbers Chertsey Town, Aylesbury FC, Fleet Town and Amersham Town among his former clubs in senior football.

Daniel Olusemo (23) is another six foot plus striker who has signed for us from Royston Town. Daniel numbers Grimsby Town (Youth), Oxford City (Youth), Oxford United (extended trial), Crawley Town U23's, Ware FC and Braintree Town FC among his former clubs.

Mikey Davis (20) is a left sided player who can play both in midfield and defence and joins us from Cambridge City where he has made a number of First Team appearances over the past two seasons. Prior to City, Mikey numbers Grimsby Town, Haverhill Borough and Haverhill Rovers as his former clubs.

Also, at this time, we say goodbye to both Mason Rhiney and Tim N'Kala, who have today been released by the Club so please join us as we say thank you to honest lads for all their efforts and we wish them all the very best luck for their footballing futures.

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        0        Barton Rovers       2

 

With almost a full squad to choose from St Neots will be disappointed with a fourth straight home defeat.   But for an inspired performance by home keeper James Philp the reversal would have been heavier.    After the break with his side chasing the game, Barton set up several good counter attacking moves that could have led to further goals, but the keeper was alert and agile and fully deserved his second half clean sheet.   However, there are still defensive concerns for Manager Marc Abbott because with Stevan Shaw back from suspension and injury, he was able to name his first choice back four, but his side have now conceded 17 goals in four home games and this is a major problem that must be arrested.  Barton came into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 away victory at Hullbridge in the FA Trophy and they were probably the best visiting side of the season, but the bottom line was yet another defeat.   With Coleshill picking up points this week St Neots are beginning to look more isolated just one point above the wrong end of the league table.

Barton made a very impressive start with a series of quick-fire, neat attacking moves to test the home defence.   In their first attack Tony Williams directed a free header over the bar and Jemale McKenzie-Lowe then had a net bound shot blocked by a defender.   St Neots meantime made little progress in attack and after 12minutes they fell behind when a defender appeared to miss a free kick by Jerome Jibodi and behind him Jemale McKenzie-Lowe stabbed the ball past the surprised Philp.   The slick passing visitors continued to dominate the attacking play with Victor Osobu setting up Nathan Tshikuna but Philp saved comfortably.   St Neots did break out just past the half hour for Sam Goode to win a Lee Watkins corner, but his looping header rebounded from the crossbar with visiting keeper Kyle Forster beaten and in the same attack Prince Mutswunguma shot wide when he should at least have tested the keeper.   The second Barton goal six minutes before the break left St Neots chasing the game but it never should have been allowed!   From an Osobu cross Dean Dummett headed past the keeper but had clearly shoved his marker in the back – something not spotted by the match officials.   In the three minutes before half time Prince Mutswunguma had two clear shooting chances for the hosts but he put one wide and aimed the second too close to the keeper.

 

It was again the visitors who made the better start on the resumption.   Philp distinguished himself with a fine early save from Dummett and both Garry Jones and McKenzie-Lowe were off target with their efforts after neat attacking moves.  However, St Neots were now striving to rustle up a recovery and Ben Bradley sent a free kick over the bar and substitute Joe Sutton on for Sam Gomersal made an early impact scything through the defence to be brought down but again the free kick was squandered.    Bradley then set up Sam Bennett, but he lost control as he was about to shoot, and the chance went begging.   At the other end Philp made two excellent saves to deny Williams and McKenzie-Lowe and St Neots tried to benefit from this but from a Sutton free kick Goode volleyed over the bar.   The last few minutes saw Mutswunguma again in attacking action firstly bringing a good save from Forster and then off-balance after beating two defenders, shooting high over the bar.   Another disappointing home defeat but signs of some improvement to build on with the side without a match for the next ten days due to their untimely FA Trophy exit.

St Neots: Philp, Kerins, Smith, Boxer, Shaw, Goode, Gomarsall, Watkins, Bennett, Bradley, Mutswunguma

 

Subs:  Sutton (for Gomersall 71 mins), N’Kala (for Bradley 71 mins), Connor, Noble and Rhiney.

Cards:  none

Goals:  none

 

Barton:  Forster, Jibodu, Jones, Dummett, Sonuga, McKenzie-Lowe, Osobu, Gibson, Thomas, Tshikuna, Williams

Subs:  Olaniran (for Thomas 80 mins), Weekes (for Osobu 84 mins), Griffith (for Jibodu 90 mins), Gittins and Lukulay,

Cards:  Thomas (Y – 8 mins), Jones (Y – 63 mins), Gibson (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  Jemale McKenzie-Lowe (12 mins), Dean Dummett (39 mins)

 

Referee:  Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       229

 

John Walker

 

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