The Club is very excited to announce that Grant Ager, Paul Dodson, Mick McCreanor and Steve Kester have agreed to represent St Neots Town FC in an official capacity as Club Ambassadors.

 

The responsibility of an ambassador is to act as a representative of the Club, to uphold the clubs values and beliefs, to liaise with the Community  and support Community driven initiatives, to support and  attend (where possible) social functions and  to promote and liaise with the St Neots Town Community vets as well as much else.

 

Barry Cavilla - St Neots Town FC Chairman said

"It's really important that we remain focused on driving the club forward to ensure a strong and stable business model. These ambassadors are very much part of the clubs fabric, as such they are very much part of our future and will undoubtedly represent the club with passion, pride and honesty just as they did when they slipped on the playing shirt in the not too distant past. Welcome aboard Grant, Paul, Mick and Steve and thank you from all at the club for your ongoing commitment to St Neots Town FC"

UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW

This Saturday sees us travel to Banbury United for our next Southern League fixture.

The restructure of non-league football meant that the 2004-05 season was anticipated as keenly as any in the history of the club and Banbury United were equal to the challenge of Premier Division football – but only just. Winless after five games, they rose to ninth by the end of October but then struggled and by February had sunk to within one place of the relegation zone and spent two months there before a late improvement saw them to safety with a game to spare.   Five wins in the first eight games of the 2011-2 season took United to second place but as players left the cash-strapped club, tempted by better offers, an alarming slump followed. Winning only six of their next 31 matches, United fell into the relegation places on Easter Monday. Two wins in the last three games saw them to safety.   In 2013/14 Banbury finished 16th in the table nine points above the relegation zone.  Relegated the following season Banbury bounced straight back to the Premier Division via the play-offs.  Since then Banbury finished one place shy of the play-offs in 2016/17 and last season they were ninth.  This season they have started well and are fifth in the table – still unbeaten – with a match in hand of the four clubs ahead of them.

Our record at Banbury is not good with just one victory and two draws in five visits.   The one victory came five seasons ago when Jay Davies scored the only goal of the game but last season we battled well to a 1-1 draw with Dylan Williams producing a second half equalizer after we had trailed at the break.   At home it is a different story with four victories in five matches.  Good news for Saints fans is that it is expected that former striker Nabil Shariff is expected to be in the starting line-up following his return from his short spell with Stratford Town

John Walker

 

 

 

THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE CAMBRIDGE DIVISION

ST NEOTS TOWN U18       2         SAFFRON WALDEN U18       1

St Neots skipper Leon Fulianty inspired his side to a narrow hard-fought victory over a visiting Saffron Walden side that pushed them all the way.   This was Walden’s first match of the season having finished last season in joint third place after a disappointing start to their season.   In a tense second half either side could have snatched victory after going to the break level, but the visitors’ finishing was wasteful whilst the winning St Neots goal was one to savour.

St Neots got off to the perfect start after seven minutes when Jacob Joseph scored a great individual goal.   Receiving the ball in a packed penalty area he cleverly back heeled it to create space and beat visiting keeper Josh Bates with an angled shot.   Walden hit back with Zac Hassan tormenting the home defence as he almost levelled the scores going past two defenders to see his shot well blocked by Joe Burberry.   The keeper was then in action again falling on the ball at the feet of Daniel Joannou after his defence had been breached.   St Neots were creating their own openings with Adrian O’Hara shooting wide and Sam Routs seeing his effort deflected for a corner.  Ethan Williams shot wide after a slick Walden attack but after 39 minutes Burberry missed his attempted clearance and the ball fell at the feet of Alex Cannon for a simple equalizer.  The first half ended in a flurry of activity with Hassan firing narrowly over the bar and St Neots getting the ball in the opposition net but seeing the effort ruled out.

Joe Rider should have restored St Neots lead five minutes after the restart when played clear by Routs, but he saw his effort pushed away at full stretch and then Joseph shot over after good work by O’Hara.   However, the match became scrappy with neither side able to create chances and a stalemate threatened.   With fifteen minutes left Wealden created an excellent opening when a pacey four-man move split the home defence to set up Hassan by Burberry produced a full length save and within a minute the winning goal arrived at the other end.  Leon Fulianty won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and sped past two opponents to exchange passers with Joseph.   Reaching the bye line, he picked out Joe Rider for a simple tap-in match winner.   Walden set up a late charge in a bid to save a point but Burberry saved well from Ethan Williams and the unmarked Joe Cunning put a free header wide from a late corner.

 

St Neots Town:  Burberry, Leagas, Roberts, Rowland, Goodridge, Fulianty, Joseph, O’Hara, Rider, Routs, Wood

Subs used:   Cathergood, Humble, Rudland, and Brown (B).

Referee: Gary Pond                                                                                               

(John Walker)

Please Welcome our new Assistant Manager – Jack Cassidy – To St Neots Town Football Club

Manager MATT CLEMENTS has moved quickly to fill the vacant Assistant Manager’s post after yesterday’s announcement of MATT HANIVER’s departure to sunnier shores by appointing another highly regarded, hugely talented young man to fill the void in the form of JACK CASSIDY.

JACK, An FA Level 1 and 2, FA Goalkeeping Level 2 and UEFA ‘B’ Licence Coach, joins us after a nine month spell as First Team Coach at Southern League Central Division Club Bedford Town. JACK is better known locally having spent a highly successful spell as Assistant Manager to Ricky Marheineke at St Ives Town, Having helped the Saints achieve promotion to STEP 3 Football under their stewardship. Prior to this, JACK had spells working at Histon FC and Scottish side Partick Thistle.

Please join us in welcoming JACK to The Saints and we hope your time with us will be successful, enjoyable and an engaging time for you.

On a day of celebrations for the Club, with the First Team winning in the FA Cup and the Reserves winning their first three points of the season, it's also tinged with sadness as we announce that Assistant Manager MATT HANIVER is to leave the club.

In what he quite rightly described as an "opportunity of a lifetime and one which he just couldn't turn down", MATT will be jetting of to Saudi Arabia to take up the position of Lead Coach at the Juventus Academy.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish Matty all the very best of luck in his new appointment and thank him for all his time and efforts spent with Matt Clements on the training ground, along with the now departed David Bridges, moulding this group of talented individuals into a very entertaining, competitive unit and in the dugout on a matchday and, of course Matt, you will always be made very, very welcome should you choose to come visit us in the future.

Once A Saint, Always A Saint

EMIRATES FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND

St Neots Town       2        Bishops Stortford       1                                                                                        

A ten-man St Neots side put up a tremendous performance against the odds to defeat Bishops Stortford and move into the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for only the second time in five seasons.   With the £6,000 Emirates sponsorship in the bank they now await the draw for the next round.   The outcome of the match probably depended most on a shockingly harsh decision by Braintree referee Anthony Pope to issue St Neots skipper Luke Knight a red card for what at worst was a clumsy challenge as he brought down Jordan Westcott after half an hour.   What seemed to contribute to the decision more than the tackle was the outrageous behavior of most of the visiting side who surrounded the official demanding Knight’s dismissal.   Had that decision been the standard for the match there would have been several more players sent for an early bath.   However, to St Neots lasting credit they rolled up their sleeves and worked non-stop to eliminate their numerical disadvantage and it must be said for more than an hour there was no sign that the visitors had the extra man.    There were enforced changes in the St Neots line-up with loan players Finley Iron (goalkeeper) and Ben Worman unable to play under their loan agreement and James Peters sitting out injured.   Into the side came goalkeeper Harry Reynolds for his debut along with Gary Wharton and Dylan Williams after injury.

St Neots looked the better in the opening stages displaying an obvious fitness advantage over their visitors and they were unlucky not to go ahead after just four minutes when Taylor Parr headed on a Johnny Herd lengthy throw and Harry O’Malley crashed a shot on the inside of a goalpost to be scrambled clear.  Dion Sembie-Ferris looked very lively in attack and he went clear of the defense but shot wide and then he moved smartly inside his marker to see a net-bound shot blocked by a defender.   For the visitors, Jake Cass saw an acrobatic overhead effort sail harmlessly over the bar and then from an Alfie Mason corner giant defender Lance Atkins rose above the defense but headed over the bar.    The sending off seemed to slow things down as St Neots regrouped but with seven minutes to go before the break Claudio Ofosu wriggled inside two defenders to be brought down by Johnville Renee resulting in a penalty kick which Dylan Williams tucked confidently ahead to put St Neots in front.

For a short spell the visitors seemed to be in the ascendancy after the break.   Following an Elliot Ronto corner the ball was forced into the net, but the Referee spotted a foul on Harry Reynolds and then Cass tested the keeper with a crisp from fifteen yards, but he saved well.   He then had to leave his line smartly to parry an Atkins narrow-angled volley, but St Neots replied with a Herd cross that found Sembie-Ferris at the far post but visiting keeper Calum Kitscha saved well.   It was now and end-to-end contest with chances created and in the same attack a Parr volley following a corner was deflected wide of goal, and then a Herd shot suffered the same fate.  Both sides sent on substitutes to freshen up their attack and it began to look that St Neots could hold to their slim advantage and even build on it as a Tom Wood volley sailed just wide and Sembie-Ferris was brought down on the edge of the area when clear surprisingly resulting only in a caution for Atkins.   Neither side could be faulted for effort as yellow cards were liberally shown but it was Stortford who made the break through as Jake Cass produced a well-placed shot to level the scores after 77 minutes.   St Neots sent on Kasey Douglas and within fifty seconds of his appearance he was perfectly placed to side foot home a Sembie-Ferris cross after a great through pass from Matt Miles.   Now again in front St Neots looked fairly secure although the Referee added on five extra minutes to be endured.   Substitute Chingdu Osaoebe was red-carded after the final whistle after an exchange of views with the Referee.

 

St Neots:  Reynolds, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, O’Malley, Wharton, Williams, Ofosu

Subs:  Stanley (for Williams 66 mins), Keeble (for O’Malley 72 mins), Douglas (for Ofosu 82 mins) and Olaniran.

Cards:  Knight (RED 30 mins), Ofosu (Y – 34 mins), Sembie-Ferris (Y – 70 mins), Keeble (Y – 88 mins), O’Malley (Y – 90+4 mins)

Goals:  Williams (38 mins - pen), Douglas (83 mins)

Stortford:  Kitscha, Renee, Greegan, Thomas, Atkins, Robbins, Mason, Westcott, Cass, Ronto, Charles

Subs:  Cureton (for Ronto 64 mins), Osaoebe (for Mason 69 mins), Olusanya (for Greegan 86 mins), Green, Adeyemi, Brassington and Oakman.

Cards:  Robinson – Asst Manager (RED – after match), Westcott (Y – 86 mins), Atkins (Y – 74 mins)

Goals:  Cass (77 mins)

Referee:  Anthony Pope (Braintree)

Attendance:  209

 

John Walker

UPCOMING MATCHES PREVIEW

This weekend sees us on our long trip to the FA Cup Final at Wembley next May!!

Yes, it is the First Round Qualifying of the FA Cup and for the fifth time in seven seasons since we have been at Step Three and have entered the competition at this stage, we have been favoured with a home tie.   Twice in those home ties we have won and twice drawn but on both of the replays away from home we were beaten.  Our last home defeat in the FA Cup here at the Premier Plus Stadium was four years ago in the Second Round Qualifying when we had drawn at Canvey Island but lost the replay.    Our visitors this Saturday are to be Bishops Stortford who are now playing in the Bostik (Isthmian League) having been moved sideways from the Southern League Premier Division in the latest FA reorganization.

Stortford were here earlier this year (24th March) for a Southern League Premier Division match which was their only other visit for a competitive fixture.   That match finished 2-2 with our visitors taking the lead a minute before the break.   Nabil Shariff and Dylan Williams then scored to put us ahead at 2-1 but with four minutes left the visitors snatches a late equaliser to take a point home back down the M11.   The incentive to do well in this competition is unashamedly financial – maybe this will be the year we make up for all those disappointments.  The last time we tasted real success was our trip to the First Round Proper in 1966/67 so maybe we are overdue a good run.   Bishops Stortford on the other hand were the first ever club to lift both the FA Amateur Cup and the FA Trophy so their cup pedigree is assured.   Four years ago (2013/14) Stortford reached the First Round Proper losing to Northampton Town after four earlier victories in the competition.

Both of our sides would dearly love a good National Cup run this season in the hope that it would boost a rather flagging start to the season.   Both our sides have played six league fixtures and only won one each - both having identical records - five points from six matches.  

 

John Walker

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP

St Neots Town       2        Bedford Town       2                                                                                        

(St Neots win 4-1 on penalties)

After an indifferent first half performance when they were outplayed by their Step Four neighbors Bedford Town, St Neots recovered strongly after the break, to twice come back from behind before confidently winning a penalty shoot-out to progress to the second round of the league cup.    St Neots’ record in penalty shoot-outs in League and National Cup competition is very poor with four consecutive defeats prior to this match but that record was firmly laid to rest as four players produced unstoppable penalty kicks to supplement an outstanding save by Finley Iron to send Bedford on their way to defeat.  The result also ended a run of three defeats in the competition at the hands of lower graded clubs, but on this occasion Manager Matt Clements, looking for some consistency from his side, opted to name his strongest available line up and was rewarded with the victory.   The only change in the starting line-up saw the inclusion of Ben Worman – on loan from Cambridge United – in place of Gary Wharton who was on the substitutes bench.

There was a very scrappy start to the match with Bedford looking the more composed side.   Ashton Grant powered down the left riding two defensive tackles to cross for Dan Walker who headed wide despite being under no pressure.   Then after nine minutes out of nowhere Bedford went ahead as Connor Furlong picked up a casual clearance 25 yards from goal and hit an angled low shot under the despairing dive of Finley Iron.   St Neots tried to get back into the match and Claudio Ofosu found pace to go beyond visiting goalkeeper Niall Cooper, but defender Dean Dummett got back to smother his shot.   From a Ben Ford corner Ollie Swain was left unmarked but he header tamely over the bar and then Iron was forced into a good save from former Saint Ben Ford.   St Neots lack of accuracy in passing and their failure to produce ball retention was handing the initiative to their opponents, but towards half time the balance seemed to be tipping in St Neots’ favor as Worman had a narrow angled shot saved at the near post after 33 minutes, and following a Luke Knight free kick eight minutes later, James Peters volleyed in to side netting from a tight angle.

The match followed a much different pattern after the break with St Neots firmly in the ascendancy.   Two minutes after the restart a Johnny Herd free kick was mishandled by Cooper who had Dummett to thank as he cleared off the line.   Peters was injured and replaced by Kasey Douglas, but this did not hamper St Neots as Harry O’Malley fired over the bar and Cooper had to save bravely at the feet of Taylor Parr.   After 63 minutes Dion Sembie-Ferris saw his shot rebound from the foot of a post but the pressure on the Bedford goal was building and two minutes later Parr hooked a Matt Miles free kick back into the penalty area and Harry O’Malley scored his first goal for St Neots.   Ofosu then curled a shot inches wide of the far post but St Neots were pegged back again after 72 minutes when a ball over the top of the defense sent Dan Walker clear.   He looked a good five yards offside but was allowed to continue to shoot past Iron to put his side back in front.   Three minutes later parity was restored as a Sembie-Ferris shot rebounded from the woodwork and attempting to clear, Cade Stephen-Abbey turned the ball into his own net for a second St Neots equalizer.   Subsequently in the last 15 minutes St Neots were on top, but Warman hit the keeper’s legs with one effort and headed a second over the bar, so the match went to a penalty shoot-out.  Taylor Parr, Dion Sembie-Ferris and Johnny Herd all put their kicks away whilst Iron produced a full length save to deny Jermaine Hall and when Taylor Rhiney fired high over the bar. St Neots skipper Luke Knight made it four successful kicks in a row to win the tie.

 

St Neots:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Worman, O’Malley, Sembie-Ferris, Peters, Ofosu

Subs:  Douglas (for Wharton 50 mins), Keeble (for O’Malley 86 mins) Olaniran and Wharton.

Cards:  none

Goals:  O’Malley (65 mins), OG (75 mins)

Bedford:  Cooper, Stephen-Abbey, Jarrold, Grant, Dummett, Swain, Rhiney, Ford, Walker, Hall, Furlong

Subs:  Longden (for Stephen-Abbey 76 mins), Draycott (for Jarrold 76 mins), Watkins-Clark (for Ford 79 mins), Daniel and Roach.

Cards:  Grant (Y – 64 mins)

Goals:  Furlong (9 mins), (Walker 72 mins)

Referee:  Tim Donnellan (Leighton Buzzard)

Attendance:  179

 

John Walker

 

THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE CAMBRIDGE DIVISION

ST NEOTS TOWN U18       7         LONG MELFORD       1

St Neots kicked off their home league programme with a very comfortable victory over league new boys Long Melford.   With a slightly varied line up from the first match they looked more comfortable and balanced and they scored regularly against a side that posed little threat to their defence that was well marshalled by skipper Leon Fulianty.    The feature was a well-deserved hat trick for Markel Cousins adding to the goal he scored in the first match.

The hosts could not have had a better start scoring in their first attack after just 55 seconds.   Jacob Joseph was the provider with a delightful through ball inside the full back and Markel Cousins powered past the last defender to shoot across visiting keeper Michael Bell.   Daniel Harewood should have levelled the scores three minutes later when the home defence failed to pick him up, but he shot well wide with the goal at his mercy.   After 19 minutes Brad Brown was brought down in the area and Leon Fulianty doubled St Neots’ advantage from the penalty spot.   Cousins could have added to the score, but the keeper saved bravely at his feet and then Melford scored against the run of play after 36 minutes when Callum Denson picked out James Burgess with Ash Brown getting his fingers to the shot but unable to stop the ball.   However, St Neots found the perfect counter-punch less than a minute later when a delightful move involving Jacob Joseph and Cousins ended with the former making the score 3-1.   Another goal a minute before the break really cemented St Neots’ superiority as Jake Wood netted from 25 yards.

The second half saw Melford win a better share of possession, but they failed to create enough openings to test the St Neots defence.  Around the hour St Neots increased their lead when substitute Kyle Cathergood headed in a Wood corner.   Logan Pigram cleared off the line after 73 minutes with his keeper beaten to deny Cousins, but the striker only had to wait a further five minutes to make up for that disappointment as he picked up a Kyle Rudland through ball to net from a narrow angle.    The scoring was completed eight minutes from time when Cousins completed his hat trick to send Melford home still searching for their first points of the season.

 

St Neots:  Brewer, Leagas, Rowland, Humble, Fulianty, Joseph, O’Hara, Cousins, Brown (B), Wood

Subs used:   Ford, Coppolaro, Rudland, Cathergood and Brown (J).

Referee: Alex Setchell                                                                                                

(John Walker)

SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Halesowen Town       1         St Neots Town       1

St Neots produced a marked improvement in their performance on their first ever league trip to Halesowen and were unlucky to concede an equalizing goal five minutes into added time, to return home with just one point.   In almost the last action of the game they seemed to lose concentration as they failed to defend a corner and a powerful header did the damage.   The two team changes saw Gary Wharton make his Southern League debut replacing Prince Mutswumguma whilst Johnny Herd returned at full back in place of Jack Keeble.   It was disappointing not to record a first away league victory of the season, but Manager Matt Clements was philosophical, happy to dwell on the performance rather than the result.   With Wharton leading the attack the side looked more balanced and confident – a good sign ahead of the start of two of the sides’ cup competitions in the next seven days.

In bright late summer sunshine, the visitors totally dominated the opening 25 minutes of the match and should have made their superior possession count.   Skipper Luke Knight had an early effort deflected for a corner and then Gary Wharton produced a burst of speed to beat home keeper Daniel Platt to a through ball but ran out of pitch before he could direct the ball towards goal.   Claudio Ofosu was terrorizing the home defense and he shot wide after a mazy run, and then Dion Sembie-Ferris had a header cleared off the line by Asa Charlton following a corner.   The same player then brought a full length save from the home keeper who was in constant action.    The only real Halesowen attack during this period saw Finlay Iron leave his line to head clear 20 yards from goal as Lee Hughes looked to take advantage of a square lying back four.   The home side opted for a first half substitution sending on Jordan Goddard for Daniele Bragoli and the only clear chance for them came after 33 minutes when Lee Hughes cut in from the left and an acrobatic volley by Ivor Lawton rebounded from the St Neots cross bar.   Wharton had as shot well gathered by Platt just before the interval and the visitors went to the break deservedly pleased by their first half performance.

Sembie-Ferris had the first second half chance going clear from an Ofosu cross field pass, but Platt pushed his effort away to be scrambled clear by Jack Kelly and then as Halesowen came more into the games Ahmed Ali headed wide when well placed.   St Neots hard work was rewarded after 58 minutes when Claudio Ofosu burst inside his marker and sent in a dipping shot that the keeper seemed to misjudge as it passed over his head and under the bar at the far post.   The lead was no less than St Neots deserved but it provoked a spell of Halesowen pressure and James Roberts should have scored when he went clear of the visiting defense, but his weak finish was easily gathered by Iron.   After 67 minutes Hughes got the ball in the St Neots net from a left-wing cross by Jack Kelly, but his effort was ruled out by an offside flag, but St Neots were still creating their own chances with Taylor Parr seeing a header from a Johnny Herd corner deflected over the cross bar.   Roberts then went close for the home side cutting in from the left and seeing his narrow-angled shot strike a goal post and rebound to safety.   With only a few minutes remaining St Neots sacrificed Wharton to send on substitute Jack Keeble as an additional defender in a bid to preserve their slender advantage.   A Kelly cross was mishandled by Iron, but Tom Wood was on hand to clear and as the match moved deep into added time it looked as though St Neots would hold on.   Then Ali curled a corner to the far post and Asa Charlton rose above the defense to head past Iron and secure an unlikely point for his side.

Claire Howes Photo Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/

 

St Neots:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, O’Malley, Wharton, Peters, Ofosu

Subs:  Keeble (for Wharton 87 mins), Olaniran and Douglas.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Ofosu (58 mins)

 

Halesowen:  Platt, Bragoli, Kelly, Ali, Baker, Charlton, Hurst, Rea, Hughes, Roberts, Lawton

Subs:  Goddard (for Bragoli 30 mins), Gilpin (for Lawton 64 mins), Ebanks-Blake (for Hughes 72 mins), Ezewele, Tonks.

Cards:  Hughes (Y – 29 mins), Roberts (Y – 90 mins)

Goals:  Charlton (90+5 mins)

Referee:  Richie Watkins (Nuneaton)

Attendance:  358

 

John Walker

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