Southern League Premier Division

ST NEOTS TOWN  2 - 1  BANBURY UNITED      

Drew Roberts saved his side potential embarrassment three minutes from time when he netted a typical opportunist goal to seal all three points against bottom of the table Banbury United.  

It was the striker’s first goal in five games but it took his total to 24 for the season to equal the tally of last season’s top scorer Lewis Hilliard. Banbury looked like a side struggling at the wrong end of the table but they never gave up trying and their pace in attack always made them look potentially dangerous on the break.

St Neots paraded their latest signing, the experienced Mat Mitchel-King, recently with Dartford in the Football Conference but who can number amongst his former clubs Crewe Alexandra and AFC Wimbledon in the Football League. He slotted into midfield in place of the now departed David Hutton, who has gone to near neighbours Biggleswade Town and made a solid start as his side threatened much but delivered little in terms of goal scoring chances. Also making his St Neots debut, as a second half substitute, was full back Sam Harty, who became the fourth new signing for Manager David Batch.

There was a slow start to the game and St Neots got a shock in Banbury’s first attack after nine minutes when the visitors’ snatched a surprise lead. Adam Tann conceded a careless free kick that was crossed to the far post by Jordan Green and when the home defence failed to clear Lerou Tahin pounced to score from close range. Mitchel-King had an early impact heading on a long throw from Max York to bring a full length push clear from visiting keeper Leigh Bedwell and then he had a threatening shot blocked by a defender. Drew Roberts broke clear on the left to cross to the far post when Ben Mackey just failed to get a touch and then at the other end lone striker Tahin put a snap shot just wide.

St Neots’ approach play was neat and concise but their final ball lacked quality and accuracy but they drew level after 34 minutes when a long cross from the left by Josh Bickerstaff saw a rare glancing header by Lewis Hilliard elude the despairing dive of Bedwell to creep in at the near post. It was no less than St Neots possession deserved and three minutes later Ben Mackey netted again only to be ruled fractionally offside and just before the break he had another net bound effort deflected for a corner.

Max York was withdrawn at half time with new man Sam Harty deputising and he quickly set up Hilliard for a weak finish. However, just past the hour, a Matt Spring corner was scraped off the line by Bedwell as far as Hilliard and his well directed shot towards the top corner of the net brought the save of the match from the visiting keeper. Tahin looked lucky only to pick up a yellow card after what looked like an elbow on Tann and in a bid to insert more pace to their attack St Neots sent on Lorenzo Ferrari. In a rare Banbury sortie forward, the versatile Jack Wilkinson moved from midfield to full back did well to clear off the St Neots line meantime frustration was growing with several promising St Neots attacks ended by the offside flag. 

Mitchel-King volleyed over the bar and when another disappointing draw looked to be St Neots fate they snatched a winner three minutes from time. Harty set up the chance with a cross from the right and when Ferrari’s initial shot was blocked, Drew Roberts displayed his predatory skills being in the right place at the right time with a clinical finish. A second goal had always looked likely to clinch the points and it could have been even better at the death but for a smart save by Bedwell from Matt Spring.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Mitchel-King, Tann, Ward, Hilliard, Spring, Mackey, Roberts, Wilkinson

Subs: Harty (for York 46), Ferrari (for Bickerstaff 67), Vieira (for Mackey 74), Ford and Plowright.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Hilliard (34 mins), Roberts (87 mins)

Banbury:  Bedwell, White, Martin, Cray, Hartigan, Ryan, Green, Martin, Tahin, Howards, Brown

Subs:  George (for Howards 55), Walcott (for Gilbert 67), Lewars (for Tahin 75) Tappin and Pope.

Cards:  Green (Y – 44), Tahin (Y – 63). Hartigan (Y – 77)

Goals:  Tahin (9 mins)

Attendance: 319

Referee: Sam Lewis (Flitwick)

John Walker

 

Football League Captain joins Saints

 
 
We are delighted to announce that 31yr old Midfielder Mat Mitchel-King has signed for the club. 
Fresh from playing in an FA Trophy Quarter Final last weekend for current club Dartford, Matt has been training with the Saints squad this week in the build up to tomorrow's home match v Banbury. 
In the last few seasons he has been Captain at both Crewe Alexandra and AFC Wimbledon in the Football League, after being spotted starring for Histon in their meteoric rise from Step 4 Football to Conference Play Offs. This year he has played most of the games for Dartford, who play at National Conference level. 
It won't be the first time he has played for Saints Manager David Batch. Mat's first club was Cambridge Utd, where he was a schoolboy player while Saints Manager David Batch was Youth Team before joining as a full time Scholar at Cambridge City when David became Manager. 
For Mat's thoughts, look out for our interview with Matt which will be coming soon...

 

More of this seasons past programmes added to newsstand

 

We have added two more of our past programmes into our "newsstand" feature

Enjoy the read.

 

 

Message from Chris Budd

 
It might come as a bit of a surprise to many that I am leaving, but I have been offered a full-time First Team Sports Therapist role at Norwich City Football Club. Whilst I have absolutely loved working for St Neots, I couldn't turn down such an offer from a very big club who have desires to get back into the Premier League.
 
My new role will involve working within the Medical Department at Norwich City and dealing with the First Team players during the week, either with recovery from injury or with daily maintenance, and on match days for both home and away games. It's very exciting for me to be able to work under Neal Reynolds (Head of Medical), who has a very good reputation within football from working with Norwich and Arsenal. I am really looking forward to contributing to my new club, whilst also improving my skills. 
 
I am really grateful to St Neots for the opportunity that they gave me, and it has been an amazing experience. The players have been fantastic to work with and I would like to thank all of the magnificent people working in all areas of the club, and of course the terrific supporters.
 
I will miss the club but I will keep up to date with how things are going. I wish the club all the best for the future!
Chris Budd

 

 

 

St Neots Town FC are looking for a highly professional and motivated Physiotherapist/Sports Rehabilitator/Sports Therapist to take up the position of First Team Physiotherapist. The ideal person will have a relevant qualification, a current First Aid qualification and experience of working with sports teams.

The successful candidate will need to work at all First Team matches (Saturdays and some Tuesdays mostly) as well as at training nights on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

 

Main Responsibilities:

•  Pitch side cover for all matches (includes injury assessment and first aid).
•  Pre and post-match massage and taping for players.
•  Injury assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for injured players.
•  Liaising with management about player injuries.
•  Keeping regular stock checks of oils and tape etc.
•  Ensuring that the changing room and treatment room have readily useable tapes at hand for matches.
 
Any interested parties should direct communicationsat the earliest opportunity to Lee Kearns (Managing Director) at the following email address:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
 

 

Question and Answer with Steve Eastaugh

We caught up with UEFA A licence coach Steve Eastaugh, new Assistant Manager at Saints, to give an insight into his background, his role at the club and what made him turn down a Managers job to be here ..

Was it a difficult decision to turn down the managers role at Sudbury?

I was flattered to be offered the position and we had lots of discussions but couldn’t quite get it over the line. There was a part of me that would of quite liked to seen through the work David and I had started, but it wasn’t to be. We had 4 great cup runs in 18 months and completely revamped the youth development pathway - whilst managing to get continued improvement in league positions, so it was a tough one to walk away from when we were 2 points off play offs with games in hand. 

However, I was in a fortunate position to be offered 2 fantastic jobs at the same time and I’m pleased with the choice I’ve made. I think Saints is where Sudbury will probably be in 3 years time - not in terms of first team level but more in terms of infrastructure and player development. 

What made you choose Saints?

I can remember when we played against St Neots in the Trophy, David and I had discussed what an excellent club this would be to be a part of one day and that kind of stuck in my mind. I’m also ambitious and the opportunity to work at a higher level, at a club that has aspirations to continue to progress was very appealing.

What will your role be at Saints?

Although my title is Assistant Manager, my background is youth development and I can already see what a fantastic set up is in operation here. Part of my role will be to assist Iain Parr with the integration of young talent into the first team squad and to support any of our coaching team in any way I can. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch some of the coaches work from U9’s all the way up to Anton Fife with the U21’s and I’ve been very impressed with the enthusiasm and talent of both the players and coaches.

What are your first impressions of the club?

The club is as professional as you will find at a semi professional level but that’s at every part of the club from the match day programme to the hospitality after games. Our challenge is to match the standards that have been set off the pitch, on it. The other thing that strikes me is how open to change both the players and backroom staff have been, there has been a real desire to improve and get better which is always really refreshing.

Steve Eastaugh

Assistant Manager First Team

 

Southern League Premier Division

HISTON  0 - 0   ST NEOTS TOWN       

When Manager David Batch arrived in late December one of his priorities looked to be tightening up the St Neots defence that had leaked 43 goals in just 26 matches and he has addressed this problem quite successfully for the side has conceded just three goals in the first five games of his reign including two clean sheets away from home.  

Unfortunately, at the same time the goals have dried up at the other end with only five scored in those five games and that includes three against Dunstable. Leading scorer Drew Roberts last hit the back of the net on January 1st and Ben Mackey returning from injury in this game for the suspended Nathan Frater has not scored since 6th December drawing a blank in each of his last four outings.

However this was a game in which the strikers should have improved on their recent records because opponents Histon, whom St Neots beat 4-0 at the Cozy Stadium in September, are a poor and very young side and never looked like scoring in this match.  

St Neots dominated possession, especially in the disappointing first half and should have been out of sight by half time. Luck was with Histon, whose defence blocked innumerable efforts and deflected others but if St Neots are to retain play off hopes they must dramatically increase their strike rate – and soon. Josh Bickerstaff also returned after missing thirteen games through injury and he slotted in comfortably and confidently at full back and also restored to the side following injury was midfielder Matt Spring.

It began badly for St Neots when central defender and skipper Ryan Frater broke down in the pre-match warm up with a recurrence of a calf strain to be replaced by David Hutton with Adam Tann handed Frater’s place in defence and the captain’s armband. Tom Ward’s headed flick from a Spring corner was St Neots first goal attempt but it was blocked and then from a free kick on the edge of the box Spring shot wide. St Neots were dominating despite never adapting to an extremely heavy pitch and Jack Wilkinson shot wide and Mackey headed over from a corner and had a second effort deflected wide. He was then tripped but no penalty was awarded and Drew Roberts headed over from one of half a dozen first half corners.  

Whilst all this was going on Histon managed just two serious shots on goal from Tye Phillips and Eugene Lambertucci but both were well off target with Paul Bastock in goal having a very easy half.

Histon began the second half much better and a Stuart Wall header from a corner forced Bastock into his only real save of the match at the foot of a post. Then after 52 minutes, in a scene resembling panic in the Histon defence, three close range shots were blocked before Mackey headed down a cross from the right for Wilkinson to net but he was ruled offside. In the melee, Histon full back Ashley White was injured and stretchered off to the dressing room.

The closest St Neots came to a goal was when Max York crossed to pick out the unmarked Mackey but his hurried shot hit Histon goalkeeper Enol Ordonez to rebound and be cleared. The Histon keeper continued to dominate his box cutting out dangerous crosses from York, Bickerstaff and substitute Ed Adjei and in a rare Histon attack Evan Key got the ball in the net for the home side but he had impeded Bastock and fortunately the effort was disallowed.

Youngster Luis Vieira was also introduced in a bid to add pace and variation in attack and he skied over the bar but St Neots were looking increasingly frustrated as a Bickerstaff shot was blocked and a Mackey effort deflected for a corner. Four minutes from time what looked like a deliberate handball in the penalty area by a Histon defender was missed by the Referee and that seemed to sum up St Neots’ afternoon. However deep into added time there was a yellow card for third substitute Ben Ford just five minutes after his late introduction.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Tann, Hutton, Ward, Hilliard, Spring, Mackey, Roberts, Wilkinson

Subs: Adjei (for Hutton 65), Vieira (for Hilliard 76), Ford (for Mackey 90 + 1), Plowright and Davis

Cards:  Ford (Y – 90 + 7)

Goals:  none

Histon:  Ordonez, Smith, White, Key, Wall, Rumens, Clark, Libertucci, Phillips, Simpson, Freeman

Subs:  McDonald (for White 53), Relizani (for Phillips 71), Fulcher (for Simpson 86) McCoy and North.

Cards:  none

Goals:  none

Attendance: 386

Referee: James Hillier (Bletchley)

John Walker

David Batch and his staff made a successful home début against our near neighbours Biggleswade Town. A tight game as usual and sealed with a thrilling last minute winner thanks to Ben Ford.

Video: Goals & Reaction 

 

Southern League Premier Division

WEYMOUTH  1 -  0   ST NEOTS TOWN      

Paul Bastock marked his 998th league appearance by saving a Weymouth penalty in the 79th minute, but his efforts were not enough to earn St Neots Town a point as they went down to a 1-0 loss on the south coast. 

His career began 27 years ago and his football travels has seen him play for nine different clubs including Cambridge United, Boston United, Rushden and Diamonds and St Albans City. Bastock's heroics in the 79th minute came  just moments after Stewart Yetton had given the hosts a decisive lead. He stopped Yetton's spot kick and in doing so gave the visitors hope but despite some late chances the best of which fell to Lewis Hilliard and Lorenzo Ferrari David Batch's men were unable to get back on terms.  

After their long trip around the motorway system Batch named a side containing just two fresh faces from Saturday’s home victory with Ryan Plowright preferred to Theo Davis at full back and Ben Ford coming in for Ed Adjei.

Weymouth started the match brightly but St Neots enjoyed some early opportunities, with Jack Wilkinson having a shot blocked and Drew Roberts hitting a half-chance over the Weymouth bar inside the opening 10 minutes. However Saints created very little after those chances and Weymouth began to take control and Bastock was forced into action saving at the feet of Yetton and with their greater possession the hosts always looked likely to make the breakthrough. 

St Neots did well to keep the score at 0-0 though as Chris McPhee shot just off target from long range and Adam Kelly had a shot deflected wide.  The visitors were again indebted to Bastock just before the interval, as made a good save to keep out Tim Sills after good work by Yetton.

St Neots adopted a more positive approach in the second half with a slightly different tactical line up with a back three of Ryan Frater, Max York and Tom Ward and this gave them a greater share of the midfield possession. Hilliard brought an excellent save from Weymouth keeper Jason Matthews and Roberts also went close to giving St Neots the lead when his shot fizzed just past the post.  

Weymouth was looking to get back to top spot in the league table and they were soon back on the front foot and made good use of the wide areas of the pitch.  

The deadlock was finally broken in the 68th minute when a cross from the left by Ashley Wells was won in the six-yard box by Yetton and he made no mistake to score from close range. St Neots found it hard to create any chances and when the hosts won a penalty in the 69th minute when Adam Tann was judged to have pushed an opponent it seemed as though the contest would be all over.  

However Bastock's save gave them more hope and in the closing stages they went back on the attack despite losing Ryan Frater who limped off to be replaced by Theo Davis.

Hilliard and substitute Ferrari came closest to equalizing but it was not to be for St Neots as they were left to contemplate a long journey home empty-handed while Weymouth celebrated their return to the summit and revenge for a defeat at the Cozy Stadium earlier in the season.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Plowright, Tann, Frater (R), Ward, Hilliard, Wilkinson, Frater (N), Roberts, For

Subs: Adjei (for Ford 62), Ferrari (for Plowright 72), Davis (for Frater (R) 78), and Hutton.

Cards:  Wilkinson (Y – 28), Roberts (Y – 61)

Goals:  none

Weymouth:  Matthews, Wells, Riley-Lowe, McPhee, Laird, Brooks, Kelly, Rigg, Yetton, Sills, Fiddes

Subs:  Copp (for Yetton 80), Reid (for McPhee 83), West, Colwell, and Jevon.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Yetton (68 mins)

Attendance: 409

Referee: Sam Ogles (Eastleigh)

John Walker

 

Nathan Frater signs new contract

 
Saints are delighted to announce that striker Nathan Frater has signed a contract with the club until the end of the 2015/16 season. 
 
'Nathan has loads of qualities that I like, all of which I think can be developed further', said First Team manager David Batch. 
'If he is prepared to work hard at improving them and we ensure everyone around him maximises these strengths, then he could be a real force at
this level'.