Former Cambridge United player signs for the Saints.

We have concluded our signing of Adam Tann from Leiston FC for an undisclosed transfer fee on an 18 month playing contract.

Adam is a very experienced centre half who can also play central midfield, or right back.

Former professional with Cambridge United, Leyton Orient and Notts County where he made over 200 appearances, he also played for Chelmsford City he then joined leiston.

Dave Batch our first team manager stated, "Adam is very experienced and still hungry, he also lives local to the club and I'm certain that he will contribute to making us stronger"

We welcome Adam to the club.

 

Jack Wilkinson signs from Sudbury

A Transfer fee has been agreed with AFC Sudbury for the club to sign Jack Wilkinson, who will go straight into Saturday's squad away at Paulton. 

Jack has earned plaudits this season and has had several step 3 clubs courting him following some outstanding and consistent displays playing Left Back at David Batch's old club. He joined from Haverhill Rovers after spells at Needham Market and as a youngster, Ipswich Town. 

He has also been effective at wide left and even centre midfield at times, bringing a flexibility that David Batch is keen to develop;

Dave Batch our First team manager stated,

'Players who can be trusted to perform in multiple positions are important. They keep the squad size lower, which have an effect on budget and camaraderie, as well as allowing in-game changes without wasting substitutes'. 

 

Joining David on the management staff are Steve Eastaugh as assistant manager  and Darren Plowman as goalkeeping coach.

Steve is also a UEFA 'A' licenced coach who has previously worked at Norwich City for 4 years with their academy before working with Dave at both Wroxham and AFC Sudbury.

Darren has worked previously at Norwich City where he was goalkeeping coach to a number of high profile goalkeepers, he also worked with Dave at both Wroxham and AFC Sudbury.

We welcome both Steve and Darren to the club.

 

 

Southern League Premier Division

DUNSTABLE TOWN  1 - 3   ST NEOTS TOWN

This result and performance marked a remarkably successful start for St Neots new Manager David Batch just recruited from AFC Sudbury. Just 48 hours after his appointment he found himself selecting his first St Neots side with no less than Twelve of the first team squad out through injury or illness.

Down to the bare bones to the extent that three dual registered players had to be imported from the Youth Saints to make up the numbers for this match.  

With so little choice available the focus was on tactics and Mr Batch came up with a fairly innovative 4-3-3 line up for the first half when his side were battling a head wind and this settled the side into a comfortable routine that produced chances up front and a solid base at the back.  

Once his side had scored he was able to shuffle his pack bringing on a defender and realigning his side into a 4-4-2 formation and this paid dividends towards the three points haul.  

Another remarkable factor is that St Neots first two goals came from brothers Ryan and Nathan Frater – scored against their former Club.

The three points lifted St Neots back into the play off mix with four Clubs now sharing fourth place in the table separated only by goal difference.

The first half was fairly evenly fought with neither side dominant although St Neots created almost all the scoring chances. In fact the only serious save that St Neots keeper Paul Bastock was forced to make came on the quarter hour when Charlie Henry hit a crisp shot from outside the penalty area but the keeper got down well to save.  

At the other end St Neots might have been ahead as early as the fifth minute when an off balance Drew Roberts fired over the bar and then eight minutes later Nathan Frater cut in the from the right to cross and the unmarked Roberts at the far post just failed to get a touch. After 24 minutes the best first half move saw Lorenzo Ferrari and Bruce Wilson combine to set up Roberts but his shot on the turn was only a foot beyond the far post with home keeper Luke Chambers beaten.  

Unable to cope with the wind that seemed to run the ball beyond their strikers Dunstable must have been hoping for the half time whistle and they ended the half with a hopeful but lengthy chip from Henry that never bothered Bastock.

However Dunstable did start the second half in a positive vein getting the ball in the net after just two minutes but with Bastock being held down by an attacker the effort was disallowed.  

Four minutes later St Neots took the lead as a Ben Ford corner was headed firmly into the net by skipper Ryan Frater for only his second league goal of the season.   After 59 minutes Dunstable levelled when a set piece corner was not cleared and Ben Herd nipped between defenders to head home from close range.  

However this did not seem to faze St Neots who continued to create chances and after David Hutton had hit the crossbar with an inswinging corner after 66 minutes they saw Roberts go close with a shot just wide of target.  

Then after 70 minutes Ryan Plowright who had been pushed forward into midfield slipped a clever short pass inside the full back to play Roberts clear and his unselfish cross was skilfully controlled by Nathan Frater to unleash a stinging shot low into the net to regain the lead for the visitors.  

Three minutes later Bruce Wilson’s well judged cross field ball once again found Drew Roberts lurking on the left and he stepped inside his marker to curl an exquisite shot around the helpless home keeper and underneath the angle of bar and post for a brilliantly taken goal.  

Bruce Wilson Succumbed to  injury where Young Scholar Louis Vieira came on and gave an impressive final 15 minutes.

Dunstable heads dropped and although they tried to push forward they only produced one worthwhile effort on goal in the remaining twenty minutes and Bastock comfortably dealt with that Scott Davies’ shot to ensure St Neots third league victory in their last four matches with Drew Roberts featuring on the score sheet on each occasion.

A great win for the Saints but at what cost as Wilson, Frater and Ward should not even have started the match.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Plowright, Ford, Frater (R), Ward, Wilson, Frater (N), Ferrari, Roberts, Hutton

Subs: Davis (for Ferrari 51), Vieira (for Wilson 86), Hobbs and Greygoose.

Cards:  Frater (R) (Y – 62), Davis (Y – 87)

Goals:  Frater (R) (51 mins), Frater (N) (70 mins), Roberts (73 mins)

Dunstable:  Chambers, Herd, Lynn, May, Blackett, Gregory, Watkins, Henry, Effiong, Davies, Mulligan

Subs:  McKenzie-Lowe (for Mulligan 76), Gardner, Fontanelle and Nathan Abbey

Cards:  Watkins (Y – 90 + 1)

Goals:  Herd (59 mins)

Attendance: 205

Referee: Gareth Viccars (Milton Keynes)

John Walker

 

David Batch Joins the Club as First Team Manager

We are delighted to announce that David Batch has joined the club as first team manager.

David, only 42 years old, is a fully qualified UEFA A licence coach and at the time was the youngest ever to gain that accreditation in the UK.

He started his career as a player with Cambridge United but quickly decided that management / Coaching was to be his chosen profession, he became the youngest Senior Football manager in the country at Downham Town and from there, took over the youth team and later the reserve team at Cambridge United whilst they were a Football League Club, before becoming manager of Cambridge City.

He then concentrated on building up business affairs where he has built his Company ‘Premier Sports” into one of the most prestigious companies in its field.

In April 2009 he took over as manager of Wroxham, leading the club to Wembley and the Final of the FA Vase in his first season in charge. The club also finished in third place in the league and reached the League Cup Final in his second season before guiding them to promotion at the end of the 2011/12 season, where they joined the Ryman North.

In July 2013 David moved to AFC Sudbury where he has built an excellent team this season where the club have beaten Bognor, Maidstone and of course St Neots Town, all higher League opposition in the FA Trophy.

They finally succumbed away to Braintree from the Conference by the only goal of the game.

Our Chairman, Mike Kearns, said. “It has been a long couple of weeks but in the end we got our man, I wanted an ambitious young manager who has an excellent management record, the highest coaching accreditation and good man management skills. I also wanted someone who appreciated just what we are trying to achieve at the club from first team right down to grassroots football. David has all of those credentials”.

Please join us in welcoming David to the Club.

Following the nasty injury suffered by goalkeeper Darren Chitty during Saturday's game, we have received a message of thanks from Ian Pearce, Managing Director of Frome Town Football Club.
 
The message reads as follows:
 
 
Hi Gary (Gary Wilson, Club Secretary)
 
Firstly, can you please pass on the thanks of both Darren Chitty and all at the Club, to those who helped him on Saturday after his injury.  Especially to the young lady who took him to the hospital – it really was appreciated by everybody.
 
We eventually left Bedford hospital at 7.15pm and he has had a number of stiches to seal the wound.  He is at home and is very sore and very tired but as of yet we have no idea how long he will be out for but its looking a possible bad one!
 
Can you pass onto John Walker as well please who phoned me today but I missed his call.
 
Kind regards and seasons greetings.
 
 
Ian
 

Of course, some will say we were only doing what was expected when incidents like these occur but to receive a message of thanks really does make everything seem so worthwhile and epitomises all that is good about non-league football.
 
We would like to send our best wishes to Darren for his recovery and hopefully look forward to facing him once again when travel to Frome for the last game of the season.

Southern League Premier Division

ST NEOTS TOWN  3 - 1   FROME TOWN       

In a very forgettable few days running up to this match St Neots lost Manager Gary King on resignation from his post after thirteen months, Club skipper Gavin Hoyte on transfer to Biggleswade Town after 115 appearances and almost certainly the six league points gained from their two victories over doomed Hereford United.  

Against that backdrop and with the naming of a replacement Manager still awaited, the side showed commendable character and determination to overcome a spirited visiting Frome Town. However the visitors were guilty of contributing to their own downfall when they had midfielder Brandon Munday sent off in the first half and then to add to their problems a second half accidental injury hospitalised their goalkeeper Darren Chitty. 

With injuries to Bruce Wilson and Dave Deeney there were recalls for Ryan Frater and Lewis Hilliard and there was a very welcome return at left back for Theo Davis after injury had kept him out for more than three years. Although the team never looked like making the most of their numerical superiority in the second half they gave a good overall performance as a unit and the new Manager has an experienced squad with which to work in the coming months.

The first real attack after six minutes saw a well placed free kick by Matt Spring rebound from the foot of a post and from the resultant corner Tom Ward headed firmly wide. St Neots were looking the more positive and were rewarded after thirteen minutes when a long cross from Lewis Hilliard picked out David Hutton wide on the left and he went both inside and outside his marker before unleashing a low left foot shot inside the far post to open the scoring. Four minutes later the first attempt on goal by the visitors would have produced an equaliser but for an acrobatic push over the bar by Paul Bastock from an Aaron Rodriguez volley from 30 yards. 

Hutton continued to torment the Frome defence down the left flank and he almost repeated his goal with a second low shot after good work by Ben Mackey but the ball passed just the wrong side of a post. Frome were creating little but they did win a free kick in a central position blocked by the defensive wall. Mackey and Drew Roberts were looking lively up front but the visiting defence held firm until four minutes before the break when Roberts took a return pass from the hardworking Dean Cracknell to curl a shot around the despairing dive of Darren Chitty to extend the lead to 2-0. Two minutes later a rather cynical late tackle by Brandon Munday on Lewis Hilliard earned the Frome midfielder a straight red card.

That should have signalled a comfortable second half for the home side but Frome had other ideas. Making light of their imbalance, the visitors took the game to St Neots who had lost the injured Matt Spring a half time with Jay Davies substituting. Then, five minutes after the restart, a totally accidental collision between Chitty and Mackey left the keeper prone with a deep gash on his thigh. After several minutes on the pitch receiving treatment, he was stretchered off with outfielder Ricky Hulbert taking over in goal. The replacement keeper twice denied Mackey with useful saves and then after 64 minutes Frome broke forward for Lewis Haldane to pull a goal back with an angled shot that went in off the crossbar giving Paul Bastock no chance.  

For a few minutes St Neots looked stunned but once Max York had headed home a Hutton cross after 72 minutes they were back to keeping possession and creating openings with Hilliard, Mackey and Hutton all close to extending the lead.  

However Frome refused to capitulate and the St Neots defence had to be on their toes to repel good efforts by Haldane and Ben Thomson.  Next up is a visit from joint league leaders Corby Town on Boxing Day.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Davis, Cracknell, Frater (R), Ward, Hilliard, Spring, Mackey, Roberts, Hutton

Subs: Davies (for Spring 46), Plowright (for Davis 65), Frater (N) (for Mackey 83), Ferrari and Ford.

Cards:  Spring (Y – 40), Hilliard (Y – 63)

Goals:  Hutton (13 mins),Roberts (41 mins), York (72 mins)

Frome:  Chitty, Miller, Cooper, Baggridge, Vallis, Munday, Brown, Hulbert, Haldane, Thomson, Rodriguez

Subs:  Bonella (for Chitty 55), Hall (for Brown 83), Simpson (for Rodriguez 83).

Cards:  Munday (RED – 43), Vallis (Y – 49), Cooper (Y – 79)

Goals:  Haldane (64 mins)

Attendance: 307

Referee: Ian Corner (Stevenage)

John Walker

 

Southern League Premier Division

CHIPPENHAM TOWN   0 - 1   ST NEOTS TOWN             

After their very poor performance in midweek a much changed St Neots side confounded their critics by returning from their trip to Wiltshire with all three points.  

Their opponents were Chippenham who were unbeaten in their previous five league matches (all drawn) so they were the side in form but a gutsy battling display by St Neots deservedly earned them the points with the fates seemingly stacked against them.  

With Jay Davies and Ed Adjei suspended they had to be team changes and then the news that skipper Gavin Hoyte had joined his fellow defender Ryan Frater on the sidelines with a hamstring injury meant that a root and branch reshuffle had to take place.  

Into the defence alongside Tom Ward came Dave Deeney but he lasted just 33 minutes before yet another hamstring pull forced another on field shuffle with Max York moving into the centre of the defence and Dean Cracknell employed as a full back. With a total of four changes in the starting line up there were recalls to the side for Ben Ford and Ben Mackey and the early injury meant a debut substitute appearance for an hour for full back Ryan Plowright.   

The sending off of home keeper Kent Kauppinen seventeen minutes from time inspired the home side to throw everything forward in search on an equaliser but the visiting defence stood firm to record only its second clean sheet since  9th September.

St Neots began brightly in a 4-3-3 formation and after neat work by David Hutton Ben Mackey had a shot deflected for a corner. Then after 12 minutes as Hutton worked his way into the penalty area he was upended by a clumsy Greg Tindle challenge allowing skipper for the day Drew Roberts to open the scoring from the penalty spot.   Immediately from the kick off Chippenham could have equalised when a poor defensive clearance by Deeney went straight to Ashan Holgate but his finish was far too high.  

St Neots thought they should have had a second penalty when Tom Ward up for a set piece looked to be shoved over but the Referee waved play on. Clearly struggling with injury Deeney was replaced by Plowright after 33 minutes and the reshuffle left St Neots on the back foot for a while with both Holgate and Alan Griffin wasting good openings for the home side. In fact the only real save to be made by Bastock in a low key first half came eight minutes before the break when he did well to get behind a Griffin volley.

From a long throw in the first minute after the restart Greg Tindle fired into the side netting as both sides sought to up the pace and at the other end Mackey only just failed to reach a cross from Ben Ford in front of a gaping net.  

However Mackey did bring the save of the match from Kent Kauppinen after good work down the flank by Dean Cracknell. Nathan Frater was sent on to replace Mackey and he was involved in the first of two second half incidents that were to have a bearing on the outcome.  

After 71 minutes Frater was involved in an incident with Jon Beeden that saw the Chippenham player throw himself dramatically to the ground in an attempt to get his opponent sent off. However Referee Mark Russell was perfectly placed to assess the situation and after the pushing and shoving ceased he rightly booked both players. Two minutes later Drew Roberts broke clear of the defence and Kauppinen ten yards outside his area brought the striker down as he attempted to go past him earning the keeper a straight red card.  

The home side brought on a substitute goalkeeper and he was equal to St Neots best efforts saving a Matt Spring free kick and a narrow angled effort by Frater. Chippenham went looking for an equaliser but this just gave St Neots more possession especially in midfield and they were able to slow the pace and dictate play in the last ten minutes.  

It was a much needed but well deserved haul of three points and now the main attention prior to the holiday period will be focussed on the treatment room where nine players will be in for treatment.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Ford, Wilson, Deeney, Ward, Cracknell, Spring, Mackey, Roberts, Hutton

Subs: Plowright (for Deeney 33), Frater (N) (for Mackey 65), Hilliard (for Wilson 81), Ferrari and Greygoose.

Cards:  Frater (N) (Y – 71)

Goals:  Roberts pen (12 mins)

Chippenham:  Kauppinen, Harvey, Beeden, Smith, Tindle, Preece, Ferguson, Francis, Griffin, Pook, Holgate

Subs:  Osman (for Ferguson 58), Edwards (for Griffin 69), Phillips (for Francis 73), and Clarke.

Cards:  Kauppinen (RED – 73), Beeden (Y – 71)

Goalsnone

Attendance: 285

Referee: Mark Russell (Bristol)

John Walker

An incredible but worrying 6 v 5 win over Dorchester was soon forgotten on the Tuesday when Slough exposed the Saints errors of the weekend and won at a canter, 3 nil.

Video: Action and reaction with Liam

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN        0       SLOUGH TOWN       3       

 

            After the excitement of their dramatic Saturday victory St Neots let themselves and their followers down with probably their worst ever home performance in the Southern League. On Saturday even in victory serious questions were aimed at the sides’ ability to defend and this match proved those fears to be fully justified. However it did not stop there because against a side happy to sit on a comfortable three goal half time cushion St Neots was handed the second half attacking freedom of the park and despite adopting a definitely positive approach with three strikers on the pitch they failed to create enough chances to seriously test the visiting goalkeeper once. Overall it was a totally inept performance against a visiting side still trying to establish themselves in the top flight and against more accomplished opponents the result could have been totally devastating. It was difficult to identify one home player who emerged from the game with any real credit and it is beginning to look the start of a long hard winter if no improvement is found.   Exactly half the league programme is now complete but with less than half their home matches ending in victory Manager Gary King with a talented squad on paper needs to pull some rabbits out of the hat – and soon.

 

            It had begun well with Chris Dillon heading over from a good David Hutton cross and Drew Roberts being pulled down inside the area by Guy Hollis. The Referee pointed to the penalty spot but allowed himself to be overruled by his Assistant instead awarding a direct free kick on the edge of the area that was wasted. Meantime St Neots were looking anxious at the back as facing the strong breeze they tried to deal with a series of long throws hurled into the area and following one of these a shot from former Saint Adrian Sear was parried allowing Ed Smith to follow up to open the scoring. Drew Roberts work rate saw him create another chance for himself but his shot was comfortably saved by Jake Sommerville and then there was also a touch of ill fortune about Slough’s second goal six minutes before the break. Helping out in defence Lewis Hilliard saw his clearance charged down and once again Ed Smith reacted the quickest moving outside his marker to unleash a clinical finish past the surprised Paul Bastock from a narrow angle. That was bad enough but worse was to follow on the stroke of half time when the visitors’ third goal that was the best of the bunch left St Neots with an almost impossible mountain to climb. Sadly the goal was totally unavoidable because it came when Matt Spring was far too easily dispossessed by Jake Parsons who moved the ball on via Ed Smith and his inch perfect cross set up Scott Harris for a simple finish.

 

            It was clear from the restart that Slough thought three goals were more than enough to take home all three points and they settled down to soak up any pressure St Neots could muster. Dillon had a shot blocked, Hilliard brought a comfortable low save from Sommerville and Ben Mackey on for the disappointing Jay Davies just failed to reach a Hutton cross. Joining the attack Dave Deeney sent a good low shot just a foot wide after 68 minutes and that was to prove the best effort of a very disappointing second half. With Dean Cracknell on St Neots did look livelier in midfield as the half progressed but most of their attacks ended with high crosses being comfortably collected by Sommerville who was allowed to dominate his penalty area. Even the introduction of another fresh striker – Nathan Frater – did nothing to enhance St Neots efforts and when Mackey just failed to capitalise on good work by Roberts in the dying moments it was obvious that St Neots were not going to score.    With no goals scored in three of their last four home matches the evidence for urgent improvement is very obvious.

 

St Neots: Bastock, Deeney, Wilson, Hutton, Ward, Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Dillon, Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Mackey (for Davies 59), Cracknell (for Wilson 68), Frater (N) (for Dillon 77), York and Ford.

Cards:  none

Goals:  none

 

Slough:  Sommerville, Fraser, Parsons (R), Hollis, Rumbold, Edwards, Parsons (J), Sear, Harris, Smith, Knight

Subs:  Dyer (for Harris 85), Dobson (for Smith 90 + 1), Betts, Foulser and Phillips.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Smith 2 (18 & 39 mins), Harris (45 mins)

 

Attendance: 199

 

Referee: Lee Forrester (Luton)

 

John Walker