SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

Rushall Olympic       3        St Neots Town       2 

Ben Bradley and Mason Rhiney both scored their first ever goals for St Neots and the visitors led twice but back came Rushall with two goals in the final eight minutes take all three points.   With Lowestoft mirroring St Neots achievements of seven days earlier with victory at Hitchin the combination of those results left St Neots teetering on brink of relegation eight points below their Norfolk rivals with each having three games to play.   With their vastly superior goal difference Lowestoft now need a single point from those three games to despatch St Neots down to Step Four.    With St Neots’ four U18 players in the squad facing their third match in four days a victory over mid-table Rushall was a big ask and with loan full back Jordan Norville-Williams injured and unable to re-join the squad, Manager Marc Abbott left Jacob Joseph and Owen Dunnett on the bench recalling Joe Hood and fit again Dan Trendall.    James Philip was back between the posts and was to be in early action.   After the home side had come back twice to level the scores with eight minutes left it looked like a well-deserved if meaningless point for St Neots but a cruel very harsh penalty decision three minutes from time gave Rushall the opportunity to steal all three points.   The result was particularly unkind to central defenders Ryan Hughes and Stevan Shaw who were magnificent, but the outcome was all part of the reality of senior football where sometime just deserts are not achieved.

Early sparring saw home defender Sam Whittall head over the bar and Dan Trendall at the other end produced a trademark turn and shot that was only inches too high.   Around the quarter of an hour mark James Philip was twice called upon to block a low effort by Ashley Sammons and then turn a second effort by the home player around a post for a corner.  Rushall began to dominate as Tyler Lyttle shot over the bar, a Whittall header was deflected for a corner and a towering header by Orrin Pendley was cleared off the line by Ryan Hughes.   However, St Neots came back into contention in the final ten minutes of the half as skipper Matt Miles saw a shot deflected and then they won a free kick floated in by Mason Rhiney and Ben Bradley fired just too high.   However, six minutes before the break he made up for that disappointment by putting St Neots ahead as he was in the perfect place to convert a cross from Trendall who had outpaced his marker.   This narrow lead at the break was well-deserved for the work rate alone displayed by the visitors.

After a Miles cross had been acrobatically saved by home keeper Matthew Sargeant, the home side hit back with an equalising goal as Benjamin Lund headed a cross back for Simeon Moye to hit a low short beneath the diving Philip after 55 minutes but St Neots regained their advantage just two minutes later when Mason Rhiney made space for himself 30 yards from goal to send a dipping shot over the keeper.    However, the home Manager replied by sending on his two final permitted substitutes and adopting a wider more attacking approach.   Now St Neots under the defensive direction of Ryan Hughes had to be at their best but Rushall were hampered when goalkeeper Sergeant limped off with a groin strain meaning that defender Sam Whittall had to don the gloves.   However, he was rarely tested whilst Sammons a substitute Aram Soleman tested Philip.   With eight minutes left the home pressure paid off as Soleman crossed from the right and a powerful headed by Daniel Waldron levelled the scores.   Five minutes later a mis-timed tackle by Rhiney felled Soleman and the Referee awarded a penalty confidently tucked away by the home emergency goalkeeper Sam Whittle to the delight of the home supporters.   Elsewhere Kettering became divisional champions to earn Step Two football next season as they defeated Halesowen to condemn them to Step Four in August.

St Neots Town:  Philp, Hood, Fulianty, Miles, Hughes, Shaw, Mutswunguma, Rhiney, Trendall, Bradley, Sutton

Subs: Dunnett (for Bradley 85 mins), Rider (for Sutton 90+1 min), Joseph (for Mutswunguma 90+1 min) and Abbott.

Cards:  none

Goals: Bradley (39 mins), Rhiney (57 mins)

Rushall Olympic:  Sergeant, Lyttle, Smikle, Smith, Whittall, Pendley, Waldron, Maye. McDonald, Sammons, Lund

 Subs:  O’Callaghan (for Sergeant 62 mins), Berry (for Smith 67 mins), Soleman (for McDonald 67 mins), Adelekan and Bridgewater.

Cards:none

Goals:  Maye (55 mins), Waldron (82 mins), Whittall – pen – (87 mins)

 

Referee:  Ryan Williams (Coventry)  

Attendance:       203

 

John Walker

 

HUNTINGDONSHIRE SENIOR CUP FINAL

St Neots Town       0         Godmanchester Rovers        6

In the end it was a disappointing showpiece Senior Cup Final best described as men against boys. Godmanchester full of confidence and on a high chasing the runners-up spot in the Thurlow Nunn League for the third time, facing a depleted and out-of-sorts St Neots side, who were the trophy holders very low on both experience and confidence.   St Neots faced the loss of two of their most charismatic players – Dan Trendall to injury and Jordan Norville-Williams recalled by parent club Cambridge United – and they never really competed.   Joe Hood was also unavailable and into their places St Neots had no option but to draft in three of their Youth Cup winners Leon Fulianty, Jacob Joseph and Owen Dunnett.   The ‘visiting’ side smelled blood from the off and always were certain winners from as early as the fifth minute when they scored their first goal.   The St Neots defence was ragged and disorganised and the rampant visiting side were gifted several goals by elementary errors not really expected at this level of football.    Records will show that this was the second time in three years that St Neots have lost to Step Five opponents in this final – both times on their own pitch.  Ironically last season St Neots scored six goals themselves in beating Eynesbury Rovers in the final, but this was St Neots biggest Senior Cup defeat for 35 years having been beaten by Eynesbury Rovers 7-2 in 1983/84 season.

Godmanchester got the perfect start when after five minutes a clever flick by Charlie Bowen set up Cavan King to hook the ball over St Neots 17 years old goalkeeper Michael McCormack.   They then lost Matty Allan to injury but undeterred they continued to dominate with Charlie Bowen adding a second goal firing through a packed defence after 18 minutes when Jack Chandler’s initial effort had been blocked.   St Neots had little to offer in the way of retaliation or resistance and when Buster Harradine joined the goals spree after 31 minutes when McCormack failed to gather a long clearance from his opposite number, the game was effectively over.   Jacob Joseph mis-kicked in front of goal to waste St Neots’ best chance seven minutes before the break and Godmanchester went straight to the other end where the irrepressible Buster Harradine scored from a narrow angle across the bemused McCormack.   In a defiant flourish just before half time Joe Sutton twice broke down the left to test Niall Conroy in the Rovers goal and Stevan Shaw combined well with Prince Mutswunguma but could not find a telling final shot.

In a bid to regain some credibility St Neots sent on two further Youth players after the break but it was Godmanchester substitute Tom Spark who broke to almost further increase the lead, but his shot rebounded from the foot of a post.   The momentum seemed to drop with Godmanchester seemingly happy with their first half efforts but after Joe Rider had headed narrowly wide for St Neots a Harradine corner after 71 minutes created confusion in the box and Austin Diaper added his name to the score sheet.    It was then only left for Buster Harradine almost inevitably to complete his hat trick ten minutes from time whilst St Neots best effort was a Ben Bradley shot that failed to bother Conroy.   Injuries to McCormack held up the flow of play and the game fizzled out with Godmanchester delighted to earn ownership of the County Senior trophy for the first time since 2014.   For the record it was the first time in living memory that St Neots fielded a side, none of whom had played in the Senior Cup until this season.

St Neots Town:  McCormack, Shaw, Fulianty, Miles, Hughes, Dunnett, Joseph, Rhiney, Mutswunguma, Bradley, Sutton

Subs: Clarke (for Shaw 46 mins), Rider (for Rhiney 46 mins), Trendall and Abbott.

Cards:  Bradley (Y – 28 mins), Mutswunguma (Y – 59 mins)

Goals: none

 

Godmanchester Rovers:  Conroy, King (R), Brown,Unwin, Bowen, King (C), Allan, Diaper, Harradine,      Hyem (M), Chandler

 Subs:  Spark (for Allan 17 mins), Munro (for Diaper 79 mins), Bull (for Harradine 87 mins), Hyem (C) and Walker.

Cards:  Hyem (M) (Y – 45+3 mins), Diaper (Y – 59 mins)

Goals:  Harradine 3 (31,38 and 80 mins), King (C), Bowen and Diaper

 

Referee:  Josh Crofts  

Attendance:       259

John Walker

 

 

 

St Neots Town FC Academy Trial Dates For Season 2019/20

 

U9’s  U10’s  U11’s

Monday 13th May 6pm - 7.30pm

Wednesday 15th May 6pm - 7.30pm

 

U12’s

Monday 20th May 6pm - 7.30pm

Wednesday 22nd May 6pm - 7.30pm

 

U13’s  U14’s 

Monday 13th May 8pm - 9.30pm

Monday 20th May 6pm - 7.30pm

 

U15’s   U16’s

Wednesday 15th May 8pm - 9.30pm

Monday 20th May 8pm - 9.30pm

 

All Trials held on the GESS 3G Arena at St Neots Town FC. Wear appropriate football kit and bring plenty of Water

 

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UPCOMING MATCHES PREVIEW

As the season draws to a close St Neots has two more vitally important matches this week. On Wednesday evening, we face neighbours Godmanchester Rovers in the final of the Huntingdonshire Senior Challenge Cup, here at the Premier Plus Stadium. Having lifted the trophy last season, we start as theoretical favourites with a two steps advantage in our league status. However almost all our team members will making their Senior Cup debut whereas Godmanchester are an experienced outfit having only just missed out on the Thurlow Nunn championship this season. A glance at the records shows that Rovers last lifted the trophy four seasons ago beating Yaxley at Huntingdon and they will regard winning this Cup Final as compensation for one of their best-ever league campaigns. It will be a reunion for their players Micky Hyem and Tom Spark who recently were members of the St Neots Southern League side.

Then on Saturday to keep our lingering hopes of Step Three status alive, we travel to Rushall Olympic, where a repeat performance of last Saturday’s victory at Hitchin is required. It will be our first ever league appearance at that venue and earlier this season Rushall visited the Premier Plus Stadium winning a tightly fought match by a goal to nil. Rushall are currently tenth in the league table, unable to make the play-offs this season but it will be a big ask for our youngsters to carve out the victory required. However, if they can muster the determination and commitment displayed last Saturday anything may be possible.

John Walker

 

 

 

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

 

Hitchin Town       0         St Neots Town       2 

 

With Lowestoft beaten at home by Coalville, St Neots last gasp hopes of escaping relegation began to look possible following their unlikely 2-0 victory at Hitchin.   Now with just five points between the two sides with four matches to go St Neots can keep dreaming – especially as Lowestoft go to Hitchin next Saturday and the home sides’ reaction to this defeat could be key.   St Neots’ record at Top Field is far from impressive with just one victory in their previous six visits prior to this trip and they had to recover from the double whammy of losing leading scorer Garry Wharton and Northampton Town recalled midfield dynamo Scott Pollock.   Into their places came Mason Rhiney and Prince Mutswunguma in a reshaped attack and there was a debut for goalkeeper Michael McCormack with regular custodian James Philip unavailable.   The new keeper whose previous club experience had been limited to just six Reserve appearances was very impressive as he recorded a clean sheet with a mix of inspired and brave saves whilst Dan Trendall the former Saffron Walden wide player was mandated to take over the strikers’ role and he responded with the two goals that earned the three invaluable points.   However, the victory was down to a determined and committed all round display by a side that shrugged off their inexperience to look capable of dealing with anything that their hosts could muster.   Needing a single point to ensure their place at Step Three next season there was no lack of desire by Hitchin, but they were contained by a goalkeeper and defence that thoroughly deserved their victory and the points.

Former Saint Isaac Galliford quickly made his mark with an inch perfect cross to find the head of the unmarked Jack Green in the second minute, but his headed effort was too high.   At the other end a teasing Joe Hood free kick was well claimed under pressure by home keeper Michael Johnson and then his opposite number was in action saving a point-blank shot by Green.   The same player did get the ball in the net after 17 minutes but was ruled offside and then the visiting defence did well to smother shots by Ezra Forde and Scott Belgrove.   St Neots were now looking more comfortable as the lively Ben Bradley had his net-bound shot deflected and after 37 minutes they deservedly took the lead.   A Joe Sutton shot from distance was fumbled and then dropped by Johnson and Dan Trendall was quickly in to capitalise on the error and put St Neots ahead.   A minute before the break a well-placed free kick by Galliford was well saved by Michael McCormack who was beginning to look confident and just before the break Prince Mutswunguma was booked for his third foul coming from clumsiness rather than intent.

The Hitchin Manager was clearly unhappy with his sides’ first half performance and after the break he introduced two substitutes and changed his tactics to a more attacking formation.   A corner by Galliford went across the face of goal with no-one able to get a touch and then another effort by the same Hitchin player was pushed away under pressure by McCormack at the expense of a corner.   Then after 51 minutes Bradley robbed a hesitant defender to race clear of the defence before unselfishly picking out the unmarked Dan Trendall at the far post and he advanced on goal to double St Neots’ advantage.   Hitchin substitute Charlie Thake was having an immediate impact on the game for Hitchin with his physical presence testing the St Neots defence and forced McCormack into pushing one effort for a corner before setting up Galliford to bring the save of the match from the visiting keeper with an almost perfectly placed shot just under the bar.   Another former St Neots player Joshua Bickerstaff then shot wide when well placed as Hitchin pressed but St Neots made openings of their own with Bradley firing narrowly wide.   With seventeen minutes left Trendall sustained an ankle injury and was unable to continue being replaced by Jacob Joseph – a Youth side County Cup winner from the previous evening.   A minor flare up saw a player from each side booked and the match ended with McCormack saving bravely at the feet of substitute Nathan Mullings.

St Neots Town:  McCormack, Hood, Norville-Williams, Miles, Hughes, Shaw, Mutswunguma, Rhiney, Trendall, Bradley, Sutton

SubsJoseph (for Trendall 73 mins), Rider (for Mutswunguma 90+4 mins), Dunnett and Abbott.

Cards:  Rhiney (Y – 35 mins), Mutswunguma (Y – 45 mins), Shaw (Y – 80 mins)

Goals:  Trendall 2 (37 and 51 mins)

Hitchin Town:   Johnson, Mensah, Anderson, Dowie, Webb, Ferrell, Green, Belgrove, Forde, Galliford, Bickerstaff

Subs:  Thake (for Mensah 46 mins), Mullings (for Forde 46 mins), Bird (for Belgrove 61 mins), and Thomas.

Cards:  Dowie (Y – 80 mins)

Goals:  none

Referee:  Steven Bates (St Albans)

Attendance: 472

John Walker

 

 

HUNTS FA COUNTY YOUTH CUP FINAL (at Eynesbury Rovers)

ST NEOTS TOWN U18        2     ST IVES TOWN U18       1

St Neots U18 side completed an unprecedented third consecutive treble of a league and County Cup double in the fifteenth year of the Gayton Cup competition, when they defeated St Ives with a dramatic last-minute winning goal.   It was a highly competitive match and St Ives can feel unlucky that they conceded that second goal after being equal to their victors for most of the contest. The only time that St Ives had lifted the trophy was in 2010 when they defeated Huntingdon Town in the final but for St Neots it was their fifth victory in the competition final having twice been runners-up.

In front of a large and enthusiastic crowd St Neots got off to the perfect start with an opening goal after just 33 seconds when Tom Leagas went down the right flank to deliver a cross and ace poacher Joe Rider turned to fire a low shot past the surprised Shay Griffiths.   It was Rider’s thirtieth goal in just 18 matches in a season in which he has made his senior debut for the club. From a Leon Fulianty corner just twelve minutes later a Jacob Joseph snap shot was blocked on the line by a defender but from that point onwards St Ives prospered. Using the flanks well they pushed St Neots back on the defensive and Jordan Locke volleyed just wide after good work by Billy Mobbs. After 18 minutes a speculative lob by Mobbs caught Ash Brewer off his line but the St Neots keeper recovered to claim the ball under his crossbar and shortly afterwards made an important save to deny Zac Hope. The Ives pressure was beginning to build and after 32 minutes they were rewarded when a Mobbs cross caused confusion in the St Neots defence and Thomas Wakley produced an unstoppable shot level the scores. A Mitchell Pillen effort was just too high, but St Neots rallied just before the break when Rider had a shot blocked and Griffiths produced an important save to deny Joseph. In time added, Griffiths was again in significant action blocking a Joseph effort with his legs after good work by Rider.

A first minute shot by Sam Routs after the break indicated St Neots’ intentions. Griffiths had to be at his best to tip a fierce Joseph shot over the bar and much of the play was now towards the St Ives goal. St Ives responded by introducing two substitutes and the game became a more even contest with the respective defences looking solid. After 69 minutes Joseph did get the ball in the net but was ruled fractionally offside and as more substitutions by both sides followed it began to look likely that the outcome would be decided with penalty kicks.

One or two lengthy efforts by each side were comfortably dealt with and just when the inevitable beckoned St Neots’ shocked their opponents with that last-minute goal. An attack down the right saw Tom Leagas produced his second significant cross as Reif Clarke was first to the ball at the far post and his diving header proved to be enough to clinch the trophy. The celebrations by the St Neots team earned Clarke a yellow card for discarding his shirt but ‘it was well worth it’ he said after the final whistle.

The cup and medals were presented by Hunts FA Chairman Maurice Armstrong.

 

St Neots Town:  Brewer, Leagas, Wood, Fulianty, Goodridge, Dunnett, Clarke, Brown, Rider, Routs, Joseph

Subs used:   Cousins, O’Hara, Burberry and Rowland.                                                                                                

Cards: Clarke (Y – 90 mins)

 

St Ives Town:  Griffiths, Locke, Baid, Purse, Young, Pillin, Mobbs, Cawte, Wakley, Garlick, Hope

Subs used:  Gibbs, Darnell, Paine, Frans and Sargent.

Cards: Cawte (Y – 52 mins)

Attendance:   232

Referee:  Cliff Mills                                                                                            

(John Walker)

 

 

Cambridge United WFC and Development squad move to The Premier Plus Stadium and the GESS 3G Arena.

 

St Neots Town FC Board:

“We are very excited to announce that  Cambridge United WFC and Cambridge United WFC Development squad will call The Premier Plus Stadium and The GESS 3G Arena home from the 2019-2020 season going forwards. We'd like to go on record and thank Cambridge United WFC for giving us the opportunity to work closely with them. Having explored a number of potential avenues to bring girls and women's football to the home of St Neots Town Football Club, this partnership constitutes a fantastic opportunity for both parties and undoubtedly opens up a clear pathway for our expanding Mixed Academy and Girls Scholarship programme."

Cambridge United WFC Committee: 

"All of us at Cambridge United Women’s FC are absolutely delighted with this new partnership with St Neots Town FC. This opportunity will not only provide us with a central hub for both squads, but also gives us access to a football stadium with some of the best facilities in the County. Both St Neots Town FC  and ourselves strongly believe this partnership will serve to form strong links with their already fantastic girls set up, providing a clear pathway into the Women’s team. This partnership can only bring good things in terms of development, inclusiveness and growth of the women’s game.

We look forward to the exciting new season  ahead "

 

Cambridge United WFC currently play in the FA Womens’ National League Division One with games taking place on a Sunday afternoon and recently won the Cambridgeshire Football Association Invitation Cup, beating Cambridge City Ladies in the final at the Abbey Stadium in front of a crowd in excess of 500.

Our very own Sports Therapist, Kayleigh-Anne Burt is the U’s Club captain and ex Scholar, Mollie Coupar, is a regular in the First Team line up and yesterday scored a stunning hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Luton Town Ladies.

Please join us in welcoming the ladies to their new home for next season.

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town       0          Banbury United        3     

This was theoretically a ‘must-win’ match for St Neots if they are to retain a credible chance of Step Three football next season.   Sadly, not at any time did this look likely, as a previously out of form Banbury with just one win in their last nine league outings strolled to a very comfortable victory.   When the result came through that Lowestoft had won their away match at Tamworth, St Neots were left effectively nine points from safety because of an inferior goal difference, with just fifteen points left to play for.   However, the post-match talking point was not about the three goals Banbury scored but the one that was disallowed.   After nine minutes a Giorgio Rasulo corner was knocked out for another corner indicated by match Referee Sean Barry, but the visiting player cheekily played on to net from a narrow angle and only persistent protests by St Neots with the opposing side lined up for a restart kick off eventually persuaded the official to consult with his colleague and then the corner was retaken.  Not that was to have any effect on the outcome of the contest because St Neots never seriously tested visiting keeper Jack Harding at any time in the 90 minutes.   Manager Marc Abbott reinstated Dan Trendall in the starting line-up and gave a full debut to Ben Bradley leaving Prince Mutswunguma and Owen Dunnett on the substitutes bench so the line up meant St Neots were at full strength.  

Right from the first whistle Banbury looked able to dominate play with home keeper James Philip doing well after just two minutes to parry  a fiercely hit volley from Gregory Kaziboni.   Four minutes later St Neots were behind when the lively Kaziboni sprinted down the right to cross for Guiseppe Iaciofano to send a delicate chip over the keeper into the far corner of the net.   Banbury then though they had doubled their lead only to be denied when Referee Barry dramatically changed his mind, but they continued to press forward and their sheer physical advantage with their taller players winning almost every headed challenge kept them well on top.   Iaciofano squandered a clear opening shooting wide from ten yards and Philip then saved well from a Rasulo free kick.   Towards the end of the first half St Neots did create a couple of chances but Jordan Norville-Williams effort was comfortably saved at the near post and a Scott Pollock free kick did extend visiting keeper Jack Harding to a full length save.   After Iaciofano had missed badly volleying over from just five yards, Banbury got the reward three minutes into first half added time they had deserved for their impressive first half domination when the lanky Ricky Johnson rose high above the home defence to head home another Kaziboni cross from the right.

St Neots needed an early second half response if they were to make inroads into the deficit and new boy Ben Bradley did test the visiting keeper from a Matt Miles corner.   The home side then introduced two fresh wide players with Prince Mutswunguma and Jacob Joseph replacing Dan Trendall and Joe  Sutton but within three minutes of the changes Banbury had put the match beyond the home side with a third goal.   It came from a rare mistake by Stevan Shaw who gave the ball away to Iaciofano and he unselfishly drew the keeper off his line to chip a cross to Ricky Johnson who only had to walk the ball into an unguarded net.   Banbury then seemed to take their foot off the accelerator allowing St Neots a greater share of play, but the home side lacked ideas and penetration although they won several corners from one of which Ryan Hughes headed narrowly over the bar with his sides’ best second half chance.   A Gary Wharton header late on was the only other threat to the home defence and Banbury left town after comfortably avenging a 3-1 defeat in the first meeting of the two sides this season.

St Neots Town:  Philip, Hood, Norville-Williams, Miles, Hughes, Shaw, Bradley, Pollock, Wharton, Sutton,  Trendall

Subs: Mutswunguma (for Sutton 61 mins), Joseph (for Trendall 61mins), Dunnett (for Shaw 65 mins), Rhiney and Clarke.

Cards:  Trendall (Y – 61 mins)

Goals: none

Banbury United: Harding, Taylor, Nash, Wise, Hawtin, Richards, Johnson, Iaciofano, Kaziboni, Whitehead, Rasulo

Subs:  Shamsi (for Iaciofano 65 mins), Awadh (for Kaziboni 81 mins), Odhiambo (for Nash 87 mins), Finch and Antonio.

Cards:Taylor (Y – 69 mins)

Goals:  Ricky Johnson 2 (45+3 and 64 mins), Guiseppe Iaciofano (6 mins)

 

Referee:  Sean Barry (Northampton)

Attendance:       260

 

John Walker

UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW - BANBURY UNITED

The midweek defeat by Coalville dealt a severe blow to St Neots’ hopes of a reprieve from relegation at the end of the season.   Now with just six matches left their task is to pick up six more points than Lowestoft Town in the end-of-season run in.  However, with one of those six opponents being third in the table Kings Lynn and two others away at high-flying Rushall Olympic and neighbours St Ives their task is looking increasingly more difficult.    The two matches that might offer a better chance of picking up points are their final match of the season when Halesowen visit, currently three points beneath them in the relegation zone and this coming Saturday when Banbury United are visitors to the Premier Plus Stadium.   Banbury are currently nine points but only three places ahead of Mark Abbott’s side and have only won once in their last nine league matches – at home to Needham Market.   They were rocked by a recent four points deduction after playing an illegible player in two league matches and in the first meeting of the two sides in September, St Neots ran our 3-1 winners with goals from Nabil Shariff (2) and Dylan Williams.   Banbury have been notable for their inconsistency in recent seasons for they were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of the 2014/15 season yet bounced back the following year from Step Four to finish just one place away from an end of season play-off for promotion to Step Two.   A glance at the records shows that Banbury have only once won at St Neots in five visits and last season St Neots won 3-0 with goals from Nabil Shariff, Dylan Williams and Jordan Norville-Williams.

 

John Walker

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town    1    Coalville Town    4     

This victory left ambitious Coalville Town just a point outside the play-offs and it avenged an earlier meeting with St Neots when they were dumped out of the FA Cup in a penalty shoot-out.   It may have been the fourth meeting of the two sides this season (including the FA Cup replay) but the visitors will have learned little in advance about their opponents for St Neots skipper Matt Miles was the only survivor from the last meeting of the two sides.   The home side probably played as well as they had in their previous match against champions elect Kettering Town despite the final score not reflecting this, but the winners created few scoring openings yet managed to convert four of them!   It was once again a penalty conceded in the opening quarter of an hour that left the home side with a mountain to climb, but this time unlike in the previous match, the penalty decision was much more contentious.   It came after 12 minutes when central defender Owen Dunnett appeared to win the ball with a decisive challenge, but his opponent tumbled, and the Referee pointed to the spot on his Assistant’s advice.   From that point on St Neots were chasing the game despite their side being strengthened from their previous match with Scott Pollock and Gary Wharton returning after injury and loanee Ryan Hughes returning from his Football League debut with Northampton Town.   Also, back in the side was Prince Mutswunguma with Mason Rhiney, Joe Rider and Reif Clarke on the substitutes bench.

After a quiet opening the penalty award after 12 minutes was the first notable incident.   Andrew Wright confidently tucked away his spot kick to boost the visitors and a minute later Scott McManus could have increased the lead, but he shot wastefully over the bar.   For the next twenty minutes there was little action in either penalty area but a poor clearance by visiting keeper Richard Walton was seized upon by Scott Pollock whose chip drifted just over the cross bar.  With much of the play in midfield there was an effective stalemate as neither side were able to dominate but the reorganised home back four seemed to be growing in confidence.   Another opening for the visitors saw McManus fire high over the bar after the St Neots defence had failed to clear and then a lengthy free kick three minutes before the break by Ryan Hughes was comfortable gathered by Walton.   A disappointing first half ended with Tom McGlinchey winning his way to the bye line but as he widened his shooting angle his shot flew across the face of goal.

Pollock, still feeling his injury, failed to reappear after the interval giving recent signing Ben Bradley the opportunity for his debut in midfield for St Neots.    However, before any significant counter attack could be mustered by the home side, two goals in three minutes effectively ended the contest.   Five minutes after the restart Coalville won a free kick and Wright’s floated cross was headed in at the far post by defender Kieran Fenton and three minutes later St Neots were floored by a very unfortunate goal.   Another free kick by Wright was deflected up into the air by a defender, wrong footing his colleagues and it fell invitingly for Tim Berridge to poke home from just a couple of yards.   St Neots retaliated with a series of attacking moves and a Hughes free kick was deflected for a corner taken by Matt Miles.   His inswinging kick was totally misjudged by visiting keeper Richard Walton who called for the ball but off balance, could only punch it into his own net.   If that was the boost St Neots desired it did not materialise.   Their efforts failed to significantly test the visiting defence whilst at the other end James Philip made an excellent save to deny McGlinchey.  Eight minutes from time Joe Doyle-Charles won a corner for the visitors but suffered an accidental neck injury that saw an eight minutes delay in play whilst he was treated on pitch before being stretchered off.  However, in the added time substitute Kairo Mitchell took advantage of slack marking to complete the scoring.

St Neots Town:  Philip, Hood, Hughes, Miles, Dunnett, Shaw, Sutton, Pollock, Wharton, Mutswunguma, Norville-Williams

Subs: Bradley (for Pollock 46 mins), Rider(for Mutswunguma 74 mins), Rhiney and Clarke.

Cards:  Hughes (Y – 42 mins)

Goals: OG (57 mins)

Coalville Town: Walton, Thomas, McManus, Fenton, Burgin, Towers, Doyle-Charles, Wright, Omotola, Berridge, McGlinchey

Subs:  Mitchell (for Berridge 69 mins), Dean (for Wright 78 mins), Shaw (for Doyle-Charles 90 mins), Freeman and Luto.

Cards: none

Goals:  Wright – pen – (35 mins), Fenton (50 mins), Berridge (53 mins), Mitchell (90+2 mins)

 

Referee:              Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       139

 

John Walker

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