Southern League Premier Division
ST NEOTS TOWN 5 KINGS LANGLEY 2
Jevani Brown claimed his second hat trick in successive home matches to win a ‘six-pointer’ encounter at a blustery Premier Plus Stadium and help his side complete a double over visiting Kings Langley. That took his personal tally to eleven goals in just ten matches following his arrival from Stamford in January. St Neots moved up alongside Kings in the league table with an inferior goal difference and they are now three points above the relegation trapdoor with a game in hand. With defender Taylor Parr suspended, Manager Matt Clements had to tinker with his defence and he brought in former Stevenage defender Jonny Butler alongside Tom Wood for only his third start. Elsewhere Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson had recovered from injury to be preferred to Nassim L’Ghoul and Jacob Partridge took over at full back from Harry Norman. The visitors like St Neots are now embroiled in the relegation dogfight but they showed little fight in a match that St Neots dominated for long periods. Assistant Manager Lee Clarke was in the starting line-up for the first time this season after his lengthy injury absence and his physical presence in midfield was an important factor in the victory.
Appropriately Jevani Brown had the first shot of the match bringing a full-length touch around a post from visiting keeper Xavi Lomas after just three minutes. With the wind in their favour St Neots took the game to their visitors and after just nine minutes a long throw from Jonny Herd was not cleared and Brown slotted home from ten yards. Herd’s long throws were to be a feature of the first half although Lomas quickly answered the threat by leaving his line to punch clear. Gary Connolly clear off the line from Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson with his keeper beaten and he was beaten again after 18 minutes when Brown slotted home from the penalty spot after Lee Clarke had been fouled by Jorell Johnson to make it 2-0. In a breakaway attack, Kieran Turner lifted the ball over Alex Archer but it bounced on top of the bar and away to safety. For a second time a goal line clearance denied Fortnam-Tomlinson as St Neots continued to dominate but St Neots were almost caught out by another breakaway when Alex Archer ten yards outside his area bundled Jerry Amoo to the ground and was booked. However, he made amends pushing the resultant free kick by Michael King for a corner. Seven minutes before the break a Fortnam-Tomlinson cross found the head of Micky Hyem who brought a good one handed parry from Lomas but Ferdinand Bell-Toxtle was perfectly placed to rap the ball home for the third goal – his first for St Neots.
Kings came out after the interval with a very determined approach and inside two minutes had a stroke of good fortune when they pulled a goal back as a Michael King shot took a wicked deflection to beat Archer who was helplessly diving the wrong way. The visitors’ recovery never really gathered much momentum despite putting on all three substitutes early in the second half. Lomas needed two attempts to keep out an effort by James Tricks but the visitors did manage two notable efforts with Archer saving from two of the substitutes in quick succession. Micky Hyem had a shot saved as St Neots contained the efforts of their visitors and the result always looked assured but there was a sting in the tail with a dramatic finale with three goals arriving in the last four minutes. Jevani Brown joyfully completed his hat trick from a cross by substitute Tom Knowles as the clock showed 90 minutes completed but another deflected shot this time by Michael King made the score 4-2 three minutes later deep into added time. It was St Neots who had the last word because from the restart substitute Tom Knowles was again played free on the left and he rounded his marker to fire in a low cross turned into his own net by Gary Connelly. It was St Neots’ third consecutive home league victory in a fortnight.
St Neots: Archer, Partridge, Herd, Clarke, Wood, Butler, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Bell-Toxtle, Tricks, Hyem, Brown (J)
Subs: Brown (L) (for Tricks 71 mins), Knowles (for Fortnam-Tomlinson 74 mins), Rogers (for Clarke 88 mins), L’Ghoul and Norman.
Cards: Archer (Y – 24), Clarke (Y – 76)
Goals: Jevani Brown 3 (9, 18-pen and 90 mins), Bell-Toxtle (38 mins), Gary Connelly (O.G.)(90 + 4 mins)
Kings Langley: Lomas, Pattison, Balogun, Johnson, Asadu-Adjaye, Connelly, Platt,Plowright, King, Amoo, Turner
Subs: Cox (for Platt 46 mins), Ward (for Pattison 46 mins), Bush (for Balogun 69 mins), Waldren and Coldicott- Stevens.
Cards: Balogun (Y – 55), Asadu-Adjaye (Y – 76), Cox (Y – 87)
Goals: King 2 (47 and 90 + 3 mins)
Referee: Stephen Bates (St Albans)