Southern League Premier Division
ST NEOTS TOWN 1 REDDITCH UNITED 0
St Neots second clean sheet in a league match this season (the previous one in August) contributed to a priceless three points from their match with visiting Redditch. The other major contributory factor was a man-of-the-match performance by defender Taylor Parr returning from a two-match suspension as he produced a master class in defending – especially in the air. Almost inevitably the solitary match winner came from in form Jevani Brown who took his tally to twelve goals in as many matches. Now six points clear of the drop zone St Neots future seems to be in their own hands and if they can build on their recent record of four wins in six outings their survival is beginning to look possible. Parr’s return meant that Jonny Butler was consigned to warming the subs bench and the other team change saw Tom Knowles given his first start in place of Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson. Redditch came to the Premier Plus Stadium with a perfect record of four wins in four visits so this result should act as a significant confidence builder for Matt Clements’ side.
The first half was edgy and although St Neots looked well in control with dominant possession they seldom seriously tested the visiting keeper. In the first twenty minutes James Tricks scuffed a good opening wide after neat work by skipper Micky Hyem, Tom Knowles cut in from the right to see his effort deflected and Taylor Parr tested the keeper with a lengthy free kick that threatened to creep in under the crossbar. The best first half move came from a quickly taken free kick by Hyem that freed Jevani Brown on the left and his angled low shot was pushed for a corner by Bradley Catlow. The first Redditch attempt on goal came on the half hour when Jhai Dhillon overlapped but sent his shot into the side netting. Knowles shot high over the bar after neat work by Lee Clarke and the first half ended with two bookings for visiting players as they tried every measure to hold up St Neots’ attacking intentions.
The second half began as a more open contest. Charles Morris looked very fortunate to only see yellow when he pulled back Jevani Brown in full flight towards goal but Redditch were looking more positive and Alex Archer had to dive bravely at the feet of Dhillon to smother his close-range shot. Redditch substitute Dior Angus almost snatched a goal against the run of play with an opportunist snap shot that rattled Archer’s crossbar and St Neots clearly signaled their intent to improve their finishing sending on two attacking substitutes with just over half an hour remaining. After 63 minutes Jevani Brown was again brought down in full flight earning his opponent another yellow card and from the well struck free kick Bradley Catlow had to go full length to his left to push away Declan Rogers’ low effort. Substitute Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson was using his pace to good effect and he went around his marker to shoot into the side netting before the keeper fielded a lengthy effort from Hyem. Still looking for that elusive winning goal St Neots sent on Luke Brown for the tiring James Tricks and at this point the visitors were defending in numbers clearly happy with a point. All that changed eight minutes from time when the winning goal arrived as Jevani Brown produced a superb swinging shot from 25 yards that nestled in the net after bisecting post and bar. Of course, Redditch sought to claw something back and they won three late corners but the St Neots defence held firm and the home side then twice broke away and could have scored another goal but Luke Brown’s shot rebounded from Catlow’s legs as he dived the wrong way and Fortnum-Tomlinson again rounded his marker but saw his shot land on the roof of the net.
St Neots: Archer, Partridge, Herd, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Knowles, Bell-Toxtle, Tricks, Hyem, Brown (Jevani)
Subs: Fortnam-Tomlinson (for Bell-Toxtle 59 mins), Rogers (for Knowles 59 mins), Brown (Luke) (for Tricks 84 mins), Butler and Norman.
Cards: Tricks (Y – 56)
Goal: Jevani Brown (82 mins)
Redditch: Catlow, Cullinane-Liburd, Dhillon, Fernandes-Mendes, Brown (Jordan), Courtney, Periera-Da-Viega, Benjamin, Keen, Bailey-Nicholls, Morris
Subs: Angus (forPeriera-Da-Viega 46 mins), Mitchell (for Bailey-Nicholls 71 mins), Loveridge (for Morris 75 mins), Campbell and Hussain.
Cards: Fernandes-Mendes (Y – 40), Periera-Da-Viega (Y – 45), Morris (Y – 53), Cullinane-Liburd (Y – 63)
Referee: Gareth Viccars (Milton Keynes)