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On-fire Saints sweep past young Stags

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 21:36

Pre-Season Friendly

 

ST NEOTS TOWN         4       MANSFIELD TOWN XI      1    

 

St Neots’ penultimate pre-season friendly against a youthful but very accomplished Mansfield Town Academy XI was a very useful workout and it produced their fifth victory in eight warm-up matches.   Again, loan striker Matt Foy made his mark with two well-taken goals and apart from the concession of a second half penalty kick, the reshaped defence looked sound and secure against a pacey attack.   With just one more warm-up before the season proper on Saturday week, Manager Matt Clements must now have a clearer view of his first-choice line-up despite the absence of some potential squad regulars from this match.   Minor first half injuries to Luke Knight and Scott Sinclair and expected to clear up in time for selection for the opening visit of promoted Farnborough FC on 12 August.

 

Right from the start St Neots looked capable of dictating the pattern of play.   Matt Foy turned smartly in the area after good work by Ryan Horne to shoot narrowly wide and Scott Sinclair brought a smart save from visiting keeper Harrison Davidson.  However, St Neots early momentum was disrupted after 15 minutes when Luke Knight limped off injured to be replaced by utility player Tom Wood.   Wood have played the whole of last season in the centre of the defence but he slotted in confidently and efficiently in midfield proving how important his place in the squad will be.   Mansfield’s only notable first half attack after 20 minutes forced St Neots custodian Evan Jeckells to swiftly leave his area to clear but this was an isolated threat and five minutes later St Neots first expected goal arrived as Sinclair crossed from the left and Danny Watson timed his run to the near post perfectly to head over the stranded goalkeeper.   Watson could have then trebled his haul in the next six minutes but he volleyed wide when Dylan Williams spotted him unmarked at the far post and he then headed wide from a Horne cross.   St Neots continued to create openings keeping Davidson in constant action and there was some concern when Sinclair was helped off with a facial injury a minute before the break not to return.

 

St Neots introduced their two remaining substitutes after the break bringing on Andre Williams for Sinclair and Harry O’Malley for Johnny Herd in a straight swap.   The best move of the match after 54 minutes produced the best goal of the match as Foy (twice) and Watson combined to shred the visiting defence and when Foy was upended in the area Dylan Williams stepped up to confidently dispatch the penalty kick to make it 2-0.   Now St Neots looked further in control and two minutes later Watson unselfishly nodded down a Dylan Williams cross and Matt Foy claimed his third goal in two appearances for St Neots.  Both second half substitutes Harry O’Malley and Andre Williams went close to further increasing St Neots lead whilst at the other end substitute Iywrah Gooden forced a smart save from Evan Jeckells.   However, the visitors refused to submit and after 72 minutes Riley O’Sullivan broke into the penalty area to be brought down by Horne and the same visiting player got up to rap home the penalty kick for the visitors’ consolation goal.   There was still time for the home side and Matt Foy to have the last word as Dylan Williams set up Foy for the fourth St Neots goal a minute from time.

 

St Neots:  Jeckells, Bradshaw, Herd, Horne, McDevitt, Parr, Foy, Knight, Watson, Williams (D), Sinclair

 

Subs:  Williams (A), O’Malley and Wood

 

Mansfield:  Davidson, Shone, Bennett, Walker, Gibbens. Johnson, Bircumshaw, Morgan, Sarson, Dumbleton, Cornell

 

Subs:  Mars, O’Sullivan, Briggs, Gooden and Weston.

 

Referee:  Josh Smith

 

 

John Walker

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