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Delightful finishes from Jack Bradshaw and Dylan Williams settle scrappy local derby

Sunday, 06 August 2017 10:06

Pre-season friendly

 

ST NEOTS TOWN        2       BEDFORD TOWN      1    

 

This victory took St Neots tally to six wins in nine pre-season matches but it was probably their least convincing victory.   With Luke Knight, Lee Clarke, Johnny Herd and Tom Wood all missing, Manager Matt Clements again had the chance to assess the potential strength of his squad and this performance may have given him plenty to ponder.   Step Four neighbours Bedford Town were a side full of running and invention but they failed to capitalize on their scoring chances and paid that penalty in their defeat.   Several home players were absent nursing minor knocks but the overall strength of the home side should have been sufficient but they lacked quality in their attacking approach and were guilty of allowing promising moves to break down because of poor passing.   So now it will be back to basics on the training ground as the Manager assembles his line up for the first League match at home to Farnborough next Saturday.   Promoted from the lower league last season Farnborough who were former members of the Football Conference prior to demotion and reformation are an ambitious Club and likely to present St Neots with a stiff opening challenge to the 2017/18 season.

 

Bedford was clearly the better of the two sides in the opening 45 minutes and almost all the early attacks came from their superior possession.   Devante Stanley might have done better in the third minute when he lofted his shot high over the bar and on the quarter hour a clever through ball from Bradley Woods-Garness freed up Lee Roach behind the St Neots defence.  He took the ball around advancing keeper Mike Emery but his net bound shot was cleared off the line by Taylor Parr.   Both Andrew Phillips and Woods-Garness fired over the bar after good moves had outwitted the St Neots defence and St Neots were struggling to create any significant openings.   However, after 32 minutes and totally against the run of play St Neots went ahead when Scott Sinclair was cynically brought down from behind to earn St Neots a free kick twenty yards from goal and full back Jack Bradshaw stepped up to fire low past visiting keeper Adam Harper with the assistance of a slight deflection.   Liam McDevitt then miskicked in front of goal after good work by Ryan Horne and the half ended with Phillips having one shot deflected and a second find the side netting as the visitors strove for an equalizing goal.

 

After the break, they did not have long to wait to reap their deserts.   After 48 minutes’ the best goal of the match was created by substitute Matty Clifford who beat his marker to set up Devante Stanley who curled a delightful shot well wide of substitute St Neots goalkeeper Dom Ruggerio.   That might have boosted the confidence of the visitors but St Neots were now showing better teamwork.  However, they could have gone behind after 58 minutes when a clever attacking move saw another substitute Ben Sawyer move inside to set up Lee Roach but once again Parr got back behind his beaten keeper to clear off the line.   Three minutes later St Neots regained the lead as the lively Scott Sinclair robbed a defender on the bye line and accurately picked up Dylan Williams’ late run into the penalty area and he finished confidently.   Now back in front St Neots looked more composed and Sinclair sent two efforts over the bar before Williams netted but was ruled offside.   Multi substitutions followed by both sides and after 74 minutes a mistake by Ruggerio presented Roach with an open goal but Parr got back to complete his hat trick of goal line clearances.  Omar Naseri might have earned Bedford a draw after wriggling through the St Neots defence but his finish was wide and the match petered out with Bedford having more possession but St Neots defended well to hang on for their victory.

 

Claire Howes's Photo Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/

 

SNTtv Goal Footage can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKbwdBcGujU

 

 

St Neots Town:  Emery, O’Malley, Bradshaw, Horne, McDevitt, Parr, Sinclair, Hyem, Watson, Williams (D), Foy

 

Subs:  Williams (A), Muzvimbiri, Mitchell, Holman and Hiscock.

 

Bedford Town:  Harper, Cooper, Brown, McKenzie-Lowe, Milenge, Peters, Woods-Garness, Auger, Roach, Stanley, Phillips

 

Subs:  Sawyer, Moli, Grant, Naseri, Walker and Clifford.

 

Referee:  Ellis Mills (Yaxley)

 

 

John Walker

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