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Saints tear up the script as second placed Rebels are put to the sword

Saturday, 23 September 2017 19:26

Southern League Premier Division     

ST NEOTS TOWN        3         SLOUGH TOWN      1          

St Neots record breaking striker Tom Meechan marked his return to the Club on loan from National League side Hungerford Town with a brace of goals to star in a significant victory over second in the table Slough Town – his first goal coming after just five minutes.   Slough arrived at St Neots with six consecutive league victories behind them and boasting the best goal scoring record in the Division but as the game progressed they seemed shocked by the St Neots level of confidence and commitment but can have no complaint in defeat – clearly outplayed on the day.   The return of their prodigal striker seemed to boost the whole St Neots side and they could have won by a greater margin but for some bad luck in front of goal.   Meechan’s inclusion was one of two changes in the starting line up with Scott Sinclair the unlucky player to be left on the bench with Dion Sembie-Ferris moving out his preferred wide berth.   In goal Mike Emery returned after missing two matches through injury.   Maybe a week away from the action after being knocked out of the FA Cup had been beneficial to the team for their collective approach from the word go was one of positive attacking football and a casual observer would not have known which of the two sides were flirting with the top of the league table.

All that came after a potentially devastating blow after just four minutes when an innocuous looking challenge by Ryan Horne saw Referee Hallam Cutmore point dramatically to the penalty spot to the surprise of both sides.  Emery guessed correctly to parry the spot kick by Chris Flood but was unable to hold the ball and the visiting player followed up to net.  Clearly St Neots response was immediate and effective for sixty seconds later a cross from the right was not cleared by the visiting defence and Tom Meechan pounced to level the scores.   St Neots continued to press and Dion Sembie-Ferris cut in to have a low shot deflect off the keepers’ legs for a corner and then from a Luke Knight chip into the area Liam McDevitt had a header well saved by Jack Turner.  A lengthy effort by James Dobson was comfortably saved by Emery but it was the home side creating the chances with Turner saving at full length from Sembie-Ferris and a Dylan Williams header being clawed down from under the cross bar.   Towards half time Flood volleyed over the bar when well-placed, but St Neots had enjoyed the better of the first half exchanges and their half time instructions will have been ’more of the same’.

Meechan turner provider straight after the break with a cross from the right picking out Williams who headed over the bar but Slough did threaten for a spell with Dobson volleying wide and Flood bringing an important save from Emery at the expense of a corner.   After 65 minutes Meechan cut in from the left and beat Turner with a rising shot that crashed off the underside of the cross bar to be hacked clear and then in another attack Herd powered through to see his shot blocked and fellow full back Jack Bradshaw saw his effort too high.  Slough were now having to spend most of their time defending and after 76 minutes Meechan brought the save of the match from the under-pressure Turner.  However, Meechan was not to be denied and two minutes later he picked up a neat Sembie-Ferris flick to swivel in the area and put St Neots in front.   The striker then went clear but attempting to round the keeper saw his shot deflected by the custodians’ legs.  Slough then pushed forward in search of a late equalizer but four minutes into time added with the visiting defence caught short Sembie-Ferris streaked through the defence to slot home the goal that deservedly clinched all three valuable points.

Claire Howes' photo gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/

SNTtv Video highlights can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0OakXMqCRQ

 

St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams (D)

Subs:  Sinclair (for Williams 83), Wood (for Horne 86), Hyem (for Meechan 90), O’Malley and Clarke (L).

Cards:  Knight (Y – 4 mins), Wiltshire (Y – 67 mins)

 

Goals: Meechan 2 (5 and 78 mins), Sembie-Ferris (90 + 4 mins)

 

Slough Town:  Turner, Fraser, Wells, Inns, Nisbet, Togwell, Dobson, Dunn, Lench, Flood, Harris

 

Subs:  Webb (for Dunn 20), James (for Harris 59), Hollis (for Fraser 90), Jackman and Smart

 

Cards:   none

 

Goals:   Flood (4 mins)

Attendance: 310

Referee:  Hallam Cutmore (Peterborough)

 

 

John Walker

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