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Stunning Second Half display sees the rampant Saints blunt the Steelmen and snatch the prizepot

Saturday, 28 October 2017 19:36

Buildbase FA Trophy – First Qualifying Round

ST NEOTS TOWN        3          CORBY TOWN       2  

It is a completely overworked phrase, but this really was a game of two halves.   Corby totally dominated the first 45 minutes and scored twice in three minutes early on whilst St Neots were almost anonymous and only really tested the visiting keeper on two occasions.   What was said in the dressing room at half time after such a poor home side showing is not recorded but St Neots returned after their half time cup of tea a different side.   With a slight tweak to their approach and two substitutes on, they controlled the second half to such an extent that home goalkeeper Mike Emery had only one save to make whilst his opposite number was in almost constant action.  The key was probably the tactical change that saw St Neots play far more football on the ground and down the flanks to prevent the two-giant visiting central defenders from mopping up their rather ambitious attacking attempts.   With Dylan Williams free roaming in attack and the wide players always outpacing their markers, St Neots could have scored more goals, as their visitors should have done in the first 45 minutes.  There was just one change in the starting line-up with Taylor Parr back in defence following suspension, which pushed Tom Wood into midfield in place of Harry O’Keefe, perhaps unlucky to lose his place after some solid performances.

The first half hour of the match is best forgotten by St Neots.   Looking slick and confident Corby showed why they had won their last six league and Cup matches as they shredded a rather hesitant St Neots defence to run a up a quick two goals advantage.   After 11 minutes Jordan Crawford cut inside his marker from the left and unleashed a right-footed thunderbolt that left Mike Emery statuesque and three minutes later the advantage was doubled.  Again, the St Neots defence were only spectators as Crawford and Steven Leslie neatly exchanged passes to leave two defenders in their wake and when the cross reached the penalty area Ben Diamond got in front of his marker to glance the ball past Emery.   The St Neots approach in response was not working as the two towering visiting defenders Paul Malone and Jason Lee were easily able to cut out any danger before it materialized.   Tom Wood curled a shot just wide and Dylan Williams shot the wrong side of a post with visiting keeper Sam Wilson only having to save twice from Tom Meechan and Dion Sembie Ferris.  Right on half time Emery saved well from Jordan O’Brien and this was to prove a pivotal moment allowing St Neots with just a two goals deficit to address in the second half.

Manager Matt Clements decide he needed more defensive stability sending on Johnny Herd and withdrawing Ronayne Marsh-Brown, and he added more midfield creativity swapping Tom Wood with Kyron Wiltshire.   The result was an almost instant improvement and after 52 minutes Herd fed Scott Sinclair whose looping cross drew the keeper off his line, but Dion Sembie-Ferris’ pace beat him to the ball and he headed into the unguarded net.   Eight minutes later with the momentum maintained a long Herd throw evaded the defence and at the far post Liam McDevitt claimed his first goal for St Neots.   Now Corby began to look demoralized and after 64 minutes ace marksman Tom Meechan raced into the area to score after the Referee had played on despite Connor Kennedy bringing down Sinclair to deservedly earn his second yellow card and dismissal.   Down to ten men the visitors tried to exploit breakaway attacking to get back into the match but their defence was often exposed and goalkeeper Wilson made two excellent saves to deny Meechan and Sinclair.  St Neots’ only anxious moment came two minutes from time when the lively Crawford tumbled in the St Neots penalty area and as breaths were held the Referee booked the visiting player for simulation.   It was a comeback that deserved the £3,250 sponsorship award.

 

St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Marsh-Brown, Knight, Parr, McDevitt, Sembie-Ferris, Wood, Meechan, Williams (D), Sinclair

Subs:  Herd (for Marsh-Brown 46 mins), Wiltshire (for Wood 46 mins), Butler (for Williams 90 mins) O’Malley and Bridges.

Cards:  Parr (Y – 22), Knight (Y – 48), Sembie-Ferris (Y – 50)

 

Goals:  Sembie-Ferris (52 mins), McDevitt (60 mins), Meechan (64 mins)

 

Corby Town:  Wilson, Anton, Warburton, Malone, Lee, Leslie, Diamond, Kennedy, O’Brian, Mulready, Crawford

 

Subs:  Trainer (for O’Brien 54 mins), Tanga-Gibson (for Mulready 81 mins), McBride, Smith and Cretu.

 

Cards:   Huggins (Y – 11 mins)

 

Goals:   Kennedy (RED – 2 x Y -  53 & 64 mins), Crawford (88 mins)

Attendance: 275

Referee:  James Turner (Dereham)

 

 

John Walker

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