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10 man Saints seal the win with a gritty display on the South coast

Sunday, 05 November 2017 11:32

 

Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division

 

GOSPORT BOROUGH       0         ST NEOTS TOWN        1          

 

Expectation was high as St Neots headed off to the south coast to take on bottom of the table Gosport Borough who were without a win in the league this season.   Mindful of their precarious position the former National League side had strengthened their squad over the past couple of weeks and looked more solid than expected.   St Neots began well and dominated for more than half an hour but faded towards the break and then heaped unnecessary pressure on themselves when they were reduced to ten men on the hour.   In the end they were happy to return home with all three points, but Manager Matt Clements was less than happy with the performance especially from the front players.   "We defended well’ he said, ‘and to get a clean sheet away from home (only the second in the league this season) was a fitting tribute to my back five".   The Manager had shuffled his pack with Johnny Herd, Kyron Wiltshire and Harry O’Malley all returning to the side for Ronayne Marsh-Brown, Tom Wood and skipper Luke Knight who was on the bench.   A first half injury to Scott Sinclair means he is doubtful for the Trophy match at home to Stourbridge next week.

 

In their two previous league meetings with Gosport five years ago, St Neots had twice finished on the losing side but they quickly showed that they were out to redress that position.  With Dion Sembie-Ferris marauding down the right flank there were early chances for Kyron Wiltshire and Dylan Williams and the pressure paid off after just ten minutes when Sembie-Ferris was hauled down in the area by Eddie Wakely and Dylan Williams stroked home his seventh goal of the season from the penalty spot.   Play continued largely towards the Gosport goal with St Neots defenders joining the fray as Liam McDevitt tested home keeper Tom Price with a lob and Taylor Parr headed over from a Bradshaw free kick.   Then after 25 minutes St Neots had to regroup when Scott Sinclair was helped off with a dead leg with Ryan Horne on in midfield and Williams moved out wide left.   The visitors shrugged off this setback with Tom Meechan on his fiftieth appearance seeing a close-range effort deflected and Parr forcing a good full length save from Price.   Then in the ten minutes before the break the home side came into the game and Frankie Page intercepted a misplaced pass to set his side on the attack and his perfectly weighted cross found the head of Iffy Onwauchwu at the far post but with the goal at his mercy he sent the ball wide.   Liam Mears then had Gosport’s second clear chance, but he missed his kick and the half ended with Jack Bradshaw twice shooting wide of goal for the visitors.

 

St Neots began the second half with the impressive Harry O’Malley firing over the bar and the Referee then played a good advantage to the visitors before coming back to book Onwauchwu for a late off the ball challenge on Ryan Horne.   Gosport were now competing far better and Mears had a shot blocked by McDevitt and Luke King headed wide when he should have at least tested Mike Emery.  Then on the hour Kyron Wiltshire mistimed a high challenge on Harry Medway and was sent off after the Referee consulted an Assistant on the appropriate level of punishment.   It was the midfielder’s second sending-off of the season having picked up two yellow cards in the match with Weymouth and he now misses to FA Trophy match.   Emery’s most important save came on 66 minutes when he spread himself to block a Mears effort with his legs and then Sembie-Ferris could have eased the pressure shooting wide after good work by Meechan.  Towards the end the home was making its numerical advantage tell as St Neots switched to a one-man attack, but they held out to return home with three valuable points.

 

St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, O’Malley, Parr, McDevitt, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Williams (D), Sinclair (S)

Subs:  Horne (for Sinclair 25 mins), Knight (for Sembie-Ferris 77 mins), Bridges (for Meechan 87 mins) and Dean.

Cards:  Wiltshire (RED – 60), Meechan (Y – 73)

Goals:  Williams – pen (10 mins)

 

Gosport:  Price, Paige, Medway, Lis, Wakely, Sanders, Breed, King, Onwauchwu, Mears, Sinclair (M)  

Subs:  Mason (for Lis 66 mins), Watts, Buckland, Connor and Watch.

Cards:   Mears (Y – 34 mins), Onwauchwu (51 mins)

Goals:   none

 

Attendance: 236

Referee:  Lewis Sandor (Bournemouth)

 

John Walker 

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