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Two points dropped as Redditch snatch late leveller

Saturday, 16 December 2017 21:21


Southern League Premier Division    

REDDITCH UNITED       2        ST NEOTS TOWN        2     

It was difficult to find anyone who was happy with the outcome of this match at Redditch.  Both sides thought they deserved all three points – St Neots for their impressive first half performance and Redditch for their spirited fightback, St Neots manager Matt Clements was unhappy at seeing his side concede two goals in the last eight minutes, and the Redditch boss was sacked as he left the pitch after the game!   On a more positive note Clements had been forced into two team changes because of the unavailability of David Bridges and the suspension of Taylor Parr.   Into their places he drafted recent signing teenager Stefan Broccoli and Tom Wood, and both scored in the first 18 minutes of the match.  Broccoli a former apprentice at Arsenal and Newcastle United was outstanding in midfield with his invention and energy and looks to be a very shrewd signing.   It probably was a case of two points dropped rather than one gained for the visitors but a point on the road at a venue where they had only won once in their previous five league visits was an acceptable return ahead of the two home Christmas matches.

The match got off to a dramatic start as St Neots scored with the first attack from either side as front men Nabil Shariff and Lewis Irwin combined in a quick break forward, with the latter picking out an unmarked run by new boy Stefan Broccoli and he confidently drew Ethan Ross from his line to open the scoring.  Redditch replied with Kevin Monteiro getting behind the St Neots defence to cross for Dior Angus but his finish was poor, and Mike Emery saved comfortably.   Emery was less comfortable as he had to go full length to turn away an Ashley Sammons free kick after 15 minutes but three minutes later St Neots extended their lead as Tom Wood rose at the near post to flick a neat header from a Johnny Herd cross past Ross following a corner won by Dion Sembie-Ferris.   St Neots put themselves under pressure by conceding free kicks around the edge of their penalty area and from one of these Brown saw his fierce effort blocked by the defensive wall.   From another shortly afterwards Orrin Pendley headed a Danny Jackman free kick wide but St Neots were having the best of the first 45 minutes with Irwin firing narrowly wide after neat approach play by Broccoli and then the youngster saw an effort of his own touched over the bar by Ross.  Ross also saved well from Johnny Herd and Redditch were glad to hear the half time whistle to relieve the St Neots pressure.

Both sides made half-time changes with Ryan Horne replacing skipper Luke Knight still struggling with an injury whilst the home side boosted their attack by introducing Bradley Maslen-Jones.   Redditch looked more positive with Brown bringing a save from Emery and the keeper then pushed away a shot at full length from Sammons.   Much of the play was positive with the ball moving swiftly from end to end and for a while St Neots looked comfortably able to defend their lead.   Scott Sinclair out for more than a month came on in a straight swap with Sembie-Ferris and he was quickly in the action shooting wide after clever play by Broccoli and then failing to test Ross when clear on goal.  It all began to go wrong for St Neots eight minutes from time when Angus spotted a late unmarked run into the area by Sammons and his unselfish pass set his colleague up for his sides’ first goal.   Two minutes later Pendley was lucky only to pick up a caution when he floored Irwin off the ball in at Neots counter-attack.   Then as the clock ticked onto the 90th minute the St Neots defence failed to cut out a corner and substitute Spencer Weir-Daley headed past Emery to level the scores and in added time Angus could have plundered all three points for Redditch, but his shot was deflected wide.


St Neots:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Wood, Wiltshire, Broccoli, Irwin, Shariff, Sembie-Ferris,  

Subs:  Horne (for Knight 46 mins), Sinclair (for Sembie-Ferris 68 mins), Butler (for Broccoli 87 mins) & Marsh-Brown.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Broccoli (3 mins), Wood (18 mins)


Redditch:  Ross, Wright, Fox, Jackman, Brown, Pendley, Apostolopoulos, Monteiro, Angus, Sammons, Dunkley

Subs:  Maslen-Jones (for Apostolopoulos 46 mins), Weir-Daley (for Dunkley 61 mins), Rosser (for Jackman 66 mins), Hussain and Hawker.

Cards:   Pendley (Y – 84 mins), Maslen-Jones (Y – 84 mins), Monteiro 90 + 2 mins>

Goals:   Sammons (82 mins), Weir-Daley (90 mins)


Attendance: 232

Referee:  Neil Pratt (Solihull)


John Walker


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