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Comeback Kid Williams Seals The Win With An Absolute Pearler

Sunday, 24 December 2017 09:20


Southern League Premier Division    

ST NEOTS TOWN        3        KINGS LANGLEY      2     


After a five matches injury lay-off leading home scorer Dylan Williams returned to the St Neots line-up as second half substitute and hit a stunning goal of the match to earn full points for his side.  It was no less than their overall performance deserved for having traded the first half blow for blow with an improving and determined Kings Langley side they dominated much of the second half but a combination of indifferent finishing, a solid and packed visiting defence and two outstanding saves by visiting keeper Martin Bennett made the possibility of yet another draw the most likely outcome.  However, St Neots have created the reputation of playing right up to the final whistle and their reward of another three points haul was a great start to the Christmas festivities.   Despite Williams reporting fit, Manager Matt Clements kept faith with his line up from the previous match but his decision to bring on Williams for the exciting talent of Stefan Broccoli in a straight midfield swap proved to be a master stroke.   There was also another five-star display in attack by Lewis Irwin and Dion Sembie-Ferris and one day their pace and commitment will be a significant factor in a large St Neots victory.

The home side got an early rude awakening when their visitors took the lead in the second minute with the first attack of the match.  They won a corner on the left aimed by Brendan Ocran to the near post where defender Sam Tring swiveled to half- volley the ball into the roof of the net.    St Neots hit back immediately and within three minutes Nabil Shariff got the ball in the opposition net but an Assistant Referee ruled that the ball had gone beyond the bye line before being crossed.   In their next attack Luke Knight had two efforts blocked by defenders and then an effort from Stefan Broccoli was only just too high.  However, St Neots continued to press and were level after 25 minutes when Lewis Irwin split the home defence leaving Dion Sembie-Ferris to advance on goal to slip the ball beyond the advancing Martin Bennett.   Two minutes later the transformation was complete as Irwin rose high above defenders to head St Neots’ second goal from a Johnny Herd corner.   Fortunes continued to fluctuate as ninety seconds after the scores were even again as Kieran Turner played Mitchell Weiss clear of square home defence and his hard and low cross was turned into his own net by Johnny Herd as he attempted to cover at the far post.   Mike Emery who was seldom extended did save well from an Ocran free kick arising from an incident where the already yellow carded Liam McDevitt may have been fortunate to stay on the field after a clumsy challenge that concede the free kick.   St Neots finished the first half with two more good efforts – a volley from Irwin that grazed the cross bar and a header from McDevitt that was also just too high.

If the second half was fractionally less exciting it was because the visiting side had far less to offer in terms of attacking play.   Sembie-Ferris almost added to his first half goal on the hour, but Bennett made an outstanding full length save and the keeper then charged from his line to pick the ball off the toes of Nabil Shariff whose pace had seen him outwit his marker.   With 25 minutes left the visitors seemed committed to sitting on the draw as they sent on all three permitted substitutes to adopt a more defensive approach.  St Neots responded by introducing Dylan Williams who looked as though he had never been away.   With fourteen minutes remaining a superb move down the left involving Sembie-Ferris ended with Bennett producing the save of the match to deny the unlucky Shariff.  But St Neots stuck to their guns and after 82 minutes again from a Sembie-Ferris assist, Williams went outside one defender and inside a second to unleash a curling shot into the net for the match winning goal to lift St Neots up to eighth in the league table.

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

Subs:  Williams (for Broccoli 62 mins), Sinclair (for Sembie-Ferris 90 mins), Marsh-Brown (for Irwin 90+5 mins), O’Malley and Butler.

Cards:  McDevitt (Y – 23 mins)

Goals:  Sembie-Ferris (25 mins), Irwin (27 mins), Williams (82 mins)


Kings Langley:  Bennett, Connolly, Adebiyi, Tring, Johnson, Godfrey, Ocran, Gosling, Weiss, King, Turner

Subs:  Codicote-Stevens (for Gosling 66 mins), Price (for Weiss 71 mins), Ward (for Ocran 73 mins), Alasan and Folarin.

Cards:   Weiss (Y – 20 mins), King (Y – 90+2 mins)

Goals:   Tring (2 mins), Herd OG (29 mins)


Attendance: 318

Referee:  Carl Pearse (Colchester)


John Walker


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