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10 man Saints put up gallant display on the South coast but succumb to late double

Sunday, 11 February 2018 09:55

SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Weymouth       3        St Neots Town      1        

The sending off of St Neots skipper Luke Knight after 31 minutes for an alleged handball proved to be the catalyst for an unfortunate away defeat at in-form Weymouth.   The incident came when a close- range shot was driven at him on the goal line following a corner and although the Referee waved play on, an eagle-eyed Assistant flagged for the infringement.   Play was then brought back, and double punishment imposed as a converted penalty kick was awarded which put the home side in a commanding position.   This condemned the visitors to playing for the final hour with ten men and despite a heroic rearguard performance including an equalizing goal the day was sadly spoiled when Weymouth scored twice in the last five minutes to snatch all three points.   It was an undeserved blow for Matt Clements understrength team short of several players.   Lewis Irwin was unwell, David Bridges unavailable, and Scott Sinclair sidelined by the injury sustained at St Ives, so Jack Bradshaw and Dion Sembie-Ferris were restored to the side after missing the Senior Cup tie.   The defeat was no disgrace and the small contingent of visiting supporters showed their appreciation of the team effort at the final whistle.

In many ways it was a strange game because in the first half hour apart from two off target shots by the home side there was little meaningful goalmouth action.   Both defenses were dominant and neither goalkeeper had a shot to save in that opening half hour.   However, the dismissal seemed to bring the match to life after St Neots keeper Finlay Iron had gone full length to tip away a Calvin Brooks shot to concede the corner.   Leading league scorer Brandon Goodship rapped home the penalty despite Iron guessing correctly and getting his fingertips to the well struck spot kick.   The keeper was then again in action diving bravely at the feet of Harry Baker and he then produced a stunning full length save to deny Goodship a second goal.   Two minutes before the break overlapping full back Callum Buckley was given too much space to go clear on goal but he sent his shot high over the bar before St Neots ended the half with a flourish.   Kyron Wiltshire produced a delightful cross field pass to find the unmarked Tom Wood who sent St Neots first real shot over the bar and then Taylor Parr had a header saved from a Johnny Herd corner.

If Weymouth thought the second half against ten men was going to be easy they had a shock.   Wood saw a shot blocked as the visitors took the game to their opponents and Dion Sembie-Ferris was upended as he made for goal.   After 63 minutes Wiltshire again became the provider as he set up Jack Bradshaw whose shot was too high and then St Neots suffered a blow as acting skipper Taylor Parr was injured, although able to continue after treatment.   Then after a spell of pressure St Neots were rewarded with an equalizing goal.   Substitute Stefan Broccoli on for Sembie-Ferris was hauled down 25 yards from goal and Jack Bradshaw bent a low free kick around the defensive wall and beyond the despairing dive of goalkeeper Will Dennis.   Weymouth responded with a series of attacking moves in which Iron produced the save of the match to deny Harry Baker and Brooks saw a net bound shot deflected wide.  Eventually the numeric unbalance paid off five minutes from time when a Weymouth free kick was flicked on at the near post by Jake McCarthy and Stephane Zubar restored the home sides’ lead with a diving close range header.   Then three minutes into added time salt was rubbed in the wound when a deflected shot fell to substitute Jordan Ngaio who completed the scoring.

 

St Neots Town:  Iron, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wood, Shariff, Wiltshire, Williams

Subs:  Broccoli (for Sembie-Ferris 55 mins), O’Malley (for Williams 80 mins) and Dean

Cards:  Knight (RED – 31 mins), Wiltshire (Y – 61 mins)

GoalsBradshaw (71 mins)

 

Weymouth:  Dennis, Wells, Buckley, Zubar, McCarthy, Wakefield, Davis, Thomson, Baker, Goodship, Brooks

Subs:  Ngaio (for Davis 81 mins), Sa (for Baker 89 mins), Stewart, Baggio and Cooper

Cards:  Buckley (Y – 38 mins), Thomson (Y – 57 mins)

Goals:  Goodship – pen – (31 mins), Zubar (85 mins), Ngaio (90 + 3 mins)

 

Referee:  Robert Cockle (Bristol)

Attendance:  653

 

John Walker

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