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The sun shines as Saints grind out three points against resilient Reds

Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:45

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town      2        Redditch United       1

St Neots capitalized on an impressive start to their penultimate home match of the season to take their points tally to 60 for the season – their second highest haul in the Southern League Premier Division.   It was their second consecutive home victory over Redditch after having been beaten in the sides’ first four meetings at the Premier Plus Stadium.    After their disappointing run of results in February and early March when they scored just once in four matches, the last four have brought twelve goals and three victories.   The two sides had drawn 2-2 at Redditch earlier in the season when St Neots conceded two goals in the last eight minutes but this time there was to be no repeat as the home side hung on to their half time advantage to claim victory.   After the long midweek trip to Dorchester Manager Matt Clements recalled young full back Jordan Norville-Williams and reshuffled his side leaving David Bridges on the bench.

In the first attack of the match after 55 seconds St Neots though they had won a penalty when Dylan Williams tumbled but the Referee issued a yellow card for simulation, but the home side were rewarded for their brisk start when they went ahead after five minutes.   Theball ran towards the bye line and   Tom Meechan was first to move, and he crossed to the far post where defender Liam McDevitt bundled the ball into the net for the opening goal.    Redditch replied with a swift attacking move that saw home keeper Finlay Iron parry a snap shot, the ball running loose to Adam Page, but he skied his effort over the bar.   Nabil Shariff was looking lively, and he twice shot over the bar, the second time after cleverly creating space for himself.   After 24 minutes St Neots had a let off when an inswinging Tristian Dunkley corner was not cleared and Montel Gibson headed towards an unguarded net, but Liam McDevitt got back to clear off the line.   At the other end McDevitt won a Williams free kick but off-balance fired over the bar and eight minutes before the break, St Neots doubled their lead.   A defensive clearance cannoned off a defender and ran towards the bye line.   Tom Meechan retrieved the ball and sent in a low shot from a narrow angle that beat Ethan Ross in the visiting goal.  The Redditch lifeline came three minutes before the break when Tom Wood was harshly penalized for a tackle on Louis Ezewele and Ashley Sammons rapped home the spot kick.  

Redditch upped their game upon the restart and Sammons shot wide when well-placed and the experience Stuart Fleetwood was played clear by Dunkley, but Iron got down to make a good save.   After 64 minutes Redditch almost squared the contest when a Page corner was bundled into the net, but the Referee had spotted a push on the St Neots keeper and awarded a free kick.   A minute later St Neots sent on two substitutes withdrawing the wide attacking players Sembie-Ferris and Williams and settled down to a 4-4-2 formation soaking up the Redditch pressure.   Meechan had two shots over the bar, but the game became scrappy with neither side able to dominate.   Page had a shot well gathered by Iron and Sammons saw a rising shot blocked by a defender.   Shariff continued to bother the visiting defence shooting wide and over the bar on the break, and teenager Jordan Norville-Williams joined the attack but was stopped when Ethan Ross dived at his feet.   In the end with Taylor Parr dominant at the back St Neots held out comfortably for all three points.

Claire Howes' Photo gallery can be found right here: https://t.co/FEBORroYQx

 

St Neots Town:  Iron, Wood, Norville- Williams, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Shariff, Williams (D)

Subs:  Sinclair (for Sembie-Ferris 65 mins), Bridges (for Williams 65 mins) and Butler.

Cards:  Williams (Y – 1 min), Sinclair (Y – 83 mins)

Goals:  McDevitt (5 mins), Meechan (37 mins)

 

Redditch:  Ross, Wright, Weir, Fishwick, Ezewele, Mutton, Dunkley, Sammons, Fleetwood, Gibson, Page

Subs:  Fox (for Fishwick 18 mins), Davie (for Gibson 62 mins), Jackman and Platt.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Sammons (42 mins – pen)

 

Referee:  Jack Bloxham (Harpenden)

Attendance:  228

 

John Walker

 

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