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Young Saints grind out hard fought win over a stubborn Walden side

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 09:26

THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE CAMBRIDGE DIVISION

ST NEOTS TOWN U18       2         SAFFRON WALDEN U18       1

St Neots skipper Leon Fulianty inspired his side to a narrow hard-fought victory over a visiting Saffron Walden side that pushed them all the way.   This was Walden’s first match of the season having finished last season in joint third place after a disappointing start to their season.   In a tense second half either side could have snatched victory after going to the break level, but the visitors’ finishing was wasteful whilst the winning St Neots goal was one to savour.

St Neots got off to the perfect start after seven minutes when Jacob Joseph scored a great individual goal.   Receiving the ball in a packed penalty area he cleverly back heeled it to create space and beat visiting keeper Josh Bates with an angled shot.   Walden hit back with Zac Hassan tormenting the home defence as he almost levelled the scores going past two defenders to see his shot well blocked by Joe Burberry.   The keeper was then in action again falling on the ball at the feet of Daniel Joannou after his defence had been breached.   St Neots were creating their own openings with Adrian O’Hara shooting wide and Sam Routs seeing his effort deflected for a corner.  Ethan Williams shot wide after a slick Walden attack but after 39 minutes Burberry missed his attempted clearance and the ball fell at the feet of Alex Cannon for a simple equalizer.  The first half ended in a flurry of activity with Hassan firing narrowly over the bar and St Neots getting the ball in the opposition net but seeing the effort ruled out.

Joe Rider should have restored St Neots lead five minutes after the restart when played clear by Routs, but he saw his effort pushed away at full stretch and then Joseph shot over after good work by O’Hara.   However, the match became scrappy with neither side able to create chances and a stalemate threatened.   With fifteen minutes left Wealden created an excellent opening when a pacey four-man move split the home defence to set up Hassan by Burberry produced a full length save and within a minute the winning goal arrived at the other end.  Leon Fulianty won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and sped past two opponents to exchange passers with Joseph.   Reaching the bye line, he picked out Joe Rider for a simple tap-in match winner.   Walden set up a late charge in a bid to save a point but Burberry saved well from Ethan Williams and the unmarked Joe Cunning put a free header wide from a late corner.

 

St Neots Town:  Burberry, Leagas, Roberts, Rowland, Goodridge, Fulianty, Joseph, O’Hara, Rider, Routs, Wood

Subs used:   Cathergood, Humble, Rudland, and Brown (B).

Referee: Gary Pond                                                                                               

(John Walker)

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