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Young Saints exit the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 17:48


ST NEOTS TOWN U18       1         PETERBOROUGH SPORTS U18       4

St Neots U18 side have a very fragile record in the FA Youth Cup as their fifth first match defeat in the competition in the last six seasons indicates.   On this occasion they were well beaten by an impressive Peterborough Sports side who have started the season unbeaten in four league and cup fixtures, and in the last round inflicted a 6-0 defeat on Biggleswade Town.  In Ryan Pratt the visitors had the man of the match as he contributed a very impressive personal hat trick.   St Neots Manager Alex Minall was very disappointed with his sides’ performance pointing out that when they conceded a second goal half way through the second half they appeared to let their heads drop and failed to compete in the latter stages of the game allowing their visitors to pick up two more goals.

Sports began impressively dominating the first twenty minutes and taking the lead with their first significant attack after five minutes.   St Neots conceded a free kick twenty yards from goal and when Louie Venni’s free kick was not cleared Ryan Pratt was on hand to open his account.  The same player then outpaced his marker to bring a good save from home keeper Joe Burberry and then Harvey Humble was too easily dispossessed but Alfie Ferguson shot wide.   St Neots rallied after a poor start and Jacob Joseph tested keeper Dylan Veni and Leon Fulianty sent a free kick narrowly wide.   Then against the run of play after 25 minutes, St Neots levelled with the pick of the five goals as Joe Rider chased down an Adrian O’Hara cross to score a fine individual goal from a narrow angle.   Towards half time the lively Sam Routs had a shot well saved and Veni had to dive bravely ant the feet of Joseph to smother his shot.

The visitors started strongly after the break with Pratt going clear wide right, but Burberry left his line to deflect his shot for a corner.   Four minutes later the home keeper was in action again being well placed to save a point-blank close range shot from Nasir Nabi.  David Muse was injured and had to be replaced by substitute Bradley Brown and then after 62 minutes the visiting Manager made a bold move sending on all three allowed substitutes to freshen his side.   The ploy worked perfectly as seven minutes later two of his substitutes combined to outwit the home defence as Oliver Foster set up Ayman Trabelsi to restore his sides’ lead.   St Neots visibly lost their impetus and were pushed back defending deep and seeming unable to get the ball out of their half.   Nabi went close with an acrobatic overhead kick, but the pressure continued to build, and it was no surprise when eleven minutes from time Ryan Pratt showed pace and confidence to leave his marker in his wake and give Burberry no chance with a well-placed rising shot.   It was then almost all defending for St Neots as the visitors pressed and they were further rewarded thirty seconds into added time when Ryan Pratt completed his hat trick.



St Neots:  Burberry, Goodridge, Roberts, O’Hara, Humble, Fulianty, Joseph, Wood, Rider, Routs, Muse                                                                                                                                       

Subs used:   Brown (B) (for Muse 56 mins), Rowland (for Goodridge 72mins), Rudland (for Wood 80 mins, Gathergood and Brewer.

Referee: Robert Goldstone                                                                

(John Walker)               

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