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Super Saints Leave It Late To Earn Replay Against 10 Man Coalville

Sunday, 07 October 2018 12:06


St Neots Town       2         Coalville Town       2       

St Neots were in the draw for the Fourth Round Qualifying of the FA Cup thanks to a dramatic added time goal on a wet afternoon at the Premier Plus Stadium.   They had fallen behind in the first half before having the unexpected advantage of seeing their visitors reduced to ten men after the break, but then as a comeback beckoned they were wasteful conceding a second goal before their late recovery.   So, for the second time in a fortnight their faithful followers were treated to a significant FA Cup goal deep into time added by the official, ironically as a result of blatant timewasting by the visiting side.    It was another slow start for the home side, but they were up against a side lying second in their division of the Southern League who had only tasted defeat once in their last ten matches.   Manager Matt Clements rang the changes from midweek restoring Matt Miles, Nabil Shariff, and Claudio Ofosu to the starting line-up, leaving Gary Wharton on the bench but being without Ben Worman who is Cup-tied and Dion Sembie-Ferris the hero of the previous round who was handed a one-match FA Cup ban for excessive celebrations which had earned him a second yellow card in the competition this season.

In front of their best crowd of the season (518) St Neots made a slow start and the visiting side had two early openings, Tom McGlinchey setting up Andrew Wright to shoot wide after just two minutes and then Lee Cox squandered a great chance ten minutes later firing directly at Harry Reynolds after being played clear in a counter-attack following two St Neots corners.   As the half progressed, St Neots seemed to settle down and skipper Luke Knight had a shot deflected wide and from a lengthy Johnny Herd throw and Nabil Shariff had a shot blocked on the line by Scott McManus.   After 32 minutes there was an anxious moment for the home side when goalkeeper Reynolds left his line to gather a McGlinchey cross but missed the ball and he was relieved to see Tom Wood block the resultant effort from Tim Berridge.   However, four minutes later the Coalville player made up for his disappointment when he opened the scoring firing home from close range when the St Neots defense failed to clear a free kick by Steve Towers.   McGlinchey was terrorizing the St Neots defense and twice he cut in from the left to see his efforts blocked by defenders and on the stroke of half-time visiting keeper Max Smith-Varnam dropped a stinging Claudio Ofosu effort but there was no one on hand to take advantage.

There was a lively start to the second period as Shariff sent a shot just the wrong side of a post and then from a Johnny Herd corner a shot was blocked on the line.  In the next St Neots attack Taylor Parr was bundled over in the penalty area but credible penalty appeals were waved away.  Then after 53 minutes from another Herd corner there was an incident in the area which saw Scott McManus kick out at a home player.   The Referee did not see the incident but having consulted an Assistant he issued a straight red card to McManus to reduce the visitors to ten men.   St Neots quickly introduced substitute Devante Stanley to adopt a more attacking approach whilst the visitors filtered players back in defense leaving just one up front.   Ten minutes after the dismissal St Neots were caught short in defense and when they failed to clear a Towers free kick, Daniel Creaney slotted the ball past Reynolds to give his side a 2-0 advantage.   That looked curtains for St Neots, but they sent on a second attacking substitute to take advantage of their extra player and seven minutes from time a 35 yards effort from Tom Wood sailed over defenders and keeper to keep St Neots hopes alive.    In those last few phrenetic minutes St Neots created several openings including shots wide of target from Shariff and Stanley but five minutes into time added Reynolds sent a fifty yards free kick, deep into the visitors’ penalty area and when it was nodded down Nabil Shariff pounced to net from close range.


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St Neots:  Reynolds, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, O’Malley, Short, Shariff, Williams, Ofosu

Subs:  Stanley (for Williams 59 mins), Wharton (for O’Malley 72 mins), Olaniran, Douglas and Fulianty.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Wood (83 mins), Shariff (90 + 5 mins)


Coalville:  Smith-Varnam, Bryant, McManus, Towers, Wildin, Cox, Dean, Wright, Creaney, Berridge, McGlinchey

Subs:  Hallahan (for Creaney 88 mins), Shamalo (for Berridge 90 + 2 mins), Solona, Ebanks, Graham and Spence

Cards:  McManus (RED – 53 mins)

Goals:  Berridge (36 mins), Creaney (64 mins)


Referee:  Richie Watkins (Nuneaton)

Attendance:  518


John Walker

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