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Saints earn hard fought point on the road at Coalville

Sunday, 04 November 2018 08:59


Coalville Town       1         St Neots Town      1    

This match was regrettably marred in time added on at the end of the ninety minutes when the Referee, Jamie O’Connor from Bolsover, totally lost control following a rather innocuous foul.   He ended up issuing four yellow cards in that unsavoury ending – one a second yellow which became a red, and another when he brandished the red card again only to rescind it after being corrected by an Assistant Referee.   It was a great shame because it had been a very good contest between two well-matched sides and on the balance of play a draw was a fair outcome.   St Neots dominated the opening 45 minutes but the Coalville response immediately after the break was swift and effective as they pinned St Neots back in their own half.   However the initial flash point had come twelve minutes from time with the visitors holding on to their slender one-goal half time lead.   In a home attack Johnny Herd was harshly judged to have fouled Alex Dean and having previously picked up a yellow card when he injudiciously kicked the ball away following the issue of a free kick, and he was sent off leaving St Neots to see out time with ten men.    There was a return in this match after an absence of six matches through injury, for skipper Luke Knight who settled in effectively and a recall for the on-loan Ben Worman with Dan Olaniran and Gary Wharton making way.

Conditions for football were difficult with a swirling and unpredictable wind playing havoc when the ball was in the air.   St Neots had Devante Stanley to thank for a second minute last ditch tackle when Tim Berridge had freed Kairo Mitchell whilst it took home keeper Rudy Soloha two attempts to retrieve a snap shot from Matt Miles.   St Neots then settled to dominate play for a spell and were rewarded after 25 minutes when a long throw by Johnny Herd was not cleared and Dion Sembie-Ferris swivelled to hit a lob in off the far post for that 1-0 lead.   Seven minutes later the same visiting player looked to be illegally brought down from behind, but the Referee waved away credible penalty appeals.    St Neots continued to enjoy the bulk of possession and home skipper Steve Towers was booked for bringing down Ben Worman in flight.  The first half ended with incidents at both ends as Tom McGlinchey and Mitchell combined to get the better of the St Neots defence for Courtney Wildin to pick out the head of the unmarked Joe Doyle-Charles but he wastefully looper his header onto the roof of the net, and then at the other end Nabil Shariff combined neatly with Sembie-Ferris but his run towards goal was halted as Soloha left his area to head away.

The second half saw a dramatic change in fortune.   Coalville looked energised by the break and set about looking to pull back the deficit.   Harry Reynolds did well to gather a searching Kalern Thomas cross and the same player then neatly won his way to the bye line to cross to find Wildin who fired high over the bar.   Alex Dean then sent a free header well wide and Mitchell turned a defender to curl in a shot that rebounded off the inside of a post.   Stanley was called upon again to produce a saving tackle to deny Mitchell a clear shot, and Reynolds saved comfortably from Towers.   St Neots did break out for Sembie-Ferris to see his net-bound shot deflected for a corner and just when St Neots seemed to have weathered the attacking storm, they lost Johnny Herd and had to go on the defensive with Matt Miles filling in at full back.  Two minutes after the dismissal Wildin wasted a free kick in a prominent position but he then made up for it by supplying the cross for Kaine Mitchell to rise above the defence to head home the equalising goal.    On the break Shariff sent St Neots final effort across the face of goal before that disappointing ending that saw Towers dismissed and Knight, Stanley and Dean all pick up those yellow cards.   With upcoming midweek opponents Tamworth winning, St Neots dropped one place in the table to seventeenth.

St Neots:  Reynolds, Stanley, Herd, Knight, Short, Wood, Sembie-Ferris, Miles, Shariff, Williams, Worman

Subs:  Watkins (for Sembie-Ferris 86 mins), Ofosu, Olaniran and Douglas.

Cards:  Herd (RED – 2 x Y – 64 & 78 mins), Knight (Y – 90+3 mins), Stanley (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals:  Sembie-Ferris (25 mins)


Coalville:  Soloha, Thomas, Wildin, Towers, Walker, Jenno, Dean, Doyle-Charles, Mitchell, Berridge, McGlinchey

Subs:  Creaney (for Burridge 57 mins), Hallahan (for McGlinchey (90+3 mins), Burrows, Ebanks and Dillon

Cards:  Towers (RED – 2 x Y – 43 & 90+3 mins), Thomas (Y – 68 mins), Dean (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals:  Mitchell (81 mins)


Referee:  Jamie O’Connor (Bolsover, Derby)

Attendance:  138


John Walker


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