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No goals but an entertaining game none the less

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 10:58

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town      0          Tamworth      0

St Neots Manager Matt Clements saw this result as two points lost rather than one gained after his side had finished strongly in a closely fought match with league newcomers Tamworth.   It was the return to the Premier Plus Stadium of visitors’ Manager Dennis Greene who oversaw St Neots progress from Step Five to Step Three in successive seasons, as well as a late cameo substitute appearance for former charismatic goalscoring hero Stefan Moore.   Sadly the result only served to underline St Neots lack of league goalscoring power for they have now only managed to score nine times in thirteen league outings despite having found the back of the net fifteen times in eight cup matches.   The match also featured the return to the defence of Taylor Parr after missing the last two matches with injury and there was a one hundredth senior appearance for utility player Tom Wood moved into midfield for this match to accommodate Parr, with Matt Miles left on the substitutes bench.    Tamworth relegated to this level from the National League at the end of last season cherish ambitions of a return to Step Two this season but on this showing, they are some way short of achieving that aim.

Although first half play was end to end neither side had the finishing to seriously test their opponents’ goal in the opening stages.   Aman Verma sent Tamworth’s first shot after eight minutes towards goal, but Harry Reynolds saved comfortably.   Tom Wood then headed wide from a Johnny Herd corner and the match was becoming competitive in midfield with two visiting players booked for fouls in the opening 25 minutes.   An ambitious overhead bicycle kick by Nabil Shariff flew over the bar whilst at the other end after 32 minutes, Gregg Smith did get the ball in the St Neots net, but the Referee had blown for an infringement.   Tamworth were enjoying the greater share of possession but St Neots back line looked confident and sound and goalkeeper Reynolds did not have a serious save to make.   His counterpart was also untroubled in the first half although Ben Worman saw a shot blocked and both Ryan Beswick and Tyrell Waite sent their efforts wide of target at the other end.

The visitors stated the second half well with Waite weaving his way past two defenders to test Reynolds at his near post and in a bid to boost his teams’ fortunes Dennis Greene made two early second half substitutions but to little effect.   Visiting keeper Jas Singh was then forced into a serious save to deny Dion Sembie-Ferris and St Neots also made a change with Claudio Ofosu replacing Worman.    Midway through the second half St Neots though they should have been awarded a penalty when Dylan Williams picked up a pass from Devante Stanley and burst into the penalty area to be upended but the Referee judged that the St Neots player had illegally dived, and he was booked for simulation.   Further substitutions followed as the sides sought late inspiration in a bid to find a winning goal and it was St Neots who came closest to breaking the deadlock.   With nine minutes left the best team move of the match saw Dion Sembie-Ferris and Nabil Shariff open up the visiting defence and when the latter went clear his shot beat the visiting keeper but narrowly skimmed the angle of bar and post.   Four minutes later substitute Ofosu beat his marker on the edge of the area to send Stanley clear on the right and his searching low cross from the bye line was only inches from conversion by Shariff.   After this burst of St Neots pressure it was left to Stanley to save the day in added time with a timely interception to rob Waite in front of an open goal.

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

Subs:  Ofosu (for Worman 65 mins), Miles (for Wood 76 mins), Olaniran, Watkins and Douglas.

Cards:  Williams (Y – 71 mins), Knight (Y – 75 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Tamworth:  Singh, Green, Gough, Beswick, Kettle, Jemson, Magunda, Verma, Smith, Lait, Waite

Subs:  Dunkley (for Lait 53 mins), Clement (for Beswick (56 mins), Moore (for Verma (80 mins) Jeynes and Johnson

Cards:  Jemson (Y – 19 mins), Gough (Y – 23 mins), Magunda (Y – 90 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Referee:  Jack Blaxham (Wheathampstead)

Attendance:  181

 

John Walker

 

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