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Young Saints grind out win thanks to hotshot Rider's second half winner against Ely City

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 18:49


ST NEOTS TOWN U18       1         ELY CITY U18      0         

Ely had inflicted on St Neots their only league defeat so far this season on the opening day, so this return match was of great significance to both sides.    With much at stake the match was somewhat disappointing with the sides cancelling each other out for much of the time, and the finishing by both was well below par with the goalkeepers rarely called upon.   However visiting custodian Toby Powell did produce one late second half save to keep the outcome in doubt right up to the final whistle, but from St Neots point of view this was a match where the result was more important than the performance.

The first half is best described as competitive but unproductive.   Most of the efforts on goal were either blocked or off target with the respective defences well in control.   Referee Philip Stanton kept well on top of some rather feisty tackling and the blank half time scoresheet was a reflection of two well-matched sides.   Sam Routs at one end and Benjamin Harnwell at the other had the best early chances, both put wide of target and it was full back Tom Leagas who came closest to breaking the deadlock when he flicked wide at the near post after determined work by Joe Rider.   Towards the end of the first half St Neots had a good spell of superior possession but created little with Rider seeing a shot blocked and both he and Markel Cousins shooting wide when well placed.


The second half began in similar vein with Adrian O’Hara firing high over the bar and the lively Routs shooting wide after good work by Bradley Brown.   The solitary goal came after 62 minutes when Cousins mesmerised the defence but saw his effort blocked, and when the ball ran loose ace marksman Joe Rider pounced to claim his nineteenth goal of the season.  That seemed to set the visitors’ back on their heels and they were limited to rare breakaway attacks with home skipper Leon Fulianty totally in control for St Neots.   A free kick by Fulianty required a double save from Powell and Ely then sent on substitutes to try to pep up their attack.   However, Joe Burberry in the St Neots goal did not have a serious save to make whilst at the other end Rider brought the one significant save from Powell and the keeper then did well to block with his feet to deny the same St Neots player.   Ely never gave up but lacked ideas and seldom looked like salvaging anything from the match.



St Neots:  Burberry, Leagas, Goodridge, O’Hara, Rowland, Fulianty, Cousins, Brown (B), Rider, Routs, Ferry

Sub used:   Rudland.

Referee:  Philip Stanton


 (John Walker)

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