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Saints well beaten at Barwell

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:38

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

 Barwell        6          St Neots Town     1                

 

St Neots slumped to their biggest ever away Southern League defeat in atrocious conditions in their rearranged match at Barwell.   A measure of the state of the pitch was that Wolverhampton Referee Greg Rolleson and the two skippers stood in a centre circle puddle for the pre-match toss up and the incessant rain never really stopped throughout the ninety minutes.   However the staunchest St Neots supporter (and a few made the trip) would be hard-pressed to find a genuine excuse for this very poor performance.   Too many key players were well below their best, from skipper Luke Knight whose normal midfield general’s role was never apparent to teenage goalkeeper Finlay Iron whose gifted the home side at least three of their goals.   St Neots normal neat short passing game was just not possible on this semi-waterlogged surface and they were either unwilling or unable to adopt to a long ball game.  Barwell, smarting from their weekend drubbing in the FA Trophy were focussed and determined to get back to league action and to compound St Neots misery Taylor Parr, celebrating his birthday, chipped in with an own goal!   There were two team changes with fit again Davante Stanley replacing Matt Miles at full back, and Lee Watkins in midfield for the unavailable Tom Wood.

Barwell laid the foundation of this victory with goals in the third minutes of each half. The first, in the first attacking move of the match, saw former Kettering defender Henry Eze rise above the St Neots defence to head in a Liam Canavan free kick, and they almost added a second when an angled shot by Elliot Percival beat Finlay Iron but drifted beyond the far post.   St Neots felt aggrieved after 16 minutes when Nabil Shariff was hauled down in the area, but St Neots penalty appeals were ignored.   However, St Neots overcame the disappointment of conceding the early goal and competed well with Dylan Williams curling a shot beyond both goalkeeper and far post after 26 minutes, and Taylor Parr heading a Johnny Herd corner wide of target.   A Luke Knight free kick was dropped by home keeper Liam Castle, but he managed to retrieve it at the feet of opponents whilst at the other end Iron saved from Eliot Putman and Canavan.  Jordan Norville-Williams was St Neots biggest threat for the home side and he twice carved his way through the home defence only to win corner kicks.   Just a single goal down, St Neots must have gone to the half time break looking to get back into the game.

However within three minutes they had a mountain to climb as a searching midfield cross from Jahvan Davidson-Miller picked out the unmarked Nial Julien on the right and his cross to the near post was powered in by Massiah McDonald under the diving body of Iron.   Five minutes later St Neots Manager Matt Clements reacted swiftly pulling off both full backs to go to three at the back and adopt a more aggressive approach but his plan fell flat when two minutes after the change,  

Massiah McDonald took full advantage of defensive hesitancy to add a third goal for the home side.   That seemed to snuff out St Neots confidence and for a spell the side was under constant pressure.   Penned back in defence they conceded a fourth goal after 67 minutes when Canavan set up Jamie Towers who arrived at the far post to net past a hesitant goalkeeper.   The pressure seemed to ease with Barwell sending on substitutes but with fifteen minutes remaining Davidson-Miller went past Knight and substitute Matt Miles to cross deep into the penalty area and with Iron deciding to stay on his line Taylor Parr could do nothing under pressure but head the ball into his own net.   Another self-imposed problem came when Knight was easily dispossessed and tackling back Andrea Borg was booked for a late challenge.   Worse was to follow for twelve minutes from time a free kick by Putman found its was to the unmarked substitute Rob Morgan whose tame-looking free kick straight at Iron was mishandled and it rolled almost apologetically over the line to give Barwell their sixth goal.  St Neots did have the last word in the 90th minute when substitute Gary Wharton was in the right place to rap home after excellent play by Norville-Williams.

St Neots:  Iron, Stanley, Herd, Knight, Short, Parr, Borg, Watkins, Shariff, Williams, Norville-Williams

Subs:  Miles (for Stanley 57 mins), Wharton (for Herd 57 mins), Gomes (for Williams 85 mins)

Cards:  Watkins (Y – 13 mins), Short (Y – 39 mins), Borg (Y – 77 mins)

Goals:  Wharton (90 mins)

 

Barwell:  Castle, Percival, Putman, Eze, Gascoigne, Canavan, Julien, Towers, McDonald, Hickey, Davidson-Miller

Subs:  Morgan (for Canavan 68 mins), Rowe (for Towers 70 mins), Albertus (for Hickey 77 mins), Desrosiers and Cross.

Cards:  Canavan (Y – 57 mins), Towers (Y – 63 mins), Hickey (Y – 69 mins)

Goals:  McDonald 2 (48 & 59 mins), Eze (3 mins), Towers (67 mins), Parr OG (75 mins), Morgan (78 mins)

 

Referee:  Greg Rolleson (Wolverhampton)

Attendance:  63

 

 

John Walker

 

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