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Another point earned as our young squad hold the high flying Waders

Monday, 11 March 2019 17:39

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION 

St Neots Town        2        Biggleswade Town       2

 

They say lightning does not strike twice but St Neots are living proof that it does, and two goalkeeping errors – one at each end – made this outcome of the contest happen.  For the second consecutive week a goal conceded three minutes into added time robbed the young inexperienced home side of two extra points they had worked so hard to achieve but the single point was enough to lift them out of the relegation zone for the first time in as many months.   Ultimately it was inexperience that cost them dear, but they continue to learn as they build experience at this higher level of football for most of them.   The commitment of the side is beyond question and proud Manager Marc Abbott heaped praise upon his team in his post-match interview.    He had been forced into a team change when playmaker Scott Pollock failed to recover from the injury sustained in the previous match, so he brought in Dan Trendall for his debut and he added pace and imagination in attack.

The first serious effort on goal after 6 minutes saw Sean Lucien’s effort blocked but St Neots took the lead two minutes later.   A long clearance by James Philip sailed over the heads of defenders and former St Neots custodian Sam Donkin opted to wait for the ball to reach his area but Gary Wharton pounced to steer the ball past him and into the open net – his third goal in consecutive matches.   The visitors had a further shock after 11minutes when David Longe-King misdirected a header back to his keeper but luckily for him the ball passed the wrong side of a post.   However, St Neots’ lead was short-lived for after 15 minutes a Matt Ball corner was headed back by Jordan Gent and Joe White headed past the keeper.   Prince Mutswunguma tried a lengthy effort that just cleared the crossbar and then Philip did well to push away a searing cross from Lucien that looked to be creeping in at the far post.   Ten minutes before the break St Neots regained the lead as Dan Trendall switched play from left to right and Mason Rhiney’s cross was stabbed in at close range by Prince Mutswunguma.   It was the first time St Neots had scored twice in a league match since 8th December.   Five minutes before the break Philip saved well again and then White headed in from an offside position as the visitors sought parity.

The second half saw the visitors adopt a more attacking formation with former St Neots player Claudio Ofosu on to test St Neots down the flanks.   Lucien seemed to be getting all the better chances for the visiting side, but he sent a free kick high over the bar and was well off target with two more efforts.   St Neots seemed to have lost the rhythm that had seem them competitive in the first 45 minutes and their back line had to defend well as their opponents began to dominate possession.  They looked particularly threatening from set pieces with their tall defenders supplementing their attack.   Another striker was added to the visiting attack, but Ball squandered a good chance with a centrally positioned free kick that he dragged well wide.   St Neots did threaten on the break with Trendall a constant threat, but they lacked the finishing touch to carve out what could have been a clinching goal.    With five minutes left Philip again rescued his side with a point blank save to deny White and Ofosu earned a booking for simulation diving dramatically in the penalty area.    The Referee signalled four added minutes and in the third of those the visitors stole a goal and a point.   It came from one of many corners after the excellent Philp had mishandled a shot dropping the ball over the bye line – this one delivered by Lucien and when St Neots failed to clear there were two shots blocked before Jordan Gent drove home from close range.   It was a cruel ending, but it still took St Neots to a third consecutive match without defeat, following the defection of almost their whole team.

 

 

 

St Neots Town:  Philp, Hood, Norville-Williams, Miles, Hughes, Shaw, Mutswunguma, Rhiney, Wharton, Sutton, Trendall

Subs:  Clarke (for Prince 62 mins), Beckley (for Sutton 77 mins), Rider (for Wharton 88 mins), Hudson and Fulianty.

Cards:  Hood (Y – 74 mins), Shaw (Y – 74 mins)

Goals:  Wharton (8 mins), Mutswunguma (35 mins)

 

Biggleswade Town:  Donkin, Bradshaw, Perry, Forbes, Gent, Longe-King, Lucien, Brooks, White, Ball, Nwaboukei

Subs:  Ofosu (for Brooks 62 mins), Donnelly (for Forbes 73 mins), Allinson (for Bradshaw 82 mins) and Walster.

Cards:  Gent (Y – 38 mins), Ofosu (Y – 81 mins), Perry (90 mins)

Goals:  White (15 mins), Gent (90 + 3 mins)

 

Referee:  Alex Rayment (Dunstable)

Attendance:  284

 

John Walker

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