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Olive stunner seals the League Title for our magnificent Youth Team

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 11:17



St Neots Town U18 side are the Champions of the Cambridge Division of the Thurlow Nunn League for a record breaking third time in succession – with a match to spare.   That was the outcome of a very competitive final home league match of the campaign with visiting Royston Town who still had a mathematical chance of the title.   The visitors had lost just once this season – at home to St Neots – and they posed a real threat to the celebrations with a determined performance.   St Neots were without their injured midfield playmaker Adrian O’Hara for the first time this season, so they had to reorganise but the bonus for them was the return of Jacob Joseph following his injury lay-off.


With the stakes obviously high neither side settled quickly although two early openings for St Neots went begging as Joe Rider saw his effort easily saved ad Owen Dunnett headed narrowly over the bar from a corner.   Then in their first significant attack the visitors took the lead as Noah Costin cut in from the right to shoot across the keeper.   St Neots set about repairing the damage and Merkel Cousins headed over the bar, but the match became over competitive as Jack Dickerson was booked for a dangerous late tackle.   Reif Clarke was then cynically brought down three yards inside the penalty area but the free kick given outside the box and as St Neots built the pressure Nehemiah Goodridge saw a header cleared off the line.   Then a minute before the break from a Clarke corner, goal ace Joe Rider headed home for the side to go to the break on level terms.


St Neots looked more comfortable after half time and when Clarke burst through the defence visiting keeper Christopher Gough saved well at the expense of a corner.   On the turn Rider sent a shot just off target but on the hour, St Neots took control with a quality goal built from a neat Rider flick to free Jacob Joseph and his early cross picked out Reif Clarke for a clinical finish.   For a while the home side dominated with Royston managing just one shot from distance by Dickerson that was too high.   After Gough had saved well from a Leon Fulianty free kick the defining moment arrived fourteen minutes from time as Dan Olive produced a stunning 30 yards effort to make it 3-1 with the goal of the season.   Predictably with nothing to lose Royston threw everything forward and claimed a late consolation goal three minutes from time as Daniel Baulk forced the ball home from a Francis Shilton cross but St Neots had done enough to take the points and the title.


St Neots Town U18:  Burberry, Olive, Goodridge, Brown, Dunnett, Fulianty, Cousins, Routs, Rider, Joseph, Clarke


Subs used:   Leagas, Wood and Rowland.                                                                                                 


Cards: Brown (Y – 44 mins), Clarke (Y – 48 mins)


Referee:  Paul Dobbs                                                                


(John Walker)



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