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Ravens fly home with the points in Tuesday night fixture

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:17

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town    1    Coalville Town    4     

This victory left ambitious Coalville Town just a point outside the play-offs and it avenged an earlier meeting with St Neots when they were dumped out of the FA Cup in a penalty shoot-out.   It may have been the fourth meeting of the two sides this season (including the FA Cup replay) but the visitors will have learned little in advance about their opponents for St Neots skipper Matt Miles was the only survivor from the last meeting of the two sides.   The home side probably played as well as they had in their previous match against champions elect Kettering Town despite the final score not reflecting this, but the winners created few scoring openings yet managed to convert four of them!   It was once again a penalty conceded in the opening quarter of an hour that left the home side with a mountain to climb, but this time unlike in the previous match, the penalty decision was much more contentious.   It came after 12 minutes when central defender Owen Dunnett appeared to win the ball with a decisive challenge, but his opponent tumbled, and the Referee pointed to the spot on his Assistant’s advice.   From that point on St Neots were chasing the game despite their side being strengthened from their previous match with Scott Pollock and Gary Wharton returning after injury and loanee Ryan Hughes returning from his Football League debut with Northampton Town.   Also, back in the side was Prince Mutswunguma with Mason Rhiney, Joe Rider and Reif Clarke on the substitutes bench.

After a quiet opening the penalty award after 12 minutes was the first notable incident.   Andrew Wright confidently tucked away his spot kick to boost the visitors and a minute later Scott McManus could have increased the lead, but he shot wastefully over the bar.   For the next twenty minutes there was little action in either penalty area but a poor clearance by visiting keeper Richard Walton was seized upon by Scott Pollock whose chip drifted just over the cross bar.  With much of the play in midfield there was an effective stalemate as neither side were able to dominate but the reorganised home back four seemed to be growing in confidence.   Another opening for the visitors saw McManus fire high over the bar after the St Neots defence had failed to clear and then a lengthy free kick three minutes before the break by Ryan Hughes was comfortable gathered by Walton.   A disappointing first half ended with Tom McGlinchey winning his way to the bye line but as he widened his shooting angle his shot flew across the face of goal.

Pollock, still feeling his injury, failed to reappear after the interval giving recent signing Ben Bradley the opportunity for his debut in midfield for St Neots.    However, before any significant counter attack could be mustered by the home side, two goals in three minutes effectively ended the contest.   Five minutes after the restart Coalville won a free kick and Wright’s floated cross was headed in at the far post by defender Kieran Fenton and three minutes later St Neots were floored by a very unfortunate goal.   Another free kick by Wright was deflected up into the air by a defender, wrong footing his colleagues and it fell invitingly for Tim Berridge to poke home from just a couple of yards.   St Neots retaliated with a series of attacking moves and a Hughes free kick was deflected for a corner taken by Matt Miles.   His inswinging kick was totally misjudged by visiting keeper Richard Walton who called for the ball but off balance, could only punch it into his own net.   If that was the boost St Neots desired it did not materialise.   Their efforts failed to significantly test the visiting defence whilst at the other end James Philip made an excellent save to deny McGlinchey.  Eight minutes from time Joe Doyle-Charles won a corner for the visitors but suffered an accidental neck injury that saw an eight minutes delay in play whilst he was treated on pitch before being stretchered off.  However, in the added time substitute Kairo Mitchell took advantage of slack marking to complete the scoring.

St Neots Town:  Philip, Hood, Hughes, Miles, Dunnett, Shaw, Sutton, Pollock, Wharton, Mutswunguma, Norville-Williams

Subs: Bradley (for Pollock 46 mins), Rider(for Mutswunguma 74 mins), Rhiney and Clarke.

Cards:  Hughes (Y – 42 mins)

Goals: OG (57 mins)

Coalville Town: Walton, Thomas, McManus, Fenton, Burgin, Towers, Doyle-Charles, Wright, Omotola, Berridge, McGlinchey

Subs:  Mitchell (for Berridge 69 mins), Dean (for Wright 78 mins), Shaw (for Doyle-Charles 90 mins), Freeman and Luto.

Cards: none

Goals:  Wright – pen – (35 mins), Fenton (50 mins), Berridge (53 mins), Mitchell (90+2 mins)

 

Referee:              Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       139

 

John Walker

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