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New look Saints open with derby day win over Rovers

Saturday, 13 July 2019 19:34


St Neots Town       2        Eynesbury Rovers       0

The new look St Neots team with only four survivors from their last league match opened their new season with a convincing victory in their first Hunts Premier Cup group match.   Visitors Eynesbury Rovers arrived on the back of an initial 8-1 victory in their opening fixture in the competition but never threatened to replicate that form against their higher graded hosts.   The first half was fairly even and goalless, but it did feature the first incident of disciplinary action under the newly introduced ‘sin bin’ arrangements with Tim N’Kala making his senior debut for St Neots sitting out a ten minutes penalty for dissent in the first half.   However, he responded appropriately scoring his sides’ second goal that clinched the result.   St Neots now go on to host Biggleswade United and travel to Yaxley in their remaining matches.

St Neots made a slow start – understandable as the majority of the players got to play competitively together for the first time.   Defender Aaron Smith almost opened the scoring for the home side after ten minutes with an angled shot that beat the visiting keeper but rebounded from a post but then Rovers settled down to dominate for a short spell during which home defender Sam Goode cleared off the line from Jordan Brown.   Towards the end of the first half St Neots began to look more confident and N’Kala shot across the face of goal after outpacing two defenders, and Dean Greygoose did well to push away a shot by Prince Mutswunguma.   Rovers best first half chance fell to Steve Gentle allowed a free header to a Dan Draper cross, but his tame header was off target and St Neots finished the half with ten men with N’Kala in the sin bin.

Two good saves by James Philp from Gentle and Jordan Brown early in the second half seem to boost St Neots’ confidence and Greygoose also had to save well from Mutswunguma.   The breakthrough came after 66 minutes when substitute Joe Sutton clinically despatched a cross by Mutswunguma beyond the reach of the visiting goalkeeper.   N’Kala almost put his name of the scoresheet five minutes later when he rounded the keeper, but James Duckett cleared off the line.   However, N’Kala crowned his debut when he produced a sublime finish from the edge of the area after 75 minutes to extinguish lingering Eynesbury hopes.   The visitors’ chance of a consolation goal five minutes from time was lost when man-of-the- match James Philp produced a fine save. to deny Draper.

St Neots Town:  Philp, Triallist, Smith, Rhiney, Goode, Shaw, Joseph, Connor, N’Kala, Watkins,  Mutswunguma

Subs:  McCormack, Noble, Sutton, Hudson, Olive.

Cards:  Connor (Y) 72 mins

Goals: Sutton (66 mins), N’Kala (75 mins)

Eynesbury Rovers:  Greygoose,Jarrold,Clark, Warwick, Uttridge, Duckett (J), Sinclair, Duckett (J), Gentle, Brown (J), Triallist

Subs:  Draper, Clifford, Brown (B), Triallist, Triallist.

Cards: none

Goals:  none

Referee:  Josh Crofts


John Walker

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