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Cuckoos steal the points in spot kick shoot-out drama

Friday, 19 July 2019 09:40


Yaxley        1        St Neots Town       1        

(Yaxley won 4-1 on penalties)


Both sides opted to field experimental line-ups for this final Hunts Premier Cup group match with St Neots making no fewer than ten changes from their previous starting side with defender Joe Walker the only survivor.   The match ended in a 1-1 draw invoking for the first time a penalty shoot-out won by the host side to afford them an extra point which could decide who goes through to the Final from this group.  Intriguingly the decision as to who faces St Ives Town or Cambridge City in that Final now rests on the final group match between Yaxley and Eynesbury Rovers.   If Rovers win, St Neots progress to the Final, and if a draw is the outcome, even a Yaxley win on penalties will see St Neots through on goal difference.   St Neots shaded the first half thanks to their superior possession but the hosts with around five half time changes stormed back to dominate for a spell after the break and take the lead with a goal just past the hour.   The visitors then grabbed a late equaliser but were well beaten in the shoot-out.

There was a slow start and Yaxley created the first opening after nine minutes when Harley Williams went clear only to be denied by a full length save by Michael McCormack.   St Neots responded with a slick attacking move, Joe Walker and Dalton Harris combing to set up Joe Bates whose shot was wide.   After 20 minutes McCormack again saved well from Williams and St Neots were unlucky ten minutes later when Denis Tomkins cleared a Bates effort off the line with his keeper beaten.   Nine minutes before the break the visitors were closest to a first half breakthrough when a snapshot from Dalton Harris rebounded from the crossbar and Jacob Joseph’s follow up brought an important save from James Blake.

Half time team changes by Yaxley changed the pattern of the match and although two lengthy efforts for the visitors by Bates and Jack Quigley were saved, the home side was rewarded for a more positive approach when two missed defensive tackles let in substitute Joe Graham to set up another substitute, Edmundson Fernando for the opening goal.   Home keeper Blake then produced an important save to deny Quigley and just four minutes were left when a long ball out of defence fell to James Bates who scored to send the match into that penalty shoot-out.

Yaxley scored all four of their spot kicks taken whilst St Neots first two were missed and even Manager Marc Abbott’s successful penalty was insufficient to see his side pick up that important bonus point.

St Neots:  McCormack, Olive, Hudson, Quigley, O’Hara, Walker, Logan, Joseph, Bates, Harris, Sutton

Subs:  Crosby, N’Kala, Rhiney, Abbott.

Cards:  none

Goal: Bates (86 mins)

Yaxley:  Blake, Macklin, Tomkins, Briggs, Chilvers, Darani, Kelly, Wilson, Stebbing, Williams, Watson

Subs:  Graham, Gilbert, Fernando, Fieldhouse, Gourlay, Gregory, Chipurzo, Dalliday.


Goals:  Fernando (64 mins)


Referee:  Sean Gregory (Peterborough)


John Walker

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