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Cuckoos upset the nest in derby day defeat

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 16:12


St Neots Town       2         Yaxley        5

Yaxley deserved to win this first ever Step Four league meeting of these two Huntingdonshire sides but was flattered by the final score line.   However, this fact should not mask the fact that St Neots’ home debut performance this season was disappointing.   The match pattern was firmly set in the first twenty minutes when the visitors made a storming start to the contest scoring twice and leaving their hosts shell shocked and seemingly unable to respond.   St Neots recovered somewhat in the second period of the first half and even replied with a goal but Yaxley were always the dominant side after the break, and they gave their hosts a lesson in finishing.   Their precise and accurate passing movements always gave them the lions’ share of possession and they were able to respond each time St Neots looked like getting back into the game.   St Neots boss Mark Abbott made two team changes bringing in Mason Rhiney for the injured Alfie Conner and he preferred Sam Gomersall in attack to Tim N’Kala who started on the bench.

Spectators were still taking their seats when after six minutes Yaxley forged in front.   A Joe Butterworth free kick was knocked back from the far post and Tom Waumsley poked home from close range.   Dan Cotton saw a rising shot blocked six minutes later and the ball deflected for a corner which was headed home at the far post by Ross Watson to increase the visitors’ lead.   Yaxley’s ariel domination at set pieces was a problem for St Neots throughout the match  and they almost contributed further to their woes when a poor clearance by goalkeeper James Philp went straight to Waumsley and the keeper was greatful to be able to atone with a smart save.      After 25 minutes St Neots seemed to find some confidence as Sam Bennett saw his header from a Jake Kerins cross smartly saved by visiting keeper Aaron Butcher and then he made an outstanding save at full stretch to turn away a shot from Prince Mutswunguma that looked looking creeping under the bar at the far post.  However, St Neots’ efforts were rewarded ten minutes before the break when Mason Rhiney floated in a free kick and Sam Goode rose above the defence to pull back a goal.   St Neots’ continued to look good until half time with Bennett firing narrowly wide after good work by Joe Sutton and Lee Watkins.

Early in the second half another Goode header from a set piece was only just wide but after 52 minutes there was an unsightly melee after an injudicious challenge by Watkins.   When the officials had sorted out the only action taken was a yellow card for the St Neots skipper.   Four minutes later a free kick by Jon-Paul Duncliffe was missed by a home defender and at the far post Tom Waumsley gratefully increased the score to 3-1.   That two goals difference was only maintained for two minutes when the Yaxley defence got in a tangle allowing Prince Mutswunguma to reduce the deficit to a single goal again, and for a short time St Neots looked to be on the offensive.   However, the home defence always looked vulnerable and substitute Mikkel Fosu making his debut was caught wrong side of Charley Sanders but recovered to block his shot.   In a bid to maintain their attacking impetus, St Neots introduced Tim N’Kala to utilise his pace at the tiring Yaxley defence, but they responded by strengthening their back line.   St Neots downfall was to be self-inflicted because with twelve minutes remaining Dan Cotton got to the bye line only to be brought down by Mason Rhiney and from the penalty spot Cotton increased the score line to 4-2.   St Neots only hope was to go onto the attack and with three minutes left they were caught short in defence and from a free kick Ross Watson volleyed home his second goal of the match to complete the scoring.   In added time there was a late chance for a consolation goal for the home side but Joe Sutton’s shot was deflected for a corner.

St Neots:  Philp, Kerins, Smith, Rhiney, Goode, Shaw, Watkins, Sutton, Mutswunguma, Bennett, Gomersall

Subs:  Fosu (for Shaw 59 mins), N’Kala (for Gomersall 66 mins), Joseph (for Rhiney 78 mins), Quigley and Walker

Cards:  Watkins (Y – 52 mins), Fosu (Y – 88 mins)

Goals: Goode (35 mins), Mutswunguma (58 mins)


Yaxley:  Butcher, Duncliffe, Garner, Butterworth, Watson, Bettles, Waumsley (T), Hook, Sanders, Cotton, Nolan

Subs:  Gow (for Nolan 69 mins), Williams (for Duncliffe 75 mins), Waumsley (S) (for Cotton 86 mins) Stebbing and Blake.

Cards:Garner (Y – 61 mins), Cotton (Y – 82 mins)

Goals:  Waumsley (T) 2 (6 and 56 mins), Watson 2 (12 and 87 mins), Cotton – pen – (78 mins)


Referee:  Alistair Wilson (Boston)

Attendance:       203


John Walker

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