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Heroics from the 10 men earn another bite at the cherry after FA Cup draw at Godmanchester Rovers

Saturday, 24 August 2019 20:42


Godmanchester Rovers        1            St Neots Town        1

An heroic performance by ten man St Neots earned them a second FA Cup chance against Step Five neighbours Godmanchester Rovers after playing for an hour one man short.   That was because after 32 minutes Joe Sutton picked up a straight red card for kicking out at an opponent after he had been fouled.   Because of the upcoming Bank Holiday programme, the replay will be at the Premier Plus Stadium on Tuesday week (3rd September).   Played in oppressive heat the two teams tried to serve up a competitive performance, but they will be happy for the replay to be in cooler early evening conditions.   The early dismissal handed the impetus to the host side, but they failed to capitalise whilst the hard-working St Neots side probably deserved their second chance as recompense for their gritty determination.   There were memories of the previous meeting of the two clubs three months earlier when Godmanchester handed out a Cup Final thrashing to their opponents, but goals were always going to be at a premium in this contest.   St Neots recalled Tim N’Kala and the fit again Jake Noble for Mason Rhiney and Sam Gomersall who were both on the bench.

Godmanchester looked the more positive in the opening phase of the game and carved out some early chances.   After 12 minutes from a James Hall corner, defender Charlie Bowen blasted the ball high over the bar and in the next five minutes Josh Dawkin was twice prominent bringing a good save from James Philp and shooting wide when well-placed after neat work by Micky Hyem.   The first half suddenly saw a change in the pattern of play after Joe Sutton was dismissed.    St Neots took some time to reorganise and seemed happy to defend in numbers with Dawkin again breaking through the defence to shoot across the face of goal.   The first half ended in stalemate with neither side either able or willing to take the initiative.

The second period livelier and more competitive.   St Neots replaced Tim N’Kala with Sam Gomersall and took the weight off their defence by utilising long ball tactics.   However, the breakthrough came just five after the restart when Dawkin crossed from the left and former Saint James Hall was left enough space to side foot the ball inside the far post to put Godmanchester in front.   That could have signalled the incentive for them to take advantage of their numeric superiority, but it seemed to spur St Neots who had efforts by Jake Kerins and Sam Bennett just off target.   Johnny Hall moved forward to bring an important save from Philp and just past the hour in the same attack Dawkin saw his fierce effort parried and when the ball was not cleared James Hall saw his effort blocked by a defender.   St Neots sent on Alfie Connor and began to look more comfortable and using their front players wide they stretched the home defence.   There were just twelve minutes remaining when Sam Bennett rounded Johnny Hall and his pace took him clear to unleash a low shot under the dive of goalkeeper Niall Conroy to level the scores.   Seven minutes later St Neots could have stolen the victory when Gomersall sent a delightful pass inside the home defence and from a similar position to where he scored his goal, Sam Bennett put his free shot wide of the far post.

St Neots:  Philp, Kerins, Smith, Noble, Goode, Shaw, Sutton, Watkins, N’Kala, Bennett, Mutswunguma

Subs:  Gomersall (for N’Kala 46 mins), Connor (for Mutswunguma 70 mins), Rhiney, Joseph, Walker and McCormick.

Cards:  Sutton (RED – 32 mins), Kerins (Y – 27 mins)

Goal: Bennett (78 mins)


Godmanchester:  Conroy, King, Hall (Johnny), Spark, Bowen, Munro,Dawkin, Diaper,Hall (James),Hyem (Micky), Chandler

Subs:  McGregor (for Chandler 77 mins), Hyem (Chris) (for Spark 87 mins), White, King (Reece) and Radwell


Goals:  James Hall (50 mins)


Referee:  Lewis Morgan (Lincoln)

Attendance:       180

John Walker

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