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Its Deja-Vu as the Saints concede five again at home

Saturday, 31 August 2019 19:33


St Neots Town        1       North Leigh        5

Before the match the league table showed little to choose between the two sides but once the game got under way the difference was stunning.  The visitors dominated throughout and scored goals almost at will, whilst a flat and uninspired St Neots could only chase shadows.   It was the second home match of the campaign and having seen his side ship in five goals on each occasion Manager Marc Abbott must make some decisions quickly.   Although the defence looked fragile, they were under almost constant pressure because of their inability to create chances at the other end so it is a rethink that is required bearing in mind that in their two away league matches St Neots have returned with a clean defensive sheet.   North Leigh were clearly a more experienced side and they bullied St Neots at times but there will be other sides like this to come later in the season.   St Neots made two changes in midfield bringing back Lee Watkins and Jake Noble for his league debut, replacing Joe Sutton and Jacob Joseph and in theory looked a more balanced unit but the side never really found a rhythm against visitors who were on song.

The opening phase of the game saw the visitors in control, but St Neots repelled their better efforts from Callum McNish and Joshua Dutton and in their most dangerous attack Stevan Shaw deflected Morgan Williams’ effort, and from the resulting corner an Adam Learoyd header was cleared off the line.   However, the pressure told after 21 minutes when the excellent Jorde Ngathe beat his marker on the outside to cross for George Seacole to send a delightful chip over the head over the out of position James Philp.   The home side should have conceded a second shortly afterwards when Shaw was too easily dispossessed but Seacole clear on goal skied his effort.   A second goal nine minutes before the break put the visitors firmly in control as from a Morgan Williams corner, Ben Brown got in front of his marker to head home.   Worse was to follow because seven minutes later St Neots were guilty of defensive suicide leaving Morgan Williams totally unmarked to knock in a cross from substitute Tyriq Hunte.

A swift response was required from the home side after the break if they were to hope for any reward and they made a positive move introducing Prince Mutswunguma for the out of form Mason Rhiney.   The substitute quickly made an impact setting up Sam Bennett who could only shoot the wrong side of a post.   North Leigh then had a stroke of luck after 54 minutes when a net bound effort from Lee Watkins was deflected into the arms of goalkeeper Edward Cavanagh who was on the wrong side of his goal.   Three minutes later substitute Hunte made his mark again as he pulled the ball back to Morgan Williams whose perfectly placed shot into the roof of the net left Philp helpless.   St Neots tried to respond with Alfie Connor firing wide and Jake Kerins shooting over the bar, but these were examples of token defiance against the dominant visiting side.   After 64 minutes it was 5-0 when a lengthy effort by Hunte rebounded from the crossbar giving Joshua Dutton the simple chance of tapping in from close range.    With almost half an hour remaining there could have been further goals, but St Neots refused to capitulate and with Dylan Logan on for Bennett they began to look more prominent.   Underworked visiting keeper Cavanagh produced an impressive full length save to deny Connor but after Mutswunguma had sent an effort just over the bar ALFIE CONNOR claimed a late consolation goal three minutes from time with a perfectly placed free kick.

St Neots Town:  Philp, Kerins, Smith, Connor, Shaw, Goode, Watkins, Noble, N’Kala, Bennett, Rhiney

Subs:  Mutswunguma (for Rhiney 46 mins), Logan (for Bennett 68 mins), Walker (for Goode 82 mins),  and Abbott.

Cards:  Kerins (Y – 83 mins)

Goals: Connor (87 mins)


North Leigh: Cavanagh, Ngathe, Isaac, Grant, Brown, Learoyd, Dutton, McNish, Seacole, Williams (L), Williams (M)

Subs:  Hunte (for Seacole 32 mins), Elliott (for Williams (L) 65 mins), James (for Williams (M) 68 mins), Gunn and Alexis.

Cards:Ngathe (Y – 61 mins), Brown ( Y – 63 mins), McNish (Y – 70 mins)

Goals:  Morgan Williams 2 (43 & 57 mins), George Seacole (21 mins), Ben Brown (36 mins), & Joshua Dutton (64 mins)


Referee:  Luke Scott (Northampton)

Attendance:       172


John Walker

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