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A Prince becomes a King with regal performance as Saints progress in FA Cup

Wednesday, 04 September 2019 14:25

EMIRATES FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND REPLAY

St Neots Town        3           Godmanchester Rovers       1           

Prince Mutswunguma produced a performance ‘fit for a King’ as his well taken hat trick propelled his side through to the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and earned his club a financial reward of £2,890.   Recent form was forgotten as Godmanchester came into the match on the back of three consecutive league victories whilst St Neots had been crushed 5-1 at home just three days earlier.   It was a much better match that the original encounter full of end-to-end football and a huge commitment by both sides.   The difference in the final analysis was the finishing because for long periods possession was shared but the visitors’ attempts on goal were few and far between although it has to be noted that both goalkeepers made important saves.   St Neots made just one team change with Mutswunguma replacing Mason Rhiney who was on the bench whilst Godmanchester were without unavailable leading scorer James Hall.

The match got off to a lively start and three goals in seven minutes in an early first half spell kept the crowd well entertained.   The visitors had two early off target attempts on goal with Micky Hyem firing well over and Charlie Bowen heading a lengthy Chris Hyem throw wide of target.   The feast of goals started after twelve minutes when a poor defensive clearance fell to Prince Mutswunguma 25 yards from goal and his perfectly placed shot just under the bar left goalkeeper Niall Conroy rooted to the spot.   The visitors hit straight back with Austin Diaper miskicking in front of goal after neat play by Micky Hyem but five minutes after the opening goal the scores were levelled as a rare fumble by James Philp saw the ball go loose and Jack Chandler forced it home from close range.   However, parity only lasted ninety seconds and then Mutswunguma made his mark again with a delightful chip over the goalkeeper.   That seemed to deflate the visitors’ confidence and it was St Neots who went on to create further chances as the hard-working Alfie Connor skimmed the crossbar after neat work by Lee Watkins and then the same home player brought an important save from Conroy.   The first half ended at the other end with Philp spreading himself to push away a low effort by Diaper.

St Neots went on the offensive after the break and Charlie Bowen found his way into the Referee’s notebook for a late challenge on Jake Noble.   A Connor free kick then tested Conroy, but he pushed the shot for a corner which was successfully defended.   Tim N’Kala was testing the visiting defence with some pacey runs down the flanks but Godmanchester will rue an excellent chance to level the scores after 66 minutes when skipper Micky Hyem went clear, but James Philp left his line to narrow the shooting angle and save with his feet.   However, this was an isolated threat to the home defence whilst at the other end Sam Bennett fed Mutswunguma and only a fine save by Conroy delayed his hat-trick.   A corner from Jack Chandler stretched Philp but after 72 minutes another St Neots goal effectively settled the outcome.   Once again it was Mutswunguma who was the scourge of the visiting defence as following a lengthy throw from Aaron Smith the defence failed to clear and the hat trick was completed.    At that point Godmanchester sent on Harry McGregor and tried to adopt a more attacking approach but the St Neots back line looked confident and secure.   It could even have been better for St Neots had Conroy not produced the save of the match to turn a Jake Kerins dipping shot over his cross bar and then Sam Bennett broke clear of the defence but shot across the face of goal.   Even a late booking for Alfie Connor failed to dim the gloss on this satisfactory performance and result.    St Neots now have three days to prepare for the visit of Step Three Biggleswade Town in the next round.

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

Subs:  Joseph (for N’Kala 82 mins), Rhiney (for Noble 89 mins), Logan, Walker and Abbott.

Cards:  Connor (Y – 45+2 mins)

Goals:  Mutswunguma 3 (12,19 &72 mins)

 

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

Subs:  McGregor (for Bowen 73 mins), Hurst (for Spark 87 mins), White, Catonne and Gargulio.

Cards:Bowen (Y – 52 mins)

Goals:  Chandler (17 mins)

 

Referee:  Joe Woolmer (Northampton)

Attendance:       231

 

John Walker

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