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The Magic of the FA Cup is truly still alive as Youth Team starlet nets dramatic late equaliser

Saturday, 07 September 2019 18:54

EMIRATES FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND

St Neots Town        2           Biggleswade Town       2           

This pulsating cup tie between the two neighbours had everything, goals, passion and a steely determination not to be beaten – both teams led the match and the fact they have to do it all again is a fair outcome.    StNeots just about shaded the first halfand deserved their narrow half time advantage, but after the break the Waders roared back into contention and bossed proceedings for a spell scoring twice in four minutes to leave them in the ascendancy with half an hour to play.   The home side could have buckled at that point, but they are fast showing an increase in confidence and in the last quarter of an hour they took control and set about repairing the damage.   They left it late scoring their second and equalising goal right on time but Biggleswade can have no complaints.   The large crowd were well entertained and, like the two sides will be looking forward to the Wednesday evening return match at Langford Road.   For the first time this season Saints Manager Marc Abbott named an unchanged side.

It was end to end right from the first whistle.   St Neots created the first chance after four minutes when Prince Mutswunguma unselfishly set up Tim N’Kala on the left flank and from a narrow angle he rounded his marker to see his shot rebound from the outside of a goalpost.   At the other end after nine minutes, Joe White saw his effort blocked and ball went loose for Matt Ball whose cross found the head of former Saint Jordan Gent, but James Philp saved comfortably.   Sean Lucien using his pace on the left was proving a constant threat to the St Neots defence and in a five minutes spell he set up White who wastefully shot over the bar, he picked up a pass from Ball to see his effort rebound from a post, and then chipped just wide from distance.   Another former Saint Devante Stanley was tumbled in full flight earning Stevan Shaw a caution and after 27 minutes defender Gardie Milenglie got the ball in the net for the visitors but was ruled offside.   St Neots then had a good spell in the ten minutes before the break with Alfie Connor and Lee Watkins testing the visiting keeper and they were rewarded three minutes before the break when following a corner Sam Bennett crossed to the near post for Sam Goode to glance a header into the net.

Biggleswade came out with all guns blazing after half time taking the match to their hosts and in a spell of four minutes’ they turned the game on its head with two goals.   After 52 minutes the lively Sean Lucien beat his marker and cut in to fire a low shot past Philp at his near post to level the scores.   Before St Neots had time to recover, they conceded a second goal as a Lucien cross was only cleared as far as Solomon Sambou whose perfectly placed chip from 25 yards found Philp a yard or so off his line as it found the top corner of the net.   St Neots looked stunned, but they settled to repair the damage with some attacking moves to probe the visiting defence.    Sam Bennet saw an effort well blocked, but he then set up N’Kala whose drive was just the wrong side of a post.   St Neots then introduced teenage substitute Jacob Joseph to liven up their midfield and this was to prove a very significant move.   He was quickly in action testing visiting keeper Sam Donkin and further substitutions followed by both sides.   By now Biggleswade had settled to hang on to their narrow advantage and Devante Stanley was booked for blatant time wasting.   As the full-time whistle approached N’Kala was brought down on the edge of the box and St Neots continued their newly found momentum to carve out a deserved late equaliser.  It came as the clock passed 90 minutes when Jake Kerins crossed from the right, and Jacob Joseph netted at the near post with a brave diving header to send the home support wild and set up the replay.

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

Subs:  Joseph (for Mutswunguma 71 mins), Boxer (for Connor 80 mins), Gomersall (for Bennett 90+1 mins) Logan, Walker and Crosby.

Cards:  Shaw (Y – 26 mins)

Goals:  Goode (43 mins), Joseph (90 mins)

 

Biggleswade Town:  Donkin, Stanley, Perry, Miles, Milenglie, Gent, Lucien, Sambou, White, Ball, Brookes

Subs:  Marsh-Brown (for Brooks 80 mins), Soares (for White 83 mins), Allinson, Thompson, Richardson, Smith and Bush.

Cards:Miles (Y – 57 mins), Ball (Y – 67 mins), Stanley (Y – 85 mins)

Goals:  Lucien (52 mins), Sambou (56 mins)

 

Referee:  Oliver Mackey (Leicester)

Attendance:       288

 

John Walker

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