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The FA Cup dream is over after replay defeat

Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:24


Biggleswade Town       2            St Neots Town        0          

St Neots bowed out of the FA Cup in their midweek replay with Biggleswade Town producing an uninspiring performance as seniority prevailed.   The main difference between the sides was the almost faultless display by Solomon Sambou for the home side as he controlled midfield throughout the match and still found time to score a goal in each half to propel his side through to the next round and a home tie with Ware Town.   A measure of the difference between the sides was that St Neots failed to produce a shot on target in the first 45 minutes and then failed to seriously test home custodian Sam Donkin after the break.   The home side was dominant almost throughout with the need for St Neots to find a goalscoring striker again very apparent.   They could not be faulted for effort, but it is goals that win matches, and in this case the greater sponsorship reward.   Manager Marc Abbott opted for just a single change in his line-up giving a first senior start to recent signing Panny Boxer and leaving Alfie Connor on the bench, whilst the home side rested former Saints central defender Jordan Gent.


The Waders began confidently and after six minutes, Joe White cut in from the left to fire in a narrow-angled shot that James Philp blocked with his legs.   Seven minutes later down the same flank the lively Sean Lucien moved inside his marker, but his effort flew across the face of goal to be cleared.   The attacking play by the home side continued as St Neots found it difficult to get of their own half, and when Liam Brooks was tripped in full flight after 15 minutes, Matt Ball sent the free kick in a central position high over the bar.    Two minutes later the initial breakthrough arrived as Lucien lost possession, but the ball went loose to the feet of Solomon Sambou and he sent a sweetly struck shot into the roof of the net past the surprised Philp.    It was no less than the hosts deserved although St Neots did hit back quickly as former Saint defender Devante Stanley gave the ball away and presented with a surprise opening Sam Bennett sent his effort over the bar.   It could have been worse for St Neots when after 24 minutes Lucien’s blistering pace took him past his marker and his cross evaded the visiting defenders but at the far post Liam Brooks missed his kick and the chance went begging.   Home skipper Ball had a shot deflected, and at the other end Tim N’Kala failed to get a shot in after neat work by Panny Boxer and on the stroke of half time, Jake Kerins sent a free kick from the edge of the box over the crossbar.


St Neots were more competitive after the break, but the home side continued to create the bulk of the openings.   From a Ball free kick Sambau fluffed a good headed chance and Ball sent a free kick over the bar from a promising position.   St Neots did respond after good work by Jake Noble but Mutswunguma finished weakly and after 61 minutes a second home goal effectively ended St Neots hopes of victory.   It came after some defensive confusion and when defenders failed to clear the ball appeared to come back off a post for Solomon Sambau to net from close range.   St Neots began to look ragged and frustrated and they had three players booked for a variety of poor tackles.   However, they sent on two substitutes and one of them Jacob Joseph produced the nearest to a consolation goal when he sent in a shot that skimmed the crossbar ten minutes from time.   Underworked home keeper Sam Donkin did have to save a lengthy effort from Boxer, but the home side were never in real danger of conceding a goal.   The ineffectiveness of St Neots’ finishing was summed up by a late effort by Bennett that flew harmlessly over the crossbar.


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

Subs:  Joseph (for Mutswunguma 65 mins), Sutton (for Noble 65 mins), Logan, Walker, Connor and Bartlett.

Cards:  Shaw (Y – 58 mins), Mutswunguma (Y – 62 mins), Watkins (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  none


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

Subs:  Marsh-Brown (for Lucien 71 mins), James-Thompson (for Miles 81 mins), Soares (for White 86 mins), Allinson, Richardson, Gent and Bush.

Cards:James-Thompson (Y – 84 mins)

Goals:  Sambou 2 (17 & 61 mins)


Referee:  Stuart Kyle (High Wycombe)

Attendance:       289


John Walker

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