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Disappointment as Saints fail to arrest dismal home form after another defeat

Saturday, 05 October 2019 18:11

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        0        Barton Rovers       2

 

With almost a full squad to choose from St Neots will be disappointed with a fourth straight home defeat.   But for an inspired performance by home keeper James Philp the reversal would have been heavier.    After the break with his side chasing the game, Barton set up several good counter attacking moves that could have led to further goals, but the keeper was alert and agile and fully deserved his second half clean sheet.   However, there are still defensive concerns for Manager Marc Abbott because with Stevan Shaw back from suspension and injury, he was able to name his first choice back four, but his side have now conceded 17 goals in four home games and this is a major problem that must be arrested.  Barton came into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 away victory at Hullbridge in the FA Trophy and they were probably the best visiting side of the season, but the bottom line was yet another defeat.   With Coleshill picking up points this week St Neots are beginning to look more isolated just one point above the wrong end of the league table.

Barton made a very impressive start with a series of quick-fire, neat attacking moves to test the home defence.   In their first attack Tony Williams directed a free header over the bar and Jemale McKenzie-Lowe then had a net bound shot blocked by a defender.   St Neots meantime made little progress in attack and after 12minutes they fell behind when a defender appeared to miss a free kick by Jerome Jibodi and behind him Jemale McKenzie-Lowe stabbed the ball past the surprised Philp.   The slick passing visitors continued to dominate the attacking play with Victor Osobu setting up Nathan Tshikuna but Philp saved comfortably.   St Neots did break out just past the half hour for Sam Goode to win a Lee Watkins corner, but his looping header rebounded from the crossbar with visiting keeper Kyle Forster beaten and in the same attack Prince Mutswunguma shot wide when he should at least have tested the keeper.   The second Barton goal six minutes before the break left St Neots chasing the game but it never should have been allowed!   From an Osobu cross Dean Dummett headed past the keeper but had clearly shoved his marker in the back – something not spotted by the match officials.   In the three minutes before half time Prince Mutswunguma had two clear shooting chances for the hosts but he put one wide and aimed the second too close to the keeper.

 

It was again the visitors who made the better start on the resumption.   Philp distinguished himself with a fine early save from Dummett and both Garry Jones and McKenzie-Lowe were off target with their efforts after neat attacking moves.  However, St Neots were now striving to rustle up a recovery and Ben Bradley sent a free kick over the bar and substitute Joe Sutton on for Sam Gomersal made an early impact scything through the defence to be brought down but again the free kick was squandered.    Bradley then set up Sam Bennett, but he lost control as he was about to shoot, and the chance went begging.   At the other end Philp made two excellent saves to deny Williams and McKenzie-Lowe and St Neots tried to benefit from this but from a Sutton free kick Goode volleyed over the bar.   The last few minutes saw Mutswunguma again in attacking action firstly bringing a good save from Forster and then off-balance after beating two defenders, shooting high over the bar.   Another disappointing home defeat but signs of some improvement to build on with the side without a match for the next ten days due to their untimely FA Trophy exit.

St Neots: Philp, Kerins, Smith, Boxer, Shaw, Goode, Gomarsall, Watkins, Bennett, Bradley, Mutswunguma

 

Subs:  Sutton (for Gomersall 71 mins), N’Kala (for Bradley 71 mins), Connor, Noble and Rhiney.

Cards:  none

Goals:  none

 

Barton:  Forster, Jibodu, Jones, Dummett, Sonuga, McKenzie-Lowe, Osobu, Gibson, Thomas, Tshikuna, Williams

Subs:  Olaniran (for Thomas 80 mins), Weekes (for Osobu 84 mins), Griffith (for Jibodu 90 mins), Gittins and Lukulay,

Cards:  Thomas (Y – 8 mins), Jones (Y – 63 mins), Gibson (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  Jemale McKenzie-Lowe (12 mins), Dean Dummett (39 mins)

 

Referee:  Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       229

 

John Walker

 

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