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Saints gunned down by six shooting Thame

Sunday, 20 October 2019 07:37

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL 

Thame United        6            St Neots Town        0       

“How can a side dominate the opening 30 minutes of a match and go on to lose 6-0?”  

That was the unanswered question circulating amongst the visiting side after their latest drubbing.  It is sufficient to say that the visitors fell apart after conceding the first goal, but the fact is that once behind they never really looked like getting back into the match.   If you drill deeper into the match details, it is apparent that very poor defending was a major contributory factor but coupled with this a lack of confidence and determination to make amends for mistakes hangs heavily in the answer.   Overall it was a better performance than the midweek defeat at Welwyn, but Manager Marc Abbott and his staff must conjure up some swift improvement in performances after just a single victory in nine league outings.   Up until last weekend the side had conceded just two goals in three away fixtures but a further thirteen in four days on their travels has further dented their poor overall record. 

In a bid to freshen up his team and in a surprise move, Abbott left skipper Lee Watkins and former skipper Ben Bradley on the substitutes bench bringing in Alfie Connor and Joe Sutton in a revised line-up with Jake Noble handed the key centre half role.   Their cause was not helped when Alfie Connor became the third player this season to be sent off, after picking up two yellow cards in less than a minute for some very injudicious tackling.   It left his side with ten men for the final twelve minutes during which period they conceded a sixth goal.

The start was quite impressive.   St Neots carved out three early chances against what looked to be a hesitant home defence.   Alfie Connor sent a free kick the wrong side of the far post, Joe Sutton was also just off target with a snapshot from distance, and Daniel Olusemo shot over the bar – all in the first quarter of an hour.   Thame replied when from a Morgan Green cross, Thomas Ashworth stabbed the ball wide at the far post after 22 minutes and two minutes later Green was back defending at a corner to clear a Sutton cross off the goal line.    The Thame breakthrough came then, slightly against the general run of play after 32 minutes, when Jack Tutton moved inside Jake Noble to curl a shot around retreating goalkeeper James Philp.   Panny Boxer was felled by a lunging tackle earning Ben Sturgess the first caution of the match, and then two minutes before half time, Green crossed to the far post where Daniel West headed back across goal and when goalkeeper and defender failed to clear Tom Ashworth forced the ball in from close range.   There was still time for Boxer to pick up the first St Neots yellow card for a late tackle.

Philp produced a good save upon the resumption getting down to parry a shot from Gregory Hackett and on a counter-attack Sutton was just wide with his effort.   However, St Neots hopes of a quick comeback were dashed just five minutes after the restart when from a Hackett cross Ryan Blake rose high above the St Neots defence to head past Philp to make it 3-0 with all the goals down to shoddy defending.   At that point with 54 minutes gone, Marc Abbott decided to ‘go for broke’ sending on all three permitted substitutes.   Before the reshaped side had time to settle a fierce free kick was only parried to the feet of James Essex and he completed a simple finish after 56 minutes.   For a ten minutes spell St Neots looked revived with substitutes Ben Bradley and Lee Watkins driving them forward from midfield, but apart from off-target efforts from Jake Kerins and Jake Noble they failed to bother the home goal.   The fifth Thame goal after 65 minutes came from a Jordan Balogun cross to the far post where Gary Hackett rose to head home off the underside of the crossbar.  Connor’s dismissal followed before substitute Marcus Mealing became the sixth home player to put his name on the scoresheet as he converted a late penalty kick awarded for a goal line handball offence.

St Neots: Philp, Kerins, Smith, Connor, Noble, Goode, Sutton, Boxer, Musoke, Alusemo, Davies

 

Subs:  Watkins (for Sutton 54 mins), Mutswunguma (for Boxer 54 mins), Bradley (for Olusemo 54 mins), Shaw and Gomersal.

Cards:  Connor (RED – 2 x Y – 77 & 78 mins), Boxer (Y – 45+1 mins), Watkins (Y – 90 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Thame:  Hill, Balogun, Green, Essex, Jewell, Ashworth, Hackett, Tutton, Sturgess, West, Blake

Subs:  Harris (for Tutton 60 mins), Goss (for West 64 mins), Mealing (for Hackett 73 mins), Mapley and Lynn.

Cards:  Sturgess (Y – 36 mins), Blake (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  Tutton (32 mins), Ashworth (43 mins), Blake (50 mins), Essex (56 mins), Hackett (65 mins), Mealing (80 mins)

 

Referee:  Mark West (Northampton)

Attendance:       147

 

John Walker

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