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Two late goals for Town deny improving Saints victory

Saturday, 02 November 2019 19:35

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        1           Daventry Town       2

With fifteen minutes remaining St Neots led 1-0 and were on course for their first home league victory of the season.  However, two goals by the visiting side in three minutes left them and their fans despondent.    Overall it was a much-improved performance on their two previous home defeats but after such a traumatic start to the season points are far more valuable than performance.   It was a contest marred by some inconsistent refereeing, especially in the second half when the official seemed to penalise some very petty offences by the home players whilst ignoring similar ones by the visiting side.   Manager Marc Abbott had been busy in the week prior to the match drafting in four new signings, one of which Jonny Butler, returning to the club from Hertford Town, began the match in place of the injured Jake Kerins and two more of the new faces Ben Stokes and Lewis Foster made substitute appearances.   The other team change saw Sam Gomersal return to the starting line-up in place of the injured Ben Bradley.   For well over an hour St Neots looked solid defensively so the problem of leaking goals almost at will seemed to have been remedied but then in just a short three minutes spell the bad habits reappeared with one of the visiting substitutes going the damage down the left hand side.   However, the side now has two further home matches in four days to try to retain their overall improvement whilst looking for another clean sheet.  

St Neots got off to a confident start with Prince Mutswunguma skilfully setting up strike partner Alan Musoke after two minutes, but his close-range effort was smothered by a defender.   At the other end Jack Bowen shot across the face of goal after good work by Adam Creaney, and then Aaron King sent his effort high over the St Neots crossbar.   St Neots continued to look confident, but they looked vulnerable to set pieces and two in three minutes midway through the half were repelled.   Firstly, an effort from the edge of the area from Creaney was watched over his crossbar by James Philp and then a second free kick from a similar position was blocked by the defensive wall.   After 29 minutes home supporters thought their side had won a penalty kick when Mutswunguma was sent sprawling in the box by a defender but the Referee waved play on, and then the same St Neots player wriggled past two defenders but overran the ball, and visiting keeper Justin Cerga saved bravely at his feet.   More chances followed as Lee Watkins sent a free kick over the bar and from a Sam Gomarsall cross, Joe Sutton shot wide.   Mutswunguma was again brought down on the edge of the penalty area but taking the free kick himself, he sent the ball well over the bar.    The first half ended with Adam Confue squandering probably the visitors’ best first half chance as he headed a Fitzgerald cross wide.

The second half began as the first with St Neots taking the game to their visitors and they were rewarded just four minutes after the restart when Sam Gomarsall picked up a clearance from a Daventry corner to run half the length of the field before finding Prince Mutswunguma unmarked on the left and he cut in to beat the keeper with a low shot for his sixth goal of the season.   Jonny Butler, settling in confidently to the side, then intercepted a wayward pass but could only fire wide, and Joe Sutton set up Musoke, but he was robbed by a defender.   The visitors then made a significant team change introducing Taylor Orosz for Creaney and it was to be his incisive play on the left flank that was to prove the match-winning difference.   The match then lost much of its fluency with far too many free kicks conceded by both sides and it was now that St Neots players picked up a clutch of yellow cards that seemed to dent their confidence.   With fifteen minutes left that man Orosz rounded his marker to pull the ball back to the feet of Aaron King and he beat Philp’s despairing dive to level the scores.   Daventry’s tails were now up and in their next attack they fashioned the winning goal as another Orosz cross was not cleared and from close range Jack Bowen claimed what proved to be the winning goal.   It did require a good save from Cerga in added time to de Mutswunguma a late equalizer.

 

St Neots Town: Philp, Boxer, Smith, Butler, Shaw, Goode, Watkins, Gomarsall, Musoke, Mutswunguma, Sutton

Subs:  Stokes (for Gomersal 61 mins), Foster (for Butler 83 mins), Olive and Abbott.

Cards:  Smith (Y – 21 mins), Prince (Y – 56 mins), Watkins (Y – 62 mins), Sutton (Y – 67 mins), Butler (Y – 79 mins), Shaw(Y – 81 mins)

Goals:  Mutswunguma (49 mins)

 

Daventry Town:  Cerga, Stanbridge,Print, Harris, Barnett, Confue, Fitzgerald, Finch, Bowen, King, Creaney

Subs:  Orosz (T) (for Creaney 57 mins), Orosz (J) (for Fitzgerald 67 mins), Wilkinson (for King 90+4 mins), Alexander and Finlay

Cards:  Harris (Y – 56 mins}, Confue (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals:  King (75 mins), Bowen (78 mins)

 

Referee:  Tom Hancock (Newmarket)

Attendance:       142

 

John Walker

 

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