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Superb Musoke treble helps Saints seal first home league success

Saturday, 23 November 2019 22:39

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        5           Wantage Town        0

St Neots recorded their first home league victory since February, over struggling pointless Wantage Town.   They did get some unexpected early assistance when Jared Jones picked up a straight red card after 11 minutes for an ill-judged dangerous challenge, leaving the visitors to play most of the match with ten men.   The star of the show was hard working striker Alan Musoke who scored a memorable hat trick – his first goals for St Neots in his seventh appearance, although debutante defender Tom Boxer and skipper Lee Watkins returning after a one match suspension, pushed him hard for the man-of-the-match tag.   It was the first time St Neots had recorded five goals in a league match since 9th December 2017, and it was the first St Neots league hat trick since Jevani Brown netted three times on 25th February 2017.   The match had been billed as a ‘must win’ for both sides but St Neots fully deserved their victory building on recent improved results against teams well ahead of them in the league table.   With Jonny Butler sitting out a one match suspension, Lee Watkins returned to assume the captains’ armband and new signing Tom Boxer – brother of Panny – produced an impressive debut in defence.   The third change saw Lewis Foster return in place of Ben Stokes who was on the substitutes bench.

Wantage began positively despite their poor record and Jack Buchanan forced James Philp into a good save with an early low shot from the edge of the area.   However, the sending off gave St Neots the incentive to push forward to take advantage, and defender Sam Goode joined the attack but saw his shot blocked after neat work by Lee Watkins.   Panny Boxer than beat the keeper from the edge of the box but the ball rebounded off the crossbar to be cleared, but the pressure soon told and after 18 minutes St Neots eased their nerves with the first goal as Lee Watkins weaved a delightful through pass to find Alan Musoke and he measured the perfect chip over the back peddling visiting goalkeeper.   Following a corner Aaron Smith shot just inches wide and St Neots were now using their extra man to full advantage dominating the attacking play.   After 25 minutes the score was almost doubled when a close-range effort by Prince Mutswunguma was acrobatically cleared off the line by Charley Tuttle with his keeper out of position and then Watkins fired over the bar and Musoke had a shot blocked.   Little was seen of the home attack with striker Dylan Broadley left to plough a lone furrow and it was no major surprise when three minutes before the break St Neots increased their lead as Stevan Shaw powered down the right flank and crossed to find Mutswunguma in full flight towards the visiting goal to finish with a flourish.

The real test was whether St Neots could maintain the pressure on their visitors and the resumption began with Joe Sutton shooting wide when well placed.   An early second half substitution saw the introduction of substitute Ben Stokes with Mutswunguma withdrawn and Sutton moved to a wider attacking role.   As Wantage tried hard to make an impact on the game Philp was forced to turn a Tuttle free kick around for a corner, and more substitutions by both sides followed.   Russell Lyle in the visiting goal was being kept busy and he bravely dived at the feet of Sutton to retrieve the ball after 67 minutes, but the respite was temporary as a minute later Musoke notched his second goal to make the score 3-0 with a shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar.   Momentarily the visitors looked well beaten as Sutton brought a good save from Lyle, and substitute Stokes saw his effort parried by the overworked custodian.   Sixteen minutes from time Tom Boxer made a rare sortie in attack at a set piece and was brought down to earn St Neots a penalty award.   On a hat trick there seemed little choice who would take the kick as Musoke stepped forward to confidently stroke the ball home for his deserved reward.   There was still time for teenager Adrian O’Hara to make his Southern League debut as a substitute and for Lee Watkins to complete the rout with his first league goal of the season twelve minutes from time.

St Neots Town: Philp, Shaw, Smith, Boxer (P), Goode, Boxer (T), Watkins, Sutton, Musoke, Foster, Mutswunguma

Subs:  Stokes (for Mutswunguma 51 mins), Gomersal (for Foster 64 mins), O’Hara (for Boxer (P) 74 mins) and Abbott

Cards:  Boxer (T) (Y – 52 mins), Smith (Y – 54 mins)

Goals:  Musoke (3) (18, 68 & 74 mins- pen), Mutswunguma (42 mins), Watkins (78 mins)

 

Wantage Town:  Lyle, Webster, Tuttle, Jones, Shakti, Fry, Singh, Rogagui, Broadley, Buchanan, Martei

Subs:  Broadbank (for Buchanan 60 mins), McGrory (for Broadley 73 mins), McKeon (for Fry 83 mins)

Cards:  Jones (RED – 11 mins), Rogagui (Y – 24 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Referee:  Joe Woolmer (Northampton)

Attendance:       186

 

John Walker

 

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