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Saints push Yeltz all the way for three points

Sunday, 08 December 2019 04:36


 Halesowen Town        2        St Neots Town        0          

In midweek Bedford Town, close neighbours of St Neots Town, travelled to Halesowen and were beaten 6-0 by the in-form home side.   That should have been an indication of the task facing the visitors in this match.   With eight straight victories in all matches prior to this meeting Halesowen with three matches in hand, are now just five points adrift of league leaders Corby Town who are the visitors to the Premier Plus Stadium next Saturday.   In the event St Neots were beaten by a hotly disputed penalty and a goal four minutes in added first half time after the match referee had indicated he was adding two minutes!   So, 2-0 at the break Marc Abbott’s team returned to give an excellent account of themselves in the second half as they matched their opponents and came close several times to reducing the arrears.   The Manager made two enforced changes bringing in Joe Massaro for his debut and Lewis Foster, for the unavailable Aaron Smith And Sam Gomersal.  For much of the game the side operated a defensive pattern yet still created chances against a home side that brags the tightest defensive record in the Division.   However, credit must be given to goalkeeper James Philp who made a handful of outstanding saves when he was exposed by the free scoring home attack.

St Neots took the match to their hosts from the start and after four minutes Tommy Boxer powered forward beating two players and unleashed the first effort of the match that flew over the bar.  The home side replied with Robbie Bunn left unmarked in front of goal bringing affine reaction save from James Philp.   Bunn then saw a second effort fly wide, but the hosts were beginning to dominate and after twelve minutes they took the lead when they were awarded a controversial penalty.  Sam Goode’s tackle on Simeon Coburne looked harmless enough but to St Neots’ distress Referee Stephen Oakley pointed to the penalty spot and leading scorer Montel Gibson made no mistake to claim the lead for his side.   Most of the attacking by Halesowen was coming down their left flank and Philp had to save at the feet of Gibson after good work by Joshua Hawker.   After 20 minutes Reece Hewitt seemed to have a good claim for a second penalty, but his appeals were ignored to St Neots’ relief.   Gibson sent a cheeky lob narrowly over the bar when he spotted the keeper a yard off his line, and a free kick by Bunn was then pushed onto the bar by Philp.   As the half reached 45 minutes the St Neots custodian was fortunate when he rushed from his line to be passed by Coburne but the home player shot into the side netting.   Then four minutes into time added Jordan Piggott fired in from the edge of the area following a corner and although skipper Lee Watkins produced a spectacular header to clear the ball, an eagled eyed Assistant Referee flagged that the ball was just over the line so Halesowen went to the break with a two goals advantage.

Neither side made any half time changes but there was a change in the pattern of play with St Neots looking more comfortable in defence and ambitious in attack.  Lewis Foster making only his second start for St Neots saw a net-bound shot pushed for a corner, and Alan Musoke was robbed after weaving his way towards goal.   At the other end Coburne netted but was ruled offside and Philp produced the save of the match to deny Hewitt who had been put clear on goal by Bunn.   St Neots almost pulled a goal back on the hour when Tommy Boxer rose above the home defence at a Watkins corner, but his header rebounded from the crossbar.   A careless clearance by a visiting defender gifted Coburne a clear chance but once again Philp came to his sides’ rescue.   In the next St Neots attack Parsons cleared off the line from Massaro and the only other real chance St Neots had to reduce the arrears was a free kick some 25 yards from goal that substitute Prince Mutswunguma wasted with a weak finish directly at the home keeper.   Halesowen next week go to Bradford Park Avenue in search of an extended run in the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy.


St Neots: Philp, Shaw, Sutton, Butler, Boxer (T), Goode, Watkins, Massaro, Musoke, Bradley, Foster

Subs:  Mutswunguma (for Sutton 79 mins), Badiani (for Musoke 64 mins), Stokes, Harrison and Abbott

Cards:  Shaw (Y – 27 mins), Butler (Y – 76 mins)

Goals:  none


Halesowen:  Bunn (B), Ashmore, Bowen, Piggott, McCone, Parsons, Hawker, Bunn (R), Gibson, Coburne, Hewitt

Subs:  Molyneux (for Gibson 68 mins), Yates (for Ashmore 74 mins), Wright (for Hewitt 85 mins), Sammons and Manning.

Goals:  Gibson – pen – (12 mins), Piggott (45+4 mins)


Referee:  Stephen Oakley (Evesham)

Attendance:       560


John Walker


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