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2020 starts with a Five Star performance and three very welcome points

Wednesday, 01 January 2020 20:21

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        5               Kempston Rovers        1                   

For the first time in a year St Neots recorded back to back league victories completing their first league ‘double’ of the season in the process.   The three points elevated them to within two points of their victims’ Kempston Rovers, with two matches in hand, and not even the news that bottom side Wantage had won for the first time this season, dented the ‘feel good’ warmth instilled by the three valuable league points, thanks to the influence of caretaker Manager Matt Clements.   Two first half goals put the host side well in control and they went on to score five times in a match for only the second time since December 2017.    Without regular goalkeeper James Philp unavailable for the first time this season, St Neots called upon U18 keeper Jacob Crosby who will be deservedly able to remember his senior debut with great pride.   He was one of two changes made in the starting line-up, with Johnny Butler returning in place of Lewis Foster.   Joe Sutton and Sam Gomarsall both contributed two goals apiece in what could prove to be a significant springboard towards a much improved second half of the season.

St Neots had the first chance with Panny Boxer just unable to reach an early cross in front of goal.   The visitors clearly keen to compete also had an early chance but Stefan Bailey up for a set piece shot over the bar.   The first half took some time to find rhythm with injuries causing unusually lengthy delays and no less than eight minutes added time prior to the break.   Visiting keeper Michael Hudson was lucky not to concede a goal when he mishandled but recovered but he was helpless and 29 minutes when Sam Gomarsall advanced om goal to unleash an unstoppable finish into the corner of the net to put St Neots deservedly ahead.   Nine minutes later the advantage was doubled when the impressive Fernando Bell-Toxtle sped down the left leaving two defenders in his wake, to cross to the near post for Joe Sutton to claim his second goal in successive holiday matches.   Gomarsall then volleyed high over the bar following a corner and St Neots ended the half in control although their young keeper had to produce an impressive added time save to deny Kempston’s leading scorer Jake Newman an unlikely reply.

After a tight start to the second half St Neots settled nerves with a well-conceived third goal – the produce of a sweet move, as Sam Gomarsall turned in a Sutton low cross for a 3-0 lead.   St Neots then made their first substitution introducing Lee Watkins for the limping Panny Boxer.   Kempston should have reduced the arrears on the hour when an uncharacteristic lapse in the St Neots defence saw Newman with the goal at his mercy and the home keeper stranded.   Fortunately for St Neots his lob passed the wrong side of the far post, and two minutes later the visitors were made to pay for this slip when Prince Mutswunguma darted into the penalty area to finish a clever move involving Bell-Toxtle and Sutton for a 3-0 lead.   Crosby then distinguished himself with a full length save to deny a Newman free kick, but the visiting player was not to be denied because on 72 minutes he netted from close range to pull back a consolation goal.   However, that did little to deny the inevitable because after 78 minutes St Neots’ four goals advantage was restored when the tenacious Joe Sutton claimed his second goal of the match directly from a corner.   Crosby continued to impress saving bravely at the feet of Sam Johnson and St Neots cruised to victory.

 

Saints Supporters' Man of the Match - JOE SUTTON

 

St Neots: Crosby, Shaw, Smith, Butler, Goode, Boxer (T), Gomersal, Bell-Toxtle, Mutswunguma, Boxer (P), Sutton

Subs:  Watkins (for Boxer (P) 58 mins), Clarke (for Mutswunguma 65 mins), Massaro (for Bell-Toxtle 83 mins), Foster and O’Hara.

Cards:  Boxer (T) (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals:  Gomersall 2 (29 & 55 mins), Sutton 2 (38 & 78 mins),Mutswunguma (62 mins)

 

Kempston:  Hudson, Stratton, Brennan,Wright, Bailey, Sage,Goodman, Newman, McLeod, Baker 

Subs:  Hunt (for Stratton 45 mins), Birch (for Bailey 58 mins), Shortt (for Baker 72 mins), and Hyde.

Cards: Birch (Y – 90 mins), Wright (Y – 90+3 mins), Goodman (Y – 90+5 mins)

Goals:  Newman (72 mins)

 

Referee:  Tim Donnellan (Leighton Buzzard)

Attendance:       245

 

John Walker

 

 

 

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