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Plenty of positives despite narrow defeat for new manager Corr to take on board going forward

Saturday, 11 January 2020 20:22


St Neots Town        1         Bedworth United       2              

Sadly, for recently appointed St Neots Manager Barry Corr, his reign did not start well, as he watched his reshaped side beaten at home by the odd goal in three.   Having said that, the home produced overall a better performance than their previous at Yaxley, but goals win games and despite having the better share of play in both halves, St Neots were left without anything to show for themselves except disappointment.    Bedworth were reduced to ten men 25 minutes from time when Cal Templeton picked up a second yellow card with a desperately late tackle to break up a very promising St Neots attack, and that set the scene for the remainder of the match as the visitors pulled off their strikers who had contributed both goals, packed their defence and wasted as much time as possible, picking up four late cautions to their cost.   With both former St Neots’ skippers this season, Tam Boxer and Lee Watkins both suspended, the Manager made four team changes leaving out goalkeeper James Philp, Panny Boxer and the departing Fernando Bell-Toxtle and bringing in Cambridge United loanees Finley Iron and Thomas Dickens and recalling Jacob Joseph and Joe Massaro.   With other loan players set to join the squad, there is bound to be further changes as St Neots seek to move away from the wrong end of the league table.    The match was preceded by a minutes’ silence in memory of Club record scorer Francis Brand who had passed away earlier in the week.

St Neots began really brightly and dominated play for the opening 25 minutes.   Faster to the ball and able to push the visitors back in defence they created openings as Jacob Joseph’s telling cross found Sam Gomersall and only a brave block by Elliot Parrott prevented an early goal.   Joe Massaro then shot disappointingly over the bar after a good build up and then an off-balance Joseph screwed his shot wide.   However, after 17 minutes St Neots were deservedly ahead as Prince Mutswunguma ghosted into the area to head home Aaron Smith’s searching cross, claiming his eighth league goal of the campaign.    Prince then had a second effort cleared off the line by a defender, but St Neots were failing to find an end product to their possession, and the visitors grew in confidence.   Then after 28 minutes the home side failed to pick up Luke Keen who cut inside his marker to cross for Mitchell Piggon to send a low shot through a crowd of players past the unsighted goalkeeper – their first significant shot on target!    Confidence seemed to drain from the St Neots players who were now having to concentrate on defence as Bedworth looked rejuvenated.   It was then little surprise when the visitors scored a second goal three minutes before half time when Iron seemed to hesitate as tried to close down Luke Keen who was clear of the defence, but the visiting forward skilfully netted with an angled finish.  

Early in the second half St Neots introduced Panny Boxer to replace Joe Massaro to try to rediscover their early sparkle, and then the home side seemed to be handed a lifeline with the dismissal of Templeton but the variation in tactics by the visitors proved to be significant.   Now with their superiority in numbers, St Neots should have taken full advantage, but they lacked the guile and imagination to test the packed visiting defence.   A Prince effort was scraped off the line and the visitors seemed intent on stopping at nothing to preserve their narrow advantage.  Following a corner Sam Goode shot wide and St Neots best effort was when Stevan Shaw powered forward to take a return pass to breach the visiting defence, only for a defender to clear off the line with his goalkeeper beaten.   St Neots just failed to make their extra player pay and although they never stopped trying, the home defence seldom looked threatened.    Their final effort was a free kick within striking distance of goal, but Aaron Smith wasted the chance with an off-target finish.   No doubt Mr Corr will seek to improve both the confidence and finishing of his new charges.




St Neots: Iron, Shaw, Smith, Butler, Goode, Dickens, Joseph, Massaro, Gomersal, Sutton, Mutswunguma

Subs:  Boxer (P) (for Massaro 55 mins), Foster (for Joseph 84 mins), Badiani, Clarke and O’Hara.

Cards:  Boxer (P)  (Y – 77 mins)

Goals:  Mutswunguma (17 mins)


Bedworth:  Crane, Dudley, Rowe, Parrott, Templeton, Preston, Truslove, Mulders, Piggon, Keen, Blythe

Subs:  Troke (for Piggon 68 mins), King (for Keen 79 mins), Harrison, Blackmore and Punter.

Cards: Templeton (RED – 2xY – 55 & 66 mins), Rowe (Y – 68 mins) Mulders (Y – 76 mins), Troke (Y- 87 mins) + Assistant Manager Lenton (Y – 68 mins)

Goals:  Piggon (28 mins), Keen (42 mins(


Referee:  Sean Gregory (Peterborough)

Attendance:       205


John Walker


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