Club Statement - Covid-19 - March 2020

This is going to be a really difficult time for us all. As a community football club, we will continue to look at ways we can help while at the same time be mindful of the Government guidelines and how these can be interpreted. We will take advice from the schools we partner as well as the FA to ensure that the support we offer is best practice. 

As a business that does not manufacture or retail, we are very much at risk if we do not manage the situation correctly.  Already, we have lost all football matches, function bookings and facility hire throughout March and most of April which equates to no or very little income. Like every other family or business, we have bills to pay regardless of whether we have the income to do so. The situation may change for better or for worse over the next 6 weeks, we just don't know which is the very real worry. 

Putting all of our worries to one side, the club will remain committed (while we are able to) to helping where we can. Whether this is using the club's facilities or making the most of our coaching staff remains to be seen but we will try our best within the boundaries that the Government has set. 

 

Please  watch this space for further news

 

Stay safe

 

Best Wishes

 

St Neots Town FC

Neots win the battle of the Saints in a feisty encounter marred by injury to Ives player

THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE

ST NEOTS TOWN U18        2       ST IVES TOWN     1 

Second and third in the league table prior to this match the reward for the winners would be a berth at the top of the table, and after a feisty encounter it was St Neots who prevailed.   It was a game scarred by a 43rd minute injury to Tom Wakeley which resulted in a 50 minutes suspension of the match whilst an ambulance arrived to transport the unlucky youngster to the hospital.   At the point of the injury the match had boiled up into a competitive contest but after the restart the enthusiasm seemed to have dispersed and the second half saw a visiting side reduced to ten men defend well but unable to seriously challenge St Neots’ narrow advantage.

 

There was a quiet start with neither side seriously testing the opposition goalkeeper in the opening twenty minutes.   Then Kai Hope tested Dylan Martin at one end and Brad Brown burst through to shoot over at the other.   Leading the home attack Brad Matzk looked lively and was only denied the opening goal by a too narrow angle after he had left defenders in his wake.   Then after 29 minutes a deep cross from Jake Wood picked out the head of Marley Edwards and he gave St Neots the lead.   However, within sixty seconds the visitors had responded positively as Tom Wakely was left unmarked and he levelled the scores from close range.   Visiting keeper Kai Bradley produced the save of the match to deny Jake Wood after 34 minutes but two minutes later the home side struck what was to prove the decisive goal as St Ives defender Ewan Young was caught in possession and Brad Matzk advanced on goal to reinstate the lead.   Three minutes before half time the injury saw the temporary suspension of the game.

 

Upon the restart the visitors gave the impression of trying to take revenge for the injury with Faris Rhaman booked and after 51 minutes the game exploded with a fracas in the St Neots penalty area resulting in a red card for Ewan Young and bookings for Matzk (St Neots) and Karl Frans and Kai Hope (St Ives).   When peace was restored St Neots had much of the possession with their one-man advantage, but they created little although Bradley saved well from Brown and Max Smalley.   St Ives best chance of a share of the points came midway through the second half when Ben Smith broke clear but was foiled by an important save by Dylan Martin.

 

St Neots:  Martin, Olive, Wood, O’Hara, Howell, Byrne, Smalley, Clark, Matzk, Brown, Edwards

Sub used:   Nshangalume.

Cards: Byrne (Y – 42 mins), Matzk (Y – 51 mins), Edwards (Y – 83 mins)

Referee:  Nicholas Easey                                                                               

(John Walker)

 

One goal enough for the league leaders to defeat a Saints side who did everything but score

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        0          Berkhamsted        1

In midweek Berkhamsted had taken over as league leaders as they beat FA Trophy heroes Halesowen Town and despite their record of ten matches undefeated prior to this match, the visitors looked far from potential champions.   Great credit then  to Barry Corr’s side who did everything in the second half but score a goal which would have afforded them at least a share of the points.   Long before the final whistle the visitors were employing every tactic in the book to waste time, and despite a strong finish to the first half, they seldom got close enough to goal after the break to extend their narrow advantage.   However, St Neots are finding to their cost that their inability to find the back of the net is undermining some attractive approach play as their recent tally of just four goals in nine hours play clearly indicates.    It is true they are playing without a recognised striker with Joe Neal injured, but top scorer Prince Mutswunguma leading the attack was almost totally ineffective and his colleagues’ efforts were far too often off target.    With just two wins in their last ten league outings St Neots are grateful that the two teams below them are displaying similar form and with just seven weeks of the season remaining, St Neots are now odds on to retain their place at Step Four next season.   Manager Corr made just one team change for this match blooding midfielder John Freeman for his debut and leaving Rajan Badiani on the bench.   With team skipper Tom Boxer completing his two match ban he looks likely to feature in the next match – a trip to bottom side Wantage Town when a victory would give St Neots a twenty points cushion above the almost doomed Oxfordshire side.  

Although St Neots began brightly and created the first two openings it was not long before the visitors began to show their recent form.   The impressive Lewis Simper robbed a hesitant defender to set up new boy John Freeman, who brought a full length save as the visiting keeper pushed the ball for a corner and then Aaron Smith joined the attack to bring a good save from the keeper.   Then in their first notable attack the visitors took the lead as Joshua Chamberlain broke clear of a square lying defence after 18 minutes to beat Finley Iron with an angled low shot to open the scoring.   In the next ten minutes St Neots found themselves under pressure as Iron had to produce a smart save to deny Lee Stobbs, and when the defence was again caught out Jonathan Lacy sent his effort wide of the far post.   To their credit the St Neots defenders were shackling the Division’s leading scorer Lewis Toomey who was unable to manage a serious effort on goal throughout the ninety minutes, and as half time approached St Neots seemed to grow in confidence and with the aid of some patient passing build-ups they began to threaten the visiting goal.   Berkhamsted lost their full back Matt Cooper to an injury and with seven minutes to go before the break, Simper unleashed a fierce drive from 25 yards that the unsighted Xavier Leon did well to parry and then in time added on at the end of the first half a Simper free kick was gratefully pushed for a corner by the visiting keeper.

Neither side made half time changes either to personnel or tactics and after Lacey had sent the visitors’ first second half chance wide, Chamberlain curled a freekick also wide of target.   As the second period progressed St Neots really pushed their opponents back on the defensive and now Berkhamsted appeared to be content just to preserve their narrow lead.   Lee Watkins shot narrowly wide after a patient build up and Freeman just failed to get on the end of a Joe Sutton cross.   The visitors utilised both of their remaining substitutes in a bid to wrest back their dwindling possession, but St Neots persevered with Smith firing over the bar and Prince Mutswunguma was also off target from a narrow angle.   In a bid to waste further time Max Farrelly was booked for kicking the ball out of the ground after conceding a free kick, and as time ticked down Prince had the final St Neots chance as he won a header from a Simper chip forward but Leon saved comfortably.

 

Saints Supporters' Man of the Match - LEWIS SIMPER (pictured right)

St Neots: Iron, Goode, Smith, Boxer (P), Shaw, Dickens, Sutton, Freeman, Mutswunguma, Simper, Watkins

Subs:  Badiani (for Boxer 85 mins), Martin, O’Hara and Hudson.

Cards:  Freeman (Y – 80 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Berkhamsted:  Leon, Akubuine, Cooper, Amu, Kinnane, Farrelly, Stobbs, Toomey (C), Toomey (L), Lacy, Chamberlain

Subs:  Olajubu (for Cooper 37 mins), Dowridge (for Stobbs 64 mins), Witham (for Amu 73 mins), Folarin and Summerfield.

Cards:  Farrelly (Y – 70 mins)

Goals:  Chamberlain (18 mins)

 

Referee:  Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       211

 

John Walker

 

Prince strike not enough as Saints succumb to two Daventry goals

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

Daventry Town        2       St Neots Town        1          

With three key players missing St Neots fell to a fourth consecutive away league defeat – this time at Daventry.  Having had the better of a blustery first half facing into the wind, the expectation of a change in fortune looked possible and then, going on to take the lead after the break seemed to strengthen further that expectation.   However, they then gifted their hosts two goals and did not raise the skill or ability to hit back for at least a point.   Now four of their most recent defeats have been as a result of just an odd goal difference in the final score line, and so they seem unable to change the outcome of closely fought contests.   Still missing from the starting line-up was on-loan striker Joe Neal who has been restricted by injury to just four appearances, along with another forward Sam Gomarsall who has what could be a lengthy illness.   Joining that pair was current team skipper Tom Boxer who was sitting out the first of his two matches ban following his sending off at Yaxley.   Into the side came Rajan Badiani for his full debut following three very brief substitute appearances, with Steven Shaw reinstated in defence.   Also, back into the side from the substitutes’ bench came leading scorer Prince Mutswunguma who responded with his ninth league goal of the season – with Lewis Foster starting on the bench.

The first fifteen minutes were competitive but with the conditions testing there was only a single shot on target – that from new boy Rajan Badiani who failed to test home custodian James Martin.   Daventry responded with Jack Bowen finding space in the penalty area to head over from an Aaron King corner.   King then cleverly created space but shot well wide and gradually St Neots began to dominate proceedings.   Martin did well at full length to deny Lewis Simper after the young midfielder had started and finished one of St Neots’ better attacking moves, Sutton set up chances with several searching crosses, and Prince Mutswunguma leading the visiting attack saw his effort blocked by a defender.   The half ended with Jarvis Wilson earning the first of four home side bookings for upending the lively Sutton.

After suffering a painful foot injury, Sam Goode failed to reappear after the break and was replaced by Lewis Foster with a noticeable visiting side reorganisation.   Foster went to lead the attack with little success, Mutswunguma was withdrawn to a deeper role, Panny Boxer moved into central defence with Stevan Shaw moving to fill the vacant full back berth.    Initially it did not seem to upset St Neots rhythm and just before the hour a clever through pass from Simper found Prince Mutswunguma with his back to goal but he turned to shed his marker and shot across the diving Martin to open the scoring.   However, any feeling of pleasure was almost quickly extinguished as just ninety seconds later a cross from the right saw Boxer and Tom Dickens going for the same clearance which neither achieved, leaving ball to run through to the unmarked Aaron King who was brought down by the St Neots keeper as he tried to go past him.   That resulted in a booking for Finley Iron and a successful penalty converted by Jake Bowen, the leading home goal scorer.  That seemed to knock St Neots confidence and their play became ragged as Daventry introduced two fresh substitutes.   After fifteen minutes of inconsequential play the home side were attacking again and in the slickest move of the game substitute Michael Gyasi rounded his marker to pull the ball back to Jake Bowen who rapped the ball home to give his side the lead.     At that point Daventry clearly opted to sit on their lead and they deliberately slowed the game unashamedly smothering St Neots’ attempts to get back on terms.    As a result the Referee added on almost eight minutes of added time and it was during that spell that St Neots created their best opportunity of a late share of the spoils when a long ball found Joe Sutton free on the right and his measured shot beat the dive of the goalkeeper but passed just the wrong side of the far post.

Saints Supporters' Man of the Match - LEWIS SIMPER (Pictured top right)

 

St Neots: Iron, Goode, Smith, Boxer (P), Shaw, Dickens, Sutton, Watkins, Mutswunguma, Simper, Badiani

Subs:  Foster (for Goode 46 mins), Joseph, O’Hara and Hudson.

Cards:  Shaw (Y – 51 mins), Iron (Y – 61 mins), Watkins (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  Mutswunguma (59 mins)

 

Daventry:  Martin, O’Connor, Wilson, Harris, Barrett, Confue, Emery, Finch, Bowen, King, Print

Subs:  Creaney (for O’Connor 62 mins), Gyasi (for Confue 72 mins), Stanbridge (for Kay 86 mins), Childs and Cerga.

Cards:  Wilson (Y – 39 mins),Finch (Y – 51 mins), Bowen (Y – 74 mins), King (Y – 81 mins)

Goals:  Bowen 2 (61 mins – pen - & 76 mins)

 

Referee:  Ruebyn Ricardo (Leicester)

Attendance:       110

 

John Walker

 

Lacking of a cutting edge costs Saints dear at Barton

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

Barton Rovers        3          St Neots Town       0      

After picking up seven points from their past four matches this was a very disappointing overall team performance by St Neots.   They were outmuscled and eventually outplayed by a host side struggling for form after four defeats in their last five matches.   Having had much the better of the first half St Neots might well have hoped to go on to record their first away victory since Boxing Day, but two very late goals gave Barton a margin of victory that made a nonsense of the balance of play.   An unchanged St Neots side, still without injured striker Joe Neal, might have expected to come into the game with a measure of confidence, but their overall possession was wasted due to very poor execution of the final pass whilst the home side failed to seriously test Fin Iron in the St Neots goal in the opening half hour, except for one headed attempt that the keeper collected under his crossbar.   Lewis Foster continuing to lead the visiting attack could not be faulted for his commitment and effort but his finishing, like his colleagues, was unconvincing after some neat team approach play.   It was only the second time in eleven league and cup matches that St Neots have failed to score a goal – a failing that must be rectified urgently.

On an uneven, bobbly pitch both sides struggled to play constructive football in the opening quarter of an hour.  Charlie Smith had the first opening for Barton but shot badly wide and at the other end a diving header by Sam Gomarsall from a Tommy Boxer cross was well gathered by home custodian Niall Cooper.   It was a looping header by Victor Osobu that was gathered by Iron but most of the play was in the opposite direction, with a stinging shot by Lewis Simper requiring a double save by Cooper and Joe Sutton seeing his effort blocked after he had left two defenders in his wake.   Sutton was tormenting the home defence and Lewis Thomas earned the first caution of the match after upending him just outside the penalty area.   With almost half an hour played St Neots were dictating play and Foster had a shot saved when he should have done better and Gomarsall cut in from the left to see his net bound shot blocked by Kai Phelan.   St Neots though they should have had a penalty when Lee Watkins was shoved in the back as he closed in on goal, but the referee waved play on.   A minute before the break following more St Neots pressure Sam Gomarsall had the ball in the net but was ruled offside and the half ended with Phelan picking up a yellow card as he callously ended a St Neots attack with a late challenge.

Prince Mutswunguma was introduced after half time with Gomarsall having picked up an injury but the restart was marked by a first significant break for the home side.   A corner carelessly conceded saw Osobu lift the ball to the far post where tall defender Lewis Thomas outjumped the defence to open the scoring.   This setback seemed to knock the stuffing out of St Neots whose play became ragged and unconvincing.   Sensing their chance Barton, pushed their visitors back in defence and around the hour created three good chances.   Iron had to be alert to gather a rising shot from Osobu, then, played clear of the defence Connor Vincent fired over the bar and Nathan Tshikina bore down on goal to bring the save of the match from Iron who had narrowed his angle to block the low shot.   St Neots were collectively guilty of some very careless and often too optimistic passing when they were in possession and even the introduction of substitute Rajan Badiani failed to inspire their attacking options and ideas.   A collision between Simper and the home keeper looked to be nothing other than a legal 50/50 challenge but with the keeper requiring treatment the Referee booked the St Neots player – judged a harsh decision even by home officials.   The constant and frustrating time-wasting tactics employed by the home side earned another yellow card but St Neots could not take full advantage and two minutes from time a long defensive clearance found Nathan Tshikina in space and he doubled the lead.   In time added on for home side timewasting, they took full advantage as Victor Osobu made it 3-0 with the best goal of the match curling a shot over Iron and under the bar.

SAINTS SUPPORTERS' MAN OF THE MATCH:  LEWIS SIMPER (pictured right)

St Neots Town: Iron, Goode, Smith, Boxer (P), Dickens, Boxer (T), Sutton, Watkins, Foster, Simper, Gomersall

Subs:  Mutswunguma (for Gomersall 46 mins), Badiani (for Foster 74 mins), Shaw, Clarke and Crosby.

Cards:  Simper (Y – 77 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Barton:  Cooper, Palmer, Ward, Smith (C), Phelan, Thomas, Osobu, Dummett, Vincent, Tshikina, Furlong

Subs:  Andrews (for Thomas 74 mins), Boland (for Dummett 77 mins), Williams (for Vincent 85 mins), Okuboyejo and McCormick.

Cards:  Thomas (Y – 21 mins), Phelan (Y – 45+1 mins), Furlong (Y – 65 mins), Smith (C) (Y – 81 mins)

Goals:  Thomas (47 mins), Tshikuna (88 mins), Osobu (90+4 mins)

 

Referee:  Grzegorz Komasiewicz (Eynsham)

Attendance:       158

 

John Walker

 

Post 16 Sport Scholarship 2020 - Open Day and Football Trials

 

Post 16 Football & Sport Education Programme

Come along to our next Open Day & Football Trials on Thursday 20th February 2020 @10.30am - 1.00pm

Study at Astrea Sixth Form, St Neots based at Longsands Academy and combine your academic studies with a full time sport / football training schedule.

 

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM

10.30 Registration

10.45 Academic overview & Scholarship opportunities

11.15 Training session

12.45 Q&A debrief & depart

 

Contact Iain Parr on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for further details or to secure your place

 

 

St Neots Town Academy - Player and Coaching Opportunities 20/21 Season

 

Are you interested in playing for St Neots Town FC?

Would you like to train twice a week on a state of the art 3G in a safe environment and develop under the guidance of FA qualified coaches and play at the home of St Neots Town Football Club?

We are recruiting players and coaching staff for the 2020/21 season so please register your interest and we will confirm our upcoming trial days & times in May 2020.

 

Interested?    Please contact Iain Parr on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Honours even in windswept A1 derby versus Biggleswade FC

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        1       Biggleswade FC        1          

Two points lost rather than one point gained – that was perhaps a rather harsh assessment of the outcome of this local match, because St Neots had done almost everything except put the ball in the net in a dominant second half performance.   After a slow start in which they had conceded a goal, St Neots came back to level the scores and share play in an entertaining first half.   Biggleswade are a team in form having won five of their last seven matches – but only one of those victories had come on foreign soil.   The home side lacked a killer punch but to the credit of the visitors they defended as those their lives were dependant upon it, and they paid the price for their determination when defender Daniel Newton picked up a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Lee Watkins.   Even with a numeric advantage St Neots lacked the penetration their superior possession deserved, and the visitors will be well pleased to return home with a share of the spoils.   St Neots inability to take full advantage was partly down to having to play without their main striker Joe Neal who had failed to shake off an injury picked up in the midweek match, and there were in total three St Neots team changes from the Corby match with Jacob Joseph also carrying an injury and Prince Mutswunguma left on the bench.   Into the reshaped side came man of the match Joe Sutton, playmaker Lewis Simper and Lewis Foster.

In an end to end start it was the visiting side that impressed.   In their first real attack after five minutes they almost went ahead when a looping Tom Coles header bounced on the top of the crossbar from a Ryan Inskip corner, and then sixty seconds later they did forge into the lead.   A swift move from the back saw the ball switched wide towards Scott Joseph wide on the left, and with a neat turn of speed he nipped in between defender Tom Boxer and keeper Finley Iron to skilfully lob the ball into the unguarded net.   This setback seemed to prompt St Neots into positive action, and they took the game to their visitors and were rewarded twelve minutes later when an Aaron Smith corner picked out Lewis Simper and his cross to the far post was bundled in by skipper Tom Boxer (pictured right middle) from six yards.   St Neots then continued to look in control as Sam Gomersall had a shot well saved by Tyler Josephs, and Joe Sutton saw a net bound shot blocked by a defender.   Biggleswade then had a good spell around the half hour as Joe Leslie had an effort blocked and when a St Neots defensive error set up the visiting attack, the unmarked Joseph was only inches away from what would have been a second goal for him and his side.     In the St Neots goal Iron had to be alert to keeper at bay shots from Lee Northfield and Inskip and the half ended with St Neots full back Sam Goode moving forward to join his attack to see his effort blocked by a combination of two defenders.

St Neots had the wind at their backs after the break and quickly began to make it count.   From a Lee Watkins cross, Gomersall went inside his marker to see his effort rebound from a post and then Tom Boxer headed narrowly over the crossbar.   Sutton tested Josephs with a low shot and the keeper had to be at his best to get down to gather a low shot at full stretch from Panny Boxer.   Sutton in full flight was then hauled down by Oswick but the free kick on the edge of the penalty area from Simper was too high.   For 25 minutes nothing had been seen of the Biggleswade attack but then a clever through pass freed Joseph beyond the St Neots defence, but his woeful finish was several yards wide of the goal.   That proved to be an exception to the pattern of play as St Neots strove to keep the pressure on the visiting defence and they sent on Prince Mutswunguma for Lewis Foster but still created few clear openings.   The sending off of Newton saw Biggleswade reinforce their packed defence in order to preserve their point and this they achieved despite Simper skimming the crossbar and late substitute Rajan Badiani and Mutswunguma both firing over the top.

 

Bottom right photo - Tom Boxer's equaliser - courtesy of David  R. W. Richardson, copyright (c) Rich In Video 2020

 

SAINTS SUPPORTERS' MAN OF THE MATCH - JOE SUTTON (pictured top right)

 

Match Highlights courtesy of SNTtv - St Neots Town 1 - 1 Biggleswade FC

 

 

St Neots: Iron, Goode, Smith, Boxer (P), Dickens, Boxer (T), Sutton, Watkins, Foster, Simper, Gomersall

Subs:  Mutswunguma (for Foster 74 mins), Badiani (for Gomersall 90 mins), Shaw, Butler and Crosby.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Boxer (T) (18 mins)

 

Biggleswade:  Josephs, Hunt, Marsh, Northfield, Newton, Oswick, Coles, Fisher, Joseph, Leslie, Inskip

Subs:  Andrews (for Northfield 67 mins), Gauge (for Inskip 77 mins), Langley, Richardson and Simpson.

Cards:  Newton (RED – 77 mins), Leslie (Y – 74 mins)

Goals:  Joseph (6 mins)

 

Referee:  Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       287

 

John Walker

 

Looking Ahead to Biggleswade FC

UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW

On Saturday near neighbours Biggleswade FC visit the Premier Plus Stadium for a rearranged league match.  

The rise of Biggleswade FC to Step Four has been meteoric because just four seasons ago the club (along with several existing players) were a very successful U18 side plying their trade in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League. One of three clubs based in Biggleswade, our visitors are competing for local talent with Biggleswade Town (Step Three) who are their present landlords, and Biggleswade United (Step Five). Currently 13th in the league table, they have won as many games as they have lost so far, and after years of non-stop success they will be delighted to be competing at this level – the highest ever in their embryonic history.

Earlier this season our first meeting at Biggleswade resulted in a very competitive 0-0 draw and since then they have grown in confidence and are enjoying their first experience of Southern League football.

 

John Walker

 

Saints beaten by league leaders but not disgraced in any way

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL 

St Neots Town        1        Corby Town        3          

Following two excellent home victories, St Neots were outplayed by league leaders Corby Town in their rearranged league match.  Although the match was goalless at the break it only took Corby a few minutes after the break to forge ahead and St Neots could only point to the first twenty minutes and the last ten when they competed with any conviction.   The victory propelled the visitors back to the top of the league table although displaced Berkhamsted have a game in hand and a superior goal difference, but this was a match in which the Northamptonshire side were determined to push home their advantage.   Unusually after two unchanged starting line ups, Barry Corr made four team changes, two of then enforced with Joe Sutton unavailable, and playmaker Lee Simper injured but he also rested Stevan Shaw and Jonny Butler bringing in Sam Goode, Lee Watkins and Prince Mutswunguma and he also included teenager Jacob Joseph for just his second start since September.    

The start was disappointing with neither side imposing themselves. St Neots, criticised for a slow start in their previous matches were out of the blocks quickly and they created the first real opening after eleven minutes when Lee Watkins ran at the defence, only to be brought down by a combination of two defenders and a penalty looked possible but the well-placed official waved play on.   At the other end Stephen Diggin was proving the main threat and his searching cross after 17 minutes found Jordan Crawford behind the St Neots defence but his fierce volley was too high.   St Neots were beginning to be forced back after their bright start where they had shaded possession and as Corby grew in confidence leading scorer Elliott Sandy fired in from the edge of the area for Tom Dickens to clear off the goal line.   James Clifton twice broke into the box from the left and the second time he was impeded by Tom Boxer earning the St Neots skipper a yellow card.   From the free kick on the edge of the box Jake Duffy’s free kick was deflected wide.    Three minutes before the break, Jordan Crawford was left in too much space on the right and he crossed back to find Clifton at the back post whose effort was also deflected for a corner, from which defender Gary Mulligan fired high over the bar.

St Neots Manager Barry Corr clearly had to vary his sides’ approach if they were to compete in the second half and he freshened up his side with two half time substitutions replacing Jacob Joseph and Joe Neal with Reif Clarke and Lewis Foster.   The changes had hardly registered because just five minutes in Corby stuck with a quick break through the heart of the home defence, as Clifton skilfully set up the unmarked Steve Diggin to fire across the keeper for the opening goal.   Tom Boxer was then injured to be replaced by Stevan Shaw, so the home side had utilised their three permitted substitutes with almost forty minutes remaining.   On the hour St Neots might have drawn level when Panny Boxer released Prince Mutswunguma beyond the visiting defence, but his finish was a foot too high and the opportunity squandered.   After 66 minutes the impressive Lee Watkins wove his way into the penalty area and looked to be fouled but once again St Neots’ penalty appeals were rejected.   A rising Clifton shot was palmed away by Iron for a corner after 73 minutes.  Before it could be taken, Corby replaced Sandy with James Ireland and the substitute, on the pitch for around ten seconds, headed home Jake Duffy’s corner with his first touch to double Corby’s lead.   That really was the killer blow although the visitors added a third goal nine minutes from time through Curtis Hartley.   This stung St Neots into a late revival and although Sam Gomarsall (pictured bottom right)  netted a consolation goal from the penalty spot after he had been brough down by a defender, the rally proved too little too late to have any meaningful effect on the outcome of the match.

 

 SAINTS SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH - LEE WATKINS (Pictured top right)

 

St Neots: Iron, Goode, Smith, Boxer (P), Dickens, Boxer (T), Joseph, Watkins, Neal, Mutswunguma, Gomersall

Subs:  Clarke (for Joseph 46 mins), Foster (for Neal 46 mins), Shaw (for Boxer (T), Butler and Martin

Cards:  Boxer (T) (Y – 28 mins), Boxer (P) (Y – 57 mins)

Goals:  Gomersall – pen – (87 mins)

 

Corby:  Wortley, Hartley, Warburton, Ling, Wise, Mulligan, Clifton, Duffy, Sandy, Diggin, Crawford

Subs:  Ireland (for Sandy 73 mins), Robbins (for Diggin 82 mins), Robinson (for Crawford 87 mins) and Montgomery.

Goals:  Diggin (50 mins), Ireland (73 mins), Hartley (81 mins)

 

Referee:  Luke Scott (Northampton)

Attendance:       178

 

John Walker

 

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