Saints finally return to winning ways with a fully deserved win over Redditch

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town     3       Redditch United       1         

St Neots clambered out of the relegation zone with their first home league victory since 14th August thanks to a double strike from Nabil Shariff and a smart header from Dylan Williams.   In difficult windy conditions both sides struggled to produce their best football, but in the end, justice was done because of St Neots grit and determination, the Saints moved up to 18th position.      

Less than two months ago Redditch were bottom but one in the league table, with two wins and eight defeats in their first ten matches, but they have turned things around in spectacular style with just one league defeat in their last six league outings and they had climbed five places to 16th and were no doubt looking to maintain that improvement in this match. However, St Neots know that it is no use playing well and losing and there were signs that the recently signed players are bedding in.   The latest addition to the squad is Jordan Norville-Williams, on loan from Cambridge United and he was making his second debut for the club have played eight games last season in a brief stay.   There were recalls for Taylor Parr and Russell Short who had completed their one-match bans and making way for this trio were Gary Wharton and Lee Watkins (both on the bench) and Dan Olaniran.

Conditions were far from ideal with the swirling wind on a wet surface making control difficult and neither side seemed to hit a rhythm in the early stages. St Neots received an early shock when, in their first notable attack, Redditch took the lead as Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham drifted down the left to cross to the far post where Richard Batchelor arrived late and unmarked to slide the ball past Finley Iron.   St Neots set about repairing the damage and a long thrown from Johnny Herd was flicked on by Taylor Parr and the ball ran across the area to deflect off the far post after a quarter of an hour. However, after 32 minutes the host side levelled, when a solo effort by Nabil Shariff saw his low shot across Daniel Crane find the corner of the net. Luke Knight shot over the bar and before the break, St Neots seemed to be getting on top with little seen of the Redditch attack, however, just before the break St Neots, were lucky to stay on terms when Matt Miles upended Mitchell Piggon on the edge of the area, but Robbie Burn’s free kick was pushed for a corner by Finley Iron.   Miles then limped off injured to be replaced by Devante Stanley who had missed the previous two matches through injury.

The second half followed a different pattern with St Neots well on top, dictating play from midfield where Tom Wood and Luke Knight were dominant.   Dylan Williams had an early effort blocked by Andrew Parsons and the match became feisty with three players booked in a five minutes spell.   St Neots’ pressure than paid off after 59 minutes when a long throw by Herd was flicked on at the near post and last season’s leading scorer Dylan Williams netted his fourth goal of the campaign with a neat header. Once in front, St Neots looked comfortable and they could have extended their lead as Knight had a shot blocked and Shariff brought a fine full length save from Crane. Norville-Williams also went close after good work by Tom Wood, seeing his shot deflected the wrong side of a goalpost. The result was made safe seven minutes from time when Nabil Shariff completed his third double haul of league goals this season finishing off searching free kick by Herd. In those last seven minutes plus added time, Redditch threw caution to the wind and went all out to try to salvage something from the match. There were waves of attacks towards the St Neots end, but Iron was never seriously stretched whilst at the other end, on the break, Shariff had two chances to complete a hat trick, but his first effort brought the save of the match from Crane, and his second was blocked by a defender.

To view Claire Howes' photo gallery of today's win, click here: flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/

 

St Neots Town:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Short, Parr, Borg, Wood, Shariff, Williams, Norville-Williams

Subs:  Stanley (for Miles 45+1 mins), Watkins (for Norville-Williams 79 mins), Wharton (for Borg (90+2 mins) and Gomes.

Cards:  Miles (Y – 42 mins), Knight (Y – 59 mins), Borg (Y – 83 mins), Short (Y – 87 mins)

Goals:  Shariff 2 (32 & 83 mins), Williams (59 mins)

 

Redditch:  Francis, Sinclair, Mills, Franklin, Parsons, Evans, Leachman-Whittingham, Bunn, Piggon, Reynolds, Batchelor

Subs:  Howards (for Reynolds 62 mins), Loveridge (for Bunn 62 mins), Nelson (for Leachman-Whittingham 74 mins, Tye and Butterfield.

Cards:  Sinclair (Y – 34 mins), Leachman-Whittingham (Y – 57 mins)

Goals:  Batchelor (7 mins)

 

Referee:  Stephen Bates (St Albans)

Attendance:  179

 

John Walker

 

Cricket Scholarship in partnership with Eaton Socon Cricket Club announced

 

It is with great excitement that we can announce a new additional to our ever expanding Sport Scholarship programme.  

In Partnership with Eaton Socon Cricket Club from Sept 2019 St Neots Learning and Sports Academy will open its sport scholarship programme to post 16 year old Students who wish to access Cricket as part of their 6th form enrichment. 

 

Iain Parr Director of St Neots Learning and Sports Academy said:

"Rob Ashwell and myself have been in discussions for quite some time now on how we can offer, in partnership with Eaton Socon Cricket Club, a Cricket Scholarship programme that can be accessed by all the talented Cricketers who play within St Neots and indeed the surrounding area.  This is a fantastic opportunity for post 16 girls and boys to get the very best educational at Longsands 6th form while at the same time access a Cricket scholarship programme,  a specific gym programme and game time under the watchful eye of our Cricketing Partners.  Cricket is now on the Longsands 6th form time table for Sept 2019!! "

 

 

Robert Ashwell Chairman ESCC added:

"Eaton Socon Cricket Club is very proud to be looking to run a Cricket scholarship in partnership with St Neots Learning and Sports Academy from  September 2019.

We believe it could be the first post 16 cricket scholarship within the UK .

The partnership will include using the facilities at both clubs and the programme will be cricket focused with fitness and gym work part of the course .

The scholarship will be run by ECB qualified coaches and with the potential to have training sessions at first class county .

On top of this we are looking at potential overseas cricket tours for the scholars and even taking in overseas scholars in the future"

 

ESCC - 

Cambs & Hunts Premier League Cricket 

Great facilities with new £35,000 nets in 2017 

Central location 

One of the best local junior cricket club set ups 

ECB qualified coaches 

Qualified county coaches for age group cricket 

 

 

Rob will be available on the Friday 21st December at St Neots Town FC, in the Gregory Suite

from 10.30am 

 

 

Open Training Day For Potential Scholars (September 2019 intake)

Open Training Day announced for potential scholars (September 2019 Intake)

Friday 21st December 2018 - 10.30am at the GESS 3G Arena

 

Follow the link below to fill in the scholarship form but please also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm your participation on the 21st December

 

https://goo.gl/forms/Z8TvrOlQZgGPlWjZ2

Improved showing from the Saints make Stourbridge work hard for the points

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town     1        Stourbridge       2          

After a tepid first half performance and a half-time deficit, comeback kings Stourbridge moved closer to league leaders Kettering with two second half goals in a four minutes spell.   St Neots seemed to be coping well before the break without their two suspended central defenders Taylor Parr and Russell Short, but after half time the strong visiting side moved fully into gear to show just why they are in the top two places in the table.   Based on previous performances this was a much-improved overall showing by St Neots and Manager Matt Clements will have been pleased the way that the versatile Tom Wood and occasionally selected Dan Olaniran coped with the potent Stourbridge attack that is the best in the league.   Clements also introduced loan player Andrea Borg from Peterborough United and he had a quiet debut.   Once again back in goal Finlay Iron made several good saves whilst at the other end St Neots carved out a host of half chances but once again, they were let down by their finishing.

After a quiet start with much of the play in midfield it was St Neots who made the important break through after 14 minutes.   Gary Wharton drifted from left to right to pick up a pass and his cross was knocked down by Stuart Pierpoint, but only to the edge of the area where Dylan Williams picked up the ball to score with a low crisp shot beyond the dive of visiting keeper James Wren.   Nabil Shariff then shot wide after neat play by Lee Watkins but Stourbridge created openings on the break and just before the half hour Finlay Iron at to dive bravely amongst flying boots to smother the ball after Luke Benbow had directed a Robbie Thompson-Brown free kick across goal.   St Neots should have extended their lead before the break as Williams sent an ambitious effort high over the bar, Andrea Borg saw his effort blocked and Gary Wharton should have done better than shoot wide after neat play by Johnny Herd.   However the visitors always looked sharp in attack when they did break forward and the lively Benbow forced an important save from Iron in time added at the end of the first 45 minutes.

It looked a different Stourbridge side that emerged after the break.  They looked full of the confidence they seemed to have lacked in the first half and the St Neots side were pushed back on the defensive.   Iron became the busiest man on the field saving efforts by Benbow and Callum Powell, but St Neots did show some counter-attacking tendencies with Williams firing wildly over the bar after visiting keeper James Wren had saved well from Nabil Shariff, and Gary Wharton being only inches from a Watkins cross in front of a gaping goal.   However, it was the visiting side who were beginning to boss the game and after 58 minutes following a quickly taken free kick Luke Benbow levelled the scores with a smart finish.   Then just four minutes later St Neots conceded a second goal from a set piece.   A Thompson-Brown free kick found the head of Pierpoint drawing a fingertip save over the bar by Iron but from the result corner Paul McCone rose above the defence to put his side ahead.   Iron then produced a full-length save from Powell to keep St Neots hopes alive, and St Neots thought they had created an equaliser following a Herd corner, as Dan Olaniran curled in a shot that beat the keeper but clipped the crossbar.   St Neots then sent on two substitutes to freshen up their attack, but the experienced Stourbridge defence funnelled back to stifle their best efforts and the home side looked unable to seriously threaten the visitors’ goal.

  

St Neots:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Olaniran, Borg, Watkins, Shariff, Williams, Wharton

Subs:  Douglas (for Wharton 74 mins), Ofosu (for Borg 74 mins), Gomes and Fulianty.

Cards:  Knight (Y – 59 mins)

Goals:  Williams (14 mins)

 

Stourbridge:  Wren, Hayden, Aris, McCone, Pierpoint, Forde, Powell, Birch, Benbow, Thompson-Brown, Mills.

Subs:  Broadhurst (for Birch 57 mins), Anderson (for Powell 74 mins), Steele, Tonks and Maher

Cards:  Mills (Y – 34 mins), Pierpoint (Y – 66 mins), Forde (Y – 81 mins)

Goals:  Benbow (58 mins), McCone (62 mins)

 

Referee:  Shaun Barry (Northampton)

Attendance:  188

 

John Walker

 

Young Saints grind out win thanks to hotshot Rider's second half winner against Ely City

THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE CAMBRIDGE DIVISION

ST NEOTS TOWN U18       1         ELY CITY U18      0         

Ely had inflicted on St Neots their only league defeat so far this season on the opening day, so this return match was of great significance to both sides.    With much at stake the match was somewhat disappointing with the sides cancelling each other out for much of the time, and the finishing by both was well below par with the goalkeepers rarely called upon.   However visiting custodian Toby Powell did produce one late second half save to keep the outcome in doubt right up to the final whistle, but from St Neots point of view this was a match where the result was more important than the performance.

The first half is best described as competitive but unproductive.   Most of the efforts on goal were either blocked or off target with the respective defences well in control.   Referee Philip Stanton kept well on top of some rather feisty tackling and the blank half time scoresheet was a reflection of two well-matched sides.   Sam Routs at one end and Benjamin Harnwell at the other had the best early chances, both put wide of target and it was full back Tom Leagas who came closest to breaking the deadlock when he flicked wide at the near post after determined work by Joe Rider.   Towards the end of the first half St Neots had a good spell of superior possession but created little with Rider seeing a shot blocked and both he and Markel Cousins shooting wide when well placed.

 

The second half began in similar vein with Adrian O’Hara firing high over the bar and the lively Routs shooting wide after good work by Bradley Brown.   The solitary goal came after 62 minutes when Cousins mesmerised the defence but saw his effort blocked, and when the ball ran loose ace marksman Joe Rider pounced to claim his nineteenth goal of the season.  That seemed to set the visitors’ back on their heels and they were limited to rare breakaway attacks with home skipper Leon Fulianty totally in control for St Neots.   A free kick by Fulianty required a double save from Powell and Ely then sent on substitutes to try to pep up their attack.   However, Joe Burberry in the St Neots goal did not have a serious save to make whilst at the other end Rider brought the one significant save from Powell and the keeper then did well to block with his feet to deny the same St Neots player.   Ely never gave up but lacked ideas and seldom looked like salvaging anything from the match.

 

 

St Neots:  Burberry, Leagas, Goodridge, O’Hara, Rowland, Fulianty, Cousins, Brown (B), Rider, Routs, Ferry

Sub used:   Rudland.

Referee:  Philip Stanton

 

 (John Walker)

Scholarship Partnership and Open Day Details Announced

Development Partnership Announcement

St Neots Town FC and it's educational sister St Neots Learning and Sports Academy are delighted to announce

that with immediate effect we will partnering up with The Football Education Academy to Identify recruit and

develop post 16 year old footballers

 

Iain Parr Director of Football:

"St Neots Town FC has without doubt the very best Post 16 Football Scholarship programme in the area. We

offer Elite football, in partnership with Peterborough Utd, College Football, Teaching and Coaching, Personal

Training qualifications and from 2019 we are expanding our sports options to include Cricket, Golf and Tennis.

Our Educational Partners Longsands Academy have invested a huge amount of time and energy putting into

place a programme of education that affords our scholars access to a full and comprehensive timetable that

includes A level and Btec's. With a number of Students already recruited from Bedford we began to look at how

we could expand our catchment area still further, we believe that by Partnering and working with Jack Cassidy

and The Football Education Programme we will achieve this objective. St Neots Town FC and The Football

Educational Programme will work together to recruit the very best post 16 year old footballs and offer a variety

of scholarship options , educational pathways and training locations. We'd like to thank Jack Cassidy for giving

us this opportunity and we look forward to a bright and productive partnership"

 

Jack Cassidy Founder and Owner of The Football Educational Programme:

"I am delighted to be able to strengthen The Football Education Academy further by partnering with an

ambitious football club who has shown a great commitment to youth development over recent years. The

facilities and infrastructure both on and off the pitch allows for a longstanding relationship to benefit students

both in the Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire area. The Football Club shares our values and commitment to

helping young players and students both on and off the pitch to enable them to become the best they can very

be. We are excited and look forward to developing this partnership further over the coming years”

 

December Trial and Open Evening Information

 

Bedford Open Evening

Venue: Lakeview Village Hall, Wixams, 164 Brooklands Avenue, Bedford, MK42 6BE

Date : Wednesday 19th December

Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm

 

Open Trials

Venue: GESS 3G Arena St Neots Town FC, Rowley Park, Kester Way,St Neots, PE19 6SL

Date: Friday 21st December

Time: 10.30am arrival, KO 11am

ONLINE STORE AND TICKETING CENTRE NOW UP AND RUNNING

We are pleased to announce that our new Online Store and Ticketing Centre is now fully operational.Then, just click 

If its Saints merchandise you are looking for, then look no further or maybe you want to pre-order tickets for First Team matches or sponsor a player? Simply click on the tab as shown in the picture to access this great new facility.

All tickets to future Club Functions can also be purchased here too

Toothless Saints comfortably beaten by the Marketmen

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

St Neots Town     0        Needham Market       3          

St Neots  Town produced their worst home performance of the season as they capitulated without any real threat on an evening, they will be glad to forget.   Now without a home league victory since 15th September and without any win at all in their last five outings they slipped into the relegation zone in the league table almost without a whimper as Lowestoft defeated high-flying Royston Town.   Visitors Needham Market making their first trip to the town were a workmanlike outfit without being special, and they will have returned home surprised at the ease of their victory.   On the few occasions that St Neots did threaten they were ironically thwarted by visiting goalkeeper Jake Jessop who played one match for St Neots last season.   The home side were inept of ideas and too many of their passes lacked conviction or accuracy and they were defensively poor.   The only player to emerge with credit from the match was goalkeeper Harry Reynolds who kept the score down to a reasonable level and even he was culpable when his side sloppily conceded the second Needham goal.   Skipper Like Knight and Dylan Williams returned to the side after suspension but the two players injured on Saturday, Russell Short and Devante Stanley were not fully fit and sat the match on the completely unused substitutes bench.   The only other change saw a recall for Claudio Ofosu in place of Dan Olaniran, with Manager Matt Clements lining his side up in a more usual 4-2-4 formation.

On a damp dismal evening St Neots performance was soon to mirror the weather when they conceded the first goal after just six minutes.   Full back Callum Sturgess won his way to the bye line and crossed low for James Baker to nip between two defenders at the near post to slide the ball past Reynolds.   Three minutes later the goalkeeper had to leave his line smartly to attempt a clearance, but the ball deflected to Luke Ingram whose shot was badly wide as the goal yawned.   Midway through the half Reynolds was twice called up in as many minutes to make important saves to deny Baker and Adam Mills as Needham dictated all the attacking play and it was past the half hour when Luke Knight had St Neots’ first searching shot that flew wide and then Claudio Ofosu was unlucky when his narrow-angled effort rebounded from a post into the grateful keeper’s arms.   After 34 minutes Needham should have had a second goal when Jake Dye went past two defenders to find Mills unmarked at the far post, but he headed wide when it looked easier to score.

St Neots initial response after the break was critical if they were to salvage some reward from the match and Tom Wood did fire narrowly wide following a corner but it was the visitors who produced the second crucial goal of the match after 56 minutes.   It came from an attack down the left-hand side with Mills beating his marker and when the ball ran loose, goalkeeper Reynolds and two defenders all seemed to hesitate leaving Mills to slide a pass to the unmarked Tariq Issa to side foot in to the unguarded net.   St Neots showed some fight with Lee Watkins having a shot blocked after good work by Johnny Herd, Nabil Shariff had reasonable appeals for a penalty turned down, and Ofosu tested Jessop with a shot acrobatically saved.   However it was all too little to seriously test the visiting defence and Ingram was left unmarked at the far post but could only find the side-netting.  Then after 67 minutes the visitors clinched the points with a third goal when from an Issa corner Daniel Morphew was allowed to rise unchallenged to head home.   St Neots fight back stalled as they had players booked more for frustration than effort, and it was left to Reynolds to produce two more excellent saves to deny Mills and Baker.   In the last ten minutes Taylor Parr headed over from a Herd corner and then Herd attempted a solo run towards goal but finished up screwing his shot wide.   St Neots evening was appropriately summed up when they were denied even a late consolation in added time when Jessop produced a full length save to deny Dylan Williams a goal from a free kick.

St Neots Town:  Reynolds, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Wharton, Watkins, Shariff, Williams, Ofosu

Subs:  Douglas, Olaniran, Mutswunguma, Stanley and Short (none used)

Cards:  Parr (Y – 34 mins), Wharton (Y – 69 mins), Wood (Y – 71 mins), Miles (Y – 88 mins)

Goals:  none

 

Needham:  Jessop, Dye, Sturgess, Squire, Morphew (K), Morphew (D), Ingram, Heath, Baker, Issa, Mills

Subs:  Dobson (for Squire 78 mins), Kamanzi (for Issa 78 mins), Griffiths (for Baker 85 mins, Marsden and Shorten

Cards:  Issa (Y – 17 mins)

Goals:  Baker (10 mins), Issa (56 mins), Morphew (D) (67 mins)

 

Referee:  Wayne Chalmers (Northampton)

Attendance:  139

 

John Walker

 

Dion Sembie-Ferris Departs The Saints

We can confirm this evening that Dion Sembie-Ferris has left St Neots Town FC for high flying Evostik League South Division One Central outfit Peterborough Sports.

Manager Matt Clements said "Dion has been a good servant to the Club since his return early last season and established himself as a fans favourite and whilst we are disappointed that Dion has requested to leave, we wish him well as he seeks a new challenge".

Please join us in thanking Dion for all his efforts whilst with The Saints and wish him well for his future

Strikes from Wood and Wharton not enough as Alvechurch take the points with second half comeback

SOUTHERN LEAGUE CENTRAL PREMIER DIVISION

Alvechurch       3          St Neots Town     2          

Having scored just twice in their last four league and cup matches, St Neots Manager Matt Clements had called for his side to rediscover their goalscoring touch as they now returned to their league programme.    In their first ever meeting with Alvechurch they disappointingly fell behind early in the game before two late first half goals afforded them a 2-1 half time lead.   Surely that would be sufficient to earn at least a valuable point – but no.   Sloppy defending after the break gifted their hosts with two goals and all three points, and St Neots slipped a further place in the league table to nineteenth, now only three points above the relegation zone.   It was a multi-changed line up for this match with two enforced absentees – Luke Knight and Dylan Williams – both sitting out a one match ban, and the Manager chose to reshape his attack leaving Dion Sembie-Ferris and Claudio Ofosu on the bench.   Into the side came Johnny Herd (after suspension), Dan Olaniran, Gary Wharton and loanee Lee Watkins.   The side looked to have good shape but two defenders – Russell Short and Devante Stanley both departed injured and the side then seemed to suffer a loss of confidence and despite a late show of determined pressure they were unable to retrieve their single goal deficit.

From the first whistle it was a high tempo contest with chances at both ends of the field.   St Neots with a 3-4-3 shape saw Tom Wood test home keeper Charlie Price from distance after five minutes and then a minute later the home side delivered sucker punch as Kieran Cook flicked home a Mitch Botfield cross at the near post.   St Neots responded with Nabil Shariff seeing his shot deflected for a corner, but play returned to the other end where Yusifu Ceesay saw his effort smothered by a defender, and Botfield robbed a defender but overran the ball as he bore down on goal.    As the half wore on St Neots began to dictate the pattern of play and Taylor Parr’s neat back-header from a Johnny Herd throw was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Price.   In a quick break by Alvechurch, Dave Bellis tried his luck from distance only to see his effort beat Harry Reynolds but rebound from a post.   However, the spirited reply from the visitors deservedly had its reward when a neat square lay off by Gary Wharton set up man-of-the- match Tom Wood for his first league goal of the season.   Price then saved well at the feet of Nabil Shariff after good work by Devante Stanley and Wood then almost scored again only to see his header from a corner, cleared off the line by Jamie Willetts.   However five minutes before the break the industrious Gary Wharton took full advantage of home defensive hesitation to round the keeper and score from a narrow angle to afford St Neots a deserved half time advantage.

The second half began badly for the visitors as just two minutes poor cover in the defence allowed Kieran Cook too much space and he scored, also from an oblique angle to level the scores for a second time.   St Neots had lost Russell Short at the break following a first half injury and after 57 minutes Devante Stanley was helped off the field after a collision had left him prone on the ground.   With the versatile Tom Wood now switched into defence St Neots set about restoring their influence on the match but they were under pressure again when a Botfield free kick required the under-pressure Reynolds to punch away.  Then from a Tom Turton cross the defensive marking was wanting, allowing tall defender Kyle Morrison a free header to give Alvechurch that 3-2 advantage.   St Neots were stunned by this setback and mounted a series of counter attacks with Matt Miles firing over the bar and Dion Sembie-Ferris also off target after neat work by Lee Watkins.   Alvechurch on a counter then saw Turton get the ball in the net following a corner but an Assistant Referee flagged one of his colleague offside and it was left to Claudio Ofosu in the dying minutes to fire across the face of goal and leave St Neots their journey home wondering what might have been.

St Neots:  Reynolds, Stanley, Herd, Olaniran, Short, Parr, Miles, Wood, Shariff, Wharton, Watkins

Subs:  Sembie-Ferris (for Short 46 mins), Ofosu (for Stanley 62 mins) and Douglas.

Cards:  Short (Y – 34 mins)

Goals:  Wood (30 mins), Wharton (40 mins)

 

Alvechurch:  Price, Ezewele, Foster, Turton, Morrison, Willetts, Bellis, Botfield, Lloyd, Ceesay, Cook

Subs:  March (for Cook 62 mins), Landell (for Lloyd 62 mins), Carter (for Botfield 83 mins), Evans and O’Callaghan

Cards:  Turton (Y – 32 mins), Botfield (Y – 45 mins)

Goals:  Cook 2 (6 & 47 mins), Morrison (68 mins)

 

Referee:  Richie Watkins (Nuneaton)

Attendance:  239

 

John Walker

 

Page 1 of 25