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Very young Saints, gain more experience

Friday, 20 March 2015 09:21


Thurlow Nunn Youth West Division


Title favourites Peterborough Northern Star paraded their unbeaten record this season at St Neots and returned home with all three points after a less than convincing victory.   

Continuing their policy of squad building St Neots named seven players who are still at U16 level and these youngsters are quickly amassing experience which is bound to benefit the side next season.  

They were then severely hampered after losing two of their most experienced players – Daniel Loasby injured in an accidental collision with his own goalkeeper in the first half and inspirational skipper Mitchell Taylor who did not reappear after the break nursing a calf injury. However the side acquitted itself well against more experienced opponents and look to be guaranteed a finish in the top four of a competitive division.

Early shots from both sides were wide of target in an evenly contested first ten minutes and then St Neots took the lead scoring only the fourth goal against the side with the best defensive record in all five Divisions of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League.  

It came after the speedy Ebey Marango was cynically brought down from behind as he headed for goal but the perpetrator surprising got away without a booking.   However from the direct free kick around 30 yards from goal Dan Hobbs curled in a free kick that beat visiting goalkeeper Ben Carter at his near post.  

Hobbs then shot wide after great work by Taylor whilst at the other end Sean Roberts saw his free kick deflected wide.  Substitute Claudio Ofosu given an early run out set up Hobbs whose effort flew across the face of goal whilst the visitors’ best effort saw Matt Ilsley clear on goal but Dan Huff saved bravely at his feet.  

Ten minutes before the break the visitors levelled with an unfortunate goal when St Neots keeper Dan Huff off his line to gather a Harry Williams free kick looked to be impeded and finished up punching the ball into his own net.   However he made up for that with a fine save to deny Lewis Darani but in time added at the end of the half the visitors claimed a good second goal as Matt Ilsley was allowed to rise above the defence to firmly head home a Williams free kick.

 St Neots reorganisation in the second half meant less experience on the pitch but they battled well with Owen Coleman setting up Ofosu whose shot was deflected narrowly wide.   Huff saved well from James Hill-Seekings and substitute Reuben Rae then shot wide after a good move. 

 The defining moment came after 67 minutes when the Referee spotted some shirt pulling at a corner and awarded Peterborough a penalty kick despatched by Hill-Seekings.  

At 3-1 down against the well organised visiting defence there was no way back for St Neots but to their credit they created the best two late chances – Ofosu seeing his effort sail over the bar and the unlucky Chris Lewis seeing his shot cleared off the line by a defender.

St Neots: Huff, Loasby, Stewart, Taylor, Heywood, Rudman, Coleman, Whittle, Marango, Hobbs, Chris Lewis

Subs used:  Luff, Ofosu, Charlie Lewis, Mattin and Daniel Lewis.

Cards:  Charlie Lewis (Y – 47)

Goal (St Neots):  Hobbs (11 mins)

John Walker

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