Liam and Matt reflect on the weekends defeat to Truro and look ahead to the weekends exciting FA Trophy match against Darlington.

Video: Liam & Matt Reflect

 

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN        0       TRURO CITY       2          

 

            One totally unnecessary first half moment of madness effectively condemned St Neots to their third home reversal of the season as Truro returned home with their first victory over the Saints in four meetings.  

            It was the same old story as St Neots recovered to totally boss the second half hitting the crossbar and seeing two shots cleared off the line but the superbly drilled visiting defence held out under constant pressure and in the final minute of the game Truro mounted their only second half attack to twist the knife with a second goal.  

            However with hindsight there was not too much to criticise in St Neots overall performance for they created enough second half chances to have won the game at a canter but they were denied any reward by a combination of bad luck, good defending and at times indifferent finishing.   

            For the second time in recent matches St Neots started with an unchanged line up and there was the encouraging sight of striker Chris Dillon on the bench alongside recent addition to the squad Tom Ward. Truro’s second half tactics of conceding space and inviting St Neots to find their way through their packed defence as they ‘parked the bus’ worked a charm and St Neots must quickly learn their way through this obstacle if they are to taste serious success this season.

 

            Both sides could have scored in the first three minutes as the unmarked Matt Spring headed wide as he met a Ben Ford cross and play quickly moved to the other end where Matt Wright was played clear but the approaching Paul Bastock out of his area did enough to force him to place his shot at the unguarded goal a yard wide. St Neots then settled quickly despite the driving rain and both Lewis Hilliard and Nathan Frater found the side netting after good work both times by Drew Roberts. Dave Deeney then headed wide from a Spring corner and Roberts contrived to blast wide after a Spring free kick had been spilled by Charlie Burns. On the break Wright saw a close range effort smothered by Bastock but after 21 minutes disaster struck.

            Dribbling away from goal Jay Davies spurned several chances of playing a short pass to a colleague eventually giving the ball to the experienced Barry Hayles.   He looked up and sent a perfectly weighted pass for Craig Duff to run clear and beat Bastock with a low drive. St Neots were finding it difficult to utilise the wind in their favour with too many forward passes going straight to the goalkeeper although Hilliard did get the ball in the net after a slick three man move only to be ruled offside.   As the rain ceased the wind abated and strangely the pace of the match dropped and there were few further significant chances before the break.

 

            From the start of the second half the Truro tactics were apparent. They conceded space with ten players behind the ball as St Neots attacked and were clearly bent on sitting on their narrow advantage. Faced with almost all the possession St Neots was unable to press home their advantage although chances came and went. A Drew Roberts header from a Josh Bickerstaff cross was well saved by Burns and then the excellent visiting centre half Rob Farkins was perfectly placed to hack the ball off the line when Nathan Frater’s shot had beaten Burns. Truro further stiffened their defensive formation pulling off Hayles who had been their only second half attacker and then the unlucky Frater saw his shot go over the keeper but land on top of the crossbar.

            Substitute Lorenzo Ferrari, on for Ford, was quickly in the thick of the action seeing Ed Palmer block his close range shot and after 76 minutes St Neots looked to have levelled when Burns was beaten by a shot from Roberts but once again Farkins was on the line to clear and keep the Truro goal intact.

            In the last eleven minutes St Neots threw everything into attack sending on substitute Chris Dillon for his first appearance since his injury on 9th August but despite having three up front it was all in vain. Ironically two Truro substitutes combined for the late second goal as Les Afful set up Cody Cook with the St Neots defence absent.

 

 

St Neots: Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Ford, Deeney, Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Nolan, Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Ferrari (for Ford 71), Dillon (for Deeney 79), Cracknell, Farrell ands Ward.

Cards:  none

Goals:  none

 

Truro:  Burns, Pugh, Brett, Ash, Farkins, Palmer, White, Lowry, Wright Hayles, Duff

Subs:   Cook (for Hayles 63), Afful (for Duff 83), Green (for Wright 83), Tully and Moore.

Cards:  Ash (Y – 62), Lowry (Y – 83)

Goals:  Duff (21 mins), Cook (90 mins)

 

Attendance: 299

 

Referee: Nigel Phillips (Witchford, Ely)

 

John Walker

The Saints performed well to beat a very good Ilkeston side meaning the Saints were in the hat for the next round of the FA Trophy. Action and reaction with Matt and Liam.


Video: Highlights & Reaction

We are very pleased to announce the signing of  central defender Tom Ward, who has put pen to paper for the Club this evening (Thursday 6th November)

24 year old Tom joins us from Vanarama Conference South side St Albans City, who he initially joined on a months loan in November 2013 from his then club, Gainsborough Trinity FC. The move was made permanent and he went on to make 28 full appearances for the Saints during the 2013/14 season, climaxing in the playoff final victory over Chesham United.

The move reunites Tom with goalkeeper Paul Bastock, with whom he played at both Boston United and St Albans City.

Please join us in welcoming Tom to St Neots Town FC and we hope his stay will be a long and successful one.

St Neots Town have been drawn at home to Darlington Football Club in the FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round.

The 'Quakers' currently sit at the top of the Evostik League Division One North.

The tie will be played at The Cozy Stadium on Saturday 15th November, 15:00 kick off.

This now means our scheduled trip to Hungerford Town on that day will now be rearranged.

ADMISSION DETAILS WILL BE CONFIRMED IN DUE COURSE

The 36 ties are scheduled for 15th November and the winners will each pick up £3,250 from the FA’s prize fund.

The full draw is below.

1 Chasetown v Loughborough Dynamo
2 Spennymoor Town v Leek Town or Spalding United
3 Rushall Olympic v Stratford Town
4 Blyth Spartans v Halesowen Town or Matlock Town
5 St Neots Town v Darlington 1883
6 Curzon Ashton or Northwich Victoria v Barwell
7 Witton Albion v Workington
8 Market Drayton Town or King’s Lynn Town v Carlton Town or Stourbridge
9 Redditch United v Ossett Town or Trafford
10 Gresley v Goole
11 FC United of Manchester v Buxton
12 Nantwich Town v Ramsbottom United
13 Mickleover Sports v New Mills
14 Evesham United or Banbury United v Marine
15 Hereford United v Mangotsfield United
16 Witham Town v Truro City
17 Dereham Town v Sholing
18 Weymouth v Burnham or Hitchin Town
19 Maidstone United v Bognor Regis Town or AFC Sudbury
20 Metropolitan Police v Dulwich Hamlet
21 Barkingside v Horsham
22 Peacehaven & Telscombe v Thamesmead Town
23 Lewes v Heybridge Swifts
24 Leiston or Leighton Town v Paulton Rovers
25 Burgess Hill Town v Folkeston Invicta
26 Slough Town v Merthyr Town
27 Brentwood Town or Biggleswade Town v Poole Town
28 Uxbridge v Bideford or Didcot Town
29 Bedford Town v Chippenham Town
30 Whyteleafe v Canvey Island or Leatherhead
31 AFC Hornchurch v Merstham
32 Histon v Cray Wanderers
33 Hungerford Town or East Thurrock United v Arlesey Town
34 Hendon v Worthing or Chatham Town
35 Tonbridge Angels v Grays Athletic
36 Wimborne Town v Northwood

 

Now available to read on "Newsstand" some more of this seasons match day magazines.

Redditch Utd and Paulton Rovers editions have been released.

A brilliant read from our award winning match day magazine, 60 pages of great information.

Why not buy one at our next home fixture at only £2-00p per copy.

 

FA Trophy – First Qualifying Round

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       2       ILKESTON FC       1

 

Under the watchful eye of England ‘C’ team Manager Paul Fairclough, St Neots came back from behind with two second half goals to progress to the Second Round Qualifying of the FA trophy at the expense of Northern League Premier Division visitors Ilkeston FC.

It was an end to end contest with the visitors just shading the first half despite St Neots having a better share of possession but two well taken second half goals saw the home side through. 

“We did not take our chances and two individual defensive errors proved to be our downfall” said Ilkeston Manager Kevin Wilson “although the two sides were very evenly matched”.

Meantime Saints Manager Gary King professed himself “delighted” at the result. “I had four key players injured” he said “but the lads who played did the club proud. I thought we were unlucky to be behind at half time but it was a tremendous comeback to give us a well deserved victory”.

Those still injured were Ryan Frater, Arthur Lee, Bruce Wilson and Matt Nolan. St Neots feature in the next round of the Trophy on 15th November missing out on a trip to Hungerford that will now be rearranged in midweek.

 

St Neots enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with Ben Ford drifting a shot over the bar and Nathan Frater bringing a good save from visiting keeper Jordan Smith at the expense of a corner. St Neots then had a let off when a James Reid corner eluded the defenders and was turned goalwards by Rob Duffy but Max York was perfectly placed to clear off the line.

St Neots should have gone in front when Lewis Hilliard freed Drew Roberts but the striker mis-controlled the ball when going clear and the chance was lost.   Ilkeston then had David Morgan booked for a cynical foul on Nathan Frater bringing him down from behind and then a rising Hilliard effort was pushed for a corner by Smith.

Ilkeston’s first real attack then brought them the opening goal as Morgan found Che Adams with a neat forward pass and he cleverly duped Dave Deeney with a flick past the defender and followed up to beat Paul Bastock with a low finish after 32 minutes.

St Neots replied with a Jay Davies effort that sailed over the bar and a weak finish from an off balance Nathan Frater after good work by Roberts. Right on the break a Matt Spring corner found the head of Gavin Hoyte whose downward effort was scrambled away at full length by Smith.

 

The visitors clearly decided to sit on their narrow advantage upon the restart and there was much midfield play from both sides with few openings until Che Adams broke clear with pace but Paul Bastock stretched to push his clever chip onto the crossbar.

St Neots did get the ball in the net on 54 minutes but the Referee had blown for a corner that came to nothing. However the home side was beginning to dominate and it was no surprise when they levelled after 58 minutes as Ben Ford crossed from the left to the far post where Lewis Hilliard swivelled to hit a low shot past Smith.  

Ford then headed wide as did Dave Deeney but on the break Ilkeston could have regained the lead after 64 minutes when a deflected free kick by James Reid was well saved by Bastock.

Five minutes later St Neots made the significant break as the visitors were dispossessed in midfield and the ball was threaded forward to Nathan Frater who made ground to hit a well placed shot into the corner of the net. Ilkeston introduced substitutes to show a more attacking approach but it was St Neots who should have clinched the result when a long cross by Hilliard picked out Roberts at the far post but his free header went disappointingly over the bar. The only real threat of a second goal from the visitors and the prospect of a replay came two minutes from time when Adams, by far their most dangerous player, went past his marker to curl a shot away from Bastock but just the wrong side of the far post.  

St Neots were relieved to hear the final whistle but they had completed a good shift and been rewarded with a deserved victory.

 

St Neots: (4-4-2) Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Ford (Ferrari 75), Deeney Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Frater (N) Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Ferrari (for Ford 75), Cracknell, Farrell, Adjei and Dillon.

Cards: none

Goals: Hilliard (58 mins), Frater (N) (79 mins)

 

Ilkeston:  (4-3-3) Smith, Reid, Wallace, Burgess, Maguire, Lane, Morgan Chettle, Duffy, Hunter, Adams

Subs:  Williams (for Hunter 68), Waite (for Reid 84), Randall (for Morgan 89), Baker and Gordon

Cards: Morgan (Y – 28), Wallace (Y – 42)

Goals:  Adams (32 mins)

 

Attendance: 330

 

Referee: Adrian Gillett (Aylesbury)

 

 

John Walker

The club are delighted to announce the signing of striker Ben Mackey from Hemel Hempstead Town FC.

Ben, of course, is know by all at the club where he enjoyed some great times with us, and his return will give us added fire power up front.

Gary King our First Team manager said "Ben is know for goals and the opportunity to sign him was one we could not resist, We now have three strikers who last season scored nearly 100 goals in our division."

Mike Kearns Our Chairman said "Negotiations with Ben took only a couple of minutes as he was delighted to return to the club, a transfer fee was finally agreed with Hemel after days of negotiations."

Please join us all at the Club in welcoming Ben back to the Saints and let's hope it's another successsful spell with us.

As we welcome Ben back to the fold, we say goodbye to midfielder Ben Farrell, who has chosen to move on. Ben has found his opportunities limited this season and has felt the time was right to move elsewhere. We would like to thank Fazza for all his efforts last season and when involved this term and wish him good luck in his future.

 

Southern League Premier Division

REDDITCH UNITED  2 - 0  ST NEOTS TOWN         

In form Redditch moved up to fourth in the table as they comfortably defeated St Neots to record a notable league double over their visitors and inflict on them their first away league reversal this season.  

On a bumpy pitch St Neots lost more valuable ground on divisional leaders Poole Town with a performance that will not have pleased Manager Gary King. Disrupted by injuries to two key players in their Hereford match just 48 hours before travelling to Worcestershire, the visitors restored Arthur Lee and Dean Cracknell to the starting line up to replace Ryan Frater and Bruce Wilson and also rested Lewis Hilliard and Matt Nolan. They took some time to get any sort of rhythm into their play by which time they were a goal behind and they created too few chances as they struggled to cope with the home side’s route one tactics.

St Neots’ formation appeared to be far too narrow to take advantage of the wide pitch with the two nominated wide players Jay Davies and Ben Ford seeming to drift too readily into the centre of midfield. With Redditch happy to hoist the ball over St Neots’ retreating defence this should have been the ideal opportunity to attack down the flanks.

The opening minutes saw few chances but after ten minutes Redditch went ahead with their first significant attack as an Ashley Sammons shot deflected off a defender to the feet of Simeon Maye who slotted the ball past the helpless Paul Bastock. St Neots responded positively and skipper Gavin Hoyte joined the attack to see his header from a Matt Spring free kick deflected off the line and around a post and then Nathan Frater saw his teasing cross sliced over his own crossbar by Jim Mutton. Paul Bastock, however, was the busier of the two goalkeepers leaving his area to clear from the onrushing Jermaine Hylton and saving from Sammons.

Ten minutes before the break a total misunderstanding in the St Neots defence saw Josh Bickerstaff and Dean Cracknell collide as both tried to clear and this allowed Maye a clear run on goal but Bastock narrowed his angle and his shot found the side netting. Frater saw one effort fly narrowly wide having earlier tested home keeper Sam Hornby and a minute before the break St Neots best first half move saw Hoyte flick on a long throw by Max York but Drew Roberts’ finish was too high.

A predictable early second half substitution saw the introduction of Lewis Hilliard for Jay Davies and this added some width and bite to St Neots’ attack. The substitute set up Matt Spring whose low shot grazed the wrong side of a post and Hornby then had to push away a Spring free kick under pressure in a packed six yards box. However St Neots’ main preoccupation was trying to keep tabs on striker Jermaine Hylton who was to be awarded the man of the match tag for his persistent chipping away at the St Neots defence. He cleverly set up Sammons who brought the save of the match from Bastock at a critical period and was then instrumental in a move that saw a Liam Spink shot deflected for a corner.  

In a bid to add momentum St Neots sent on Lorenzo Ferrari and Ben Farrell and Max York was denied a good shout for a penalty.   Sadly, it was all to no avail when seven minutes from time, a George Carline cross again took an unfortunate deflection and the resultant bounce of the ball wrong footed Bastock leaving Jermaine Hylton a simple tap in goal at the far post to clinch all three points for his side.  

Now St Neots must quickly regroup before the weekend and their important FA Trophy home date with Ilkeston Town.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Lee, Cracknell, Bickerstaff, Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Frater (N), Roberts, Ford

Subs: Hilliard (for Davies 55), Farrell (for Cracknell 71), Ferrari (for Ford 73), Nolan and Deeney.

Cards: York (Y – 86)

Goals: none

Redditch:  Hornby, Jones, Cullinane, Spink, Mutton, Scarr, Carline, Maye, Hylton, Sammons, Angus

Subs:   Loveridge (for Angus 60), Oshungbure (for Sammons 71), Spencer (for Carline 86), Caines and Catlow.

Cards:  Sammons (Y – 56), Hylton (Y – 70)

Goals:  Maye (10 mins), Hylton (83 mins)

Attendance: 248

Referee: Craig Taylor (West Bromwich)

John Walker