Wednesday, 18 October 2017 15:15
Southern League Premier Division      CHESHAM UNITED      2        ST NEOTS TOWN        2       St Neots returned from Chesham with another valuable point on the road but the reward from the outing could and should have been better.   Their fortunes at The Meadow have never been good with just one point from five previous visits but they played well enough to have broken their duck on this occasion.   After recovering from the shock of conceding an early own goal the visitors fought back to be level at the break before dominating the second period and leading 2-1 with countless goal scoring chances going begging but the concession of a late goal with just nine minutes remaining gave Chesham a share of the spoils.   Skipper Luke Knight returned to the side having completed his one match ban to replace Kyron Wiltshire who began his two matches disciplinary punishment so that meant a second consecutive match in the midfield holding role for Harry O’Malley.   However, defender Liam McDevitt returned as a late substitute following his six-match absence and with Taylor Parr missing for the next match this could be crucial. St Neots began well enough with a Tom Meechan chip saved well and Scott Sinclair firing over the bar after good work by Johnny Herd.   However, after 12 minutes St Neots habit of conceding an early goal occurred again when the unfortunate Taylor Parr turned a cross from Oran Swales past his own keeper at the near post.   Then four minutes later he made suitable amends when at the other end he headed a Dylan Williams corner powerfully into the net to square the scores at 1-1.   The match then settled into a fairly tight battle with both sides playing some neat attacking football but the two defenses looked confident and secure with Mike Emery saving well from Scott McGleish in a counter attack.   Six minutes before the break another Parr header from a corner was beaten away by home keeper Hafed Al-Droubi but Emery was almost caught out two minutes later when a snap shot from former Saint Jhai Dillon sailed over his head but rebounded from the crossbar to be cleared.   Benji Crilley was then booked for hauling Dylan Williams down as he tried to find a way through the defence and the half ended with Lewis Toomey shooting wide of goal. The second half saw a distinct change to the pattern of play.   St Neots keeper Emery became almost a spectator as his side began to dominate the attacking play.   The wily Williams was brought down on the edge of the Chesham area but Jack Bradshaw’s free kick was blocked by the defensive wall and then Al-Droubi produced a fine reflex save from Tom Meechan who had turned smartly in the box to create space.  The pressure continued with Luke Knight firing over the bar and Williams shooting narrowly wide after wriggling his way through the defence.  Chesham had their moments in sporadic breakaway attacks and in one of these Emery produced the save of the match beating away an effort from Zac Reynolds when he appeared to be going the wrong way.   Williams was proving to be the main threat to the home defence and when he was hauled down by Dhillon that earned a second booking for the home side.  With fourteen minutes remaining the pressure seemed to have paid off when a Williams effort was parried and Scott Sinclair followed up to net the loose ball to put St Neots in front.  However, this setback seemed to energize the home side and they produced a late second goal from substitute Shane Bush after a Dhillon cross found him unmarked at the far post.   It was a disappointing end to a good performance but Manager Matt Clements was philosophic choosing to praise the spirit and determination of his side against their improving hosts.  ‘A point away from home is always good’ he observed.   St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, O’Malley, Meechan, Williams (D), Sinclair Subs:  McDevitt (for O’Malley 86 mins), Butler (for Sinclair 90 + 2 mins) and Williams (A). Cards:  none   Goals:  Parr (16 mins), Sinclair (76 mins)   Chesham:  Al-Droubi, Crilley, Dhillon, Bevans, Murphy, Bates, Hutton, Reynolds, Toomey, McGleish, Swales   Subs:  Ahmed El-Sahib (for McGleish 61), Bush (for Hutton 77), Ward and Pepara   Cards:   Crilley (Y – 41 mins), Dhillon (Y – 71 mins), Bevans (Y – 90 + 3 mins)   Goals:   Parr OG (12 mins), Bush (81 mins)   Attendance: 192 Referee:  Stuart Kyle (Wembley)     John Walker
Saturday, 14 October 2017 18:47
Southern League Premier Division      ST NEOTS TOWN        1          WEYMOUTH      2 For the second successive Saturday St Neots found themselves two goals down with an hour played but unlike the previous week they were unable to come back to claim a share of the points.   Weymouth returned to Dorset happy to have taken full points on the road after surviving a torrid last half hour.   After conceding two rather sloppy goals St Neots rolled up their sleeves to deservedly get back into the match and they should have gone on to get at least a share of the points but failed to convert their superior possession into goals.   The match was marred by some over- officious refereeing that saw one player sent off and five others booked in a match devoid of a bad tackle.   With skipper Luke Knight sitting out his one match ban and Ryan Horne injured in midweek, Manager Matt Clements was forced into two team changes and he was able to bring back defender Tom Wood after his one match ban and named Harry O’Malley in midfield for his first league start of the season with the versatile Scott Sinclair moving into an attacking midfield role.   With Royston beating Frome, St Neots dropped one place to thirteenth in the table. St Neots could not have had a worse start because after five minutes in the first real attack of the game they fell behind as Mark Cooper sped down the left flank to cross and when the ball was not cleared it fell to Brandon Goodship on the edge of the penalty area and he rapped a low shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Mike Emery.   The home side responded well and nine minutes later a long throw from Johnny Herd was nodded down but not cleared and Scott Sinclair shot from a similar distance to the Weymouth goal only to see visiting keeper throw himself full length to paw the ball around a post.   With the better share of possession St Neots should have put the visiting defence under more pressure but their next two significant attempts around the half hour saw a Jack Bradshaw free kick sail over the bar and Tom Meechan beat the back peddling Mark Travers only to see the ball land on the roof of the net.   There was some anxiety as Mike Emery picked up a back pass to concede a free kick twelve yards from goal but the effort was deflected for a corner to the keepers’ relief.   A Dylan Williams free kick was blocked and acting skipper Taylor Parr picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in added first half time and will miss the trip to Farnborough next Saturday. The second half began with a second defensive error as St Neots two central defenders were caught square as Goodship cleverly slipped the ball between them to lay on a simple finish for Harry Baker who made it 2-0 to the visitors.   This seemed to galvanize St Neots efforts as Herd flashed a shot inches wide and then Dion Sembie-Ferris saw his net-bound effort blocked by a defender.   Then after 64 minutes the best move of the match produced what was to prove only a consolation goal for St Neots.   A silky interchange of passes on the left between Sinclair and Williams ended with a cross to the far post where Johnny Herd arrived to put the ball into the bottom corner of the net.   Now St Neots looked energized and for much of the rest of the second half they dominated play and possession but lacked the finish that could have given then a reward they merited.   Little was seen of the visiting attack as Weymouth pulled players back leaving just one player up front.   Sembie-Ferris skillfully beat his marker to set up Meechan but he blazed over the bar and then Wiltshire wriggled through the packed defence but saw his shot blocked by Jake McCarthy.   With seven minutes left Sembie-Ferris was again the provider as Meechan’s header was palmed for a corner and with two Weymouth players booked in added time for time wasting it was clear that the opportunity to extend St Neots unbeaten run had been wasted.  Wiltshire was sent off for a second yellow card dissent offence four minutes into added time as St Neots’ frustrations showed through. Claire Howes' Photo Gallery can be found here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/albums/72157687876145624 St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, O’Malley, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Sinclair, Williams (D) Subs:  Butler, Williams (A), McDevitt, Nurettin and Rudman (none used) Cards:  Wiltshire RED – (2 x Y 69 & 90+4 mins), Parr (Y – 45+2 mins), Wood (87 mins)   Goal:  Herd (64 mins)   Weymouth:  Travers, Brooks, Cooper, Wells, Buckley, Carmichael, Davis, McCarthy, Baker, Goodship, Tubbs   Subs:  Thompson (for Baker 61), Wakefield (for Tubbs 66), Down (for Buckley 73), Diaz and Prodomo   Cards:   Tubbs (Y – 39 mins), Brooks (Y – 90 mins), Goodship (Y – 90 mins)   Goals:   Goodship (5 mins), Baker (49 mins) Attendance: 348 Referee:  Alistair Wilson (Boston)     John Walker
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 09:23
Southern League Premier Division St Neots Town      2   Dunstable Town      2   Saints extended their unbeaten league run to five matches on Tuesday night, but were left regretting that they failed to capitalise on their dominance in possession for large parts of the match, which allowed the visitors to equalise with a late penalty to take a share of the points. St Neots started well and created an early chance when Sembie-Ferris broke from his own half and raced half the length of the pitch but his cross towards Meechan was intercepted at the price of a corner by Sonuga.  Dunstable took an early lead after eleven minutes when a cross cum shot from the left by Osei-Bonsu deflected in off the head of TAYLOR PARR.  Saints gradually took control of the match with some slick first time passing in midfield, and after long range efforts from Meechan and Knight flew over the bar, the visitors’ keeper was soon in action to save from a Parr header before watching a Bradhsaw free kick deflect just wide of his post for a corner.  St Neots drew level after twenty five minutes when Sembie-Ferris beat his marker on the half way line and once again his pace took him clear of the defence before he crossed for TOM MEECHAN to score.  Saints continued to dominate possession but failed to create any good chances, and whilst the visitors were quick to counter attack by playing long balls out from the back the central defensive partnership of Parr and Bradshaw comfortably dealt with any threat.  On the stroke of half time a Jack Bradhsaw free kick struck both posts but did not cross the line. The second half began much as the first had ended, with Saints in control but failing to create many clear-cut chances.  Dunstable had struggled to cope with the pace of Sembie-Ferris for most of the match and he almost created another chance on fifty five minutes but after beating two men he could not get his shot away.  Meechan then went close with an overhead kick after Bradshaw had flicked on a Herd throw in, but it was once again the pace of Sembie-Ferris that created the Saints second goal after sixty five minutes, who latched on to a ball from Wiltshire and beat his marker before crossing for DYLAN WILLIAMS to slot the ball home.  Knight then almost added a third from 20 yards a minute later but his shot flew just wide. The final third of the game was a little scrappy, with the game broken up by numerous free kicks being awarded, and this suited the visitors, who equalised in the seventy ninth minute from the penalty spot after the referee adjudged that substitute Ogden had been fouled less than a minute after coming on when challenging for a loose ball in the box, and AREL AMU fired in the spot kick.  Despite pushing forward in the final ten minutes Saints were unable to test keeper Harker and had to settle for a draw, which probably felt like two points dropped, rather than one point gained.   St Neots:             Emery, Sinclair, Herd, Knight, Bradshaw, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams   Subs:                     O’Malley (for Horne 16), Bridges, Davison Scorers:                Meechan (25), Williams (65) Cautions:             Wiltshire (37), O;Malley (76), Williams (88), Bradshaw (90)   Dunstable:          Harker, Kioso, Okito, Barnett, Sonuga, Betts, Young, Osei-Bonsu, Amu, Silva, Collins  Subs:                   Makuendi(for Silva 61), Ladipo (for Barnett 40), Ogden (for Young 78), Odusoga, Chidiyausiku Scorers:               Parr (OG) (11), Amu (79) Cautions:            Kioso (38), Young (59), Collins (74)   Referee:              L. Grimsey Attendance:       180   Roger Walker
Sunday, 08 October 2017 08:22
Southern League Premier Division      FROME TOWN       2         ST NEOTS TOWN        2                    St Neots recovered from being two goals behind on the hour, to produce a spirited comeback to deservedly earn a share of the points from their long trip to Somerset.   Travelling without Manager Matt Clements, who was ill, they extended their unbeaten league run to four games and that no doubt contributed to an immediate improvement in the boss’s condition.  There was one enforced change to the previous league match starting eleven with the versatile Scott Sinclair slotting in seamlessly for the unavailable Jack Bradshaw at full back.   Sinclair able to perform almost anywhere was solid and energetic and is an invaluable asset to the squad.  Frome are just a point behind St Neots with a match in hand and they will be disappointed not to have taken full points but Matt Clements’ side are beginning to show that they have the character to knuckle down and recover even from a two goals deficit. There was little to choose between the sides in what at times was a dour first half.  St Neots created the better chances and visiting keeper Mike Emery only had a couple of serious efforts to save whilst at the other end several players could have added their names to the scoresheet.   As early as the third minute Tom Meechan’s pace saw him get away from his marker to chase a Ryan Horne through ball but he was foiled by a bad bounce and the goalkeepers’ legs.   At the other end Darren Jeffries had a half chance but shot wide and then after 18 minutes the lively Dylan Williams crossed to find the unmarked Dion Sembie-Ferris but his first-time volley was saved by Kyle Phillips at full stretch.   Joe Raynes headed over the bar from a corner and after 27 minutes a trademark long throw from Johnny Herd was neatly flicked on by Taylor Parr to Meechan who brought the save of the match from Phillips.   Emery’s first test came eight minutes later when a mazy run through the visiting defence saw Jon Davies’ first effort blocked but the ball fell kindly for Jake Jackson who forced the keeper into a close-range stop.   The same player headed wide as Frome increased their attacking tempo just before the break and with just two minutes left before half time they took the lead as the tricky Davies went past his marker to deliver a cross to the far post when Ollie Knight was left unmarked to loop a header over the back-peddling Emery who will have been disappointed by his positioning. After the break St Neots skipper Luke Knight picked up his fifth yellow card of the season meaning an automatic one match ban for a fairly innocuous challenge in which he appeared to win the ball fairly.  St Neots should then have levelled the scores when from a long cross by Parr, Meechan unselfishly headed the ball across goal to the unmarked Sembie-Ferris who headed over the bar when a goal looked certain.   Two minutes later St Neots paid the penalty for their failure to capitalize when Davies sent in an out swinging corner and Joe Raynes arrived in the area to head past Emery.   St Neots now had to regroup and find an appropriate response and after Meechan had turned in the area to find the side netting they began to look more positive and on the hour Kyron Wiltshire drifted past his marker on the right to cross to the near post when Meechan was heavily brought down and the Referee awarded a penalty neatly tucked away by Dylan Williams.   Now St Neots looked dominant and after Phillips had pushed a Williams effort for a corner a long ball forward by Tom Wood left the home defence in a tangle and Dion Sembie-Ferris was quick to take full advantage to level the scores.    Defenders Parr and Wood then had late chances from set pieces but the home defence held out for a point and a fair result to the contest. Claire Howes' photo gallery can be found right here: flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/   St Neots Town:  Emery, Sinclair, Herd, Knight (L), Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams (D) Subs:  O’Malley, Bridges and Marsh-Brown (none used) Cards:  Williams (Y – 39 mins), Knight (Y – 48), Meechan (Y – 77)   Goals: Williams - pen (59 mins), Sembie-Ferris (76 mins)   Frome Town:  Phillips, Miller (K). Withey, Griffiths, Miller (G), Hemmings, Davies, Raynes, Jackson, Jeffries, Knight (O)   Subs:  Bath (for Jeffries 78), Teale and Barnes   Cards:   Miller (K) (Y – 69 mins), Knight (O) (Y – 90 + 2)   Goals:   Knight (O) (43 mins), Raynes (54 mins) Attendance: 251 Referee:  Sean Rothwell (Plymouth)     John Walker
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 15:59
Southern League BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup      AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS       1         ST NEOTS TOWN        0                    For the fourth time in their seven seasons in the Southern League St Neots exited the League Cup in the first round and for the second season in a row beaten by lower graded opponents.   A contributory factor was the decision – by now a common practice amongst Step Three sides – to give the chance for squad members to prove themselves.  In St Neots’ case Manager Matt Clements made no fewer than six changes from the team that had recorded three consecutive league victories and three of the six were making their Southern League debuts and that included player/coach David Bridges a former Cambridge United professional.   The newcomers along with Bridges were Ronayne Marsh-Brown, a defender, and full back Joran Lee plus Peterborough United loanee Josh Davidson, whilst Scott Sinclair returned to the side and Harry O’Malley made his first senior start.  Meantime four of the six rested players were on the bench with youth starlet Andre Williams.  Any suspicion that Matt Clements had overplayed his hand with the changes were dispelled in the first half when his side dominated play and created almost all the scoring opportunities. An opportunistic lengthy shot from Dylan Williams that sailed wide in the opening minute set the scene for the visitors.   Skipper Luke Knight brought a full length save from home keeper Matt Finlay and then David Bridges set up Williams who narrow angled effort finished up in the side netting.  Scott Sinclair was very lively on the right flank having shot after 19 minutes deflected for a corner and a second just wide of goal and then Finlay made a fine save to deny Bridges who was also prominent for St Neots.   The match was turning out to be a feisty affair keeping Referee Paul Buck very busy and he booked Sinclair for a mistimed tackle after which he became the target for some rough treatment by home players.   A Bridges header was comfortably saved after good work by Sinclair and by half time St Neots had done everything but made their superior possession pay, except for a goal. The battered Sinclair failed to appear after the break with Andre Williams on in his place for his first senior appearance of the season.   After former Saint Ben Farrell had shot badly wide in Rushden’s first minute attack after the restart, the game saw a significant moment as another former St Neots striker Chris Dillon broke free in front of goal only to be hauled down from behind by a mistimed tackle from Tom Wood.   Wood was sent off and a penalty kick awarded which home skipper Liam Dolman tucked away sending Mike Emery the wrong way.   Now short of recognized defenders St Neots were too easily pushed back onto the defensive by a resurgent home side that smelled victory.   St Neots effected their two further permitted changes and created chances on the break with the overlapping Jordan Lee hauled down on the edge of the area and Harry O’Malley seeing an acrobatic volley sail narrowly wide from a Jack Bradshaw corner.   However, most of the play was focused on the St Neots goal with Rushden skillfully exploiting their one-man advantage.   Callum Westwood and Darryl Smith both wasted chances to extend the lead and Emery made several excellent saves denying Fernando Bell-Toxtle and Dillon.  Eight minutes from time there was a flashpoint in the St Neots six-yard box as the teams awaited a corner and after consulting an Assistant the Referee sent off Ronayne Marsh Brown and booked Dillon leaving St Neots to survive the last few minutes with nine men.   Discipline could now be an ongoing problem with the red-carded players suspended from next Tuesday and three other players now just one booking away from suspension.       St Neots:  Emery, Bradshaw, Lee, Knight, Wood, Marsh-Brown, Sinclair, O’Malley, Davison, Bridges, Williams (D) Subs:  Williams (A) (for Sinclair 46), Horne (for Williams (D) 54) Sembie-Ferris (for Davison 61), Parr and Herd. Cards:  Wood (RED – 47 mins), Marsh-Brown (RED – 82 mins), Sinclair (Y – 33 mins), Knight (Y – 40 mins), Bridges (Y – 60 mins).   Goals: none   Rushden & D:  Finlay, Westwood, Ford, Brown, Dolman, Farrell, Henbury, Bell-Toxtle, Lorraine, Dillon, Smith   Subs:  Boateng (for Henbury 81 mins), Curtis, Heath, Shariff and Gyasi.   Cards:   Ford (Y – 43 mins), Dillon (Y – 82 mins), Westwood (Y – 90 +5 mins)   Goal:   Dolman – pen (82 mins) Attendance: 225 Referee:  Paul Buck (Long Eaton)     John Walker
Sunday, 01 October 2017 11:35
Southern League Premier Division      TIVERTON TOWN       1         ST NEOTS TOWN        2                    After their longest trip of the season St Neots returned from Devon with their third consecutive league victory – the first time this has been achieved since October 2014.  The three points lifted them into the top half of the league table – this for the first time since August last year.   ‘We are moving in the right direction but we will not get carried away’ said Manager Matt Clements after the match ‘but our objective is still a top half finish’.   The win came courtesy of two goals from the sides’ ‘action man’ Ryan Horne playing just behind striker Tom Meechan, and a solid under pressure performance by man-of-the-match goalkeeper Mike Emery who made several outstanding saves as league new boys Tiverton were forced to surrender their 100% home record after an impressive start at Step Three.   For only the second time this season Clements could name an unchanged starting line-up but there were changes on the bench with departing duo Lee Clarke and Mickie Hyem missing. For the opening quarter of an hour Tiverton showed how well they have settled at the higher level.   Emery had to leave his line quickly to gather the ball at the feet of Jordan Rogers and then Jack Bradshaw covered behind the defence to head over his own cross bar from a Nick Hurst cross when his side looked exposed.   Then after 17 minutes the home side thought they had taken the lead.   An intuitive flick by Jamie Price brought an excellent save by Emery at the expense of a corner from which Ben Mammola forced home at the far post but the eagle-eyed Referee had spotted some pushing in the box and the effort was disallowed.   That seemed to spur St Neots to a more determined approach and eight minutes later the perfectly delivered free kick from Dylan Williams found Ryan Horne well outside the penalty area and he picked out the top corner of the net for the opening goal.  Tiverton continued to press with Michael Landricombe testing Emery with a well-placed header whilst at the other end Tom Meechan unselfishly set up Dion Sembie-Ferris whose shot rebounded from the goalkeeper’s legs.  St Neots concluded the first half with a very significant move and goal as Jack Bradshaw surged down the right to cross for Ryan Horne to make a perfect unmarked run into the area to score his and his sides’ second goal. Tiverton had the best opening after the break when Price was left unmarked from a Hurst free kick but Emery parried his header with a flying save and then St Neots should have extended their lead after 56 minutes when the best move of the match saw Horne and Meechan split the home defence to set up Dylan Williams but he scuffed his shot wide.  The home sides’ determination to get back into the game was clearly displayed as they introduced all three permitted substitutes with more than half an hour remaining.   Their more attacking approach paid immediate dividends when after 68 minutes a free kick was cleverly dummied by substitute Tom Bath to leave Levi Landricombe clear on goal between the two central defenders and he gave Emery no chance with a well-placed shot.   St Neots responded with Dylan Williams setting up Tom Meechan but he mis-hit his shot and Martin Rice saved comfortably.   However, St Neots were now under almost constant pressure with Tiverton out to find an equalizing goal and Emery had to save well from substitutes Bath and Scott Rogers.    Towards the end it was St Neots who looked the more dangerous on the break and both Williams and Luke Knight saw efforts saved by Rice.   St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams (D) Subs:  Davison (for Sembie-Ferris 75), O’Malley (for Williams 82) and Williams (A). Cards:  Parr (Y – 32 mins) Sembie-Ferris (Y – 78), Horne (Y – 87)   Goals: Horne 2 (25 & 41 mins)   Tiverton Town:  Rice, Hurst, Gregory, Price, Mammola, Gardner, Short, Knowles, Rogers (J), Landricombe (L), Landricombe (M)   Subs:  Howe (for Rogers (J) 59), Bath (for Short 59), Rogers (R) for Gardner 59), Horton and Rogers (G)   Cards:   Price (Y – 22 mins), Rogers (R) (Y – 85)   Goal:   Landricombe (L) (68 mins) Attendance: 229 Referee:  Martin Underhay (Weymouth)     John Walker
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 10:08
Southern League Premier Division      ST NEOTS TOWN        3         ROYSTON TOWN      1           This first ever league meeting of these two sides turned out to be a feisty affair with the visitors contributing to their own downfall as their indiscipline saw them pick up four yellow cards and play the last 41 minutes with ten men when their skipper Scott Bridges was dismissed for an alleged stamp on an opponent.   For St Neots it was a welcome third consecutive home league victory and three points that lifted them to mid-table prior to their next two fixtures which are lengthy away trips.   However, regardless of the sending-off the St Neots performance fully merited their victory as they carried on from their impressive weekend performance with a confident all-round display of power and creativity that could have easily resulted in more than three goals.   There was one enforced team change with centre half Liam McDevitt unavailable for selection so the reliable Tom Wood seamlessly slotted into his place in a defence that seldom looked under serious threat. With the visiting defence maintaining a high line up the field their goalkeeper Joe Welch had to twice leave his line to clear in the first five minutes as St Neots threatened but it was the visitors who took a surprise lead after six minutes when they counter attacked following two St Neots corners as Adam Marriott picked out the unmarked Josh Oyinsan who advanced to beat the unguarded St Neots keeper with a low shot.   If the St Neots defence were culpable in that incident they made up for this with a solid display for much of the rest of the game.   Former Cambridge United and Lincoln City professional Marriott did have one chance which he sent high over the bar for the visitors but St Neots settled to dominate much of the play.   After 15 minutes St Neots were level as Ryan Horne turned sharply in the penalty area to register his first goal of the season and within a minute the home side could have been ahead as Dylan Williams and Johnny Herd combined to set up Dion Sembie-Ferris whose shot beat the keeper but rebounded from the underside of the cross bar.   Kyron Wiltshire saw a shot deflected over the bar and eight minutes before the break the woodwork denied St Neots for a second time when a Herd shot rebounded from a post.   A Williams chip was cleared off the line by Lee Chappell but Royston ended the half with a flourish as a Marriott effort rebounded off the woodwork and Scott Bridges played clear by Ryan Ingrey shot the wrong side of a post. There was an explosive start to the second half as Bridges picked up a straight red card and this saw the visitors vary their approach with two substitutions to adopt a more defensive approach to the match.   The pace of Sembie-Ferris was a constant threat and he picked out Tom Meechan whose shot was blocked by Marriott after 55 minutes but nine minutes later Meechan put St Neots ahead with a trademark goal as he skillfully weaved his way through defenders to make it 2-1.   Welch then produced the save of the match to deny Meechan a second goal but after 69 minutes there was further controversy as Oyinson and Taylor Parr clashed in a bloody ariel battle that resulted in the St Neots defender being helped off with a cut head from an elbow that earned the Royston striker a yellow card and substitution.   With the one- man advantage St Neots continued to dominate and after 77 minutes they clinched the result as Jack Bradshaw sent in a low hard free kick that was diverted into his own net by Scott Thomas.   This prompted further Royston indiscipline with Thomas and John Frendo both booked along with Luke Knight in a frustrated incident six minutes from time.   St Neots managed to keep their cool and in time added Adam Murray was extremely lucky only to be booked for a cynical challenge on an opponent on the edge of the penalty area.   St Neots:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams (D) Subs:  O’Malley (for Parr 72), Sinclair (for Horne 79), Clarke (for Williams 85), Hyem and Tibbetts. Cards:  Horne (Y – 54 mins), Knight (Y – 72 mins)   Goals: Horne (15 mins), Meechan (64 mins), Thomas OG (77 mins)   Royston:  Welch, Asafu-Adjaye, Alomenu, Bridges, Murray, Chappell, Castiglione, Thomas, Oyinsan, Ingrey, Marriott   Subs:  Scott-Morriss (for Marriott 52), Powell (for Alomenu 72), Frendo (for Oyinsan 72), Bridges and Ives.   Cards:   Bridges (RED – 49 mins), Ingrey (Y – 19 mins), Thomas (Y – 84 mins), Frendo (Y – 84 mins), Murray (Y – 90 + 3 mins)   Goals:   Oyinsan (6 mins) Attendance: 207 Referee:  Robert Claussen (Northampton)     John Walker
Saturday, 23 September 2017 19:26
Southern League Premier Division      ST NEOTS TOWN        3         SLOUGH TOWN      1           St Neots record breaking striker Tom Meechan marked his return to the Club on loan from National League side Hungerford Town with a brace of goals to star in a significant victory over second in the table Slough Town – his first goal coming after just five minutes.   Slough arrived at St Neots with six consecutive league victories behind them and boasting the best goal scoring record in the Division but as the game progressed they seemed shocked by the St Neots level of confidence and commitment but can have no complaint in defeat – clearly outplayed on the day.   The return of their prodigal striker seemed to boost the whole St Neots side and they could have won by a greater margin but for some bad luck in front of goal.   Meechan’s inclusion was one of two changes in the starting line up with Scott Sinclair the unlucky player to be left on the bench with Dion Sembie-Ferris moving out his preferred wide berth.   In goal Mike Emery returned after missing two matches through injury.   Maybe a week away from the action after being knocked out of the FA Cup had been beneficial to the team for their collective approach from the word go was one of positive attacking football and a casual observer would not have known which of the two sides were flirting with the top of the league table. All that came after a potentially devastating blow after just four minutes when an innocuous looking challenge by Ryan Horne saw Referee Hallam Cutmore point dramatically to the penalty spot to the surprise of both sides.  Emery guessed correctly to parry the spot kick by Chris Flood but was unable to hold the ball and the visiting player followed up to net.  Clearly St Neots response was immediate and effective for sixty seconds later a cross from the right was not cleared by the visiting defence and Tom Meechan pounced to level the scores.   St Neots continued to press and Dion Sembie-Ferris cut in to have a low shot deflect off the keepers’ legs for a corner and then from a Luke Knight chip into the area Liam McDevitt had a header well saved by Jack Turner.  A lengthy effort by James Dobson was comfortably saved by Emery but it was the home side creating the chances with Turner saving at full length from Sembie-Ferris and a Dylan Williams header being clawed down from under the cross bar.   Towards half time Flood volleyed over the bar when well-placed, but St Neots had enjoyed the better of the first half exchanges and their half time instructions will have been ’more of the same’. Meechan turner provider straight after the break with a cross from the right picking out Williams who headed over the bar but Slough did threaten for a spell with Dobson volleying wide and Flood bringing an important save from Emery at the expense of a corner.   After 65 minutes Meechan cut in from the left and beat Turner with a rising shot that crashed off the underside of the cross bar to be hacked clear and then in another attack Herd powered through to see his shot blocked and fellow full back Jack Bradshaw saw his effort too high.  Slough were now having to spend most of their time defending and after 76 minutes Meechan brought the save of the match from the under-pressure Turner.  However, Meechan was not to be denied and two minutes later he picked up a neat Sembie-Ferris flick to swivel in the area and put St Neots in front.   The striker then went clear but attempting to round the keeper saw his shot deflected by the custodians’ legs.  Slough then pushed forward in search of a late equalizer but four minutes into time added with the visiting defence caught short Sembie-Ferris streaked through the defence to slot home the goal that deservedly clinched all three valuable points. Claire Howes' photo gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/ SNTtv Video highlights can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0OakXMqCRQ   St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams (D) Subs:  Sinclair (for Williams 83), Wood (for Horne 86), Hyem (for Meechan 90), O’Malley and Clarke (L). Cards:  Knight (Y – 4 mins), Wiltshire (Y – 67 mins)   Goals: Meechan 2 (5 and 78 mins), Sembie-Ferris (90 + 4 mins)   Slough Town:  Turner, Fraser, Wells, Inns, Nisbet, Togwell, Dobson, Dunn, Lench, Flood, Harris   Subs:  Webb (for Dunn 20), James (for Harris 59), Hollis (for Fraser 90), Jackman and Smart   Cards:   none   Goals:   Flood (4 mins) Attendance: 310 Referee:  Hallam Cutmore (Peterborough)     John Walker
Saturday, 09 September 2017 19:29
Southern League Premier Division      ST NEOTS TOWN        5         DORCHESTER TOWN      0           Without a league or cup victory in their first six outings this season the St Neots players had been warned by Manager Matt Clements to expect significant changes in personnel unless their performances and results improved significantly and their response was extremely positive, delivering the first clean sheet of the season, their first win, and the sides’ first Southern League victory by five or more goals since December 2013.   Visitors’ Dorchester have had a similar start to their season making this a ‘must win’ game for both.   St Neots quest was aided by having to play against ten men in the second half after Ollie Griggs had picked up a straight red card for a reckless challenge and in that second 45 minutes there was only one team in it.   Even second half injuries to both St Neots central defenders Liam McDevitt and the August Player of the Month Taylor Parr could not take the gilt off the performance and result and the points lifted St Neots out of the bottom four places in the table up to seventeenth.   Again, there were several team and tactical changes with Peterborough United youth loanee goalkeeper coming into the side for the injured Mike Emery, and Tom Wood, Micky Hyem and Lee Clarke on the substitutes bench replaced by Johnny Herd, Dylan Williams and Kyron Wiltshire.   Understandably both sides were reluctant to give much away in the early stages although St Neots produced the perfect start when from a Ryan Horne cross to the far post, full back Johnny Herd arrived in the penalty area to score only his second St Neots goal.   The visitors created little although Luke Winsper shot wide and from a Dom Panesar cross Gary Bowles headed their best chance over the bar.   In a quick break St Neots were caught square at the back and a snap shot by Billy Lowes rebounded from a post but St Neots were creating their own openings with a shot from the lively Horne rebounding from the keepers’ body and Taylor Parr heading wide from a Dylan Williams free kick.   The first real test for Josh Tibbetts was when he had to rush from his line to rob Jordan Storey and then just before the break there was the sending off that proved to be a game-changer.   Prior to that the Referee had booked two visiting players for fouls but the reckless challenge by Ollie Griggs resulted in his instant dismissal.   Another flare up early in the second half saw Jordan Storey and Scott Sinclair both booked but thankfully after that the match settled down with St Neots dictating.   Visiting keeper Chris Weale did well to keep out an effort by Herd and as St Neots superior possession gradually told, trickery by Dion Sembie-Ferris after 65 minutes gave him the space to test Weale who could only parry his effort into the path of Scott Sinclair who tapped home.   Within two minutes it was 3-0 as a long throw by Herd was headed on by Parr and Dion Sembie-Ferris stole in at the far post for his second St Neots goal in five matches.  Now all Dorchester could do was hang on to try to salvage pride but the tide was relentless and after 73 minutes Dylan Williams turned in the penalty area to lob a well-placed shot beyond the reach of Weale.   Kyle Egan cleared off the line from Williams with his keeper beaten and then after 79 minutes the speedy Williams was hauled down in the penalty area by Ross Carmichael and he got to his feet to beat Weale from the penalty spot to complete the 5-0 victory.   Both sides utilized their maximum allocation of three substitutes with St Neots finishing up with substitute Tom Wood and full back Jack Bradshaw at the heart of a defence that never looked likely to yield their clean sheet.   It was St Neots’ fourth consecutive home victory over Dorchester in which they have scored 15 goals.        St Neots Town:  Tibbetts, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Sinclair, Wiltshire, Sembie-Ferris, Horne, Williams (D) Subs:  Wood (for McDevitt 63), O’Malley (for Parr 70), Watson (for Sinclair 74), Hyem and Clarke (L). Cards:  Sinclair (Y – 53 mins), Wiltshire (Y – 84 mins)   Goals: Williams 2 (73 & 79 mins), Herd (9 mins), Sinclair (65 mins), Sembie-Ferris (67 mins)   Dorchester Town:  Weale, Egan, Clarke (C), Bowles, Carmichael, Winsper, Panesar, Lowes, Storey, Jerrard, Griggs   Subs:  Corbridge (for Panesar 61 mins),Ayunga (for Jerrard 74 mins), Blair (for Lowes 82 mins) and Bastick.   Cards:   Griggs (RED – 45 mins), Winsper (Y – 29 mins), Lowes (Y – 37 mins), Storey (Y – 53 mins)   Goals:   none Attendance: 178 Referee:  Andrew Humphries (Daventry)     John Walker
Monday, 28 August 2017 18:45
Southern League Premier Division      KETTERING TOWN       3             ST NEOTS TOWN        0 For the second time in 48 hours – in successive Bank Holiday matches – St Neots found themselves trailing 3-0.   However, on this occasion all the goals came in the first 33 minutes and whilst that sort of setback might have ended the chances of most losing sides, St Neots rolled up their sleeves and gave as good as they got in the final hour.   It was little consolation picking up no reward for their efforts but at least the performance will have salvaged a modicum of pride for Matt Clements’ side.    The match was almost a repeat of the pattern of Saturday’s match with St Neots holding their own in the second half after trailing at the break but they must learn not to give away cheap goals early in the match.   Ambitious Kettering set this season on winning back National League status are the best side St Neots have faced so far this season but the visitors are still trying to decide their best line- up.   After good work by the backroom staff all three injured players were passed fit and the two changes in the line-up saw Luke Knight assume the captaincy making his first start in place of Ryan Horne and Danny Watson returned after illness with Dylan Williams dropping to the bench.  On a sweltering afternoon both sides began optimistically with St Neots producing two early attacks in which Scott Sinclair saw a dipping volley well gathered by Paul White and a Dion Sembie-Ferris cross was deflected to Danny Watson whose mis-hit effort was easily saved. However, it did not take long for Kettering to impose themselves and begin to dominate the proceedings.   They opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Ben Milnes was allowed to outjump his marker to head wide of Mike Emery and two minutes later their advantage was doubled when Jack Bradshaw carelessly brought down Rhys Hoeness as he was running away from goal and from the resultant penalty kick Hoeness beat Emery.   A combination of pace and inventiveness kept Kettering well in control and after 33 minutes Ben Milnes floated a free kick to the far post where Rene Howe got the final touch to make it 3-0.   The industrious Luke Knight cleared an inswinging corner from Milnes off the goal line and Howe could have further tightened the screw but he headed wide when left unmarked at the far post. The main half time instruction to St Neots was to tighten up their defence and they revised their approach with substitute Dylan Williams on for Wiltshire and Sembie-Ferris pushed more up front to partner Watson in a 4-4-2 formation.   Kettering still threatened with Brett Solkhon heading narrowly over from a James Brighton corner but St Neots were looking more positive with a Taylor Parr header cleared off the line from a lengthy throw by Johnny Herd.   Substitute Williams was hauled down in the area but penalty appeals were waved away whilst Kettering were now looking dangerous on the break and a Milnes free kick was scraped off the goal line by a combination of defenders.   St Neots introduced Tom Wood in midfield sporting a head bandana following his injury 24hours earlier and he set up Herd for a lob claimed well by the keeper.   In the last ten minutes’ the game slowed as the relentless heat took its toll and Kettering had more good openings.   In one attack both Taylor Parr and Luke Knight headed efforts off the goal line and Lindon Meikle freed Aaron O’Connor who went clear but Emery narrowed the shooting angle and saved with his legs.   A generally sporting match ended with a booking apiece for the two sides as players tired.  With Hitchin recording their first victory of the campaign St Neots dropped into the bottom four.         St Neots Town:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Watson, Sinclair, Clarke Subs:  Williams (D) (for Wiltshire 46), Foy (for Watson 58), Wood (for Clarke 74), Horne and Hyem. Cards:  Bradshaw (Y – 88 mins)   Goals:  none   Kettering:  White, Berry, Brighton, Solkhon, Mulligan, Richens, Hoeness, O’Connor, Howe, Milnes, Meikle   Subs:  Bateman (for Berry 46), Baker (for Hoenes 79), Sundire (for Milnes 79), Stevens and Stohrer.   Cards:   Brighton (Y – 88 mins)   Goals:   Milnes (16 mins), Hoeness – pen (18 mins), Howe (33 mins)   Attendance: 727 Referee:  Mathew Law (Leicester)     John Walker
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