Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:00
Southern League Premier Division      STRATFORD TOWN       1        ST NEOTS TOWN        1           Back in the fold after a four years spell with Colchester United in the Skybet Football League, Dion Sembie-Ferris, a former product of the St Neots youth system, marked his Southern League debut with a goal at Stratford.   Sembie-Ferris was snapped up by Colchester after making just one senior team appearance for St Neots in the side that lifted the Hunts Senior Cup in the 2013 Final when they defeated Huntingdon Town at Yaxley in a penalty shoot out.   Signed just 48 hours before Saturday’s trip to Warwickshire he took just 21 minutes to announce his return in style.    The goal was a highlight for St Neots on a day when two average sides cancelled each other out.   St Neots will be the happier of the two sides because a point away from home is always useful but it was the fifth meeting of the two and St Neots are still to record a victory in the sequence.   Apart from Sembie-Ferris there were two other players making their seasons’ debut with Kyron Wiltshire starting in midfield following two substitute appearances, and in defence Liam McDevitt had shaken off his injury to come into the side.   The three displaced players, Tom Wood, Ryan Horne and Matt Foy were all on the substitutes bench. The wind was always a feature of the match and it was in St Neots’ faces in the first half.   They began cautiously with home striker Edwin Ahenkorah a constant threat.   He provided the first goal after eight minutes when his cross was deflected to James Fry on the edge of the penalty area and his low shot beat visiting keeper Mike Emery, who seemed to be unsighted, with the aid of a wicked deflection.   St Neots retaliated with Scott Sinclair crossing from the right to find the head of Mickey Hyem whose effort beat home keeper Louis Connor but deflected from the cross bar.   Taylor Parr then shot wide from a Dylan Williams corner but the home side looked more pacey and inventive with Ben Stephens dispossessing Lee Clarke to set up Ahenkorah and it took an inspired save from Emery to prevent a second goal.   Then after 21 minutes Dion Sembie-Ferris drifted in from the left flank with pace to go past two defenders and calmly slot past Connor to level the scores.  After 29 minutes’ there could have been a spectacular Ahenkorah opportunistic goal for Stratford.   Spotting Emery off his line the striker sent a high lob from within his own half over the defence only to see the ball land on the cross bar!   Will Grocott saw a shot deflected but the half ended with two Williams corners offering chances for the visitors.   From the first McDevitt forced a finger-tip save from Connor and from the second Parr saw his headed effort deflect off the underside of the crossbar down onto the line to be scrambled clear. St Neots seemed unable to use the conditions to their advantage after the break.   From an Ahenkorah cross a full-length header by Ben Stephens was blocked on the line and then in a rare St Neots attack a Williams free kick saw McDevitt head narrowly over the bar.   Both sides seemed to be searching for inspiration but none came as both introduced substitutes and the match became scrappy with no real rhythm from either side.   Emery twice saved with his feet from the lively Ahenkorah but the home keeper had little to do until the last five minutes.   Then Sinclair moved forward to set up Micky Hyem but his net bound effort was blocked and then substitute Matt Foy broke into the area to be sent tumbling but St Neots penalty appeals were waved away.   If this was a fairly solid defensive showing by St Neots it only underlined the lack of method and quality in their attacking play.   Now they must regroup to entertain the ambitious Hereford United in their Bank Holiday Saturday home match next weekend.   Claire Howes' Matchday Photo Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/     St Neots:  Emery, Sinclair, Bradshaw, Clarke, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Watson, Hyem, Williams (D) Subs:  Horne (for Clarke 63), Foy (for Williams 76), Wood and Bugg. Cards:  none   Goals:  Sembie-Ferris (21 mins)   Stratford:  Connor, Summerfield, Thomas, Gallinagh, Clark, Francis, Stephens, Fry, Ahenkorah, Grocott, Luckie   Subs:  Taylor (for Luckie 67), Evans (for Grocott 83), Hancock and Marsden.   Cards:   Grocott (Y – 47 mins), Taylor (Y – 75)   Goals:   Fry (8 mins)   Attendance: 209 Referee:  Mark Howes (Solihull)     John Walker
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 09:57
Southern League Premier Division      HITCHIN TOWN       2        ST NEOTS TOWN        2           St Neots got their season up and running with an important point from their midweek visit to Hitchin.   Having failed to find any real first half rhythm they fell behind just before the break but the introduction of recently signed Kyron Wiltshire as a second half substitute sparked the visitors into life and a late, late second goal earned them a share of the spoils.   Manager Matt Clements was philosophical after the match paying tribute to the resilience of his team who refused to accept defeat and kept going right to the end.   With injured players still undergoing further treatment Clements named an unchanged side for the visit but there were signs of some recovery with Liam McDevitt named as an unused substitute.   Hitchin has never been a happy hunting ground for St Neots who have now only recorded one victory in six visits.  There was little goalmouth action in the first half hour as the sides strove to impose themselves.   An early snap shot by Scott Sinclair sailed over the bar and for the home side Liam Brooks should have done better with a header wide of target when he was left unmarked for a Kevan Cotter cross.   Both sides seemed reluctant to test the keepers from distance with an impression that they would rather try to walk the ball in.   However, the danger signs were showing for St Neots with Hitchin wide man Trey Charles terrorizing the St Neots back line at times.   He beat two defenders to fire over the bar after 32 minutes and then set up Lucas Kirkpatrick whose effort was also off target.   St Neots was convinced that there should have been a penalty award when Matt Foy was bundled over in the penalty area but the game was waved on and then a Danny Watson low cross was bravely claimed by Michael Johnson at the feet of Micky Hyem.   Then a minute before the break it was the home side who stamped their authority as Sinclair had to clear off the line from Charles conceding a corner kick and from the cross by Kirkpatrick, Liam Brooks lost his marker to slot home at the near post. St Neots required an immediate response after half time but it never arrived and after being injured and booked for a mistimed tackled Ryan Horne was substituted by Kyron Wiltshire.   He made an almost immediate impact setting up Hyem whose shot was blocked.   At the other end a cross was deflected by Jack Bradshaw forcing an important full-length save from Emery and after 64 minutes St Neots were level when from a Hyem cross Kyron Wiltshire smashed home a low shot to level the scores.   However, parity only lasted for three minutes and then Ben Walster overlapped on the left and crossed to the near post where Liam Brooks produced almost a carbon copy of his first goal to put the home side in front again.  Walter then had a shot saved and Charles once again cut in to fire over the bar but the home side then seemed to have settled for their narrow advantage as they began to concentrate on defence.   Sensing their chance St Neots set up a series of attacks in the last ten minutes and Wiltshire went close to doubling his personal tally firing into the side netting with a low finish.   Then as added time ticked down and with only seconds remaining St Neots last gasp equalizer arrived as Emery launched a free kick from his own half into the Hitchin six yards box.   The ball was knocked onto the cross bar and from the rebound Danny Watson rose high to head a priceless equalizing goal.          St Neots Town:  Emery, Sinclair, Bradshaw, Horne, Wood, Parr, Foy, Clarke, Watson, Hyem, Williams (D). Subs:  Wiltshire (for Horne 56), O’Malley (for Foy 76), McDevitt and Dean Cards:  Parr (Y – 37 mins), Horne (Y – 54 mins)   Goals:  Wiltshire (64 mins), Watson (90+4 mins)   Hitchin Town:  Johnson, Cotter, Walster, Dowie, Goode, Wright, Clifton, Kirkpatrick, Brooks, Smith, Charles   Subs:  Donnelly (C) (for Kirkpatrick 60), McCaffrey (for Clifton 84), Syme and Donnelly (B)   Cards:   Smith (Y – 66 mins), McCaffrey (Y – 86 mins)   Goals:   Brooks 2 (44 & 67 mins)   Attendance: 520 Referee:  Paul Forrester (Luton)     John Walker
Saturday, 12 August 2017 18:51
Southern League Premier Division      ST NEOTS TOWN        0          FARNBOROUGH        1 Farnborough returned home delighted with their opening day Step Three victory over St Neots as they look to continue their climb back up the pyramid.  It was tightly fought match with St Neots just shading both possession and chances but their finishing was not good enough.   Neither keeper was seriously extended and the two sides looked very evenly matched but the visitors took full points because having gone in front in the first half they defended with determination – especially late in the second half.   St Neots were without three probable starters – new signings Liam McDevitt and Luke Knight were both nursing pre-season knocks and full back Johnny Herd is still on his honeymoon.   Manager Matt Clements must now work on his side’s sharpness in front of goal because they threw away points they deserved at least to share because of their weakness in this area.   St Neots have now only won once on the opening day in their six seasons in the Southern League Premier Division. The match got off to a lively start with play moving from end to end but early chances were at a premium.   Matt Foy did have a shot blocked on the line by Courtney Fearn after good work by Ryan Horne and at the other end Josh Huggins was left unmarked at a Nic Ciardini corner but he headed tamely wide.   Then Farnborough went ahead from the first real chance of the match.   The goal was created by some skillful work down the right at full back John Oyenuga went past his opposite number to pull the ball back from the bye line.   Matt Bunyan completely missed his kick but the ball fell to the feet of Nic Ciardini and he beat Mike Emery with a crisp shot from 20 yards.   St Neots hit back with Lee Clarke heading down a cross to the feet of Dylan Williams but his shot hit visiting goalkeeper Liam Stone as he dived the wrong way!   Stone then distinguished himself with a fine save from a low effort by Foy and the same St Neots player then upended as he made for goal earning a booking for Matt Bunyan.   Dylan Williams saw a shot blocked and ten minutes before the break St Neots best first half effort saw a Scott Sinclair free kick headed down by Taylor Parr but Micky Hyem skied his shot well over the bar. ‘More of the same but better finishing’ must have been St Neots half time instructions and in the first ten minutes after the break they took the game to their visitors with Danny Watson delaying a shot that was blocked and then from a Williams corner, Watson shot wide when he should have at least tested the keeper.   Another Williams corner found the head of Taylor Parr whose effort was deflected for a corner and the only threat from the visitors came after 65 minutes from Keith Emmerson but Emery saved well at the second attempt.   Watson was replaced by recent signing Kyran Wiltshire and after 74 minutes Taylor Parr attempted an agile overhead kick from a corner but it was too high.    With Lee Clarke and Micky Hyem now pushed up to lead St Neots attack they redoubled their attacking approach with Farnborough happy to filter back and defend.   Williams was on the end of a delightful move involving Jack Bradshaw and Ryan Horne but he shot disappointingly over the bar underlining St Neots frailty in front of goal.   Sinclair pushed into midfield when substitute Harry O’Malley was introduced, looked lively and he saw a low shot well saved by Stone and towards the end St Neots were reduced to shooting from distance with both Bradshaw and Clarke off target.   In the last ten minutes, the visitors were happy to run the clock down with some blatant time wasting tactics and that proved effective as the game petered out.   Claire Howes' Match Photo Gallery can be found here: flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/   St Neots Town:  Emery, Sinclair, Bradshaw, Horne, Wood, Parr, Foy, Clarke, Watson, Hyem, Williams (D). Subs:  Wiltshire (for Watson 67), O’Malley (for Foy 76), Williams (A) and Dean Cards:  none   Goals:  none   Farnborough:  Stone, Oyenuga, Ciardini, Fearn, Saville, Huggins, Emmerson, Bunyan, Cureton, Coles, Regis.   Subs:  Hutchins (for Ciardini 67), Barton (for Cureton 74), Allen and Cairney   Cards:   Bunyan (Y – 27 mins)   Goals:   Ciardini (16 mins)   Attendance: 275 Referee:  Stuart Cheek (Stevenage)     John Walker
Sunday, 06 August 2017 10:06
Pre-season friendly   ST NEOTS TOWN        2       BEDFORD TOWN      1       This victory took St Neots tally to six wins in nine pre-season matches but it was probably their least convincing victory.   With Luke Knight, Lee Clarke, Johnny Herd and Tom Wood all missing, Manager Matt Clements again had the chance to assess the potential strength of his squad and this performance may have given him plenty to ponder.   Step Four neighbours Bedford Town were a side full of running and invention but they failed to capitalize on their scoring chances and paid that penalty in their defeat.   Several home players were absent nursing minor knocks but the overall strength of the home side should have been sufficient but they lacked quality in their attacking approach and were guilty of allowing promising moves to break down because of poor passing.   So now it will be back to basics on the training ground as the Manager assembles his line up for the first League match at home to Farnborough next Saturday.   Promoted from the lower league last season Farnborough who were former members of the Football Conference prior to demotion and reformation are an ambitious Club and likely to present St Neots with a stiff opening challenge to the 2017/18 season.   Bedford was clearly the better of the two sides in the opening 45 minutes and almost all the early attacks came from their superior possession.   Devante Stanley might have done better in the third minute when he lofted his shot high over the bar and on the quarter hour a clever through ball from Bradley Woods-Garness freed up Lee Roach behind the St Neots defence.  He took the ball around advancing keeper Mike Emery but his net bound shot was cleared off the line by Taylor Parr.   Both Andrew Phillips and Woods-Garness fired over the bar after good moves had outwitted the St Neots defence and St Neots were struggling to create any significant openings.   However, after 32 minutes and totally against the run of play St Neots went ahead when Scott Sinclair was cynically brought down from behind to earn St Neots a free kick twenty yards from goal and full back Jack Bradshaw stepped up to fire low past visiting keeper Adam Harper with the assistance of a slight deflection.   Liam McDevitt then miskicked in front of goal after good work by Ryan Horne and the half ended with Phillips having one shot deflected and a second find the side netting as the visitors strove for an equalizing goal.   After the break, they did not have long to wait to reap their deserts.   After 48 minutes’ the best goal of the match was created by substitute Matty Clifford who beat his marker to set up Devante Stanley who curled a delightful shot well wide of substitute St Neots goalkeeper Dom Ruggerio.   That might have boosted the confidence of the visitors but St Neots were now showing better teamwork.  However, they could have gone behind after 58 minutes when a clever attacking move saw another substitute Ben Sawyer move inside to set up Lee Roach but once again Parr got back behind his beaten keeper to clear off the line.   Three minutes later St Neots regained the lead as the lively Scott Sinclair robbed a defender on the bye line and accurately picked up Dylan Williams’ late run into the penalty area and he finished confidently.   Now back in front St Neots looked more composed and Sinclair sent two efforts over the bar before Williams netted but was ruled offside.   Multi substitutions followed by both sides and after 74 minutes a mistake by Ruggerio presented Roach with an open goal but Parr got back to complete his hat trick of goal line clearances.  Omar Naseri might have earned Bedford a draw after wriggling through the St Neots defence but his finish was wide and the match petered out with Bedford having more possession but St Neots defended well to hang on for their victory.   Claire Howes's Photo Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/   SNTtv Goal Footage can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKbwdBcGujU     St Neots Town:  Emery, O’Malley, Bradshaw, Horne, McDevitt, Parr, Sinclair, Hyem, Watson, Williams (D), Foy   Subs:  Williams (A), Muzvimbiri, Mitchell, Holman and Hiscock.   Bedford Town:  Harper, Cooper, Brown, McKenzie-Lowe, Milenge, Peters, Woods-Garness, Auger, Roach, Stanley, Phillips   Subs:  Sawyer, Moli, Grant, Naseri, Walker and Clifford.   Referee:  Ellis Mills (Yaxley)     John Walker
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 21:36
Pre-Season Friendly   ST NEOTS TOWN         4       MANSFIELD TOWN XI      1       St Neots’ penultimate pre-season friendly against a youthful but very accomplished Mansfield Town Academy XI was a very useful workout and it produced their fifth victory in eight warm-up matches.   Again, loan striker Matt Foy made his mark with two well-taken goals and apart from the concession of a second half penalty kick, the reshaped defence looked sound and secure against a pacey attack.   With just one more warm-up before the season proper on Saturday week, Manager Matt Clements must now have a clearer view of his first-choice line-up despite the absence of some potential squad regulars from this match.   Minor first half injuries to Luke Knight and Scott Sinclair and expected to clear up in time for selection for the opening visit of promoted Farnborough FC on 12 August.   Right from the start St Neots looked capable of dictating the pattern of play.   Matt Foy turned smartly in the area after good work by Ryan Horne to shoot narrowly wide and Scott Sinclair brought a smart save from visiting keeper Harrison Davidson.  However, St Neots early momentum was disrupted after 15 minutes when Luke Knight limped off injured to be replaced by utility player Tom Wood.   Wood have played the whole of last season in the centre of the defence but he slotted in confidently and efficiently in midfield proving how important his place in the squad will be.   Mansfield’s only notable first half attack after 20 minutes forced St Neots custodian Evan Jeckells to swiftly leave his area to clear but this was an isolated threat and five minutes later St Neots first expected goal arrived as Sinclair crossed from the left and Danny Watson timed his run to the near post perfectly to head over the stranded goalkeeper.   Watson could have then trebled his haul in the next six minutes but he volleyed wide when Dylan Williams spotted him unmarked at the far post and he then headed wide from a Horne cross.   St Neots continued to create openings keeping Davidson in constant action and there was some concern when Sinclair was helped off with a facial injury a minute before the break not to return.   St Neots introduced their two remaining substitutes after the break bringing on Andre Williams for Sinclair and Harry O’Malley for Johnny Herd in a straight swap.   The best move of the match after 54 minutes produced the best goal of the match as Foy (twice) and Watson combined to shred the visiting defence and when Foy was upended in the area Dylan Williams stepped up to confidently dispatch the penalty kick to make it 2-0.   Now St Neots looked further in control and two minutes later Watson unselfishly nodded down a Dylan Williams cross and Matt Foy claimed his third goal in two appearances for St Neots.  Both second half substitutes Harry O’Malley and Andre Williams went close to further increasing St Neots lead whilst at the other end substitute Iywrah Gooden forced a smart save from Evan Jeckells.   However, the visitors refused to submit and after 72 minutes Riley O’Sullivan broke into the penalty area to be brought down by Horne and the same visiting player got up to rap home the penalty kick for the visitors’ consolation goal.   There was still time for the home side and Matt Foy to have the last word as Dylan Williams set up Foy for the fourth St Neots goal a minute from time.   St Neots:  Jeckells, Bradshaw, Herd, Horne, McDevitt, Parr, Foy, Knight, Watson, Williams (D), Sinclair   Subs:  Williams (A), O’Malley and Wood   Mansfield:  Davidson, Shone, Bennett, Walker, Gibbens. Johnson, Bircumshaw, Morgan, Sarson, Dumbleton, Cornell   Subs:  Mars, O’Sullivan, Briggs, Gooden and Weston.   Referee:  Josh Smith     John Walker
Thursday, 27 April 2017 08:38
Huntingdonshire Senior Cup Final (at the Premier Plus Stadium) ST NEOTS TOWN         0        EYNESBURY ROVERS         1     Eynesbury Rovers crowned an excellent season making up for their disappointment of not sustaining a League title challenge by beating Step Three neighbors St Neots Town in the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup Final.   It was the first time for 15 years that they had been County Champions and to do so they had beaten the other Step Three side reigning Trophy holders, St Ives Town, in the semi-final.   After achieving their highest ever league finish Rovers were determined to finish their season in this fashion and on the night, they fully merited their victory.   St Neots were without two of their injured stars – both strikers, Jevani Brown and Declan Rogers – who had scored almost a half of their sides’ goals between them this season but they never performed to their potential and Eynesbury goalkeeper Jamie Greygoose one of several ex-Saints in the Rovers side, had a very comfortable evening, seldom called upon.   Overall it was a disappointing spectacle for the healthy sized crowd, that never produced the pulsating football expected of a cup final and what turned out to be the winning goal was the only really controversial moment in the 90 minutes.   It came two minutes before half time when a Jack Warwick corner was not cleared and Jack Uttridge lifted the ball back into the area where Tom Coles challenged goalkeeper Alex Archer in the air.   The ball finished up in the net as Archer was clattered to the ground with St Neots confidently expecting a free kick.   However, Referee Hallum Cutmore after a glance across at his Assistant pointed back to the centre spot and the goal stood. The match had almost seen a dramatic start when after just 26 seconds Jordan Brown threaded a pass between the St Neots centre backs and Tom Coles stretched to get a toe to the ball but saw it pass the wrong side of a post.   The game then settled into a sort of cat and mouse affair with Rovers the more positive and constructive side and St Neots defending resolutely but failing to create chances of their own.   Coles headed wide from a Warwick corner whilst at the other end Taylor Parr headed down a St Neots corner but no forward was able to capitalize.  Ten minutes before the break Rovers had the best chance of the match when the St Neots defence was caught out of position and Alex Archer had to produce an outstanding triple save to block consecutive close range efforts from Jordan Brown and Warwick (twice).  However, that was the sum-total of the first half excitement and the visiting side went to half time with that slender one goal advantage. The second half was marginally better for the first twenty minutes with Rovers still in the ascendancy and St Neots solitary effort a volley from Tom Wood that sailed over the bar.  The industrious Micky Hyem then brought his only significant save from Greygoose with a low snap shot pushed for a corner and there was a clutch of yellow cards as the two sides signaled their determination not to succumb.   Eynesbury clearly settled for their narrow advantage as the half wore on and St Neots utilized all three available substitutes to little effect and it was not until added time at the end of the game that another goal looked probable.   Then Eynesbury substitute Allan Owen was presented with an unexpected opening in a breakaway attack but he lifted his effort high over the bar and then at the other end Greygoose was perfectly placed to save a header from Lewis Wilson.   St Neots were left to reflect on their major feat of retaining their Step Three status but having been beaten in three of their four Cup competitions by lower graded opposition they must work under the heading ‘must do better’ next season!   St Neots:  Archer, Butler, Herd, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Norman, Bell-Toxtle, Wilson, Hyem, Tricks Subs:   Knowles (for Norman 46 mins), Partridge (for Butler 69 mins), Nurettin (for Tricks 83 minutes), Williams and Dean. Cards:  Hyem (Y – 26), Clarke (Y – 55), Knowles (Y – 82) Goals:  none   Eynesbury:  Greygoose, Moyes, Uttridge, Woodend, Duckett (J), Duckett (R), Brown, Warwick, Bream, Coles, Smith. Subs: Owen (for Smith 46 mins), Thorpe, Mason, Walton, Mackrell. Cards:  Smith (Y – 45+3), Brown (Y – 63), Woodend (Y – 80), Greygoose (Y – 82) Goal: Coles (43 mins)   Attendance: 440 Referee: Hallum Cutmore   John Walker
Sunday, 23 April 2017 11:20
  Southern League Premier Division      CAMBRIDGE CITY       3        ST NEOTS TOWN        0   It was perhaps fortunate that the outcome of this final match in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division match wasn’t  to determine the future of St Neots at Step Three as it did their hosts.   As a result of the heroics of the six-point Easter weekend when St Neots secured their survival they had three key players pick up injuries that confined them to the bench for this significant deciding match.  Skipper Micky Hyem, leading scorer Jevani Brown and Lee Clarke were all sidelined although the latter made a brief substitute appearance.   Into their place, Manager Matt Clements drafted in striker James Tricks and two inexperienced youngsters Erhan Nurettin and Saul Williams, each for their first senior start and both did well but the overall level of experience in the side showed to St Neots’ detriment.   Unlucky Cambridge did all they could have done to further their cause staying undefeated in their six final matches and deservedly winning this contest by three goals to nil but elsewhere three points for Kings Langley and one for Dorchester kept those two sides safely above the drop zone.   So, St Neots survive at this level, despite having the second worst defensive record in the Division, and picking up the same number of points (48) as last season. St Neots lined up with three at the back as they had in recent games but they came up against early pressure when after six minutes Lee Stevenson intelligently saw St Neots slow to group to defend a free kick and he quickly released Norman Wabo to open the scoring from a narrow angle.   St Neots tried hard to get back into the game but despite enjoying the better possession their finishing was inconclusive.   A close-range effort by Lewis Wilson was deflected over the crossbar and winning five corners in the first twenty minutes they were unable to capitalize with the best effort a Jonny Butler header that flew harmlessly wide.   Erhan Nurettin picked out Taylor Parr with a free kick but he failed to test home keeper Dean Snedker and then Saul Williams fired over the bar.   The half ended with James Tricks also wide of the target after more impressive play by Nurettin. Although Cambridge had been unimpressive in the first half never looking like increasing their advantage they looked a different side after the break.   Full back Ben Robinson up in support of his attack looked to have doubled the lead with a shot that beat Alex Archer but Taylor Parr got back to clear off the line and then from a Lee Stevenson corner, former St Neots defender Jordan Gent was left unmarked at the far post but he headed wide.   Now Cambridge was dominating and Salim Relizani sent in a dangerous low shot that was deflected for a corner.   Then on the hour from another Stevenson cross Jordan Gent was again left with too much room at the far post and this time his finish was accurate to make it 2-0.  St Neots attacking was sporadic and not very convincing although Jonny Herd saw a net bound shot blocked but after 74 minutes the outcome was effectively decided as some very slack defending let in Norman Wabo for his second goal of the match.   Substitutions followed and Cambridge clearly settled for what they had achieved and the match might have fizzled out but for a late controversial incident.   With his back to goal Dan Walker went down under a challenge from Parr and having awarded a soft free kick the Referee changed his mind and dramatically pointed to the penalty spot to St Neots’ disbelief.   Wabo was given the chance to complete his first City hat trick but Archer parried his kick and also the follow up attempt.   Then came the news that City’s victory was insufficient to save them from relegation.   St Neots wind up their season on Wednesday evening in the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup Final against UCL neighbors Eynesbury Rovers at the Premier Plus Stadium (kick off 1945 hrs)   St Neots:  Archer, Norman, Herd, Butler, Wood, Parr, Nurettin, Bell-Toxtle, Wilson, Tricks, Williams (S) Subs:   Clarke (for Williams 74 mins), Hyem, Brown Partridge and Dean. Cards:  none Goals:  none   Cambridge:  Snedker, Robinson, Cooper, Paterson, Gent, Williams (J), Snaith, Stevenson,Walker, Wabo, Relizani Subs:  Foy (for Snaith 74 mins), Sharman (for Paterson 82 mins), Foxley (for Wabo 87 mins), Osei and Norman. Cards:  Robinson (Y – 47) Goals: Wabo 2 (6 & 74 mins), Gent (60 mins)   Attendance: 442 Referee: Dean Appleby (Bourne)   John Walker  
Monday, 17 April 2017 19:58
Southern League Premier Division   ST NEOTS TOWN       2         DUNSTABLE TOWN      0       St Neots secured their place at Step Three in the National League system next season with this workmanlike victory over visitors Dunstable Town.   A goal in each half was enough against a side that offered little in terms of attacking play and had the woodwork not saved the visitors twice, the victory would have been even more convincing.   Dunstable had little to play for with their berth at this level assured but St Neots knew that three points would be sufficient regardless of results elsewhere.   They now go into their final league match at St Ives with lodgers Cambridge City who must win to stay up and that would be dependent on the results of Kings Langley (away at relegated Cirencester) and Dorchester (away at Stratford).   St Neots had paved the way for their survival with that unexpected but deserved victory over League champions Chippenham forty-eight hours earlier so this result just rounded off a significant finish to the season with this being only their third clean sheet in the league this season.   Manager Matt Clements was able to name an unchanged starting line up with James Tricks returning from suspension on the substitutes bench. The visitors began well as St Neots struggled to find an early rhythm.   In the first twenty minutes, all St Neots had to offer was a Jevani Brown volley that sailed harmlessly over the crossbar but Dunstable might have scored through Claudio Diaz who sent a free kick in a dangerous position wide of target and then Bradley Hewitt won a corner in the air but put his effort over the crossbar.   Gradually St Neots seemed to shed their nerves with Brown leading the way picking up a Declan Rogers cross to shoot just over.   Then Rogers hit a 30 yards’ free kick past the keeper only to see the ball rebound from a post and Brown followed up to force a full length save by Jack Smith.   Now St Neots were well in control and skipper Micky Hyem saw a volley blocked and Lewis Wilson saw a volley rebound from the woodwork.   The important breakthrough came on 34 minutes when a teasing Rogers free kick was won in the air by Lee Clarke who powered home a header for only his second goal of the season.   Dunstable replied with a rather untidy attack that saw Tom Wood clear off the line but St Neots fully deserved their slender half time advantage. As in the first half Dunstable made a determined start after the break.   Alex Archer who had been largely untested in the first 45 minutes did well two minutes after half time to paw away a cross from Diaz with players lined up at the far post and then from a Harry Bean cross, Josh Oynisan won the ball in the air but headed over.   St Neots then began to regain their control with Tom Knowles on for the limping Rogers after 59 minutes and he was straight into the action picking out Lewis Wilson whose cross was put over the bar by Fernando Bell-Toxtle.  Archer did have to save at full stretch from substitute Adam Moussi and the hard-working Bell-Toxtle had another opening which he directed into the side netting.  St Neots then saw out the final ten minutes in relative comfort with Brown being brought down in the area by the goalkeeper with six minutes left.   The goalkeeper deservedly picked up a caution at Brown tucked away the penalty – his nineteenth goal in twenty matches – to clinch the points and St Neots survival.   St Neots:  Archer, Norman, Butler, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Rogers, Bell-Toxtle, Wilson, Hyem, Brown Subs:   Knowles (for Rogers 59 mins), Tricks (for Wilson 65 mins), Partridge (for Bell-Toxtle 86 minutes), Williams and Dean. Cards:  Hyem (Y – 22)   Goals:  Clarke (34 mins), Brown – pen (84 mins)   Dunstable:  Smith, Reynolds, Bean, Longe-King, Hewitt, Pepera, Verney, Diaz, Oyinsan, Green (J), Olukanmi   Subs:  Moussa (for Verney 63 mins), Odofin (for Diaz 65 mins), Esso (for Olukanmi (81 mins), Green (D) and Fontonelle.   Cards:  Smith (Y – 84), Oyinsan (Y – 88), Reynolds (Y – 45+3)   Goals: none Attendance: 307   Referee: Tom Donnelan (Leighton Buzzard)   John Walker
Sunday, 16 April 2017 09:05
Southern League Premier Division      CHIPPENHAM TOWN       1        ST NEOTS TOWN        2    The Biggleswade victory over Leamington on Good Friday had handed Chippenham the Southern League Premier Division Championship and a place in the National League South next season and so St Neots were supposed to play the supporting role as the home side and their huge crowd celebrated their first ever place at Step Two in the football pyramid.   However, the visitors had issues of their own with their place in the Premier Division next season still at stake and so they produced a gargantuan display to return home from Wiltshire labelled as party-poopers.   So, with three of the four teams below then all winning over the weekend St Neots remain four points above the drop with just two matches remaining.   It was an all-round team performance with goal ace Jevani Brown again producing the goals to take his personal tally to eighteen in just nineteen matches but each player put in a valuable shift on the day to earn the three priceless points against a side unbeaten in their last twenty-three matches.  The one team change saw Jonny Butler come in at full back for the unavailable Jonny Herd. The St Neots players formed a guard of honor to welcome their hosts onto the pitch at the start of the match but that is where the hospitality finished.   Lining up in an attacking 4-3-3 formation St Neots took the game to the Bluebirds from the start and had much the better of the first half.   After Alex Archer had to save at the feet of David Pratt in the first attack of the game St Neots settled quickly to their game plan and reward came early after just ten minutes when Taylor Parr headed a long clearance from goalkeeper Darren Chitty back over the heads of the defence and with a burst of speed Jevani Brown won the ball to lob over the advancing goalkeeper.   St Neots then took over as Lee Clarke did his best to find his way onto the score sheet heading wide before bringing a good save from Chitty with a clever lob, and then rifling a low shot through the defence just the wrong side of a post.  The only real threat from Chippenham came from set pieces with Jamie Andrews testing Archer from a free kick and Will Richards heading over from a corner by Matt Smith.  Just past the half hour Chitty had to dive full length to push away a well-directed effort by Brown and Lewis Wilson shot wide.   The half ended with Archer saving comfortably from Matt Smith and St Neots went to the break well deserving of their advantage. Within 35 seconds of the restart there was high drama as Jevani Brown was brought down by Chitty in the penalty area and after receiving lengthy treatment the keeper looked very lucky only to receive a yellow card but Brown calmly slotted home the resultant spot kick to double St Neots’ lead.   Chippenham were then clearly a side on a mission as they threw on two attacking substitutes and clearly went for goal.   Now St Neots defence was tested but with Tom Wood and Taylor Parr in superb ariel control St Neots weathered the storm for around 25 vital minutes.   On the break, St Neots almost scored again when Brown was played clear by Wilson but Chitty saved with his legs.   Matt Smith headed over the bar after Archer had misjudged a cross and after 71 minutes the Bluebirds were back in the game when after a further spell of pressure and three successive corners Alex Ferguson was perfectly placed to crash home after a great run by Pratt.   Less than a minute later Pratt again eluded defenders to go clear but Archer left his line to block at his feet.   Declan Rogers had a shot blocked at the other end and Chitty made up for his earlier error by producing a full length save from Wilson.   In the last five minutes plus no less than eight minutes added time St Neots began to look more comfortable and created two late chances with Clarke having his shot blocked and Brown setting up Hyem whose shot was pushed away by Chitty.  And then the celebrations for both sides began - St Neots for their victory – Chippenham for their title. St Neots:  Archer, Norman, Butler, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Rogers, Bell-Toxtle, Wilson, Hyem, Brown Subs:   Partridge (for Rogers 83 mins), Knowles, Williams and Dean. Cards:  Hyem (Y – 81) Goals:  Brown 2 (10 & 46 mins – pen)   Chippenham:  Chitty, Bowman, Felix, Baggridge, Tindle, Richards, Ferguson, Smith, Pratt, Andrews, Guthrie Subs:  Jones (for Felix 55 mins), Horgan (for Baggridge 55 mins), Pook (for Bowman 73 mins), Beeden and Allen Cards:  Chitty (Y – 46) Goal: Ferguson (71 mins) Attendance: 1146 Referee: Stephen Oakey (Cheltenham)     John Walker
Sunday, 09 April 2017 15:17
  Southern League Premier Division   ST NEOTS TOWN       2         MERTHYR TOWN       3         St Neots suffered their tenth home defeat of the season as they were searching for points to ensure their survival at Step Three.   However, it should have been a totally different outcome after they had led 2-1 with just eight minutes remaining.   Clearly Merthyr, looking to preserve their play-off bid, did not know when they were beaten and they broke home hearts with two goals in six minutes at the death.    Manager Matt Clements admitted to being ‘gutted’ by the result and agreed that had his side taken a reasonable percentage of the chances they created all three points were there for the taking.  There was just a single team change with Fernando Bell-Toxtle coming in for Shane Hill who reported sick on the day and he performed extremely well adding pace and determination to St Neots’ midfield.  There was also a birthday goal for Declan Rogers who last league goal was scored on 19th December.   Now a trip to likely League champions Chippenham Town next Saturday is looking a very tall order.   St Neots began in generous mode gifting their visitors with a second minute opener when Taylor Parr stretching to reach an Ian Traylor cross only succeeded in turning the ball past his own goalkeeper.   To their credit, St Neots refused to be fazed by this setback and they set about retrieving the damage in some fashion.   It took just 14 minutes for them to be back on terms as Jevani Brown spotted Fernando Toxtle’s late run into the area and picked him out for him to find Declan Rogers who finished well.   Merthyr looked stunned and were relieved when Jarred Wright cleared a Taylor Parr header off the goal line with his goalkeeper well beaten.   Skipper Micky Hyem then looped in a narrow-angled shot which Oliver Davies stretched to tip on to the bar whilst at the other end two long range efforts by Corey Jenkins were both off target.   The Referee then missed a clear handball in the Merthyr penalty area to St Neots dismay but the home side kept up their pressure and were rewarded after 33 minutes when Lee Clarke met a lengthy Jonny Herd throw to head past Davies for his first goal of the season.   St Neots were now well in control with Lewis Wilson bringing a save from Davies and Jevani Brown just failing to reach a long Herd cross.   St Neots’ half time instructions were clearly ‘more of the same’ but they failed to find the rhythm that had made them so dominant prior to the break.  However, they still created chances with Rogers sending a snap shot just the wrong side of a post, and Jevani Brown being cynically brought down by the keeper when he looked like adding to the lead.   To the surprise of most, the Referee only brandished a yellow card at the lucky custodian and the free kick was cleared.  After an hour Merthyr decided they needed to regenerate their attack sending on all three permitted substitutes and adopting a positive attacking approach.   To some extent this paid off as St Neots were forced back on the defensive and St Neots only real chance of increasing their lead fell to Rogers whose volley was brilliantly turned away by Davies at full stretch.   With just eight minutes remaining Merthyr won two successive corners and from the second floated in by Scott Barrow, defender Jarred Wright got the vital touch from close range to level the scores.   Now the initiative was firmly with the visiting side and they set up further late attacks with both Keyon Reffell and substitute Kyle Copp bringing saves from Alex Archer.   However, with two minutes left Merthyr poached the winning goal as a long throw by Barrow was only cleared as far as Ian Traylor on the edge of the penalty area and he fired a low shot through a crowd of players for the winning goal.     St Neots:  Archer, Norman, Herd, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Rogers, Bell-Toxtle, Wilson, Hyem, Brown   Subs:   Knowles (for Wilson 86 mins), Partridge Williams and Butler   Cards:  Parr (Y – 72)   Goals:  Rogers (14 mins), Clarke (33 mins)       Merthyr:  Davies (O), Davies (A), Barrow, Evans, Wright, Tancock, Jenkins, Richards, Prosser, Reffells, Traylor   Subs:  Patton (for Prosser 60 mins), Copp (for Jenkins 60 mins), Bull (for Tancock 60 mins), Harris and Bowen   Cards:  Davies (O) (Y – 59)   Goals: Taylor Parr OG (2 minutes), Jarred Wright (82 mins), Ian Traylor (88 mins)     Attendance: 187   Referee: Paul Forrester (Luton)       John Walker  
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