Sunday, 02 October 2016 10:49
     ST NEOTS TOWN       3        EAST THURROCK UNITED      2        With both sides out of the FA Cup and idle a swiftly arranged friendly match proved a real boost for out of sorts St Neots as they hosted and beat East Thurrock United from the National League South.   It was a match played in a very good spirit with lots of attacking play from both sides and St Neots used the occasion to introduce a handful of new players two of which looked very promising.   Sam Mulready signed from Stamford led the attack with energy and was unlucky not to feature on the score sheet and Frenchman Nassim L’Ghoul looked pacey and inventive but will have to await International clearance before making his league debut. Playing a 4-2-4 formation St Neots looked sharp from the start with Micky Hyem firing narrowly wide and L’Ghoul setting up Declan Rogers whose shot was blocked.   The visitors then went ahead after nine minutes when James Walker assisted by some sloppy defending scored from a narrow angle.   Both Mulready and Rogers had shots blocked as St Neots grew in confidence and they levelled after 34 minutes when Peter Clark’s shot took a deflection after clever approach play by L’Ghoul and Rogers.   Six minutes later St Neots deservedly went in front when a delightful flick by Ryan Hawkins took out two defenders and Rogers confidently rounded visiting keeper Lukas Lidakevicius to send his side to half time in pole position.  Both sides introduced a host of substitutes after the break but it made little difference to the pace and competitive nature of the contest.   Just seven minutes after the restart the scores were levelled for the second time when the visitors were awarded a very contentious penalty kick when substitute Joe Gardner was impeded by Jordan Heywood and another substitute Ben Marlow rapped home from the spot.   Again St Neots showed a good attitude to be unfazed by the setback and only three minutes later substitute Tom Spark went past his marker on the left before curling in a sublime chip that went over the keeper and in off the far post.   Hawkins then shot narrowly over the bar and when the second half settled St Neots looked comfortably the better side creating most of the scoring chances.   Mulready twice deserved goals when he had one shot blocked on the line with the visiting keeper on the ground and then shot narrowly wide after more good work by Hawkins.   The nearest the visitors came to a late equalizer saw Alex Archer save at full stretch from James Agis.   It may only have been a friendly but the result and performance will have boosted St Neots’ confidence.   St Neots:  Archer, Smith, a trialist, Hyem, Ward (T), Ward (C), Hawkins, Clark, Mulready, Rogers, L’Ghoul Second Half Subs:   Heywood, Wood, Parr, Spark, Hobbs + two trialists Goals:  Clark (34 mins), Rogers (40 mins), Spark (55 mins).   Referee: Gary Wilson   John Walker      
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:07
  Southern League Premier Division   HITCHIN TOWN      4       ST NEOTS TOWN      1        This latest defeat means that St Neots have now gone eight league and cup matches without a win and it is early to be pushing the panic button but an improvement in results is badly required.   Hitchin is seldom a happy hunting ground for the Saints and so it proved on this occasion for they only really competed effectively for the first half hour after which the home side looked completely in control.   Without the suspended Taylor Parr and unavailable James Hall – now to join Parr on suspension – St Neots seemed have few alternative selection options and with Rogan McGeorge and Jonny Hall both injured in this match the immediate prospects do not look promising.   Micky Hyem and Jordan Patrick were restored to the starting line-up for this match with Declan Rogers having to forge a one-man battle with the Hitchin defence up front.   Tactically St Neots must adopt a more positive attacking approach because their defence is under constant pressure and their lack of forward selection options is beginning to weigh heavy.   Even a first goal of the season from skipper Tom Ward was only scant reward from an overall performance that delivered little pleasure for the visiting support. St Neots began well enough with Miles Smith freeing Declan Rogers but his shot was comfortably saved by Michael Johnson and then from a deep cross by Jordan Patrick, Ryan Hawkins’ head was too high.   There was an early departure from the fray by Rogan McGeorge who limped off after nine minutes to be replaced by utility player Tom Wood.  Then in their first real attempt on goal Hitchin were ahead with a well created goal as Brett Donnelly picked out Ben Walster on a surprise overlap and his perfectly weighted cross picked out Matt Lench to open the scoring.   St Neots tried to reply with the hard working Rogers shooting across the face of goal and they levelled the contest after 16 minutes when from a Rogers corner Tom Ward rose imperiously above the defence to head home.   Sadly, that was as good as it got because Hitchin then began to take advantage of their superior possession as the visitors filtered back in defence.  Ironically on a break St Neots might have taken the lead when Walster was alert to clear off the line from Rogers whilst at the other end Archer saved from Robbie Burns and Lench.   Then four minutes before the break Hitchin regained the lead when Will Wright was allowed to run almost unchallenged from the half way line to poke a low shot below the diving Archer. Six minutes after the restart Ryan Hawkins was brought down on the edge of the area affording St Neots a good chance but the free kick was hit into the defensive wall and shortly after Jonny Hall was replaced by inexperienced youngster Jordan Heywood making his first appearance of the season.   After 59 minutes the visitors gifted Hitchin a third goal when a misplaced back pass by Jordan Patrick was seized on by Brett Donnelly who unselfishly set up the unmarked Robbie Burns for a simple tap-in finish.   Brett Donnelly continued to be a thorn in the side of the St Neots defence firing wide from a free kick and then forcing Archer to smother at his feet whilst at the other end St Neots main attacking ploy of high crosses into the Hitchin box was easily countered by home keeper Johnson who dominated in the air.   The fourth goal that cemented the home victory came sixteen minutes from time when Burns won the ball in midfield and sent Lewis McBride wide down the flank and then was in perfect positioning to get in front of Archer to win the cross and score at the near post.   To compound St Neots misery Heywood picked up an unlucky booking when he slipped and fell on the ball to concede a handball offence and they must now regroup for another Saturday off to prepare for their home League Cup fixture next week. St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward (T), Ward (C), Hawkins, Clark, Rogers, Hyem, Patrick Subs:  Wood (for McGeorge 9 mins),Heywood (for Hall 56 mins),Spark (for Hyem 70 mins), Hobbs and Mason. Cards:  Hyem (Y – 17), Heywood (Y – 76) Goals:  Ward (T) (16)   Hitchin:  Johnson, Wright, Walster,Ann, Webb, Rolfe, McBride, Kirkpatrick,Donnelly (B), Burns, Lench Subs:  Donnelly (C) (for Ann 64 mins), Verney (for Donnelly (B) 70 mins), Barnes (for McBride (81 mins), Smith and Pearson. Cards:  Donnelly (B) (Y – 54) Goals:  Burns 2 (59 & 73), Lench (12), Wright (41) Attendance: 305 Referee: Conor Farrell (Aldgate)   John Walker          
Sunday, 25 September 2016 12:36
  Southern League Premier Division   DORCHESTER TOWN      1       ST NEOTS TOWN      0         After their difficult 176 mile journey through hold-ups on motorways and past several accidents St Neots trip to Dorchester could have been made in vain after just 14 minutes’ play when striker James Hall was shown his second yellow card and his side reduced to ten men.  However, the visitors rolled up their sleeves and pushed aside the numbers deficit and marginally looked the better side throughout.   But they did concede the single goal that condemned them to their sixth league defeat leaving them in a relegation spot in the Premier Division of the Southern league.  Their plight was largely thanks to the performance of Swindon Referee Philip Staynings who issued three yellow cards and a red in the first fourteen minutes of a match that still had to get going.   In a contest that did not contain one bad challenge he totaled up eight cautions and left both Managers very disappointed with his performance.   Manager Andy Davies preferred to concentrate on the performance of his team saying that ‘had we had eleven players on the field it was a performance that would surely have brought us three points’.   However, discipline is a problem he must now face because player suspensions will surely affect the results as the season progresses.   With Taylor Parr in the middle of a five match ban he brought in defender Charlie Ward on a dual registration with Sleaford Town of the UCL, brother of skipper Tom, to play alongside him in defence and he was one of the players who can be proud of their performance on the day.  In the other team change Miles Smith returned in defence. Before any notable action had occurred the Referee had booked a player on each side for trivial first offences and St Neots were reduced to ten men.   It was 24 minutes before there was a credible attempt on goal and that came from 35 yards from Dory Yates whose shot beat visiting goalkeeper Alex Archer but rebounded from the crossbar to be cleared.   There was only limited goalmouth action in the first half but Archer did well to race from his line to block at the feet of Ben Wood who was clear of the defence and late in the half he pushed a Nathan Walker header for a corner after Wood had rounded his marker.   In between St Neots best first half effort came from Declan Rogers cleverly set up by Tom Wood but his shot was blocked by Matt Oldrin After a quiet first half both Managers decided to pep things up sending on two pairs of fresh legs after the break.  St Neots introduced Dom Mason for Jonny Hall who was struggling with an old injury and they also sent on Jordan Patrick for Tom Wood.   It was Dorchester who claimed the immediate benefit for less than two minutes after restart a Neil Martin cross was too long but it was retrieved by Mark Jermyn whose return cross saw Nathan Walker rise high above the defence to head home.   St Neots tried some quick retaliation and Declan Rogers now pushed forward to lead the attack skillfully controlled a through pass from Ryan Hawkins but saw his volley hit the diving goalkeeper to be cleared.   Hawkins was then clearly brought down in the penalty area by Martin but to the amazement of the visitors the Referee booked the St Neots player for diving.   A loose intended back pass by Miles Smith only played Walker clear of the defence but Archer blocked bravely at his feet and then Martin who had previously been booked looked very fortunate to be let off with only a severe verbal warning when he deliberately halted a Hawkins surge towards goal deliberately body checking the St Neots player.  The final fifteen minutes saw St Neots laying siege to the Dorchester goal in search of an equaliser.   Home keeper Shane Murphy led a charmed life heading away a Rogers shot that he misjudged and then having substitute Nick Swann to clear off the line from Rogers.   Dorchester blatantly wasting time hung on to that narrow advantage to claim all three points to climb above their visitors in the table.    St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward (T), Ward (C), Hawkins, Clark, James Hall, Wood (T), Rogers Subs:  Mason (for Jon Hall 46 mins), Patrick (for Wood 46 mins), Spark (for Hawkins 82 mins), Hobbs and Hyem. Cards:  James Hall (RED – 14 – 2 yellow 13 & 14), Wood (T) (Y – 5), Hawkins (Y – 59), Rogers (Y – 73) Goals:  none   Dorchester:  Murphy, Jermyn, Smeeton, Martin, Oldring, Dillon, Yates, Morgan, Walker, Mateus, Wood (B) Subs:  Swann (for Morgan 46 mins), Bassett (for Wood (B) 46 mins), Jerrard (for Yates 68 mins), Sayers and Solomon-Ayunga Cards:  Morgan (Y – 6), Martin (Y – 60), Smeeton (Y – 89) Goals:  Walker (47)   Attendance: 318 Referee: Philip Staynings (Swindon)   John Walker          
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 09:37
  Southern League Premier Division ST NEOTS TOWN      1       KETTERING TOWN      5   St Neots suffered their biggest home defeat for two years at the hands of a slick and determined visiting Kettering side who now boast the best away record in the Division.   Their chief tormentor was Spencer Weir-Daley who scored a superb hat trick of well taken goals in 50 mins either side of half time.   St Neots were without Taylor Parr who was beginning a lengthy spell of suspension and his replacement Tom Wood was under constant pressure at the heart of the home defence.  However, there was one bright spot in defeat – the return to form of Ryan Hawkins who was back to his best on St Neots right flank crowning his performance with the best of the six goals that were scored.   The other St Neots team change saw the return of Rogan McGeorge in midfield with Jordan Patrick on the bench.  St Neots will have a swift opportunity to make amends for their second successive home defeat because Kettering return to the Premier Plus Stadium in three weeks’ time in the first round of this season’s Red Insure Cup competition. The visitors got off to a flyer as they totally dominated the opening 25 minutes mounting wave after wave of attacks on the home defence.   In the third minute Rene Howe only just failed to get on the end of a James Brighton cross in front of an open goal and then visiting skipper Brett Solkhon was left unmarked ten yards from goal but he sent his header well wide to St Neots’ relief from a Don Langdon cross.   However, the respite lasted only fourteen minutes and then St Neots under pressure keeper Alex Archer failed to hold on to a cross from the right leaving Spencer Weir-Daley with a tap-in finish to open the scoring.   The same player had the ball in the net four minutes later but his effort was ruled out by an offside flag and then Howe flashed a shot inches wide of a post with Archer beaten.   There were brief flashes of defiance notably from Ryan Hawkins who was marauding down the right flank and spraying dangerous crosses into the Kettering box but St Neots were playing with just James Hall up front and he was being outnumbered by defenders.   Hall did go close with one effort that drifted wide but eight minutes before half time Kettering sealed their domination of the half when Nathan Hicks took a clever return pass from Weir-Daley to go clear and beat Archer from a narrow angle.   Worse was to follow five minutes later when Weir-Daley added his second goal when the home defence failed to deal with a cross from the right.   St Neots best first half chance fell to Declan Rogers who shot over after unselfish play by James Hall.   It looked like a different St Neots side that emerged after the interval.   They took the game to their visitors with a brand of attacking football not seen in the first 45 minutes.   Paul White had to go full length to push away a shot from Micky Hyem and James Hall headed straight into the keepers’ arms.  Then after 52 minutes Ryan Hawkins went past two defenders before cutting inside to unleash his first St Neots goal since November last year following his lengthy injury absence.  That seemed to inspire his side and Declan Rogers just failed to reach a Hawkins cross in from of goal as Kettering seemed to buckle.  However, any hopes of a dramatic recovery were cruelly crushed after 68 minutes when in a rare breakaway attack Weir-Daley completed his hat trick with the St Neots defence caught short.  St Neots sent on substitute Jordan Patrick and he looked very lively down the left as St Neots strived to chase what was effectively a lost cause and he brought a good save from White before setting up James Hall for a shot that flew wide.   Hawkins then found the head of James Hall who again could not find the target and the match ended disappointingly as Kettering plundered a fifth goal against the run of play, Wilson Carvalho looking well offside tapping in from close range.    St Neots:  Archer, Mason, Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward, Wood, Hawkins, Clark, James Hall, Hyem, Rogers Subs:  Patrick (for Rogers 71 mins), Spark (for Hyem 81 mins), Smith, Hobbs and Osborne. Cards:  McGeorge (Y – 37) Goals:  Hawkins (52)   Kettering:  White, Bateman, Langdon, Solkhon, Haran, Mulligan, Carvalho, Weir-Daley, Howe, Hicks, Brighton Subs:  Mohamed (for Langdon 49 mins), Canavan (for Weir-Daley 66 mins), (Hornby for Solkhon), Baker and Hill. Cards:  none Goals:  Weir-Daley (3) (14, 42 and 68), Hicks (37) and Carvalho (88)   Attendance: 339 Referee: Wayne Porter (Bourne)   John Walker          
Sunday, 04 September 2016 00:00
  FA Cup First Qualifying Round ST NEOTS TOWN   1   STAMFORD AFC   1     (Replay - Tuesday 6th September)   Almost predictably this was St Neots’ fourth consecutive FA Cup draw meaning that on Tuesday they face their fourth replay in three years in the competition.   Although the home side scored first after having the better of the first half a draw was a fair result as the visitors came back strongly in the final half hour.   Both sides created enough chances to snatch victory at the first attempt but the woodwork came to Stamford’s first half rescue and a spectacular second half goal line clearance earned St Neots their second bite of the cherry.  St Neots managed by Assistant Manager Lee Clarke with Andy Davies on holiday opted for two team changes with James Hall returning for Jordan Brown and Tom Spark brought in for his debut at this level leaving Micky Hyem on the bench.   It was the first meeting of the two sides for 17 years with Stamford now plying their trade in the Southern section of the Northern Premier league.   They had defeated UCL outfit Sleaford Town in the previous round whilst this was St Neots first game in the competition.   There was a fairly quiet start to the match with little to note until the eleventh minute when Tom Spark making an early impact burst past two defenders to beat visiting keeper Peter Denton but his shot rebounded off a goalpost.   Sam Mulready had the visitors’ first effort but Alex Archer saved comfortably and then Peter Clark saw his snap shot deflected wide by a defender.  A feature of the match was St Neots preponderance to give the ball away with some very careless passing but Stamford seemed unable to capitalize.   After 21 minutes the lively Jevani Brown appeared very fortunate only to pick up a yellow card after a deliberate shove on St Neots skipper Tom Ward and it was his pace that looked likely to be the biggest test for the St Neots defence.   He found the side netting with one shot before testing Archer with a second but St Neots were shading possession with Rogers firing inches wide and James Hall bringing an excellent save from Denton.   The second half began end to end with Archer having to leave his line smartly to gather the ball at the feet of Brown but after 52 minutes St Neots took the lead.   The ball was swept wide to the industrious Tom Spark and he cut inside to force Denton into parrying his shot and Declan Rogers was quickly in to rap home.   Clark then shot over the bar after more good work by Spark and Stamford responded by reshaping their attack sending on two attacking players.   After 66 minutes Jevani Brown burst into the area to be tripped by Miles Smith who was yellow carded as he conceded the penalty kick.   Brown picked himself up to send Archer the wrong was with his spot kick and the scores were levelled.  St Neots sent on Ryan Hawkins for Jordan Patrick but he still looks some way from fitness.   The Stamford subs both made an impact with Adam Sandy firing over the bar and John King setting up Brown whose shot was saved.   With a quarter of an hour remaining St Neots introduced Jamie Osborne and Micky Hyem but the visitors were beginning to look the slicker side always dangerous on the break.   The last five minutes saw St Neots hanging on as from a Jake Duffy corner Paul Malone had a strong header acrobatically cleared off the line by Declan Rogers and Duffy then fired high over the bar after good work by Jordan Smith.  In added time each side created a late chance – James Hall shooting across the face of goal at one end and Duffy seeing his late effort deflected for a corner.   The replay is at Stamford on Tuesday.   St Neots: Archer, Smith (M), Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward, Parr, Patrick, Clark, James Hall, Rogers, Spark   Subs: Hawkins (for Patrick 69 mins), Hyem (for McGeorge 77 mins), Osborne (for Spark 77 mins), Mason, Nurettin, Wood and Jeckells.   Cards:  Parr (Y – 45), Smith (M) (Y – 66)   Goals:  Rogers (52)       Stamford: Denton, Gordon, Luto, Malone, Miller, Hill, Duffy, Bell, Smith (J), Brown, Mulready   Subs: King (for Bell 62mins), Sandy (for Mulready 62 mins), Brown-Hill (for Brown 88 mins), Batchelor, Hartley and McMillan.   Cards: Brown (Y – 21), Smith (J) (Y – 79)   Goals:  Brown – pen (66)   Attendance: 351   Referee: Robert Evans (Northampton)       John Walker          
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 18:18
  FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay STAMFORD AFC   4   ST NEOTS TOWN   1          For the second time in three years St Neots disappointingly bowed out of the competition at the first hurdle in this midweek replay.  They were outclassed by their hosts who play one level below them at Step Four in the First Division South of the Northern Premier League, in a first half performance that also reduced Andy Davies’ side to playing only for pride in the second 45 minutes.   More worryingly they lost defender Taylor Parr who picked up a straight red card in first half injury time and added two further bookings to a catalogue of indiscipline that will greatly affect the teams’ performance as the suspensions kick in.   After earning this replay with a gritty first half performance three days earlier St Neots never looked like being able to progress despite having Ryan Hawkins back in the side for only his second start this term, with Jordan Patrick left on the bench.   To their credit the ten men did lift their game after the interval and pulled one goal back early in the second half but it was always going to be too little too late.   The match began with St Neots looking out of sorts and forced on to the back foot by a very confident looking Stamford side that included former Saints goalkeeper Paul Bastock after injury.   However, he was forced into only one save of note to make in the ninety minutes.  After ten minutes Jevani Brown latched onto a Delroy Gordon free kick to bring a point blank save from Alex Archer but the respite was brief for six minutes later Stamford were ahead.  Ollie Luto drifted wide right to send a perfectly weighted cross over the square lying St Neots defence and Brown found the net with ease.   Sam Mulready was then left unmarked at the far post but failed to take advantage as Archer saved comfortably.   After 27 minutes the lead was doubled when Tom Spark was dispossessed in midfield and with the defence in disarray Sam Mulready netted from close range.   With James Hall playing up front for the visitors largely on his own St Neots were not creating chances and Stanford grew in confidence and added a further goal for 3-0 four minutes before the break following a corner when Jordan Smith returned the ball to the penalty area and Tom Batchelor rose above the defence to head home.  Any hopes of a credible St Neots response were cancelled out in time added at the end of the first half when Taylor Parr picked up that straight red card for a high challenge.   St Neots had to plug the defensive gap so upon the restart they sacrificed Tom Spark to send on Tom Wood.   It took some time to adjust their game but did try to get an additional player forward to support James Hall and this in essence meant less attacking opportunity for Stamford but left the visitors more vulnerable in defence.   A Jake Duffy free kick in a threatening position was blocked and after 53 minutes a brief glimmer of hope for St Neots as Peter Clark latched on to a Jonny Hall cross to fire home from 25 yards.  However, eight minutes later Stamford reinstated their three goals advantage as St Neots were caught short at the back and Luto’s lengthy throw in was not defended and Jordan Smith netted at the far post from close range.  St Neots defiantly replaced full back Miles Smith with Jordan Brown to add an attacking threat but Stamford responded by pulling back an additional defender happy to sit on their unassailable lead.   A Ryan Hawkins free kick was comfortably saved and with a quarter of an hour remaining a Declan Rogers snap shot rebounded from a post with Bastock beaten.  However, the keeper did have to be at his best to save a narrow angled shot by James Hall at his near post.   The match ended with Stamford happy to soak up St Neots late vain attempts to salvage something from the match and go on to visit Gresley Rovers in the second qualifying round.       St Neots: Archer, Smith (M), Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward, Parr, Hawkins, Clark, James Hall, Rogers, Spark   Subs: Wood (for Spark 46 mins), Jordan Brown (for Smith 68 mins), Osborne, Mason, Hyem, Patrick and Jeckells.   Cards:  Parr (RED – 45 +3), James Hall (Y – 24), Ward (Y – 83)   Goals:  Clark (53)       Stamford: Bastock, Gordon, Luto, Batchelor, Miller, Hill, Duffy, Brown, Smith (J), Mulready, King   Subs: King (for Bell 62mins), Sandy (for Mulready 62 mins), Brown-Hill (for Brown 88 mins), Batchelor, Hartley and McMillan.   Cards: none   Goals:  Brown – (16), Mulready (27), Batchelor (41), Smith (J) (61)   Attendance: 273   Referee: Robbie Dadley (Bedworth)       John Walker          
Sunday, 11 September 2016 17:33
  Southern League Premier Division ST NEOTS TOWN   0   CAMBRIDGE CITY      3   St Neots central defender Taylor Parr picked up his second red card in successive matches – a decision so harsh that even visiting officials agreed it should have been yellow at the worst.   He was penalized for what looked like a straightforward clumsy block on an attacking forward but it was felt he did not deny his opponent of a scoring opportunity hence the confusion and anger at the decision.  It led to St Neots falling to their first home defeat of the season and it was the third time in eight league matches that they have had to play the whole of the second half with ten men.   Parr could now be out for up to six matches which means he will not be able to play until the middle pf October.   Acting boss Lee Clarke made three team changes from the midweek FA Cup defeat preferring Mickie Hyem to Rogan McGeorge in midfield and Dom Mason to Miles Smith in defence with Jordan Patrick returning up front in place of Tom Spark.   Morning rain which continued throughout the match made the surface slippery and it was the visitors who adapted better to the conditions to go on to record only their second league victory this season. Visitors Cambridge City were good value for their fifth win in six visits to St Neots and they laid the foundation for their victory with two goals in the opening eight minutes.   Tunde Adewunmi scored after two minutes with the first effort of the match after Cemal Ramadan had headed on a Dean Mason cross.   Making his debut for Cambridge Mason then added the second goal with a smart finish six minutes later and St Neots had little to offer in reply on the difficult surface.   It could have been even worse for the home side for after 12 minutes Ramadan should have added the third when left unmarked but his low shot rebounded off a post to be cleared.   St Neots were sluggish when they had possession and much of their passing lacked quality often giving the ball away before they had time to develop an attack.  In fact, it was 17 minutes before they had a shot and then the out-of-sorts Ryan Hawkins dragged his shot wide after clever play by James Hall.   The home side then improved and began to shade possession and a swirling free kick by Declan Rogers was punched clear by Enol Ordonez and the keeper then had to smother at the feet of Hawkins after more good work by James Hall.   St Neots seemed to be growing in confidence as half time approached but the controversial sending off left Lee Clarke with some half time reorganisation to consider.   Unlike previous occasions when the side had had to go into the second half with ten men he decided not to bring on a defender but instead opted to defend with three at the back and Cambridge clearly happy to rest on their two goals advantage decided not to go out to challenge this decision.   However, they almost extended their lead eleven minutes after the break when Paul Cooper got the ball in the net from a Jon Kaye cross but he was ruled offside.   St Neots replaced Mickie Hyem with Rogan McGeorge and took the game to their visitors with a James Hall header comfortably saved and a Declan Rogers shot blocked.  The game lost most of its rhythm with a procession of substitutes by either side the result of which was Cambridge looking dangerous on the break.   St Neots with Jordan Brown and Tom Spark on looked to be the most likely side to score but with ten minutes’ remaining Cambridge substitute Charlie Wolfe looking yards offside was allowed to run on unchallenged to a through ball and beat Alex Archer with a low finish.   St Neots were even denied a late consolation goal when Ordonez denied Tom Spark with the save of the match at the expense of a corner.   St Neots:  Archer, Dom Mason, Jon Hall, Hyem, Ward, Parr, Hawkins, Clark, James Hall, Rogers, Patrick Subs:  McGeorge (for Hyem 59 mins), Brown (for Hawkins 64 mins), Spark (for Patrick 72 mins), Smith and Wood. Cards:  Parr (RED – 45), Patrick (Y – 49), McGeorge (Y – 81) Goals:  none Cambridge:  Ordonez, Cooper, Day, Norman, Williams, Femiola, Dean Mason, Kaye, Adewunmi, Ramadan, Okay Subs:  Lopes (for Ramadan 68 mins), Wolfe (for Adewunmi 72 mins), (Loker for Dean Mason), Serrano and Richardson. Cards:  Okay (Y – 44) Goals:  Adewunmi (2), Dean Mason (8), Wolfe (80)   Attendance: 343  Referee: Paul Forrester (Luton)   John Walker  
Monday, 29 August 2016 19:21
  Southern League Premier Division   BIGGLESWADE TOWN      2        ST NEOTS TOWN       0         Biggleswade striker Ineh Effiong carved out a magnificent second goal for his side that effectively clinched all three points in this Bank Holiday encounter.  Throughout the match the beleaguered St Neots defence had no answer to the striker’s strength and pace and their enthusiastic travelling support was left with little to shout about from an overall disappointing performance.   The side seemed drained of the determination and fight they had shown 48 hours earlier in taking a point off the league leaders and Andy Davies must now rebuild the confidence of his team ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup tie.   St Neots were without striker James Hall who was unavailable and he was replaced by Jordan Brown who made little headway against the solid home defence marshalled by another former St Neots player Gavin Hoyte    Davies also shuffled his pack bringing in fit again Jon Hall for Tom Wood and giving Michael Hyem the nod ahead of Ryan Hawkins who still looks a fair way from match fitness. In front of a sizeable shirt-sleeved crowd the first half was fairly evenly balanced with former St Neots player Connor Hall prominent in midfield for the home side.   He headed over the bar in the first real attack of the game and then saw a second effort following a corner blocked on the goal line.  St Neots responded with skipper Tom Ward heading against the cross bar from a Declan Rogers corner but Effiong was beginning to cause problems for the St Neots back line and Taylor Parr had to clear one of his efforts off the line with Alex Archer out of position.   The sides exchanged attacking moves with Rogers shooting narrowly over the bar from a Jordan Brown knock down at one end and Effiong breaking through at the other end to see his effort sail over the bar.   St Neots then had a Jordan Patrick shot parried by Ian Brown and a Taylor Parr header cleared off the line but Effiong had the last word in the first half shooting wide when he should at least have tested Archer. Six minutes after the restart the home side went ahead when a Callum Lewis corner was headed away but only as far as the edge of the penalty area where Connor Hall unleashed a fierce volley that gave Archer no chance.   In a generally good tempered match Connor Hall and Rogan McGeorge were yellow-carded after a mid-pitch flare up but Biggleswade were beginning to get on top with Daniel Clifton and Tony Burnett both shooting narrowly off-target.   The defining moment came on 68 minutes when Effiong playing the lone striker role had to go it alone and he found a burst of pace to outwit the defence and create space to fire home an unstoppable shot past the helpless Archer.   With Ryan Hawkins on for Hyem St Neots needed a swift and positive response but it never came and Archer had to produce the save of the match to deny Mark Coulson who had been given too much space.  Both sides sent on further substitutes – the home side to slow the pattern of play and St Neots to search for inspiration but it was all in vain and Biggleswade deservedly took all three points from this season’s first battle of the A1.   St Neots: Archer, Smith, Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward, Parr, Patrick, Clark, Brown, Hyem, Rogers Subs: Hawkins (for Hyem 59 mins),Wood (for Brown 77 mins),Mason,Butt and Spark. Cards:  McGeorge (Y – 56) Goals:  None   Biggleswade: Brown, Lewis, Perry, Short, Hoyte, Connor Hall, Clifton, Parker, Effiong, Burnett, Coulson Subs: Norman (for Connor Hall 76 mins), Bailey (for Effiong 86 mins), Anderson (for Clifton 90+2 mins), Hunt and Donkin. Cards:  Connor Hall (Y – 56) Goals:  Connor Hall (51), Effiong (68)   Attendance: 345 Referee: Peter Killip (Crystal Palace)   John Walker          
Sunday, 28 August 2016 04:00
  Southern League Premier Division ST NEOTS TOWN       3       CHIPPENHAM TOWN      3   Four goals in the last 23 minutes lifted this match from first half obscurity into a cliff hanger but the end result was about right with St Neots happy to share the spoils after surrendering a two goals lead.   League leaders Chippenham maintained their unbeaten tag whilst St Neots’ relatively inexperienced side will have learned an important lesson about concentration in defence.   The outcome of the match hinged on the visitors’ inspired use of substitutes for it was two of the replacement players that hauled Chippenham back into the match with headed goals when they had trailed by two goals after an hour.   St Neots welcomed back skipper Tom Ward after suspension and he added a solidity to the defence apart from that ninety seconds second half spell when the goals went in.   Also back in the side was Ryan Hawkins after injury The first half was a rather dour affair with the two sides exchanging attacks without really testing either goalkeeper.  A shot wide of target by David Pratt on the turn and a free kick by James Guthrie that landed on the roof of the net summed up the visitors’ best efforts in the first 40 minutes whilst Jordan Patrick had a shot cleared off the line by Greg Tindle and Declan Rogers brought a reflex save from Kent Kaupinnen.   It was however fairly unconvincing until 37th minute when a James Hall shot rolled over the line to give St Neots the lead despite the keeper getting half a hand to the ball.   Chippenham responded with a barrage of attacking play in the five minutes before half time with an Andy Sandell header being pushed over the bar by Alex Archer after both a Pratt shot rebounded from a post and a follow up effort by Sandell came back into play off the crossbar. If the first half had finished with excitement the second half began with more for after ninety seconds James Hall crossed from the left to pick out the unmarked Declan Rogers and he doubled St Neots’ lead.   Both sides sent on substitutes with St Neots seeming to filter back on defence handing the initiative to their visitors who quickly took full advantage.   Sandell saw a dipping shot turned over the bar by Archer and both Nuno Felix and Pratt shot over the bar.   An intuitive lob from the hard-working Peter Clark beat the keeper but also the goal and it was Chippenham utilizing their momentum as they scored twice in ninety seconds to level the scores.   After 67 minutes a cross from Matt Smith found the head of substitute Matt Jones and he made no mistake and in the next attack a Sandell cross reached the unmarked Alan Griffin and he became the second visiting substitute to score.  St Neots settled after these setbacks but found it difficult to pierce the visiting defence and with five minutes’ left Chippenham seemed to have mounted the perfect come-back when Will Richards thundered home another cross by Sandell.  However, St Neots refused to be beaten and inside the final minute a Declan Rogers corner was headed firmly into the net by Taylor Parr to claim his first St Neots goal.   The three goals leaves St Neots as the leading scorers in the Premier Division after six matches and with three wins and a draw from six matches it must be regarded as a satisfactory start.   St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Wood, McGeorge, Ward, Parr, Hawkins, Clark, James Hall, Rogers, Patrick Subs:  Hyem (for Hawkins 54 mins), Mason (for Wood 73 mins), Hobbs (for Patrick 90 mins Butt and Spark Cards:  Hall (Y – 37), Parr (Y – 64) Goals:  Hall (37), Rogers (46), Parr (89)   Chippenham:  Kaupinnen, McCormack, Felix, Pook, Tindle, Richards, Fergusson, Smith, Pratt, Sandell, Guthrie Subs:  Preece (for Guthrie 51 mins), Griffin (for McCormack 51 mins), Jones (for Felix (65 mins), Allen and Jenkinson. Cards:  Sandell (Y – 22), Jones (Y – 78) Goals:  Jones (67), Griffin (68), Richards (85)   Attendance: 222 Referee: Stephen Bates (St Albans)   John Walker  
Sunday, 21 August 2016 13:41
  Weymouth   0         St Neots Town   2 20 August 2016   St Neots bounced back from their midweek reversal at St Ives to return from their long trip to Weymouth with all three points – only their second victory in four visits to the Bob Lucas stadium.   New signing Miles Smith was thrown into the side at right back for his debut with Dom Mason moving forward to midfield in place of Jordan Brown who was on the bench.   Also getting his first taste of Southern League football was recent addition to the squad Janie Osborne who started on the bench.   Weymouth one of the pre-season favourites had made a poor start with just two wins from their four completed league matches and were backed by a noisy crowd of more than 500. The local media described St Neots as ‘a highly capable outfit’ – praise indeed for Andy Davies’ fledgling side and the evenly fought first half saw the home side go close on 19 minutes when Chris Shepherd picked out Sam Jordan whose shot was well smothered by Alex Archer.   Moments later James Hall swivelled to hit a cracking low drive that was deflected behind for a corner.   Just before the half hour mark St Neots took the lead after a period of pressure as Jordan Patrick’s lofted drive went over home keeper Jason Matthews but rebounded from the bar to deflect in off the keeper’s back for an own goal.   Weymouth seemed stunned by this setback and St Neots fully deserved their slender half time advantage. The second half was fairly evenly contested but after 69 minutes the visitors struck what was to prove the decisive blow when Jordan Patrick deservedly registered his first goal for the club to double his sides’ lead.   Declan Rogers created the opportunity with a pin-point pass and although Patrick’s initial effort was parried by Matthews the St Neots player followed in to head the ball over the line.   Weymouth threw on an additional striker in a bid to salvage something from the match but the St Neots back line held firm to deservedly add three further points to their tally and move up to eighth place in the table.   Manager Andy Davies was delighted saying “We knew we had to step things up on the road and I’m very pleased with our first away win.  It was great to see Jordan get off the mark for the club and he took both goals very well.  A clean sheet was a massive bonus as we were keen to tighten up defensively.” St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Jonny Hall, McGeorge, Wood, Parr, Mason, Clark, James Hall, Rogers, Patrick Sub used:Spark for Mason, Osborne for Patrick Subs not used: Brown, Butt, and Hobbs Cautioned: Rogers, Wood and Osborne Attendance:     512 Referee:  Robert Crockle (Bristol)            John Walker  
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