Saturday, 18 August 2018 18:13
SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION St Neots Town     0        Rushall Olympic      1 Statistics are often a good guide in football and in four a half hours this season St Neots have scored just two goals – one of those by a defender from a set piece.   St Neots have goal scorers in their squad but at present their method of creating chances is just not working effectively and their finishing lacks accuracy, and it is an issue that needs immediate attention.  Rushall so far unbeaten this term with two drawn matches prior to the visit to the Premier Plus Stadium, probably just about deserved their win because having accepted a gift goal they showed how to defend their goal and make their slender advantage count.   It was the familiar story of St Neots starting well and having the better of the first 45 minutes but once they had conceded a very sloppy goal they seemed to lack the desire and know-how to retaliate.   For the first time ever in eight Southern League seasons, St Neots fielded a starting unchanged line-up for the third consecutive time at the start of a season but the Manager’s faith in his players probably turned out to be unjustified and changes will surely follow. The end to end start promised goals from one or both sides with Dion Sembie-Ferris hoping to celebrate his 50th senior start for St Neots in a memorable way shooting wide after 12 minutes after good work by James Peters, and at the other end Gurjit Singh cut in to force a corner from a Finlay Iron save.   St Neots then had a let off when Ashley Sammons breached a square lying defense to set up Justin Richards who volleyed tamely over the bar when clear.   What proved to be St Neots’ best chance of the game came after 22 minutes when skipper Luke Knight played Sembie-Ferris clear but visiting keeper Joseph Slinn stuck out a leg to divert the shot wide.   Richards then volleyed over the bar, but St Neots were creating the bulk of the openings as Lewis Irwin chipped over the bar after good work by Dylan Williams and Taylor Parr headed a Johnny Herd corner narrowly over the bar.   From a long Knight throw the visiting defense were caught flat-footed, but Dan Olaniran headed over the bar and at the end of the first half full back Matty Miles was twice involved, firstly producing a saving tackle when Daniel Waldron was played clear, but then diving in to miss a tackle presenting Richards with a golden chance that the visiting striker scuffed wide when he should have scored. Rushall made a positive start after half time and Singh should have scored when he went inside two defenders but shot wide after 50 minutes.   Three minutes later their determination was rewarded when a second mistimed tackle by Miles released Daniel Waldron on the right and he moved inside to send a powerful shot across Finlay Iron for what proved to be the winning goal.   That should have acted as a wake-up call to St Neots, but their reaction was feeble, and the match became scrappy.   Defense was the order of the day for the visitors who funneled their players back behind the ball sacrificing possession, but St Neots never looked capable of capitalizing.   Claudio Ofosu, a potential home match winner received little or no service although he did have one effort blocked by a defender.   A series of substitutions by both sides with St Neots switching to just three at the back failed to produce any significant improvement for a home side now beginning to look bereft of ideas and inspiration.   For St Neots James Peters tried hard to get his side going without any success and now his side faces two of the pre-season title favorites over the Bank Holiday weekend – Kings Lynn and AFC Rushden and Diamonds. St Neots:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Olaniran, Parr, Ofosu, Peters, Irwin, Sembie-Ferris, Williams Subs:  Douglas (for Williams 59 mins), Wood (for Miles 81 mins), O’Malley (for Olaniran 84 mins) and Keeble Cards:  Knight (Y – 3 mins), Irwin (Y – 58 mins). Goals:  none Bedworth:  Slinn, Smikle, Hull, Pendley, Waldron, Hawker, Richards, Sammons, Singh, Lyttle, Maye Subs:  Chouchane (for Waldron 59 mins), Delaney (for Singh 70 mins), Archer (for Sammons 87 mins), Adelekan and Whittall. Cards:  none Goals:  Waldron (53 mins)   Referee:  Callum Walchester (Lowestoft) Attendance:  200   John Walker
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 23:00
SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION St Neots Town     2        Bedworth United      1 Taylor Parr was the St Neots matchwinner when he scored from a Luke Knight corner eight minutes into the second half of a balanced contest.   It was only his fifth goal for St Neots on his ninety-third appearance, but it had an unusual air of deja-vu because on 29th October 2016 he scored the winning goal in a 3-2 FA Trophy victory at Bedworth.   The welcome three points was no less than St Neots deserved because they dominated possession at times and created more chances than their visitors.   However, Manager Matt Clements will probably view his side as work in progress because apart from not converting chances their defence lost a number of aerial battles – an area in which they excelled last season.   Nevertheless, it was an improved performance from the opening day, but they had teenage goalkeeper Finlay Iron to thank for some excellent timely saves.    Next it is a first ever league meeting with Rushall Olympic at the Premier Plus Stadium on Saturday. The match began at breakneck pace with Lewis Irwin getting behind the visiting defense to see a narrow-angled shot comfortably saved but Bedworth produced an early assault on the St Neots goal in which Finlay Iron produced two close range instinctive saves from close range shots with his defense in disarray after just four minutes.   St Neots then took the lead after just eight minutes when Claudio Ofosu picked up the ball wide on the left and cut in beating his marker to unleash a low right foot shot into the far corner of the goal – his first ever league goal for St Neots.  At the other end Iron had to be alert to turn a rising Luke Rowe free kick over his cross bar and as play continued end-to-end a long throw by Johnny Herd was headed goalward by Taylor Parr but Thomas Sharpe cleared off the line with his keeper stranded.  Another searching run by Ofosu set up Irwin, but his volley was just too high.   St Neots seemed to be arriving at half time with a deserved advantage but with two minutes to go, Dan Olaniran appeared to be shepherding Ryan Baldwin away from goal when the Bedworth player went to ground under a slight looking challenge and the Referee awarded a penalty kick converted by visiting skipper Alexander Troke so the sides went to the interval on terms. St Neots almost regained the lead just three minutes after the restart when Ofosu sent Dion Sembie-Ferris clear of the visiting defence, but goalkeeper Daniel Crane narrowed his angle and dived full length to save.   Sharpe then cleared off the line from a long Johnny Herd throw that had beaten everyone in a packed area, but St Neots early second half pressure paid off after 53 minutes when a curling Knight corner was blasted home by Taylor Parr.   Irwin then headed wide from a Herd corner but Bedworth redoubled their efforts to create chances of their own.   Troke got behind the St Neots defense but headed a Rowe cross over the bar and then Daniel Dubidat wasted his sides best second half opening by shooting wide after clever play by Baldwin.   A St Neots chance then went begging as Sembie-Ferris shot wide after unselfish play by Irwin.   Both sides introduced late substitutes in a bid to increase the pace and Devante Stanley looked lively for St Neots using his pace to carve out an opening but shooting just beyond the far post.   Bedworth’s final chance of a share of the points came in added time when a long cross found the head of Barry Fitzharris but he put his effort wide and the points were gained by St Neots to open their 2018/19 account.     St Neots:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Olaniran, Parr, Ofosu, Peters, Irwin, Sembie-Ferris, Williams Subs:  Stanley (for Sembie-Ferris 76 mins), O’Malley (for Williams 86 mins), Wood, Keeble and Matswumguma. Cards:  Irwin (Y – 56 mins). Goals:  Ofosu (8 mins), Parr (53 mins)   Bedworth:  Crane, Whitmore, Rowe, Fitzharris, Gordon, Sharpe, Baldwin, Parrott, Dubidat, Troke, Jeys Subs:  Christie (for Jeys), Blackmore (for Fitzharris), Brehon, Brighton and Rowley. Cards:  Troke (Y – 7 mins), Albrighton (Y – 50 mins – unused sub!!) Goals:  Troke – pen (43 mins) Referee:  Andy Humphries (Daventry) Attendance:  192   John Walker
Sunday, 12 August 2018 12:26
SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION Stratford Town       1         St Neots Town     0        St Neots debut in the reformed Southern League Central Premier Division began in an all-too-familiar way with a defeat by their bogey side Stratford Town.   In seven league matches with their Warwickshire hosts St Neots have drawn four times but now been beaten in the other three.   Added to that St Neots opening day record in the Premier Division continues to look sad with just one victory and one draw in seven starts.   An injury two minutes after half time to the iconic Dylan Williams was the catalyst for St Neots defeat for after his enforced departure they seemed to lose their focus and rhythm and but for some smart saves by goalkeeper Finlay Iron they could have lost by a greater margin.   The three new faces in the side all performed well but the returning Claudio Ofosu is still searching for his best form.   Manager Matt Clements was justifiably unhappy with his sides’ disappointing performance because the side seemed to lack quality and desire against a reshaped home side that always looked well up for their challenge.   It now remains to see how the side will react in their opening home game of the season with Bedworth the visitors. The match got off to a bright start with both sides showing a welcome attacking approach.   Edwin Ahenkorah one of Stratford’s few survivors from last season saw his early shot deflected wide and then at the other end Williams saw his shot blocked by home skipper James Fry.   Ofosu did get in one telling cross to find the head of Lewis Irwin but off-balance his effort was too high.   The lively Callum Powell who gave the St Neots defense a constant testing, then shot wide after beating two players but St Neots had their chances with Daniel Olaniran volleying over the bar following an uncleared corner.   St Neots best chance of the match came just past the half hour mark when a long throw by Johnny Herd found the head of Olaniran, but his header rebounded from the cross bar with another newcomer James Peters firing wide of a post with the follow-up.   Relishing his new role in the centre of the attack Dion Sembie-Ferris was brought down from behind by Jamie McAteer earning the defender the only yellow card of the match and the action continued with Wilson Carvalho getting behind the St Neots defence to force Iron into a smart save.   The half ended with home full back Kieran Westwood joining the attack only to see his shot deflected for a corner. That unfortunate injury to Williams just two minutes after the restart was the result of a very bad tackle not spotted by the Referee and it resulted in a compulsory substitution which brought on recent signing Devante Stanley for his club debut.   However, St Neots were looking ragged and with three minutes of the substitution they conceded what turned out to be the match winning goal.   Former Saint Lewis Wilson dribbled his way to the bye line and when his cross-cum shot was turned away by Iron the ball fell to Will Grocott who sent a low shot into the corner of the net.   St Neots briefly rallied with Stanley seeing his low shot deflected for a corner but now Stratford were growing in confidence as Carvelho won his way to the bye line forcing Iron into a save at his feet, and then Powell wasted a great opportunity shooting wide with only the keeper to beat.   The same home player shot over the bar and then belatedly, perhaps, St Neots utilized their two remaining substitutes in a bid to retrieve something from the game.   With three at the back St Neots tried to push forwards and from their best opening Ofosu saw his shot saved after good work by substitute Harry O’Malley.   Deep into injury time Iron did well to save from Fry leaving St Neots to ponder on what had gone wrong. Claire Howes' photo gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/   St Neots:  Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Olaniran, Parr, Ofosu, Peters, Irwin, Sembie-Ferris, Williams Subs:  Stanley (for Williams 48), O’Malley (for Herd 80), Wood (for Olaniran 80) and Keeble. Cards:  none Goals:  none Stratford:  Vaughan, Cox, Westwood, Fry, Maslen-Jones, McAteer, Powell, Grocott, Ahenkorah, Carvalho, Wilson Subs:  Isaac (for Wilson 66), Luckie (for Ahenkorah 80), Dias (for Powell 89) Cards:  McAteer (Y – 34 mins) Goals:  Grocott (50 mins)   Referee:  Ollie Williams (Kidderminster) Attendance:  292   John Walker
Saturday, 04 August 2018 21:08
PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY MILDENHALL TOWN        1         ST NEOTS TOWN  1         It was honours even in St Neots’ final pre-season friendly with their Isthmian League Division One colleagues at Mildenhall.   However, on the balance of play and share of possession St Neots could have won handsomely and the focus in training in the final week before the start of the new season will now be on the conversion of chances.   The two significant team changes saw the return of Cambridge United teenage loanee goalkeeper Finlay Iron who made fifteen Southern League appearances for St Neots last season, and the debut inclusion of former Hitchin central defender Danny Olinaran.   Defensively St Neots looked sound as they restricted the home side to no more than three clear openings. St Neots created half a dozen chances in the first half hour only once seriously testing the home goalkeeper.   Claudio Ofosu’s electric pace set up Tom Spark but his effort drifted wide and then the tricky Dylan Williams found Lewis Irwin unmarked, but he shot over.   Williams then had a net-bound shot blocked and the home keeper then had to save bravely at the feet of Irwin after more good work by Williams.  In the final quarter of the first half Mildenhall did come more into the game and Finlay Iron saved well at the feet of Tom Debenham before watching a shot from the unmarked Emmanuel Osui fly harmlessly wide.   The first half ended with another shot from Irwin blocked on the line by a defender. It was more of the same after the break with St Neots kicking down the slope.   Iron saved a lengthy effort from James Seymour, but St Neots were still creating the better chances as Olinaran headed over from a Johnny Herd corner and Spark headed wide after good work by Matt Miles.   The introduction just past the hour of substitute Devante Stanley added to St Neots’ attacking options and he made an early mark with a shot that tested the home keeper.   The lively Williams saw another shot well saved and then Osui was left unmarked in front of goal, but Iron left his line to smother the shot.   With nine minutes left poor marking at a Jake Caulker corner saw Tom Debenham head Mildenhall into a lead against the run of play but within sixty seconds St Neots levelled as Harry O’Malley picked out Devante Stanley on the right and when his first effort was parried he followed up to level the scores.   Both sides then had to settle for parity.   Claire Howes' Photo Gallery can be found here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_howes/   St Neots Town: Iron, Miles, Herd, Knight, Olinaran, Parr, Ofuso, O’Malley, Irwin, Williams, Spark. Subs: Wood, Keeble, Sinclair, Stanley.   John Walker
Saturday, 28 July 2018 19:52
PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY ST NEOTS TOWN        2         SOHAM TOWN RANGERS         2 St Neots flattered to deceive in their final home pre-season friendly with Soham Town Rangers who play at Step Four in the Isthmian League (North).   Having dominated the first 45 minutes Manager Matt Clements opted to make five half time substitutions which seemed to totally upset the balance and confidence of his team.    Of course, with less than two weeks before the start of the season it is important to give all his squad some time on the pitch before he finally decides on its make-up and the trialists did not make his choice easy with some solid performances.   Soham are a solid and methodical outfit with few changes from last season and they featured two former St Neots players in Ryan Auger and Sam Mulready. Defences dominated the opening exchanges with St Neots looking comfortable restricting their visitors to just two serious first half attempts on goal.    Harry O’Malley sent a shot over the bar after good work by James Peters and Lewis Irwin and at the other end home keeper Harry Reynolds acrobatically tipped over a snap shot by Joe Corden.   Claudio Ofosu had a shot deflected and Dylan Williams fired over the bar and then Tom Wood headed narrowly wide from a Johnny Herd free kick.   The pressure was building on the Soham defence and visiting keeper Josh Pope went full length to parry a Williams free kick.   Then after 32 minutes Claudio Ofosu wriggled past his marker to send in a low right footed shot that was helped into the net by a defender.   Four minutes later Dion Sembie-Ferris was hauled down by Auger and from the resultant penalty kick the reliable Dylan Williams easily beat the keeper to double the lead.   St Neots could have had a third first half goal but an Ofosu shot rebounded from the cross bar three minutes before the break. The wholesale reshaping of the St Neots side with several senior players withdrawn saw the second half begin with the home side on the back foot.   Soham seemed to sense their opportunity to capitalise and after 56 minutes a looping cross by Carden found Sam Mulready unmarked and he headed past Reynolds.   Then two minutes later another opportunistic cross found the St Neots defence in a tangle and Jon Kaye bundled the ball in from six yards to level the scores.    The match lost some of its impetus following a rash challenge by Prince Mutswunguma that earned him a rare pre-season booking and in the last fifteen minutes there was only one serious effort on goal with Reynolds pushing a well-struck Auger free kick for a corner.   St Neots wrap up their pre-season programme with a visit next Saturday to Mildenhall Town who compete in the same division as Soham.   sntTV video footage of the goals can be found here: https://t.co/YyewrEE2ME   St Neots Town: Reynolds, Sinclair, Herd, O’Malley, Wood, Keeble, Sembie-Ferris, Peters, Irwin, Williams, Ofosu. Subs: Miles, Shaw, Knight, Spark, Stanley and Mutswunguma. John Walker
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 15:23
PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY HAVERHILL ROVERS        0          ST NEOTS  2         An almost full-strength squad travelled to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side Haverhill Rovers to play their first away pre-season friendly on a 3G pitch.   They ultimately ran out deservedly comfortable victors by two goals to nil but were thwarted in the first half by some outstanding goalkeeping by home custodian Jamie Philp. There was a slow start with some attractive football not producing the desired end-product although Johnnie Herd just shared the crossbar with a 25th minute free kick.   The home side made little headway with Saints keeper Harry Reynolds a spectator for long periods, but the match came to life on the half hour when Philp produced two outstanding saves.   Recent signing Lewis Irwin was involved in both moves, firstly seeing a clever downward header clawed away for a corner by the home keeper and then he was played clear by man-of-the match Dylan Williams, but the keeper narrowed his angle to push away at full stretch.   Dion Sembie-Ferris brought a third notable save from Philp and skipper Luke Knight got the ball in the net from a narrow angle following a corner but was ruled offside. With several team changes the St Neots side looked fresher after the break and should have gone ahead after 61 minutes when playmaker Williams sent Sembie-Ferris clear, but he fired over the bar.   Defender Taylor Parr had two headed efforts from corners well saved and as the second period progressed St Neots looked more and more in control.   The breakthrough came on 73 minutes when Haverhill conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal and a low trademark free kick from Dylan Williams beat the diving keeper to give St Neots the lead.   The result was confirmed in the final minute of the match when substitute Prince Mutswunguma netted with a smart finish.   Next up are Ryman League Soham Town Rangers at the Premier Plus Stadium on Saturday (ko 3.00 pm)   St Neots Town: Reynolds, Miles, Herd, Knight, Keeble, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Peters, Irwin, Williams, Ofosu. Subs: Wood, Shaw, O’Malley, Mutswunguma.   John Walker
Wednesday, 18 July 2018 09:12
PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY ST NEOTS TOWN        0         STEVENAGE     3 The stats will show a fourth consecutive defeat against Football League opposition so far, but results are really not important as Manager Matt Clements beds in his latest recruits and plans for the new season.   The difference between the sides on the night was hardly visible because the first goal came from a penalty kick and the other two from a temporary lapse of concentration by the home side.   Clements must be pleased with the overall performance and with three further pre-season friendlies to come there is still time to hone the revised squad. The first goal came early – in the fifth minute – in the first real attack by either side.   The speedy Andronicos Georgiou burst into the area to be caught by a defender whose challenge was marginally late and Alex Revell tucked away the resultant penalty kick.   St Neots replied creating a number of good openings in the next ten minutes and were unlucky not to draw level as a result.   Dion Sembie-Ferris sent Claudio Ofosu away on the left and his fierce shot beat the visiting keeper but also cleared the crossbar and then skipper Luke Knight picked up a loose clearance and drilled a shot into the perfectly positioned goalkeeper.   Another smooth move set up Scott Sinclair, but his shot passed the wrong side of a post.   The first half then settled into an entertaining contest with end to end football producing few clear chances although home keeper Dan Swan did produce one excellent save to deny Georgiou and second goal. Wholesale team changes after the break by both sides saw the tempo slow and there was a sort of stalemate until on the hour St Neots seemed to lose concentration and conceded two rather soft goals.   The first saw a long forward pass by Scott Cuthbert find a misunderstanding between Swan and his defenders leaving the keeper stranded on the edge of his area and Alex Revell took full advantage to find the empty net and three minutes later from a corner one of the Stevenage trialists came late and unmarked into the area to head home unchallenged.   That lapse seemed to inspire St Neots to rediscover their earlier poise and confidence and they competed well until they began to tire in the final ten minutes.   Sembie-Ferris was denied a deserved consolation goal after 70 minutes by the save of the match from the visiting keeper.   The next test is an away trip to Haverhill Rovers next Tuesday (24th July).   St Neots Town: Swan, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sinclair, O’Malley, Sembie-Ferris, Williams, Ofosu. Subs used: Peters, Alban, Shaw, Keeble, Mutswumbuma. Stevenage: (squad) Cuthbert, Hunt, Sonupe, Byrom, Timlin. Georgiou, Revell, Vancooten, Wilkinson, Fraser, Iontton, McKee, White, Draper plus eight trialists.   Officials: Neil Hair (Peterborough), Andrew Hitchcox, Abi Marriott Attendance: 236   John Walker
Thursday, 03 May 2018 16:03
Huntingdonshire Football Association Senior Challenge Cup Final St Neots Town     6        Eynesbury Rovers       1 St Neots brought down the curtain on their season with a spanking victory over town neighbours Eynesbury Rovers to record the biggest margin in a Senior Cup Final for more than 50 years with this 6-1 victory.   Playing some of their most controlled attacking play they crushed their opponents with two very early goals setting the stage for a memorable evening.   The gap between level Three St Neots and level Five Eynesbury was always apparent but to Rovers credit they never stopped trying and were rewarded with a deserved late consolation goal.   A good evening crowd of 318 must have enjoyed the spectacle whichever side they were supporting, and they saw a performance from the winners that ranks as one of their most complete of the season.   Holders Eynesbury who lifted the trophy at the same venue over the same opposition just twelve months earlier must have dreamt about a repeat performance, but they were never really in the match whilst St Neots scored the goals they had always looked capable of, but seldom achieved.   St Neots recalled skipper Luke Knight, Taylor Parr and Tom Wood and were arguably able to field their strongest team in a match Manager Matt Clements had described as their ‘most important’ of the season. St Neots could hardly have made a better start because after just six minutes they led 2-0.   In the fourth minute the tricky Dylan Williams set up Nabil Shariff who beat visiting keeper Aaron Butcher with a well-placed shot and two minutes later St Neots leading scorer Dylan Williams added a second after a mesmerizing move involving Dion Sembie-Ferris and Shariff.  Eynesbury looked shell-shocked and their first sortie into the penalty area resulted in Dan Draper being booked for simulation after losing control of the ball.  After 25 minutes Jack Uttridge upended the lively Williams to concede a free kick on the edge of the area, but Butcher dived to his right to brilliantly turn away Luke Knight’s well-struck free kick.    Curtis Hartley then cleared off the line from Sembie-Ferris and the keeper was back in action to deny Shariff and Williams as St Neots increased their pressure.  Rovers might had scored six minutes before the break when former Saint James Tricks was played clear, but his effort was well saved by St Neots teenage goalkeeper George Bugg.   A third St Neots goal two minutes before the break effectively ended Rovers’ hopes of a revival as defender Tom Wood netted from a Williams corner and there was still time for Shariff to see a shot rebound from the crossbar. A fourth goal for the home side four minutes into the second half multiplied the Eynesbury woes as Williams beat two defenders on the left to cross for David Bridges to score and then tempers became frayed with Hartley and Williams both booked after54 minutes.   Three minutes later Dylan Williams claimed his seventeenth goal of the season to make it 5-0 from a Wood cross but was then substituted with Scott Sinclair replacing him.  Uttridge then handled a Sinclair cross but Butcher guessed right to push away Johnny Herd’s tamely hit penalty kick.    After 67 minutes a delightful back-heel by Shariff set up David Bridges for his second goal of the match to see the score at 6-0 but Eynesbury showed defiance and was rewarded eight minutes from time when substitute Craig Smith forced the ball home from close range after Bugg had pushed a first effort onto his cross bar.   Bridges was then denied his hat trick by an outstanding save from the overworked Butcher.    The trophy and replicas were presented by Hunts FA Chairman Maurice Armstrong. St Neots:  Bugg, Wood, Herd, Knight, McDevitt, Parr, Williams (D), Bridges, Sembie-Ferris, Shariff, Norville-Williams Subs:  Sinclair (for Williams 58 mins), Bradshaw (for Wood 61 mins), Broccoli (for Norville-Williams 70 mins), Wiltshire and Butler Cards:  Williams (Y – 54 mins), Sinclair (Y – 78 mins), Broccoli (Y – 85 mins), Bridges (Y – 88 mins) Goals:  Williams 2 (6 & 57 mins), Bridges 2 (49 & 67 mins), Shariff (4 mins), Wood (43 mins)   Eynesbury:  Butcher, Draper, Hartley, Ducket (R), Ducket (J), Uttridge, Brown, Warwick, Tricks, Bream, Hartley Subs:  Smith (for Bream 46 mins), Miles, Vieira, Westley and King. Cards:  Hartley (Y – 54 mins), Draper (Y – 65 mins), Smith (Y – 77 mins) Goals:  Smith (82 mins) Referee:  Ashley List (Eaton Socon) Attendance:  318   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  
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