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:   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:   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:   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  
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
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