Saturday, 04 February 2017 20:38
  Southern League Premier Division   CHESHAM UNITED       3         ST NEOTS TOWN      2           St Neots’ third league defeat by the odd goal in the same number of matches was unlike the previous two.   In the two previous defeats’ they were extremely unlucky to have finished empty handed but this time the reverse was their own fault.   Chesham are eighth in the table with games in hand and hope to be heading for the play-offs – but not on this form.  Having scored twice in the opening ten minutes Chesham spent the remainder of the match on the back foot and never really tested St Neots’ keeper again whilst the visitors enjoyed much more of the possession and created chances but the end product was disappointing.   With skipper Micky Hyem and leading goal scorer Declan Rogers both out injured – the latter for the first time this season – it was just as well that Matt Clements had been busy in the week boosting his squad.   The starting line-up featured two of his most recent signings in James Tricks a striker from Boston United and Fernando Bell-Toxtle – a midfield loanee from Cambridge United and also on the bench was another Cambridge United youngster.   Back into the side after injury came Jacob Partridge whilst Jonny Butler was on the bench.  To run salt into the wound of defeat Chesham featured four players recently at St Neots in Drew Roberts, Mat Mitchel-King, Brett Longden and David Hutton and Roberts laid on the first Chesham goal and Hutton claimed the second.   St Neots best efforts brought two outstanding saves from home keeper Ashlee Jones. Chesham made the perfect start before the visitors turned up!   With just ten minutes gone the home side led 2-0 and a huge defeat looked likely for St Neots.   In their first attack of note the home side went ahead as Drew Roberts was left unattended in acres of space on the left flank and he went to the bye to cross for the experienced Jamaican international Barry Hayles to head home at the far post.   If that was bad worse was to follow for eight minutes later after Roberts had dragged a shot wide of the far post St Neots failed to clear a corner and when the ball fell to David Hutton on the edge of the penalty area he curled a delightful shot into the net through a packed defence and around the keeper who may have been unsighted.   To their credit the visitors rolled up their sleeves in a determined effort to retrieve the damage.  In the next five minutes Jevani Brown saw his shot blocked and Jacob Partridge shot narrowly wide as Chesham were pushed back into their own half.   After 17 minutes St Neots were back in the game when following good work by Jonny Herd the ball fell to Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson and from twenty yards he sent the ball past Jones to claim his first St Neots goal.   Taylor Parr headed a Partridge corner narrowly over the bar and then Chesham had to reshuffle as Mat Mitchell-King limped off with a groin strain.  St Neots went on to finish the first half well with their only scare coming from a Hayles cross cleared off the line by Tom Wood. There was little change after half time although striker James Tricks who had made an impressive start limped off injured to be replaced by Lee Clarke.  Within two minutes Clarke had almost levelled the scores with a low shot saved at the foot of his post by Jones.  Fortnam-Tomlinson then had a great chance following a corner but he shot wide before St Neots introduced Nassim L’Ghoul for the out of sorts Peter Clark.   That boosted St Neots attacking options and from a corner by that player Tom Wood brought an outstanding save from Jones who twisted to touch his header over the bar.   St Neots continued to dominate with L’Ghoul twice testing Jones but perhaps they paid too much attention to finding an equalizer and were caught short in defence in the 90th minute when from a Ryan Blake cross substitute Dave Pearce snatched a third goal.   St Neots refused to give up but Jonny Herd’s 94th minute goal was scant consolation because they should have won.   St Neots:  Archer, Day, Herd, Partridge, Wood (T), Parr, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Bell-Toxtle, Tricks, Clark (P), Brown Subs:   Clarke (L) (for Tricks 57 mins), L’Ghoul (for Clark (P) 65 mins), Butler, Knowles and Norman. Cards:  Bell-Toxtle (Y – 30), Clarke (L) (Y – 76)  Goals:  Fortnam-Tomlinson (17 mins), Herd (90+1 mins)       Chesham:  Jones, Longden, Little, Mitchel-King, Crilley, Taylor, Hutton, Youngs, Hayles, Roberts, Blake Subs:  Hamilton-Forbes (for Mitchel-King 24 mins), Pearce (for Hutton 84 mins), Swales (for Blake 90+4 mins)Ward and McCorkell. Cards:  none Goals: Hayles (2 mins), Hutton (10 mins), Pearce (90 mins)   Attendance: 331 Referee: Darren Knox (Henlow, Bedfordshire)   John Walker  
Saturday, 28 January 2017 19:55
  Southern League Premier Division   ST NEOTS TOWN       1         HITCHIN TOWN        2   With their high-flying visitors boasting five victories in the last six matches and St Neots having five defeats in the same number anything but an away win would have bucked the form trend.   However, that is not the full story because with the scores tied at 1-1 St Neots had much the better of the second half before blotting their copy book with two late errors to surrender all three points.   Less than five minutes from time they gave Hitchin substitute Brett Donnelly a criminal amount of time and space to turn and score what proved to be the winning goal and then handed a golden opportunity in added time to make amends St Neots managed to miss a penalty kick.   Manager Matt Clements named an unchanged line up from the narrow defeat at Banbury – only the second unchanged line up in a league match in 30 starts this season and the team are beginning to look much more confident and assured but the points still seem very elusive.   Hitchin, third in the table with a game in hand of the league leaders are mathematically looking like genuine title contenders but they must sharpen up their act to maintain that challenge.   Meantime with two thirds of the season gone St Neots must start picking up points if they are to survive at Step Three. Alex Archer was soon in action for St Neots smothering a close range shot from visiting skipper Dan Webb whilst at the other end Declan Rogers had a shot blocked and Peter Clark forced Michael Johnson into a smart save.   St Neots then took the lead after 26 minutes when an angled cross from the right found Jevani Brown lurking on the opposite flank and he produced a scorching left foot shot that flew past Johnson to put his side ahead.   Hitchin’s response was swift because inside five minutes later the St Neots defence failed to clear an innocuous cross and Robbie Burns nipped in at the far post to claim a soft equalizer.   Neither side looked able to dominate with both defenses looking good in the air and neither inventive enough to seriously test the other.   Josh Bickerstaff wove through the St Neots defence but shot over the bar and Archer was happy to smother a rising shot by Matt Lench after good work by Lucas Kirkpatrick.   Level at the break both sides seemed to be searching for inspiration. Inside ten minutes from the restart St Neots made two substitutions in a bid to find the missing spark with Jacob Partridge coming on in a straight swap for out-of-sorts Jonny Butler and Nassim L’Ghoul replacing Declan Rogers.  For Hitchin, Kane Smith curled a shot beyond the far post but neither keeper was in serious action in the first twenty minutes of the second half.   The visitors also introduced two substitutes and Brett Donnelly immediately ruffled the feathers of the St Neots back four.   St Neots full back Jonny Herd moved forward to test Johnson after 76 minutes and in St Neots best second half move Clark fed Brown but his effort just passed the wrong side of the far post.   It was looking a certain draw with both sides looking happy to settle for that but with less than five minutes left the ball was lifted into the box by Josh Bickerstaff and Brett Donnelly showed his strikers instinct to finish calmly to put Hitchin ahead.   This was the spur needed for St Neots to throw everything forwards and three minutes into injury time Taylor Parr was upended in the penalty area.   With former regular spot kick taker James Hall no longer with the club the responsibility was handed to Jevani Brown who hit his effort well enough but Hitchin keeper Johnson dived to his right to push the ball around the post.   It was much less than St Neots deserved.   St Neots:  Archer, Day, Herd, Butler, Wood (T), Parr, Brown, Hyem, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Clark (P), Rogers Subs:   Partridge (for Butler 54 mins), L’Ghoul (for Rogers 56 mins), Clarke (L) (for Hyem 88 mins) and Norman. Cards:  Brown (Y – 30) Goals:  Brown (26 mins)   Hitchin:  Johnson, Smith, Bickerstaff, Rolfe, Webb, Wright, Spence, Donnelly (C), Kirkpatrick, Burns, Lench  Subs:  Donnelly (B) (for Spence 63 mins), McNamara (for Lench 74 mins),Brooks (for Donnelly (C) 78 mins), Ann and Bennett. Cards:  none Goals: Burns (31 mins), Donnelly (B) (85 mins)   Attendance: 347 Referee: Andy Humphries (Daventry)   John Walker  
Saturday, 21 January 2017 20:56
Southern League Premier Division BANBURY UNITED       2          ST NEOTS TOWN      1         Manager Matt Clements has now seen the good, the bad and the ugly of his new side in his three matches in charge.   The good was the home League victory over Dorchester, the bad was the way his side failed to cope with lower graded Godmanchester in their narrow Cup victory in midweek, and the ugly came at Banbury where after taking the lead against the run of play they conceded two ugly goals to return home pointless.   Overall it was not a bad performance – much better than the last month when they were conceding four and five goals in a match but the defence must cut out their mistakes as they search for their first clean sheet in a league match since last August.   There were two new faces in the starting eleven with Jonny Herd coming in at full back for Harry Norman and Jonny Butler making his debut in place of another recent signing Jacob Partridge who was ill.   With James Hall leaving the club Peter Clark was restored to the side in an unfamiliar role behind the striker where he never looked happy.   Banbury, now fifth in the table after their promotion this season back from the South and West Division, look a competent outfit but they were made to hang on to their narrow lead in the later stages of the match as St Neots threw everything forward in a bid to claim a reward they probably deserved.   The fixture list now becomes difficult as St Neots face three sides in the top eight in their upcoming fixtures. The start was fairly even and it was thirteen minutes before either side managed a direct shot on goal.   Then from distance Mark Bell hit a shot that bobbled in front of Alex Archer who was relieved to beat the ball away from his net.   The rebound fell to Marvin Martin whose effort was deflected leaving St Neots time to regroup.  A feature of the first half was an added attacking dimension for St Neots as former Southend United defender Jonny Herd displayed his ability with low throws to the far post keeping the home defence at full aerial stretch and from one of these after 21 minutes the ball was knocked down to the feet of Jevani Brown who put St Neots in front with a crisp shot.  That seemed to inspire his side who set up a series of attacks with Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson forcing a save from home keeper Jack Harding.  At the other end striker Conor McDonagh was causing the St Neots defence problems as he looped the ball over the advancing Archer but Tom Wood got back to clear and then he shot across the face of goal after good play by Bell.  Six minutes before the break Butler fed Micky Hyem but his shot was blocked and three minutes later Banbury drew level as the best move of the half involving George Nash, Martin and James Smith carved open the St Neots defence and Conor McDonagh finished it off with a low shot under the diving body of Archer. The second half started with a Banbury substitution as Zac McEachran replaced Bell to give them a more attacking shape.   Within three minutes they had snatched the lead as their loanee from West Bromwich, James Smith, cleverly outwitted his marker on the bye line to cross to the far post where Conor McDonagh was incredibly unmarked and allowed to roll the ball into the net from three yards.   St Neots looked embarrassed by this and hit back quickly with Peter Clark seeing his shot blocked and a second effort sail over the bar.   There was a battle royal going on between Banbury defender Luke Carnell and Fortnam-Tomlinson and when the St Neots striker was brought down on the edge of the area the visitors appealed for a penalty but Referee Sarah Garrett perfectly placed waved play on.  On the break the home side looked dangerous and McDonagh brought a fine save from Archer but shortly afterwards Carnell and Fortnam-Tomlinson were both yellow carded as they tussled in the area.  St Neots played their joker sending on Lee Clarke for his first appearance since 26th April and he was closest to saving a point when his effort from a Declan Rogers corner was blocked on the goal line.     St Neots:  Archer, Day, Herd, Butler, Wood, Parr, Brown, Hyem, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Clark, Rogers                      Subs:   Clarke (for Clark 80 mins), Norman, Piesse and L’Ghoul.                                  Cards:  Fortnam-Tomlinson (Y – 77) Goals:  Brown (21 mins)   Banbury:  Harding, Westbrook, Gunn, Nash Carnell,Odhiambo, White, Bell, McDonagh, Smith, Martin Subs:  McEachran (for Bell 46 mins), Self (for Odhiambo 65 mins), Ofosu (for Smith 66 mins), Blackstock and Humphreys. Cards:  Carnell (Y – 77), McDonagh (Y – 89)   Goals: McDonagh 2 (41 and 48 mins) Attendance: 429 Referee: Sarah Garrett (Halesowen)   John Walker
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 22:31
Huntingdonshire Football Association Senior Challenge Cup Semi-Final ST NEOTS TOWN      1         GODMANCHESTER ROVERS     1    (St Neots won 5-4 on penalties) A perfectly executed set of penalty kicks from  Jevani Brown,  Charlie Day, Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson, Declan Rogers and James Hallin the shoot-out saw St Neots Town see off the spirited challenge of lower graded neighbours Godmanchester Rovers in the first of this season’s Huntingdonshire Senior Cup semi-finals.  They now await St Ives Town or Eynesbury Rovers in the April Cup Final, which will be St Neots’ fifth final appearance in eight seasons.   However, the visitors returned home no doubt feeling hard done by for the had led their hosts by a goal to nil for an hour and had to play the last twenty minutes with ten men after former St Neots player Chae Simons had been sent off after picking up a second yellow card for simulation.   That looked a harsh decision but worse fortune was to follow for Rovers when St Neots scored the latest of equalizing goals fifteen seconds from the end of the first ninety minutes.  They held out in added time as St Neots sought to push home their advantage but in the shoot-out Alex Archer dived to his right to keep out Chris Jones’ fourth spot kick and the St Neots sharp shooters did the rest despite having lost their last four penalty shoot-outs.  With former Rovers Manager Matt Clements at the St Neots helm having a full squad available, he made three changes from the Saturday line-up but had the luxury of a strong bench and used his substitutions to good effect.   Godmanchester paraded St Neots U18 goalkeeper Evan Jeckells for his debut and he had a fine game producing quality saves from James Hall either side of half time and a third from Saul Williams.   It was overall a full-blooded Cup tie and although St Neots progressed they will not be happy with their inability to break down the stubborn defence of the Thurlow Nunn side but the bonus was their determination to compete right up to the final whistle. Although there was a lively start to the match clear cut chances were few in the early stages.  Rovers skipper Joe Furness had the first direct shot but it was well wide whilst at the other end Nassim L’Ghoul headed over from a Charlie Day cross.   The breakthrough came on the half hour and it was a scrambled affair after the St Neots defence had failed to cut out a right wing cross and the ball ran loose to another former St Neots player Tom Spark and he tapped in from close range.   St Neots were enjoying the better of possession but their efforts lacked quality although Jeckells did well to gather a Peter Clark shot that flew through a packed area.   In a quick break that caught the St Neots defence back peddling the visitors won a free kick floated in by Furness to test Archer who was happy to tip the ball over his crossbar.   Two minutes before the break Jeckells lefty his line swiftly to smother an effort by James Hall after nifty approach work by Clark. Although Godmanchester had competed well in the first half they were less impressive after the break.   They seemed far too quick to pull their wide players back to defend leaving Arran Mackay up front on his own and handed the attacking initiative to the home side.  The impressive Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson had too much pace for the visiting defence and he found Hall with a pinpoint cross but his shot on the turn was pushed at full stretch for a corner by Jeckells.   Both Simons and Furness picked up yellow cards with desperate tackles as St Neots pressed and after 62 minutes St Neots visibly upped their efforts sending on two strikers in Jevani Brown and Declan Rogers switching to a 4-2-4 formation.   Brown almost got on the end of a Fortnam-Tomlinson cross and Saul Williams’ low shot was saved full length at the foot of a post by Jeckells.   The sending off saw Godmanchester move into fully defensive mode in a bid to maintain their slender lead and this challenged St Neots to find a way through.  They left it late with Tom Wood’s 90th minute header from a Rogers corner sending the game into that dramatic penalty shoot-out.   St Neots:  Archer, Williams, Day, Partridge, Wood (T), Parr, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Hyem (M), Hall, Clark, L’Ghoul Subs:   Rogers (for Clark 62 mins), Brown (for L’Ghoul 62 mins), Alderson (for Williams 86 mins), Norman and McLean. Cards:  Partridge (Y – 17) Goals:  Wood (T) (90 mins)   Penalties:  Brown, Day, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Rogers and Hall     Godmanchester:  Jeckells, Hurst, Le, Wood (R), Moran, Sewell, Furness, Hyem (C), Mackay, Simons, Spark Subs:  Brooks (for Hurst 60 mins),Jones (for Hyem (C) 70mins), Keating (for Mackay 72 mins), King and Brockett. Cards:  Simons (RED 69 – 2nd Y), Hyem (C) (Y – 31), Furness (Y – 59), Le (Y – 77) Goals: Spark (30 mins)   Penalties:  Furness, Spark, Le and Keating.   Attendance: 203 Referee: Josh Croft (Peterborough)   John Walker
Saturday, 14 January 2017 20:18
  Southern League Premier Division   ST NEOTS TOWN      3         DORCHESTER TOWN     2       ‘At last’ seemed to be the most appropriate summing up of this match that saw St Neots win for the first time since 5th November and score their first goal after a drought of five hundred and two minutes’.   However, with the last three goals coming in as many minutes plus added time at the end of the game the suspense was stretched out right to the final whistle.   Leading home scorer James Hall was fit after injury for his first start since December 10th and contributed two goals to take his tally for the season to 15.  Matt Clements had been very busy in the ten days since his appointment as Manager adding three more players two of whom were included in the starting line-up and there were returns to the side for Hall and recently married skipper Micky Hyem.   On loan striker from Tonbridge Angels Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson looked sharp and laid on Hall’s second goal whilst Jacob Partridge signed from Colchester slotted impressively into the midfield holding role.   A third newcomer Saul Williams made a brief second half substitute appearance and to the credit of the management and players the side looked assured, rounded and confident.   Dorchester without a win in five matches were never going to be the sternest of tests but this victory will instill some confidence and the three points lifts St Neots out of the relegation zone for the first time since November 19th. St Neots went on the offensive early and Hall shot over the bar from their first corner.  At the other end, Ben Wood had a shot parried by Alex Archer and then screwed a second effort well wide but St Neots looked assured and but a cynical shove by Nathan Walker on Hall earned him a yellow card and conceded a free kick taken by Fortnam-Tomlinson that was pushed over the bar by the visiting keeper after half an hour.   Two minutes later another booking this time for Sol Ayunga as he brought down Jevani Brown conceding a penalty which was confidently converted by James Hall.  From then until half time St Neots made all the running with Hyem having a fierce shot blocked and Declan Rogers setting up Brown for a header which was too high.    On the stroke of half time an audacious lob from around 40 yards by Rogers caught Shane Murphy off his line but to his relief the effort flew wide. Dorchester began the second half in much better shape testing the home defence with some attractive football.   Ben Wood fired over the bar from a David Jerrard corner and they then cut through the Neots defence as Lewis Morgan and Jerrard exchanged neat passers but the former shot wide with only Archer to beat.  Fortnam-Tomlinson was showing fine pace down the flanks and from one of his crosses Rogers was only inches away from adding a second goal into an unguarded net.   The game had opened-up now with play end to end and a good advantage played by Referee Stuart Cheek saw Tom Blair squander a good chance to pull a goal back for the visitors.   Dorchester then made a bold more pulling off striker Ayunga and switching the tall Walker up to lead their attack but after 58 minutes a long clearance from Archer found Fortnam-Tomlinson whose precise early cross was converted by James Hall.   With a two goals cushion St Neots seemed to relax and take their foot off the gas and Archer had to dive bravely at the feet of Walker and them thwart substitute Billy Mitchell with another smart save.  Fortnam-Tomlinson twice saw efforts well saved by Murphy and another effort by the same player clipped the outside of a post with eight minutes remaining.  Then with three minutes left Gerrard broke down the left and crossed to the far post where the unmarked Ben Wood applied the final touch to give Dorchester hope at 2-1.   In the final minute a long clearance by St Neots keeper Alex Archer was collected by Jevani Brown who beat hesitant visiting keeper Shane Murphy to a high bouncing ball to restore the two goals lead but Dorchester had the last word with a late consolation goal by Matt Oldring as St Neots vainly appealed for a foul on Alex Archer.   St Neots:  Archer, Norman, Day, Partridge, Wood (T), Parr, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Hyem, Hall, Rogers, Brown Subs:   Alderson (for Hall 71 mins), Williams (S) (for Norman 80 mins), Clark (for Fortnam-Tomlinson), L’Ghoul and McLean. Cards:  none Goals:  Hall 2 (32 mins (pen) and 58 mins), Brown (90 mins)   Dorchester:  Murphy, Brookes, Martin, Oldring, Walker. Dillon, Jerrard, Morgan, Ayunga, Wood (B), Blair Subs:  Mitchell (for Ayunga (58 mins), Nicholson, Proffit, Pashen and Mullis. Cards:  Walker (Y – 30), Ayunga (Y – 32) Goals: Wood (B) (87 mins), Oldring (90+2 mins)   Attendance: 198 Referee: Stuart Cheek (Stevenage)   John Walker  
Saturday, 07 January 2017 19:48
  Southern League Premier Division ST NEOTS TOWN      0         WEYMOUTH      4        St Neots paraded two new signings – Manager Matt Clements and full back Harry Norman and they must both have been relieved to hear the final with Clements now knowing the extent of his task after watching his side totally outclassed by a well-organized, slick, visiting side whilst Norman was given the run-around by man of the match Jordan Copp.   Sad St Neots, now seven straight defeats in a row, never managed a single shot on target in the entire ninety minutes so can have no complaints in defeat although they cannot be faulted for a display of honest endeavor. The new Manager was fortunate in one sense in that Weymouth looked as good a side as he will face in the remaining 19 league matches despite their lowly league position so he can use this defeat as a yardstick. He made just one team change from the side that had been unlucky not to get reward at Dunstable leaving Nassim L’Ghoul on the bench to bring Norman into a reshaped side with the inexperienced Dan Hobbs continuing in midfield for honeymooning skipper Micky Hyem.   He employed an interesting tactical line up – a 4-2-3-1 formation but that may need reviewing in the light of the paucity of goal scoring chances.   There was another promising performance from striker Jevani Brown who received precious little service but the Manager’s main concern will be in his defence where at least two of the goals should have been cut out by tighter marking plus some very sloppy clearances from defence where a long ball approach was never going to bother the tall Weymouth defenders and underworked goalkeeper. Before they opened the scoring, Weymouth set the alarm bells ringing with two smoothly created chances that split the St Neots brittle defence who were very relieved to be rescued on each occasion by an offside flag.  However, after 17 minutes a long cross from the right by Aaron Rodriguez caught the defence lop-sided leaving Jordan Copp to steal in unmarked to head past Alex Archer at the far post.  Although that was the extent of the first half scoring it could have been worse for the home side had Copp and Chris Shephard not spurned very scorable chances and but for three fine saves by Archer.   A screamer from 30 yards by Shephard was helped onto the crossbar and the rebound retrieved after 29 minutes and two minutes later Archer denied the same visiting player getting firmly behind a well-placed shot.   He then scrambled a Copp shot around a post after 33 minutes but was lucky when a net bound effort by Shephard was deflected into his arms when he looked to be out of position.   St Neots only two first half attacking moments saw visiting keeper Tom McHale collect a Jevani Brown through ball at the feet of Peter Clark before Declan Rogers fired hopelessly wide. St Neots need a solid start to the second half but they seem very prone to conceding early goals after the break and this was no exception when after 65 seconds, Conor Jevon – only playing because of a warm up injury – got in front of his marker at the near post to glance in a cross from Copp. St Neots responded by sending on substitute James Hall who had been missing through injury since December 10th and withdrawing one of their midfield players. It was a clear notice of intent to claw back the deficit and although Hall won a corner with an early touch their first real attempt on goal saw another Rogers effort fly well wide. Meantime Weymouth sent on three fresh front running substitutes in a bid to keep St Neots on the back foot and their dominance paid off twelve minutes from time when one of the subs Charlie Davis set up the hardworking Dean Evans for the visitors’ third goal.   That was bad enough but a fourth goal in added time from another substitute, Stuart Fleetwood, took the tally of St Neots goals conceded to seventeen since they last scored themselves and thirty-seven in twelve matches since they last won on November 5th last year.   St Neots:  Archer, Norman, Day, Wood, McLean, Parr, Alderson, Hobbs, Brown, Clark, Rogers Subs:   Hall (for Clark 61 mins), Williams (for Alderson 73 mins), Buddle, Goode and L’Ghoul. Cards:  Parr (Y – 78) Goals:  none   Weymouth:  McHale, Brooks, Wells, Zubar, Wannell, Evans, Copp, Allen, Rodriguez, Jevon, Shephard Subs:  Fleetwood (for Rodriguez 58 mins), Davis (for Shephard 69 mins), Yetton (for Jevon 73 mins), Moseley and Matthews. Cards:  Fleetwood (Y – 64) Goals:  Copp (17 mins), Jevon (46 mins), Evans (78 mins), Fleetwood (90+2 mins)   Attendance: 296 Referee: Dean Appleby (Bourne)   John Walker  
Monday, 02 January 2017 19:33
  Southern League Premier Division DUNSTABLE TOWN       1         ST NEOTS TOWN      0     Despite producing their best performance for several weeks, the depleted St Neots side returned from Dunstable without a point.   However, they can justifiably point to three shots cleared off the line by the home defence with their keeper beaten and a fourth effort that rebounded from the crossbar as proof that Lady Luck was not on their side in this Bank Holiday match.   Without honeymooning skipper Micky Hyem and still injured leading scorer James Hall, the visitors paraded new signing from Stamford Jevani Brown to lead their attack and had Dan Hobbs in midfield following his loan period at Soham.   Watched from the stand by newly appointed Manager Matt Clements St Neots produced a second half full of commitment and effort against a side without a league goal since 28th November but sadly just one moment of lost concentration gifted the home side with what was to prove the winning goal.  All three recent signings, Brown, Rian McLean and Sam Alderson looked very useful additions to the squad but it is against sides like Dunstable that points must be picked up if St Neots are to draw clear of the relegation zone in the coming months.   Four of their next five league matches are at the Premier Plus Stadium so an improvement in home form will be crucial to their hopes of survival. The first half was a fairly low key affair between two sides lacking in self-confidence, each not having scored in recent matches.   Dunstable probably shaded the early stages but most of their openings came from set piece attacks with the St Neots defence having to win the ball from corners to keep their goal intact.   The first few chances went to the home side with Jack Green shooting wide following a free kick not cleared, Danny Talbot curled a free kick around a defensive wall only to see the ball hit the cross bar and from a Talbot corner Shane Bush got above the visiting defence but glanced his effort wide.    A Declan Rogers free kick was retrieved from just under the bar by home keeper Jamie Head and Sam Alderson was unlucky not to claim his first St Neots goal with a shot placed wide of the keeper but cleared off the line by Gedeon Okita.   More pressure on the St Neots defence towards the end of the half saw Kelvin Bossman shoot wide from a Zack Reynolds cross and then defender Adam Pepera up for a Talbot free kick headed wide with the goal at his mercy.   In added time at the end of the first half the impressive Jevani Brown was tripped as he weaved his way towards goal and from the resultant free kick Rogers landed the ball on the roof of the Dunstable net. Dunstable broke the deadlock just three minutes after the break with Taylor Parr missed a clearance leaving the St Neots defence square and stranded and the lively Vences Bola strode unmarked into the penalty area to beat the advancing Alex Archer with a low shot.  At that point the pattern of the match seemed to change dramatically.   Dunstable were pushed back into defence as St Neots redoubled their efforts to get back in the game.  After 53 minutes Peter Clark had a shot cleared off the line by Pepera and three minutes later Pepera was yellow carded for tripping Brown and Rogers’ dipping free kick just skimmed the cross bar.   Charlie Day was hauled down on the edge of the penalty area as St Neots continued to press and from the resultant Rogers free kick Pepera acrobatically cleared off the line.   Another Dunstable defender was booked for desperate lunge at Alderson and then Brown showed great skill to test the keeper with a shot on the turn.   It was all St Neots now although Archer did have to be alert to save from Shane Bush as Dunstable made a rare sortie into St Neots territory.   Eight minutes from time a Brown shot returned from the crossbar and Rogers put the rebound wide as unlucky St Neots ran out of time with Dunstable doing all they could to waste precious minutes.   St Neots:  Archer, Wood, Day, McLean, Hobbs, Parr, Alderson, Clark, Brown. Rogers, L’Ghoul Subs:   Williams, (for Wood 85 mins), Nurettin, Rudman and Coldicott-Stevens Cards:  L’Ghoul (Y – 53) Goals:  none    Dunstable:  Head, Reynolds, Okita, Talbot, Longe-King, Pepera, Bossman, Green (D), Bola, Bush, Green (J) Subs:  Moussa (for Bola (73), Esso (for Bossman (83), Williams and Smith Cards:  Pepera (Y – 56), Okita (Y – 69) Goals:  Bola (48)   Attendance: 137 Referee: Neil Templey (Witney)   John Walker  
Tuesday, 27 December 2016 09:56
EvoStik League Southern Premier Division  St Neots Town (0) 0           Biggleswade Town (1) 5       Another disappointing home result left Saints in the relegation zone as 2016 came to an end and reinforced the fact that improvement will be required in all areas of the pitch in the second half of the season if they are to preserve their Premier Division status. Saints actually started their final game of the year brightly and few would have predicted the final score line after watching the early exchanges.  Rogers brought the first save of the game from the visitors keeper after just two minutes from a direct free kick, and Brown also had to save from Mulready as Saints pressed in the opening fifteen minutes.  Wood and Clark then combined to create what probably proved to be Saints best chance of the game, but Brown came smartly off his line to save at the feet of Rogers. Saints had restricted Biggleswade to a few half chances with Hall putting an overhead kick over the bar, and Daniel and Effiong shooting wide from long range.  Alex Archer was not called upon to make a save until the twenty-fifth minute, when Hoeness and Patrick combined to create a chance for Effiong but Archer denied him with his feet.  Biggleswade started to impose themselves on the game as the half progressed and after Hoeness had been denied by the post, Inih Effiong opened the scoring a minute from the break when he met a Daniel cross. The second half was a different game and the visitors were always in control.  Hewitt put a header wide from a Hoeness free kick after fifty four minutes before Effiong doubled the lead four minutes later following yet another Hoeness cross.  Both Saints centre backs Taylor Parr and James Goode were booked as Biggleswade continued to pile on the pressure and Connor Hall added a third after a Daniel shot deflected in to his path. St Neots seemed to run out of ideas and the frequent long balls out of defence were comfortably dealt with by the Biggleswade defence, whilst long range efforts from Alderson and Clark were saved by Brown. Daniel hit the post after eighty minutes with a powerful effort following a pass by substitute Vincent, before a defensive mix up between James Goode and Alex Archer presented Effiong with a tap in to complete his hat trick three minutes later.  There was still time for Craig Daniel to rub salt in to the wounds with a stunning 18 yard volley to complete the scoring in the final minute. St Neots: Archer, Wood, Parr, Goode, Day, Clark, McLean, Hyem, Rogers, Mulready. Alderson  Subs: L’Ghoul (for McLean 73), Hobbs (for Mulready 79), Buddle, Coldicott -Stevens, Gleeson Goals: None Booked: Parr, Goode   Biggleswade:  Brown, Lewis, Perry, Parker, Hoyte, Hewitt, Daniel, Hall, Effiong, Hoeness, Patrick  Subs:  Vincent (for Hoeness 58), Ives (for Hoyte 77), Norman (for Parker 85) Goals: Effiong (44, 58, 83), Hall (67), Daniel (90) Booked: Hall   Referee:   Gareth Viccars Attendance:    323   Roger Walker
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 09:31
    Southern League Premier Division   ST NEOTS TOWN       0         ST IVES TOWN        4       Sad St Neots finished up managerless, goalless and clueless as well as comprehensively beaten by neighbors St Ives.   Managerless because of the resignation of Andy Davies that gave Assistant Manager Lee Clarke and Coach Dan Gleeson just 24 hours to prepare for this important match; goalless for the second successive game – the first time that has happened for almost two years; and clueless as to how to cope with a visiting side brimming full with confidence and ideas.    St Ives, now seven games without defeat ran up a 3-0 lead by half time and then having added a fourth early in the second half they were able to coast to victory almost without breaking further sweat.   Forced into a late team change when Taylor Parr reported in sick the home side had to draft Gleeson into defence with Tom Wood returning for James Goode.   St Ives completed a predictable league double to move into the top half of the league table now a massive eleven points ahead of their hosts.   St Neots will take their time to appoint a new permanent boss but he faces a difficult task to reinstate some confidence and belief into the side before trying to lift them out of the relegation zone with less than half the season left. Both sides started cautiously with Nassim L’Ghoul seeing a shot tipped over the bar by Tim Trebes but the visitors almost got an early breakthrough when a shot from Jack Bradshaw following a corner was blocked on the goal line.   It was quickly apparent that St Ives were the more confident side with some slick movement and passing leaving St Neots chasing shadows.   The first goal duly arrived after 18 minutes when a Jack Higgs free kick sailed over the defence for Jack Bradshaw to win unchallenged at the far post.   His header beat Alex Archer but rebounded off the crossbar and Liam McDevitt pounced to hammed a low shot into the net.   Three minutes later a clumsy Jonnie Hall challenge presented the visitors with a free kick just outside the box but Bradshaw’s effort was too high.  Then after 28 minutes St Ives doubled their lead when from a Ben Seymour-Shove cross Danny Kelly got in front of his marker to glance a header across Archer and inside the far post.   St Ives deserved their lead because they were making the most of their possession with St Neots very wasteful with their passing and general ball control.   When they did create attacking moves St Neots’ finishing was poor with Peter Clark shooting wide after good work by Declan Rogers and Sam Mulready heading wide from a Rogers corner,   Five minutes before the break the goal of the match effectively ended the contest as Ben Seymour-Shove cut in from the right to unleash a perfectly placed shot from 30 yards that went in off the far post. St Neots have developed an unfortunate habit of conceding an early second half goal and this match was no exception for after 50 minutes a misplaced clearance by Hall only found former St Neots placer Josh Dawkin and skipped past the last defender to finish well.   St Ives seemed to relax after their fourth goal and St Neots began to create more chances.   Mulready headed over the bar, Charlie Day was well off target and Tom Wood brought a good save from Trebes but the visitors defence looked impregnable with Liam McDevitt and Lee Chaffey in commanding form giving St Neots no time to settle on the ball.   Trebes did have to save well from Rogers after66 minutes at the expense of a corner but St Neots ability to take advantage of set pieces was not as apparent as they had been in recent matches.   St Ives substitute Morgan Penfold missed a glorious chance to extend the lead from a Dubi Ogbonna cross but most of the goalmouth action was at the opposite end.  Trebes produced the save of the match to keep out a Rogers volley, Mulready saw his shot blocked and substitute Andre Williams also tested the visiting goalkeeper.   In a rare breakaway attack a Jack Higgs shot rebounded from the crossbar and St Neots were denied a late consolation goal as Trebes pounded on an overhead effort by Mulready.   St Neots:  Archer, Wood, Jonny Hall, Hyem, Ward, Gleeson, Rogers, Clark, L’Ghoul, Mulready, Day Subs:   Williams (for Gleeson 60 mins), Coldicott-Stevens (for Hall 75 mins), Buddle and Clement-McNee Cards:  none Goals:  none   St Ives:  Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, Chaffey, McDevitt, Higgs, Dawkin, McGowan, Kelly, Ogbonna, Seymour-Shove Subs:  Penfold (for Kelly 67 mins), Cunniff (for Dawkin 75 mins), Coulson (for Seymour-Shove 82 mins), O’Malley and Moyes. Cards:  none Goals:  McDevitt (18), Kelly (28), Seymour-Shove (40) Dawkin (50)   Attendance: 357 Referee: Christopher Francis (Ely)   John Walker  
Sunday, 18 December 2016 15:16
  Southern League Premier Division MERTHYR TOWN       3         ST NEOTS TOWN      0     ‘They were the best side we have played this season’ commented a senior St Neots player after the match and that seemed a very appropriate comment after the visitors had suffered one of their most comprehensive Southern League defeats ever.   Outplayed for much of the ninety minutes, St Neots – and in particular man of the match goalkeeper Alex Archer – did well to restrict their hosts to three goals whilst at the other end of the pitch only the occasional set piece brought the home keeper into action.    Short of ideas and confidence the reshaped visiting side were probably relieved to hear the final whistle as Archer pulled off another good save to deny leading home scorer Kayne McLaggon a second goal.   The St Neots line up saw the return to action of former skipper Tom Ward after a ten-match absence through injury and suspension and he was paired at the heart of the defence with recent signing James Goode because neither Tom Wood or Chevron McLean were available for the lengthy trip to South Wales.   James Hall and Rogan McGeorge are still injured so it  was a threadbare squad and few selection options for Manager Andy Davies.   The main shortcoming on the day was in midfield where Peter Clark and skipper Micky Hyem were well below their best so the front pair got little service and the back four seemed under constant pressure.  On the smart 3G surface St Neots began well enough repelling early attacks by the home side with Archer in early action to smother a close-range effort by Ian Traylor.  St Neots first attempt on goal was an opportunistic and audacious 45 yards’ lob from Declan Rogers who spotted home keeper Oliver Davies off his line after neat work by Nassim L’Ghoul, but the ball sailed just wide of its target.   In another St Neots sortie Peter Clark shot over the bar but most of the action was in the opposite direction with Archer turning a rising McLaggon shot for a corner and then the same player shot across the face of goal.   From a Scott Barrow cross the unmarked Ryan Prosser headed over the bar but after 32 minutes Archer distinguished himself with a staggering double save to deny both Prosser and Keyon Reffell after the St Neots defence had been breached.   Eight minutes before the break the overdue inevitable occurred as Merthyr went ahead as Ian Traylor weaved past three defenders cutting in from the left to beat Archer with a well-placed low shot.   From the restart it should have been a second goal as Traylor picked out the unmarked Prosser ten yards from goal but he headed tamely wide to St Neots’ relief. Any hopes of a St Neots recovery were dashed within four minutes of the restart when St Neots failed to clear a corner and allowed Reffell to retrieve the ball and cross from the right for McLaggon to net through the packed penalty area.   St Neots sent on substitute Josh Coldicott-Stevens for his league debut for the out-of-sorts Nassim L’Ghoul and St Neots showed some defiance as Taylor Parr won a Rogers’ corner but could only head into the arms of the keeper.   Archer then twisted in the air to push a net bound deflected shot from Ashley Evans over for a corner but the Merthyr attacks kept coming and eight minutes from time the unfortunate Archer had to retrieve the ball from his net for the third time when despite getting his hand to a shot from substitute Eliot Richards the ball deflected in off the crossbar.   St Neots created two late set piece opportunities for a consolation goal but Tom Ward headed wide from a Rogers’ corner and then from a second Taylor Parr once again won the ball in the air but Davies saved.   St Neots:  Archer, Parr, Jonny Hall, Hyem, Ward, Goode, L’Ghoul, Clark (P), Rogers, Mulready, Day Subs:   Coldicott-Stevens, (for L’Ghoul 51 mins), Gleeson, Maynard and Clarke (L). Cards:  none Goals:  none       Merthyr:  Davies (O), Davies (A), Barrow, Evans, McDonald, Tancock, Prosser, White, McLaggon, Reffell, Traylor Subs:  Jenkins (for Prosser 70 mins),Richards (for Barrow 77 mins), Watkins (for Traylor 77 mins), Jones and Garner Cards:  none Goals:  Traylor (37), McLaggon (49), Richards (82)   Attendance: 484 Referee: Ollie Williams (Kidderminster)   John Walker  
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