Wednesday, 14 November 2018 20:01
UPCOMING MATCHES PREVIEW After the disappointing exit from our second National competition last weekend it is back to our league programme and we are off to Worcestershire on Saturday for our first ever visit to Alvechurch.   Alvechurch were promoted from Step Four in the Evo-Stik League South at the end of last season via the end of season play-offs after finishing runners-up.   This season they have made an excellent start with a current fifth position in the table in the play-off zone.   Out of the FA Trophy in the first-round qualifying, last week they took full advantage with a narrow 2-1 away victory at Rushall Olympic.   They are newcomers to this level after some 15 years in the Midland Football Alliance and Midland Football League but this season they have already recorded home victories over St Ives, Needham Market and Redditch.   Historically they were briefly a Southern League club having gained entry into the Southern League for the 1978/79 season and at that time as the only true village club playing in the league they finished in a creditable third position. Next Tuesday sees the visit to the Town for the first time since 2003 of Needham Market.   It is to be another Southern League Premier Central fixture with our visitors one of a clutch of clubs transferred into the expanded Southern League this season.  Needham’s last visit was for an FA Vase First Round match which out lads won 3-1 with two goals from Steve Kuhne and the third from Ronnie Fortune.   We also met in the FA Vase five years later in Suffolk where our hosts beat us 4-3 in a real thriller with James Hall, Luigi Rocco and Ben Dyett scoring but with Manager Marvin Johnson observing ‘you cannot expect to win when you concede four goals!’   Needham will feature next Saturday in the third round qualifying of the FA Trophy where they have been given an away tie at Royston Town so at least the league is guaranteed one Divisional representative in the First-Round Proper next month.  At the time these notes were penned, Needham were thirteenth in the league table – just two points ahead of our lads.   John Walker
Friday, 09 November 2018 11:24
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW It is back to Cup football on Saturday with the second visit to the town of Barwell for our Second Round Qualifying tie in the FA Trophy.   Barwell based in Leicestershire reached this stage of the competition with an extra time replay victory away at Coalville whilst our lads saw off the challenge of Matlock Town here on 27 October.   Barwell’s previous trip to the town was on 24 November 2012 when goals from Stefan Moore and Ben Mackey gave our lads a 2-2 Southern League draw.   Later in the season our return match was memorable – a 3-2 victory for us after leading 3-0 at one stage – with the result confirming our survival at Step Three and robbing Barwell of the chance of a play-off place.   The Canaries have an excellent record away from home this season last defeated on foreign soil almost three months ago at Coalville on 27th August.   Since then their three league defeats were all at home and they unbeaten in all competitions since 6th October when they lost at home in the league to Alvechurch.   Both of our teams were defeated in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy last season – our lads at home to Stourbridge and Barwell at home by lower graded Mildenhall Town.   For today’s winners the next round is scheduled for two weeks’ time – 24th November with the draw to be published on Monday.   Of course be shall be without full back Johnny Herd for this match as he sits out his one match suspension and Harry O’Malley will be unlikely to feature in the squad as he makes his recovery from injury.   John Walker
Monday, 05 November 2018 10:28
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW Tuesday evening football sees the first ever visit to the Premier Plus Stadium of Tamworth for a Southern League Premier Central tie.   It is a rearranged match postponed due to FA Cup involvement and it sees the return to the town of former St Neots Manager Dennis Greene.     He will have required no directions to get here for he was our Manager from 2nd February 2010 until 30th June 2012 taking over from Steve Lomas and going on to see his side win the United Counties League Premier Division Championship and the Southern League Central Division Championship in successive seasons.   Since then he has managed several clubs and spent some time scouting but earlier this season he took over at Tamworth.   Our Staffordshire visitors were relegated from the National League North at the end of last season and found themselves in the Southern League Central having previously won the Premier Division of that league to obtain promotion to Step Two in 2002/03.   Last Saturday Tamworth recorded a 2-0 home victory over Hitchin to go above our lads in the league table.   John Walker        
Friday, 02 November 2018 15:20
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW Cup football has to some extent monopolised the fixture list recently with eight of our last thirteen fixtures up to last Saturday being either in FA Cup or League Cup competition.   Now It is back to the league programme but on Saturday we come up against very familiar faces in the shape of Coalville whom we defeated inn the FA Cup after three and a half hours football and penalty kicks.   So we are back at Owen Street, Coalville this weekend less than a month after our FA Cup triumph.   Coalville could also have been our opponents in the FA Trophy third round qualifying in ten days’ time but last Tuesday they were beaten in extra time in a replay by Barwell whom we shall now host on Saturday week. The Ravens as they are known are based in Leicestershire and last season were members of the Northern League Premier Division where they finished 20th – well clear of the relegation zone.    In this season’s FA Cup competition, they had beaten Racing Club Warwick 2-1 at home in their first match before a replay victory over Buxton and their league position is very impressive – seventh in the table just six points behind leaders Kettering Town.   Away from home in the league this season they have beaten St Ives and Redditch, but they lost at Leiston.   Nine years ago after their whirlwind rise to elite non-professional football they had their ‘day in the sun’ in the FA Vase Final at Wembley when they finished up as runners-up to Whitley Bay but out of both FA Cup competitions there will be no return to Wembley this season.     John Walker        
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 16:25
We can confirm that we will be playing BARWELL FC in the second qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday 10th November  at the Premier Plus Stadium - kick off 3.00pm Admission will be our standard charge: Adult  £10 Concession   £7 Under 16    FREE   (must be accompanied by an adult)    
Sunday, 21 October 2018 14:18
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW Following the high intensity atmosphere of the FA Cup it is quickly back to reality on Tuesday for Matt Clements and his team.   For the second time in three weeks they face the long midweek trip to the East coast to play Lowestoft Town – this time in the rearranged league match.   On 2nd October they played at Lowestoft for the first time in 47 years in the first round of the Southern League CSS Cup returning home having lost 3-1 with skipper Luke Knight having scored their consolation goal.   One of the main concerns on Clements’ mind apart from his teams’ position in the relegation area of the Southern League Central Division is the recent league goalscoring record.   In ten completed league outings to date the side has scored just six goals and in seven of those matches (home and away) they have failed to score.   In fact, it is now 35 days and 301 minutes since Dylan Williams goal at Banbury on 15th September – a record that must be rectified as a matter of urgency.   Lowestoft went into last Saturday’s league match at home to Barwell, which finished 0-0, now two points ahead of St Neots, having played one match more, so this can be seen as a ‘must win’ fixture for the visiting St Neots side.   John Walker
Friday, 19 October 2018 13:59
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW We are fast approaching the biggest game since 1966 in the 139 years proud history of St Neots Town Football Club.   Tomorrow the Saints band wagon comprising at least four coaches and any number of cars will be travelling up the M1 to Alfreton to compete in the fourth Round Qualifying of the FA Cup where the winning side will pick up a sponsorship reward of a mouth-watering £25,000.  The previous comparable fixture 52 years ago was when St Neots, playing in the United Counties League, enjoyed home advantage over visitors Wisbech Town who were then members of the Southern League.    The result was a memorable 2-0 victory at their former home at ‘Shortsands’ – a ground into which the Committee had imported temporary stands to accommodate a crowd of more than 900 – and that earned the historic trip to Walsall where they were beaten by the same score as the previous round. Alfreton Town play in the National League North (formerly the Conference North) and are currently twelfth in that division with five wins and a draw from their twelve completed league matches.   They compete alongside former Football League sides York City (who beat St Ives in the last round), Chester City, Stockport County, Darlington and Bradford Park Avenue.   They entered the FA Cup competition this season at the second Round Qualifying, beating Sutton Coldfield Town of the Southern League Division Central (Step Four) 3-0 at home in a replay following a 2-2 draw in Birmingham, and then they defeated Mickleover Sports from the Northern Premier League (Step Three) away from home 2-1 two weeks ago.   Alfreton have been at Conference level since 2003/04 and the following season they reached the FA Cup First Round Proper for only the second time in 30 years losing to Macclesfield Town in a replay.    Last season Alfreton finished 17th out of 22 teams in the National League North whilst in the FA Cup they defeated Rushden & Diamonds in a replay before losing away at Stourbridge. John Walker        
Sunday, 30 September 2018 10:38
UPCOMING CUP MATCHES PREVIEW It will be a busy week for Matt Clements and his side as they face two crucial Cup matches in a five days spell.   First up on Tuesday it is the long midweek trip to the East Coast to face Lowestoft Town in the Southern League Challenge Cup.   It will be the first meeting of the two sides for 46 years having last met in the Eastern Counties League.   St Neots were in that league for four seasons from 1969/70 until 1972/73 and in that final season both league meetings with Lowestoft finished 0-0!   Ironically that match follows on from last Saturdays 0-0 draw – only the Saints second in more than two seasons.   Since then Lowestoft enjoyed a successful period winning the ECL title in 1977/78 to win promotion to the Football Conference as well as reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Cup four times in the modern era.   This season they are in the same division as St Neots sitting eleventh in the table – just one point ahead of St Neots, having failed to win their last three league matches.  Whilst St Neots were beating Bedford Town in the Preliminary Round of this competition, Lowestoft were enjoying a bye. Then on Saturday it is the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Cup against Coalville Town with the reward for the winners a mouth-watering £15,000 in Emirates sponsorship, but more importantly a place in the Fourth Round Qualifying of the National competition – just 90 minutes away from the entry in the competition of the Football League sides.   The Coalville visit will see (for the first time) a third consecutive home tie in the same season for St Neots in the FA Cup and our first appearance in the competition at that stage since 1978/79 when March Town United visited Shortsands to end our hopes for that season.    Coalville were due to make their first trip to St Neots in the league in February next year, but this will be a premature visit.   The Ravens as they are known come from Leicestershire and last season were members of the Northern League Premier Division where they finished 20th – well clear of the relegation zone.    In this season’s FA Cup competition, they beat Racing Club Warwick 2-1 at home in their first match before their replay victory over Buxton and their league position is very impressive – second in the table just two points behind leaders Kettering Town.   Away from home in the league this season they have beaten St Ives and Redditch, but they lost at Leiston.   John Walker        
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 08:46
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW Before returning to our FA Cup adventure on 6th October (Saturday week) we have a league engagement on Saturday when our near neighbours Hitchin Town are to be our visitors.   Our two sides have something in common this season – a less than successful league start to the season.   Last season after 46 league games our two sides were locked together in mid-table anonymity – Hitchin in 11th place and our lads just one below, separated by just two points.    Our goal difference was neutral – 79 goals scored and 79 conceded whilst Hitchin had scored 12 less than us but conceded 13 less giving them a goal difference of +1.   Over the period of six seasons at Step Three out two sides have met fourteen times – twelve in the league and two in the league cup and our visitors have the edge on us winning seven of those meetings with a further four drawn.    At present we are 15th in the league table with eight points from seven matches whist Hitchin are three points and five places below us.   However, it is early days and recent interest and priority for both sides has been centred on the FA Cup competition.   Whilst we were featuring last Saturday in that nail-biting odd goal in seven victory over Romulus, Hitchin were being held at home in a dour contest by lower graded Didcot.    The replay of that tie was on Tuesday evening in Oxfordshire and resulted in another very close encounter – the visitors running out victorious in a sudden-death penalty shoot out after a second consecutive draw.   So, with both out sides looking to regenerate their season with a lucrative FA Cup run (both clubs having picked up £15,000 so far in sponsorship prizes) it will be valuable league points that are on offer at the Premier Plus Stadium on Saturday. John Walker      
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 09:40
UPCOMING MATCH PREVIEW This Saturday sees us travel to Banbury United for our next Southern League fixture. The restructure of non-league football meant that the 2004-05 season was anticipated as keenly as any in the history of the club and Banbury United were equal to the challenge of Premier Division football – but only just. Winless after five games, they rose to ninth by the end of October but then struggled and by February had sunk to within one place of the relegation zone and spent two months there before a late improvement saw them to safety with a game to spare.   Five wins in the first eight games of the 2011-2 season took United to second place but as players left the cash-strapped club, tempted by better offers, an alarming slump followed. Winning only six of their next 31 matches, United fell into the relegation places on Easter Monday. Two wins in the last three games saw them to safety.   In 2013/14 Banbury finished 16th in the table nine points above the relegation zone.  Relegated the following season Banbury bounced straight back to the Premier Division via the play-offs.  Since then Banbury finished one place shy of the play-offs in 2016/17 and last season they were ninth.  This season they have started well and are fifth in the table – still unbeaten – with a match in hand of the four clubs ahead of them. Our record at Banbury is not good with just one victory and two draws in five visits.   The one victory came five seasons ago when Jay Davies scored the only goal of the game but last season we battled well to a 1-1 draw with Dylan Williams producing a second half equalizer after we had trailed at the break.   At home it is a different story with four victories in five matches.  Good news for Saints fans is that it is expected that former striker Nabil Shariff is expected to be in the starting line-up following his return from his short spell with Stratford Town John Walker      
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