Kettering Town 1 : 0 St Neots Town FC
SLP 43
Kettering Town 1 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Wednesday 10 April, 2013 19:45


Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division


KETTERING TOWN       1        ST NEOTS TOWN       0


One moment’s apparent lack of concentration by St Neots’ goalkeeper Jack Giddens cost his side dear as they slumped to a fourth consecutive league defeat at the hands of hosts Kettering.   The only goal of the game came within fifty seconds of the restart of the match after the break and from a free kick that should have been better defended.   Already relegated Kettering are clearly not yet resigned to their fate for they performed well against an out of sorts St Neots side who at times lacked both shape and belief.   St Neots actually created the bulk of the goal scoring chances and were denied by the crossbar and a shot cleared off the line but their overall performance did not really merit any reward against a host side that defended well and always looked pacey and threatening when they did break forward.   With just four matches remaining St Neots are to face two sides away from home that are nursing hopes of play off places so the run in to the end of the season gets no easier for Iain Parr’s side.

St Neots created the first opening in a low key first half as Lewis Hilliard capitalised on clever play by Junior Konadu but his shot was tipped around a post by Michael Quirke.   Ben Ford always prepared to shoot from distance saw an effort sail over the bar but there was little other goalmouth action in the opening half hour with St Neots changing their formation and shape without any benefit.   Hilliard linked well with Louie Meech but shot over the bar and there was then a break in first half play for nine minutes when an Assistant Referee went lame.   Upon the restart St Neots had their best first half chance when Andre Da Costa was fouled wide on the left and from the narrow angled free kick Jai Davies saw his well placed effort beat home keeper Michael Quirke but rebound from the crossbar.

Disaster struck St Neots immediately upon the resumption as they needlessly conceded a free kick 35 yards from goal.   Giddens’ seemed to be distracted by the gathering of around fifteen players at the far post and was clearly out of position as Ben Ford struck a left foot low shot that beat the keepers despairing dive at his near post to claim what proved to be the winning goal.   Kettering had not kept a clean sheet since New Years day so there was plenty of hope and time for St Neots to recover but they were slow to respond to the setback.    Five minutes after the goal it could have got worse when the defence dithered leaving Nathan Hicks with an open chance but Giddens made some amends with a brave block at his feet.     St Neots then showed both determination and improvement and Hilliard split the home defence to send Nathan Koranteng clear but he got over the ball and lifted it high over the bar from ten yards.   Kettering now defended in depth relying on breakaway attacks and Troy Johnston squandered their best chance to increase their lead firing high over the bar at the other end.  With leading youth team scorer Karl Safee on for his senior debut as a substitute both he and Koranteng saw efforts saved by Quirke and Davies had a shot cleared off the line by Johnston with his keeper beaten.   The home side defended with great determination and had two players booked for desperate tackles in added time as they retreated to defend their narrow lead and at the final whistle celebrated like they had won promotion – rather than going in the other direction.



St Neots: Giddens, Meech, Adjei, Sear, Lee, Hoyte, Adjei, Hilliard, Davies, Koranteng, Konadu, Da Costa.

Subs:  Safee (for Da Costa 63 mins), Wood (for Konadu 63 mins), Auger, Loudon and Conroy.

Cards: none



Kettering: Quirke, Alleyne, Fox, Logan, Eze, Crowie, Johnston, Hicks, Verma, Muzvimbiri, Ford.

Subs:  Bradshaw (for Fox 14 mins), Glen (for Verma 46 mins), Baillie (for Alleyne 62 mins), and Talbot.

Cards: Baillie (Y – 90+1), Ford (Y – 90+2)


Attendance: 187


Referee:  Ian Rathbone


John Walker