|Hemel Hempstead Town||2 :||4||
St. Neots Town FC
|Tuesday 18 September, 2012 19:45|
|M Nolan||1||26'||32'||1||Stefan Moore|
|S Bakare||1||61'||50'||1||Ollie Thorne|
Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD 2 ST NEOTS TOWN 4
St Neots returned to winning ways with victory over the side in second place in the table prior to the match. It was probably their best league performance of the season as they had to come from behind against a side that operated an attacking approach throughout the game. All of the four St Neots ‘front players’ contributed a goal in a workmanlike all round performance and the foundation of the victory was a solid midfield base of Ollie Thorne and Jay Davies – the latter making his final appearance at the conclusion of his loan period. Reprieved from relegation last season Hemel are the surprise package who like their visitors have been scoring lots of goals this season and it was little surprise that the two teams managed six goals between them in this match.
The home side made the better start and shaded the first twenty minutes. The lively Dave Pearce kept the St Neots defence on their toes weaving through to test Michael Duggan and then beating the offside trap to lob the keeper only to see the ball bounce over the cross bar. St Neots best early effort was a snap shot from Ben Mackey well saved by Sam Beagle. Hemel deservedly took the lead after 26 minutes when Charlie Mpi outpaced his marker to cross to the near post where Matt Nolan scored with a brave diving header. St Neots’ response was quick and effective for five minutes later a long throw from Jon Paul Duncliffe found Stefan Moore in the box and he netted with an acrobatic volley. Ten minutes before the break it was Duggan at his best as he dived late to gather a low angled shot from Pearce.
The second half saw St Neots make an explosive start as in their first attack Mackey broke clear but could only fire into the side netting from a narrow angle. At the other end Pearce crossed to find the head of Nolan but he placed his free header directly into the grateful arms of Duggan. The keeper then did well to push a fierce drive from Mpi over the bar and then after 56 minutes St Neots took the lead. Jay Davies was the architect with a clever reverse pass to Lewis Hilliard and his early cross found the unmarked Ben Mackey at the far post for a simple finish. The advantage lasted just four minutes following a double substitution by the home side. On the field for less than two minutes on of the replacements Sakho Bakare wriggled past a flat footed Jordan Gent to beat the advancing Duggan to level at 2-2. The third St Neots goal after 66 minutes really proved significant because Hemel had to chase the game again. Despite being fouled in the edge of the area Ollie Thorne managed to slide the ball through the defence and Referee Tony Power played the advantage allowing Lewis Hilliard to round Beagle and score from a narrow angle. Eight minutes later the outcome was effectively decided with St Neots fourth goal created by some Stefan Moore magic and finished off by Dan Jacob. St Neots sent on all three substitutes late in the match and rode out the final fifteen minutes comfortably with Dan Jacob getting the ball in the bet again but being denied by an offside flag.
St Neots: Duggan, Duncliffe, Lee, Thorne, Gent, Hoyte, Hilliard, Davies, Moore, Mackey, Jacob.
Subs: Rogers (for Mackey 75 mins), Stewart (for Davies 87 mins), Werndly (for Moore 89 mins) Adjei & Felix.
Cards: Thorne (Y – 50), Davies (Y – 65), Gent (Y – 72).
Hemel Hempstead: Beagle, Ayodele, Parsons, Bruce, Anthony, Langley, Mpi, O’Leary, Pearce, Nolan, Campana.
Subs: Bakare (for Nolan 58 mins), Holmes (for Langley 58 mins), Judge (for Ayodele 75 mins), Hitchcock & Osborn.
Cards: O’Leary (Y – 2), Bruce (Y – 45), Anthony (Y – 51), Judge (Y – 87).
Referee: Tony Power