Hungerford Town 1 : 0 St Neots Town FC
Match
10
Hungerford Town 1 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 05 October, 2013 15:00

 

Calor Southern League Premier Division

 

HUNGERFORD TOWN       1       ST NEOTS TOWN    0      

 

This was St Neots’ fifth away defeat in six games by the odd goal underlining the need for more regular goal power but on reflection with half their team missing it was a much better result than they could have expected.   With skipper Gavin Hoyte, Adrian Sear, Jordy Nkinga and Bobby-Joe Taylor all ruled out of contention by injury and recent signing Leon Hibbert missing because of a pre-arranged family commitment it proved an excellent opportunity for the younger squad players to get some experience.   Those who came in all performed well and it was a special occasion for on the day skipper Lewis Hilliard who was celebrating his 150th appearance in St Neots colours.   New boys Hungerford were delighted with their narrow victory but towards the end of the ninety minutes it was St Neots who finished the stronger and might have snatched a goal and a point.   There was a debut for most recent signing Aston Goss – formerly at St Albans – who slotted well into wide right midfield and only a second start for teenage striker Karl Safee withthree more youngsters thrown on as second half substitutes.   However without Sear the midfield engine room of the side failed to function with its usual efficiency and it was until late in the game when the home side looked to be tiring that St Neots looked really threatening.   With a blank Saturday to come it will give time for some planning and the injured players some to recover prior to the FA Trophy trip to Hednesford on 19th October.

 

Early on it became obvious that Hungerford’s main attacking threats were to come from the pacey left wing play of Alan O’Brien and the lengthy throws into the six yards box by Ian Herring.   Without the aerial power of Hoyte and Nkinga St Neots looked vulnerable and from Herring’s third projectile St Neots failed to clear leaving leading home scorer Mark Draycott a simple headed finish from six yards after 14 minutes.   New boy Aston Goss cut in from the right to see his shot blocked by a defender but the main threatening action was at the other end with Ryan Sharman heading off the line from Matt Day after an O’Brien corner and Niall Conroy saving well from Luke Brewer after another O’Brien delivery.   Ed Adjei picked up the ball on the half way line but was scythed down just outside the area earning Mark Hughes a booking.   O Brien then cut in to make himself space but fired over the bar and as half time approach two crosses by Goss were well gathered by home keeper Paul Strudley and O’Brien saw another rising shot deflected for a corner.

 

It was immediately after the break when St Neots came under a sustained ten minutes period of pressure as from a Bradley Gray cross Draycott saw his free header well saved by Conroy, O’Brien then set up the same home player but Conroy produced the save of the match at full stretch and Jon Boardman had a header from a Day free kick well handled by the busy St Neots goalkeeper.   Some relief came as Safee broke away and should have been awarded a penalty when he was clearly pushed off the ball in the penalty area but he continued to battle away and was booked for a late tackle on Nick Stanley.   With Kaine Felix and Tom Wood on as substitutes for Safee and Davies St Neots began to compete better and Goss picked up a clever Hilliard pass to force a full length save from Strudley.   The pressure on the St Neots defence seemed to ease but it was not until the last five minutes that St Neots might have snatched an equaliser.   With Alasan Ann pushed forward from defensive duties he had a shot cleared off the line by Boardman and Hilliard shot over the bar.   The final effort of the match came from home substitute Harry Goodger who sent a spectacular overhead kick over the bar but it would have been hard on improving St Neots if they had conceded a second goal.

 

St Neots: ConroyHurst, Steer, Ann, Crowie, Davies, Goss, Sharman, Hilliard, Safee, Adjei

Subs: Felix (for Safee 62 mins), Wood (for Davies 72mins), Palmer (for Adjei 79 mins), and King.

Cards: Steer (Y – 42), Safee (Y – 48)

Goalsnone

 

HungerfordStrudley, Hughes, Stanley, Boardman, Day, Brewer, Gray, Herring, Brown, Draycott, O’Brien

Subs: Hopkins (for Stanley 58 mins), Stow (for O’Brien 85 mins), Goodger (for Draycott 88 mins), Rees andHorgan.

CardsHughes (Y – 39)

GoalsDraycott (14 mins)

 

Attendance105

 

Referee:  Will Bull (Southampton)

 

John Walker