St Neots Town FC 4 : 1 Hemel Hempstead Town
Match
18
St Neots Town FC 4 : 1
Hemel Hempstead Town
Saturday 09 November, 2013 15:00

 

Calor Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN     4       HEMEL HEMPSTEAD      1      

 

‘Can’t we play you every week’ sang the jubilant St Neots Supporters as they celebrated their side’s first win in five league and cup games at the expense of high flying Hemel Hempstead.   Gary King and his new management team could hardly have faced a more challenging start to their reign for Hemel had knocked in nineteen goals in their last two matches and had been beaten just once in twelve league outings this season conceding only seven goals prior to this match.   An almost imperceptible shuffle with just two team changes and no new signings King obviously felt able to work with the squad he had inherited but there was just one significant change in St Neots’ tactical approach for they started with and persisted throughout with a 4-4-2 formation.   Hemel are not a bad side with just this one defeat but they were unable to respond significantly to a St Neots side determined to put behind them a string of disappointing results and show what they are really capable of.   Their response to losing their first half single goal advantage was to wrestle back the lead just 35 seconds after conceding and that spoke volumes for the tenacious spirit of a group of players who knew they had underperformed in recent outings.

 

There was little to suggest a convincing result to the match in the first 45 minutes.   Both sides took some time to settle and find any real rhythm or continuity and Hemel made the first two real openings but former Saint Ben Mackey headed a Daniel Talbot cross into the chest of Niall Conroy and the keeper then got down well to push a Dave Pearce shot for a corner.  St Neots were guilty of squandering their best openings with poor final passes after bright approach play but they were sharing possession and Jay Davies saw his shot fumbled by visiting goalkeeper Laurie Walker.   Then after 33 minutes an inspired long diagonal cross fieldpass by Jay Davies found Ed Adjei who took one touch before firing a low shot past the surprised Walker.   It was no less than St Neots deserved and two minutes later Matt Nolan at the far post could have added a second from an Alasan Ann cross but off balance he skied the ball wide.   St Neots now looked more confident as Lewis Hilliard shot over from a narrow angle and skipper Gavin Hoyte saw his header from a Davies corner deflected for another corner.  However Hemel finished the half well with Moussa DIarra seeing his effort deflected and the unmarked Ben Mackey sending a header the wrong side of a post in added time.

 

Having suffered a knock Mackey was to play no further part replaced by another former Saint Ollie Thorne.  Hemel made a really positive start after half time and after 52 minutes another substitute Charlie Mpi took full advantage of Niall Conroy being slow off his line to lob the keeper to level the scores.   Parity lasted just 35 seconds for play moved straight to the other end where Lewis Hilliard restored St Neots’ lead despite Walker getting a hand to his angled close range shot.     Six minutes later St Neots took control with their third goal as a deep cross from the right by Hilliard found the excellent Jake Woolley at the far post and he netted from a narrow angle.   Six minutes later Walker denied Woolley with a reaction save to a close range effort and now Hemel were being restricted to breakaway efforts.  The speedy Mpi shot into the side netting and Connelly clipped the top of the crossbar with a surprise effort from 35 yards but the visitors did try to raise their efforts as time ticked away and they were caught short in defence two minutes from time when Jay Davies won the ball inside his own half and sprinted clear to keep his cool and fire past the advancing Walker to complete a much needed but very well deserved victory.   Still in the relegation zone St Neots must now retain this confidence boost and put together some consistent results starting midweek with the visit of near neighbours Biggleswade Town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Neots: ConroyAnn, Ford, CrowieDeeney, Hoyte,Hilliard, Davies, Nolan, Woolley, Adjei

Subs: Taylor (for Adjei 77 mins), Wilson (for Nolan 82mins), Hurst (for Davies 90 + 4 mins), Lee and Longden.

Cards: Davies (Y – 44), Ford (Y – 90 + 3)

GoalsAdjei (33 mins), Hilliard (52 mins), Woolley (58 mins), Davies (88 mins)

 

Hemel HempsteadWalker, Parkes, Connelly, Carvalho, Murphy, Diarra, Talbot, Hutton, Pearce, Mackey, Hawkins

Subs: Thorne (for Mackey 46 mins), Mpi (for Carvalho 46 mins), Opoku (for Hawkins 67 mins), Maissiat and Holmes.

CardsConnelly (Y – 40)

GoalsMpi (52 mins)

 

Attendance436

 

Referee:  Matt Smith (Barwell)

 

John Walker