Banbury United 0 : 1 St Neots Town FC
Banbury United 0 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 30 November, 2013 15:00


Calor Southern League Premier Division


BANBURY UNITED      0        ST NEOTS TOWN        1       


A first clean sheet in the league since 21st September, Banbury’s five game unbeaten record shattered and three deserved points are the headlines from this match.   Add to that Jay Davies’ fourth goal in as many games and midfielder Ben Farrell becoming the fortieth player to feature in a St Neots match this season.   St Neots moved to within a point of Bedford Town just above them in the table with a confident show and the closeness of the final score line hardly does justice to the performance on the day.   It was match that featured St Neots’ best defensive performance of the season with skipper Gavin Hoyte and Ryan Frater winning every aerial battle and goalkeeper Nathan Abbey hardly ever bothered.    With shots blocked on the line and at least two good shouts for penalties turned down St Neots perhaps should have won the game by a larger margin but the three valuable points could mark a turning point in the fortunes of the side.


Ironically the only goal of the match cam e after just ninety seconds as Matt Nolan with his back to goal skilfully flicked the ball over the last defender and Jay Davies sprinted through to send a delicate chip over the advancing Leigh Bedwell to give St Neots the perfect start.   It took Davies’ goals tally this season to seven – more than doubling his tally last season when he scored three.   St Neots were boosted by this start and in the next twenty minutes they played some attractive free flowing football with Hoyte heading into the side netting from a corner and Michael Frew seeing his shot from Ben Ford’s corner clear off the line by Tom Ryan with his keeper beaten.  St Neots were then denied what looked a certain penalty when a defender handled in the area but the Referee looked unsighted and the chance was lost.   Lewis Hilliard then went past two defenders after 33 minutes but his shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs and a four minutes later Matt Nolan lobbed a shot from 25 yards that was pushed away one handed at full stretch by Bedwell.   Banbury probably had their share of possession in the first half but created little principally because of Hoyte’s defensive dominance and their best effort came from a move involving Luke Cray and Dom Lawless but Scott Bridges low shot was comfortably gathered by Nathan Abbey.


An early effort by Lawless for the home side sailed well over the bar and on the hour Banbury was reduced to ten men when Wayne Blossom was dismissed for the illegal use of an elbow on Nolan.   That should have signalled to St Neots an opportunity to push home their numerical advantage but the home side regrouped and kept players behind the ball restricting St Neots opportunities.   Nolan had a shot blocked by Ryan after 64 minutes and six minutes later Hilliard lobbed over the bar after good work by Ben Farrell before St Neots tried to vary their approach with Jake Woolley on for the tiring Frew.   Bedwell made a brave save at the feet of Nolan after good work by Dave Deeney with a quarter of an hour left but the only time St Neots looked defensively vulnerable was after 81 minutes when Anderson Pinto was left unmarked at the far post following a corner but he blazed over the bar.   As the game drew to a close St Neots looked comfortable playing the ball around and keeping possession and this effectively make Banbury become frustrated and less threatening.   In the last ten minutes St Neots sent on two more substitutes with fresher legs and they played out time without ever looking likely to concede an equaliser.



St Neots: Abbey, Deeney, Lee, Ford, Frater, Hoyte, Frew, Farrell, Nolan, Davies, Hilliard

Subs:  Woolley (for Frew 70 mins), Wilson (for Nolan 82 mins), Hibbert (for Davies 87 mins), Ann and Conroy.

Cards: Ford (Y – 80), Wilson (Y – 45+1)

Goals: Davies (1 min)


Banbury: Bedwell, Cray, Mbamarah, Isaac, Blossom, Ryan, Lawless, Bridges, Skendi, Pinto, Talabi

Subs:  Morgan (for Lawless 76 mins), McNulty and Martin

Cards: none

Goals: Blossom (RED – 60 and Y – 55), Ryan (Y – 90)


Attendance: 271


Referee:  Steve Glyde (Cheltenham)



John Walker