St Neots Town FC 1 : 1 Poole Town
Match
30
St Neots Town FC 1 : 1
Poole Town
Saturday 11 January, 2014 15:00

alor Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN        1        POOLE TOWN       1       

 

This highly entertaining match bragged only two goals with both defences looking mean and sound.   High flying Poole on the fringe of the play off zone with five or six games in hand in action for the first time since Boxing Day will look upon this as an important point gained with their goal coming just two minutes from time whilst St Neots with only two defeats in their last ten matches will see it as two points lost after surviving a battering in the last half hour.   The home side made just two team changes with Nathan Abbey returning in goal and Jake Woolley replacing the suspended Lorenzo Ferrari.    There was also a welcome substitution appearance after a nine match injury absence for winger Ed Adjei.   A feature of the match was the aerial domination of Ryan Frater and Gavin Hoyte – a contributory factor to the lack of direct shots on goal in the first half.

 

Poole had won the first meeting of the two sides in Dorset in November and they made a strong start to the match with Ekow Elliott and Dan Cann putting shots wide of the target.  St Neots broke forward for Hilliard to send his effort wide after neat work by Jay Davies and then skipper Gavin Hoyte headed wide from a corner.   As the match settled St Neots looked the better side with Ben Ford and Ben Farrell looking strong in midfield whilst the competitive nature of the match saw three first half bookings but St Neots grabbed the lead on 26 minutes when Hilliard neatly glanced in a near post header from a Davies cross to claim his twelfth goal of the season which is one more than his total last season.   With neither side totally in control the final ball by both was often wayward and neither keeper was seriously tested before half time.

 

Both sides adopted a varied approach to the second half.   St Neots were often guilty of playing too deep and surrendering space to their opponents whilst Poole pushed their wide midfield players forward and began to enjoy the greater share of possession.   Jay Davies chipped impudently just over the bar and also had a rising shot well saved by Buchel but the majority of chances were falling to Poole with Elliott robbed by Hoyte when an equaliser looked imminent.   Will Petch hit the crossbar following a corner and Elliott turned neatly in the box to bring an important save from Abbey.  St Neots tried to show a more attacking approach with Shane Tolley on as substitute for Ford and Jay Davies back in a more traditional midfield role.   However the St Neots forwards were not getting the ball and Spetch twice won the ball in the box at set pieces to fire off target.   Hilliard thought he had won a penalty kick but was booked for simulation and although St Neots made two more changes they failed to impress.   Eight minutes from time Nathan Abbey produced the save of the match to block and retrieve a fierce low effort by Steve Devlin but six minutes later with all three points looking safe the keeper was left helpless as a Will Spetch header from a Devlin corner flew though a packed area to rob St Neots of two valuable points.   However with Frome losing at home to bottom of the table Bashley St Neots league position remained unchanged – now seven points above the drop zone.

 

 

St Neots: Abbey, Deeney, Lee, Ford, Frater, Hoyte, Woolley, Farrell, Thomas, Davies, Hilliard

Subs:  Tolley (for Ford 58 mins), Adjei (for Woolley 69 mins), Cracknell (for Thomas 81 mins), Nolan and Ann.

Cards: Farrell (Y – 12), Hilliard (Y – 65)

Goals: Hilliard (26 mins)

 

Poole: Buchel, Brooks, Spetch, Emmerson, Whisken, Pettefer, Elliott, Devlin, Charles, Preston, Cann

Subs: Chiedozie (for Charles 62 mins), Yates, Davies and Dibba.

Cards: Brooks (Y – 10), Devlin (Y – 33), Spetch (Y – 73)

Goals: Spetch (88 mins)

 

Attendance: 375

 

Referee: Chris Williams (Waddesdon, Bucks))

 

John Walker