St Neots Town FC 3 : 1 Banbury United
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Banbury United
Saturday 01 February, 2014 15:00


Calor Southern League Premier Division




St Neots extended their unbeaten home record to seven matches as they eased past visitors Banbury to record their first league double of the season.   However in very testing conditions they had to showcommendable character and determination coming from behind after losing the toss and having to play against the strong blustery wind in the first half.  Manager Gary King again rotated his squad recalling Jay Davies and Simon Thomas for Ben Ford and Matt Nolan but the quality is there and the changes were almost seamless to the performance of the side.   Neither side looked comfortable in the first half hour as they strove to master the conditions but as the match wore on it was St Neots who looked the more composed and in the second half the home goal was seldom under pressure.  The only downside was the performance of Watford Referee Jake Hillier who contrived to issue seven yellow cards in a match that never had a single bad tackle.


Banbury created the first scoring chance after just two minutes when John Mbamarah was left unmarked ten yards from goal but fortunately for St Neots he headed Marvin Martin’s free kick high over the bar.  Four minutes later St Neots had a similar opening when Arthur Lee joined the attack to cross to the far post where Shane Tolley headed downwards from a narrow angle but visiting keeper Kwame Fordah was able to block his effort.   Twice Nathan Abbey had to be quickly off his line to gather at the feet of Dom Lawless and Anderson Pinto and the keeper also palmed a Luke Cray cross for a corner.   However the play was not all one way and Simon Thomas almost beat the visiting keeper to a Ferrari cross.  However it was Banbury who made the first breakthrough following a Cray free kick.  The ball fell to Lawless surrounded by defenders and when his shot rebounded off an opponent it fell to Marvin Martin who netted with a low shot.   St Neots responded with a couple of swift attacking moves and from the second Lewis Hilliard threw himself at a Tolley cross but the keeper saved well.   Then on the stroke of half time St Neots levelled when Banbury failed to clear a free kick and Lorenzo Ferrari showed fine control to collect the ball and fire well beyond the reach of Fordah to register his first goal for St Neots and ensure parity at the break.    


With the wind behind them after the restart St Neots played with greater freedom and it did not take long for them to gain territorial advantage with the wind at their backs.   Fordah diving bravely at the feet of Thomas after clever work by Jay Davies and then the first St Neots substitution saw Dan Cracknell on in midfield with Davies pushed forward.   After 65 minutes St Neots had the ball in the net but the effort was ruled out by an offside flag but this did not deter them.   With Jake Woolley also on to freshen up the attack he was quickly in action seeing a dangerous cross headed over his own cross bar by Mbamarah.   The pressure on the visiting defence always looked likely to twell but there was only ten minutes remaining when St Neots went in front.   An attack through the centre of the field saw Lewis Hilliard running at the defence before unleashing a trademark shot from 20 yards that left the keeper rooted to his line.   Now St Neots were rampant and it was no surprise when they clinched the points with a very special goal masterminded by Jay Davies.  He rounded one defender and twice exchanged passes before a clever reverse pass set up Jake Woolley for a clinical finish.   That took St Neots goal tally to 43 in just 29 matches – the higheast number in the bottom two thirds of the table.

St Neots: Abbey, Deeney, Lee, Farrell, Frater, Hoyte,Hilliard, DaviesTolleyThomasFerrari

Subs: Cracknell (for Thomas 61 mins), Woolley (forFerrari 67 mins), Nolan (for Tolley 81 mins), Ford andSwan.

Cards: Deeney (Y – 27), Lee (Y – 33), Hoyte (Y – 62), Cracknell (Y – 67)

Goals: Ferrari (45 mins), Hilliard (80 mins), Woolley (90 mins)


BanburyFordah, Cray, Bridges, McNulty, Mbamarah, Ryan, Green, Martin, Blossom, Lawless, Pinto

Subs: Abrahams (for Green 78 mins), Joao (for Martin 81 mins)Morgan (for Blossom 84 mins) and Barker.

CardsBlossom (Y – 70), Ryan (Y – 78), McNulty (Y – 80)

GoalsMartin (35 mins)




RefereeJake Hillier (Watford)


John Walker