St Neots Town FC 4 : 2 Burnham FC
Match
35
St Neots Town FC 4 : 2
Burnham FC
Saturday 15 February, 2014 15:00

 

Calor Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN     4       BURNHAM      2

 

St Neots extended their unbeaten home run to eight matches with an important victory over visiting Burnham.   The victory lifted St Neots 17 points clear of the relegation zone to leave them in eighteenth place – their highest position since the end of September.   As a spectacle the match was marred by the swirling breeze that made constructive football very difficult but both sides did their best to overcome the conditions.    With matches coming thick and fast there were team changes with skipper Gavin Hoyte returning for the unavailable Ryan Frater, and Lewis Hilliard, Shane Tolley and Ed Adjei all returning to the side.  Jake Woolley was not in the squad having failed to recover from the injury he received in the Royston match.   Without a win in their last five matches Burnham was looking to find an improvement on recent results but their slide down the table leaves them now just seven points ahead of St Neots in mid table.  

 

The game got off to a surprising start when Miles Hippolyte broke clear on the left of St Neots defence to send in a fierce drive that Nathan Abbey was glad to turn over the bar.   However little was to be seen of the visiting attack for the remainder of the first half.   When St Neots had got to grips with the conditions they began to produce some attractive attacking football and after 17 minutes Lewis Hilliard picked out Matt Nolan whose shot was pushed away for a corner by visiting goalkeeper Aaron O’Brien.  However from that corner St Neots took the lead as Jay Davies swung the ball to the far post when skipper Gavin Hoyte rose imperiously to head home his first goal since 5th February last year.    That set the tone for St Neots and O’Brien became the busiest man on the field pushing away a Dave Deeney cross and blocking a close range Shane Tolley effort although he knew little about it.   Hoyte then sent a free header over the bar from another set piece but after 33 minutes St Neots doubled their lead with a goal that came from what proved to be the best move of the match.   Ben Farrell won the ball in a tackle on the edge of his own are finding Jay Davies with a neat pass and his ball over the defence was claimed by Matt Nolan who set up Hilliard and his cross was swept into the net by Shane Tolley.   Up for a set piece Dean Cracknell glanced a header just wide and it was all looking so easy for the home side but in the final minute of the half the ball broke loose to Lee Togwell who rapped a shot beyond Nathan Abbey to score with only his side’s second shot of the match.

 

St Neots responded positively and with four minutes of the restart they had restored their two goals advantage as Nolan headed down to find Jay Davies whose shot rebounded off the bar and there was goal poacher Shane Tolley to claim his second goal of the match.   Tolley almost completed a hat trick a minute later when he converted a Hilliard cross but was ruled fractionally offside.   However St Neots were now in complete control as Tolley had a shot deflected just wide and Nolan brought a good save from O’Brien.   They then sent on Simon Thomas as a direct swap for Nolan and seven minutes after he entered the fray he rose to head home a Hilliard cross to extend the lead to 4-1.   Burnham refused to capitulate and Abbey had to produce the save of the match to deny Josh Webb with nine minutes left.   St Neots continued to press and a Thomas header rebounded from the cross bar but there was to be a slightly disappointing finale to the match for St Neots when a minute into injury time their defence lost concentration and as they desperately tried to clear a Burnham corner the ball took a couple of deflections – the second off substitute Nik Kebamba who was happy to claim his side’s late consolation goal.

St Neots: Abbey, Deeney, Lee, Farrell, Cracknell, Hoyte, Hilliard, DaviesNolan, TolleyAdjei

Subs: Thomas (for Nolan 62 mins), Ford (for Tolley 77mins), Wilson (for Adjei 86 mins), Ferrari and Swan.

Cards: Deeney (Y – 27)

Goals: Tolley 2 (33 & 49 mins), Hoyte (18 mins), Thomas (69 mins)

 

BurnhamO Brien, Boultwood, Jeffreys, Munday, Smith, Togwell. Upward, Crouch, Webb, Hippolyte, Driver

Subs: Pilbeam (for Hippolyte 62 mins), Kebamba (forUpward 62 mins)and Moore (for Boultwood 80 mins).

CardsWebb (Y – 63), Munday (Y – 65)

GoalsTogwell (45 mins), Kebamba (90 + 1)

 

Attendance262

 

RefereeJames Benjamin (Brize Norton)

 

John Walker