Arlesey Town 1 : 1 St Neots Town FC
Arlesey Town 1 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Monday 21 April, 2014 15:00

Calor Southern League Premier Division


ARLESEY TOWN       1       ST NEOTS TOWN       1



Arlesey are a bit of a bogey side for St Neots and when they visited the Cozy Stadium earlier in the season and that meeting ended in a victory for St Neots it was only their second win in twelve previous league and cup meetings.   St Neots therefore were hoping for a league double and an improvement in their record against their Bedfordshire hosts but the match ended in a rather tame draw despite St Neots having the better of the second half exchanges.   It had been reasonable to expect that there was little at stake on the day for the two sides separated by just a single point in the lower reaches of mid-table had in theory only pride to play for in what was their penultimate league match of the season.   And so it proved because the match had an end of season feel about it right from the first whistle.    St Neots opted for a 4-4-1-1 starting formation with Jay Davies tucked in behind striker Matt Nolan whilst Arlesey lined up in similar fashion with the vastly experienced Barry Hayles numbering Fulham, Leicester City and the Jamaican national side during a sparkling career also playing just behind the home striker.



The first twenty minutes of the game was almost a non-event with Arlesey winning four corners that produced no result and St Neots seeing their first shot on goal by skipper Gavin Hoyte sail over the bar.   The game needed a boost and it came after 20 minutes in the shape of a sweetly placed shot from 30 yards by Ben Farrell that screamed into the top corner of the net leaving home keeper Aidan Grant helpless.   However the lead last just 13 minutes and then Liam McGovern lifted the ball into the penalty area where Hayles with his back to goal deftly made space for himself before firing a low shot inside the near post to level the scores.   Those proved to be the only really quality moves in the first 45 minutes that was largely fought out in midfield although Grant saved well from Lewis Hilliard and Nolan and Cambridge United loanee Bobby-Jo Taylor shot over the bar for Arlesey when well placed.



The second half produced much more flowing football with St Neots in the ascendancy.   Jay Davies saw a close range shot deflected wide by Sam Willet and after 63 minutes Grant produced the save of the match throwing himself full length to push away a Hilliard shot with an outstretched hand.   Arlesey sent on two substitutes and adopted a more attacking approach but made little headway with Ben Farrell again dominating the midfield area for St Neots.   Off balance Nolan shot over the bar and then with fifteen minutes left St Neots hit a purple patch with three excellent scoring chances in as many minutes.   Arthur Lee back after suspension headed down a Hilliard corner to Davies who saw his effort cleared off the line by McGovern, Hilliard brought an important parry from Grant and then substitute Shane Tolley was played clear but Grant spread himself to block the shot with his body.   Hoyte volley over the bar from a set piece and four minutes from time Arlesey could have stolen all three points when a sublime flick by Hayles played Taylor free but Farrell got back with a perfectly timed tackle to deflect the ball for a corner.   It was an almost expected outcome to a contest between two well matched sides.




St Neots: Abbey, Nkinga, AdjeiFarrellLee, Hoyte,Hilliard, Ford, Nolan, DaviesFerrari

SubsWoolley, (for Ferrari 56 mins), Tolley (for Ford68 mins), Thomas (for Nolan 83 mins), Wilson and Swan.

Cards: none

Goals: Farrell (20 mins)


ArleseyGrant, Powell, Willet, McGovern, Gallagher, Farrell, McNamara, McNulty, Hayles, Taylor

Subs: Musombo-Tambue (for McNulty 64 mins), Medina (for Shaw 64 mins), Mouko-Nsue, Tavernier and Daly.


GoalsHayles (33 mins)




RefereeNigel Smith (Bourne)


John Walker