St Neots Town FC 5 : 3 Bideford
SLP 19
St Neots Town FC 5 : 3
Saturday 10 November, 2012 15:00

Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division


ST NEOTS TOWN       5      BIDEFORD     3


After 52 minutes St Neots were leading 5-0 and heading for what should have been their best ever Premier Division victory.   Manager Iain Parr then saw what he considered to be a perfect opportunity to give some of his younger less experienced players a run out and the idea almost backfired spectacularly.   Plucky Bideford saw their chance and came back to 5-3 before a great save by St Neots keeper Michael Duggan and a goal line clearance deep into added time saved home side blushes.     Clearly it was a day for defenders to forget because as well as eight goals St Neots were twice denied by the woodwork and there were a further three goal line clearances.  After the match Iain Parr defended his decision to unbalance his side with the substitutions but it clearly shows that St Neots need more strength in depth because only one senior player (Gavin Hoyte) was missing from the line up.

St Neots have been dogged with only average home form and they clearly identified this match against struggling Bideford as a chance to improve their record.   When after 32 minutes they led 4-0 it looked like job done but there were several twists of fate to follow.   Jordan Gent back after his one match suspension almost scored in the first minute of the game from a Jay Davies free kick and Dan Jacob saw a 16th minute shot rebound from a post.  It was only a matter of time before St Neots scored and the first goal came after 19 minutes when a corner was only cleared as far as Jay Davies, his shot was blocked and Jordan Gent turned to fire into the roof of the net.   Three minutes later there was a delightful exchange of passes on the right between Stefan Moore and Jon Paul Duncliffe and the latter sent in an angled shot for his first ever St Neots goal.   On the half hour Dan Jacob was brought down by visiting goalkeeper Paul Hider and a penalty awarded confidently tucked away by Ben Mackey with the keeper getting only a yellow card.    Just two minutes later it was 4-0 as Hider produced a brilliant reaction save to deny Mackey and Lewis Hilliard followed up to rifle the ball into the net.   St Neots could have had a second penalty when Ollie Thorne their driving midfield force was clearly pushed in the area but no award was made.   Then in the sixty seconds before the break Stefan Moore was denied by an outstanding Hider save and Dan Jacob saw a follow up effort cleared off the goal line.

Bideford will have been relieved to hear the half time whistle but their torment was to continue because seven minutes into the second half Jacob broke down the right to cross for Ben Mackey to score with a close range volley.   Bideford staged a mini rally and Michael Duggan had to produce two excellent saves in a minute to push away a Matt Bye shot and tip a dipping Matt Andrew shot over the bar but the game really changed when St Neots sent on three substitutes in a four minutes spell resting Duncliffe, Thorne and Moore.   Without Thorne’s midfield competitiveness and Moore’s subtle touches in attack St Neots really lost their way although Hider saved well from a Jacob thunderbolt.   With sixteen minutes left St Neots conceded a free kick on the edge of their penalty area and Richard Grove produced the best goal of the match with a stunning free kick.   Now Bideford showed some belief and after Hilliard had struck the crossbar in a breakaway attack sloppy defending after 77 minutes left Matt Bye clear and he made no mistake to make the score 5-2.   A minute later as local fans scratched their heads in disbelief Sean Downing scored Bideford’s third goal in that nightmare four minute period and St Neots had to dig deep and defend to protect their ever decreasing advantage.   In the final two minutes Downing shot over the bar when it looked easier to score and Rob Farkins saw substitute Mawefe Nkinga clear off the line to restrict further embarrassment.   It could have been far worse had those late Bideford efforts counted and St Neots must now work on showing better concentration and defending especially after producing early domination.



St Neots: Duggan, Duncliffe, Adjei, Thorne, Gent, Lee, Hilliard, Davies, Moore, Mackey, Jacob.

Subs:  Nkinga (for Duncliffe 61mins), Sharman (for Thorne 63 mins), Yusuff (for Moore 65 mins), Safee and Banthorpe

Cards: Thorne (Y – 62), Lee (Y – 79), Yusuff (Y – 82)


Bideford: Hider, Barker, Clifford, Downing, Farkins, Harper-Penman, Hockley, Bye, Squire, Vassell, Andrew.

Subs:  Rickard (for Squire 57 mins), Groves (for Vassell 65 mins

Cards: Hider (Y – 30), Downing (Y – 35), Hockley (Y – 53), Andrew (Y – 79)


Referee: Marc Wilson


Attendance: 324


John Walker