Arlesey Town 4 : 3 St Neots Town FC
SLP 22
Arlesey Town 4 : 3
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 01 December, 2012 15:00





Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division


ARLESEYTOWN      4       ST NEOTS TOWN       3


It is now just one win in their last five matches as St Neots defensive fragility was cruelly and efficiently exposed in a seven goal thriller in which the lead changed no fewer than four times.   How St Neots Manager Iain Parr plans to plug the holes in his defence is not clear but there are certain to be team changes next Saturday with Ollie Thorne – booked again in this match for the eleventh time this season – beginning a mandatory ban, Dan Jacob returning after his suspension and the popular Adrian Sear back after his spell with Histon.   St Neots are still the second highest scoring team in the Premier Division but if you let in more than you score defeat is the inevitable result.   Arlesey are a swift attacking free scoring side but on the full 90 minutes St Neots shaded possession and created enough chances to have won but leaked some very shoddy goals and they have no excuse for the disappointing result.   Even the blow of losing full back Luke Thurlbourne with a broken leg after just seven minutes failed to detract from the home team performance but with other sides not taking advantage St Neots clung on to third place in the table.

Arlesey carved out the first chance in their first attack but Ben Farrell volleyed wide but St Neots showed greater efficiency with their first opening after three minutes as Jay Davies struck home a free kick from 20 yards to register his first St Neots goal after Ben Mackey had been fouled.   St Neots then had what looked like a good shout for a penalty turned down after Stefan Moore had been charged off the ball by Leon Hibbert .   An accidental collision left Thurlbourne with his broken limb with Jeanmal Prosper substituting and then Mackey headed over the bar from Ade Yusuff.   The pace of Drew Roberts was creating all sorts of problems for the St Neots defence and Ed Adjei produced a brilliant saving tackle to deny Roberts who had gone clear.   After 30 minutes Roberts set up strike partner James Hatch but he shot weakly at Michael Duggan and then for the second time St Neots was denied a penalty as the Arlesey defence mugged Stefan Moore.   There was just three minutes of the first half left when Arlesey drew level.   St Neots had defender well up to that point but then following a corner Ben Farrell struck a superb volley just under the angle of crossbar and post giving Michael Duggan no chance but worse was to follow sixty seconds later as the home side counter attacked down the left and a clever pull back cross by Aston Goss set up Drew Roberts for a simple finish.   St Neots retaliated with a quick attack but Davies’ 30 yards shot was pushed for a corner by home keeper Nathan Abbey.

Upon the resumption St Neots defenders were caught square allowing Roberts to go clear and only a timely interception by Duggan prevented the home side increasing their lead.   Abbey then pushed a clever shot by Moore for a corner and a great run by Ollie Thorne saw him meet a Lewis Hilliard cross but the ball flew wide.   Then after 53 minutes St Neots were back on terms as Stefan Moore unselfishly pulled the ball square for Ben Mackey to power in a left foot shot to level at 2-2.   Quick goals were clearly the order of the day for four minutes later St Neots regained the lead for the second time as an excellent shot by Ade Yusuff was too hot for Abbey to hold and Lewis Hilliard was in to round a defender and score.   Both sides made substitutions but at that point the game became rather scrappy and apart from one save by Abbey from Moore chances seemed to dry up.   It began to look like St Neots holding out to take the point but five minutes from time their defence was caught horribly square and substitute Chris Dillon was left to round Duggan and slide the ball into the empty net.   Arlesey now had the initiative and four minutes later the St Neots back line were again at fault as the unmarked Drew Roberts picked up a through pass to angle a shot wide of the despairing dive of the St Neots goalkeeper.   It was a case of St Neots efficiently snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.




St Neots: Duggan, Duncliffe, Adjei, Thorne, Gent, Hoyte, Hilliard, Davies, Moore, Mackey, Yusuff.

Subs:  Spark (for Yusuff 77mins), Sharman, Nkinga, and Werndly.

Cards: Mackey (Y – 5), Thorne (Y – 83)


Arlesey: Abbey, Thulbourne, Davis, Blackett, Frater, Hibbert, Johnson, Farrell,  Hatch, Roberts, Goss.

Subs:  Prosper (for Thurlbourne 7mins), Marsh (for Hibbert 77 mins), Dillon (for Johnson 77 mins), Tavernier and Bussey.

Cards: Hibbert (Y – 45+2)


Referee: Ian Rathbone (Northampton)


Attendance: 267


John Walker