St Neots Town FC 3 : 2 Royston Town
Match
RIC Quarter Final
St Neots Town FC 3 : 2
Royston Town
Tuesday 11 February, 2014 19:45

 

Red Insure Cup Quarter Final

 

ST NEOTS TOWN     3       ROYSTON TOWN      2

 

St Neots progressed to the semi-finals of the Red Insure Cup with a performance that was more competent than confident against ten man Royston Town.   The visitors’ real chance of springing a surprise was dealt an almost fatal blow when defender Joe La Salle picked up a straight red card for a extremely rash and dangerous challenge on Jake Woolley a minute before half time.   Up to that point Royston had held their own against their Premier Division hosts but after the break the numerical difference always showed as St Neots bossed proceedings.   However Royston never gave up trying and were rewarded with a very late goal that flattered the score line in their favour.   St Neots Manager Gary King opted to rotate his squad no doubt considering Saturday’s upcoming league match a higher priority making four changes from his previous selection and resting skipper Gavin Hoyte.   Royston were recovering from a heavy league defeat three days earlier and their overall performance will have gone some way to restoring their confidence.

 

St Neots began well with Jay Davies having an early shot gathered by Nick Thompson and Jake Woolley seeing his dangerous cross deflected just past a post by a defender.   Woolley then finished disappointingly after a searing run through the defence but after this burst it was Royston who began to dictate play.   From a Reece Dobson corner Nathan Abbey had to produce two important blocks from close range shots and he also denied Rob Mason with an impressive save.   St Neots were being outplayed in midfield and the visitors’ chances kept coming and it was against the run of play on the half hour when a Woolley cross set up Matt Nolan to show persistence to fire St Neots ahead.    Play became scrappy with some physical tackling and a string of free kicks but in the five minutes before the break there was incident at both ends.   A shot by Luke Robbins took a deflection but Abbey was able to adjust his footing to save and he also kept out a Rob Mason header but at the other end a Lorenzo Ferrari run ended with his shot deflecting off the keeper’s body to rebound from the far post.   Then the ill-judged tackle by De La Salle saw him ordered to the dressing room leaving Royston with ten men.

 

Royston made little change to their side after the break playing with Rob Mason up front on his own and in the fifth minute after the restart the striker was fouled by Dan Cracknell and a penalty kick awarded despatched confidently by Kaan Fehmi to level the scores.   St Neots responded by sending on Lewis Hilliard for Woolley who had clearly not recovered from his injury and within three minutes Hilliard had tested Thompson from outside the area.   A booking either side and more substitutions saw the rhythm of the match fragment but St Neots were gradually making the extra player count and after 59 minutes a Nolan header from a Ferrari cross beat the keeper but rebounded from the bar.   However two minutes later St Neots restored their lead as Lewis Hilliard went round the outside of the last defender to score from a narrow angle.   Now St Neots looked comfortable and after 80 minutes another scything run along the right flank by Hilliard saw his cross netted from close range by Jay Davies.   At 3-1 St Neots seemed to relax and paid the penalty when a minute from time Reece Dobson took full advantage to claim a late consolation goal for Royston.

 

St Neots: Abbey, Deeney, Lee, Farrell, Frater,CracknellWoolleyDaviesNolanWilsonFerrari

Subs: Hilliard (for Woolley 51 mins), Ford (for Wilson56 mins), Adjei (for Ferrari 69 mins), Tolley andThomas.

Cards: Frater (Y – 25), Farrell (Y – 54)

Goals: Nolan (30 mins), Hilliard (61 mins), Davies (80 mins)

 

RoystonThompson, Lendacott, Spencer, Nightingale, De La Salle, Cambridge, Dobson, Collins, Mason, Fehmi. Robbins

Subs: Mentis (for Nightingale 49 mins), Edwards (forCambridge 51 mins)Bradshaw (for Mason 62 mins)Hammond and Parr.

CardsDe La Salle (RED – 44), Collins (Y – 36)

GoalsFehmi (50 mins), Dobson (89 mins)

 

Attendance137

 

RefereeNigel Phillips (Waterbeach)

 

John Walker