St Neots Town FC 3 : 1 Arlesey Town
Match
35
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Arlesey Town
Tuesday 18 February, 2014 19:45

 

Calor Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN     3       ARLESEY      1

 

St Neots put a bogey firmly to bed as they came frombehind to beat Arlesey Town for only the second time in twelve league and cup meetings.   With the three teams at the bottom of the table all beaten at home on the night this was a doubly important victory as St Neots moved twenty points clear of the relegation zone – surely a big enough gap to already ensure Premier Division football next season.   For Manager Gary King playing against his former club for the first time this must also have been a victory that gave extreme satisfaction although the evening had started badly when two of his regular players – Jay Davies and Arthur Lee – were forced to cry off suffering from food poisoning.   However the victory is in many ways a tribute to the strength of squad that King has assembled because the changes never upset the rhythm or belief of the side of the as they extended their home record – unbeaten at the Cozy Stadium since 23rd November.   Once again ace marksman Shane Tolley featured on the score sheet on his 29th birthday.

 

The first half was very evenly fought with little to choose between the two sides.   Twice in as many minutes visiting goalkeeper Aidan Grant on loan from Aston Villa produced classy saves to deny Simon Thomas and Dean Cracknell but it was the visitors who took the lead as former Fulham striker Barry Hayles displayed his Premiership pedigree as he collected a through ball from Liam McGovern as he shimmied past his marker and calmly rounded Nathan Abbey to plant the ball in the empty net.   If this bothered St Neots it did not show as Lewis Hilliard sent a 30 yards screaming shot just the wrong side of a post with Grant well beaten.   Arlesey’s second real chance in the first 45 minutes fell to the impressive Jonny McNamara who brought a great save from Abbey at the expense of a corner.   At a set piece at the other end Gavin Hoyte netted with a low shot but a colleague had strayed offside and the effort was ruled out.   So St Neots went to half time a goal behind but after a few words of half time wisdom from Gary King the pattern of the match swung drastically in St Neots favour.

 

Within four minutes of the restart the scores were levelled as Hilliard cleverly pulled a corner back to the edge of the box where Dave Deeney’s low shot was flicked in by the irrepressible Shane Tolley for hiseighth goal in just six starts since rejoining the club.   Again Grant stood between St Neots and more goals as he produced two more world class saves to deny Hoyte and Hilliard.   However the tide towards the Arlesey was unstoppable and two goals in as many minutes starting in the 71st minute put St Neots well in control.   The first saw Tolley and Hilliard combine to set up substitute Jake Woolley for a crisp finish and then when a Woolley shot was blocked by a defender Hilliard pounced for a clinical finish to put St Neots 3-1 ahead.    Any hopes that Arlesey could come back to get any reward from the game were dashed when their most dangerous player Jonny McNamara was stretchered off with a leg injury and from that point their resistance seemed only notional.   St Neots coasted to victory and look poised now to make a determined assault on the safety of mi-table in the next few weeks.

 

St Neots: Abbey, Deeney, AdjeiFarrell, Frater, Hoyte,Hilliard, CracknellThomasTolleyFerrari

SubsWoolley (for Ferrari 64 mins), Nolan (forThomas 86 mins), Wilson, Ford and Swan.

Cards: Cracknell (Y – 32), Farrell (Y – 86)

Goals: Tolley (49 mins), Woolley 71 mins), Hilliard (73 mins)

 

ArleseyGrant, Carey-Morrell, Powell, Taverner, Maltay, M’Bala, McNamara, McGovern, Hayles, Farrell, Shaw

Subs: Basmel (for Farrell 64 mins), Madina (for Carey-Morrell 62 mins)Foster (for Hayles 85 mins) Willettand Mouke-Nsue.

CardsPowell (Y – 63), Hayles (Y – 75)

GoalsHayles (27 mins)

 

Attendance252

 

RefereePaul Evans (Northampton)

 

John Walker