St Neots Town FC 1 : 0 Tiverton Town FC
Match
Final - Second Leg
St Neots Town FC 1 : 0
Tiverton Town FC
Tuesday 08 April, 2014 19:45

 

Red Insure Cup Final – Second Leg

 

ST NEOTS TOWN      1        TIVERTON TOWN       0       (aggregate win 1-0)

 

In just their second season at Step Three St Neots won their highest ever cup honour – the Red Insure Trophy – the League Cup of the Southern League.   Their last major cup success other than in local County competition came 45 years ago when they beat Biggleswade Town in the UCL Knock Out Cup so it had been a long time coming but for Manager Gary King and Zema Abbey it was their second successive netting of the trophy having won it with Arlesey twelve months ago.   It was an interesting match and should have been won by a much greater margin had St Neots taken just one more of the several chances they created but with away goals counting double visitors Tiverton who play their football in the South and West Division knew that a single strike could wrest the trophy from St Neots grasp.  Two outstanding moments defined this tie – the match winning goal by Lewis Hilliard who registered the outstanding distinction of having scored in every round of the competition and a magnificent instinctive full length save from Nathan Abbey that ensured the trophy for his side.   With his full squad to choose from with the exception of the injured Dean Cracknell Manager Gary King recalled Shane Tolley, Ben Farrell, Matt Nolan and Ed Adjei and from the start the side looked every inch the likelier victors.

The first half was at times embarrassingly one way with Tiverton managing just two direct shots on goal whilst St Neots played the ball around patiently and had little trouble in creating chances for themselves.   With Jay Davies and man of the match Lewis Hilliard running the midfield and back after suspension Ben Farrell mopping up most of the half hearted Tiverton attacks it seemed certain that goals would come but the visitors defended effectively and with goalkeeper Michal Searle looking inspired the voluble home fans were frustrated.   Hilliard was at the centre of everything for St Neots sending first minute free kick over the bar, sending an angled shot just beyond the far post and sending a second free kick into the side netting in the first 15 minutes.   Tiverton’s first real effort was a cross from Ed Palmer diverted over his own cross bar by a St Neots defender.  The visitors’ physical approach earned two of their defenders early cautions and after 31 minutes Davies got up to head down a Hilliard cross to Adjei whose fierce volley brought an outstanding save from Searle.   In a rare Tiverton attack Palmer curled a shot wide of goal and as half time approached both Gavin Hoyte and Tolley had efforts just off target.   After 42 minutes the visitors were lucky not to concede when Palmer sliced a Hilliard cross into the arms of his surprised goal keeper but a minute later the best move of the first half produced the goal.   Farrell dispossessed an opponent and ran at the defence picking out Shane Tolley and his delightful flick freed Hilliard whose low shot beat the keeper.

That single goal should have boosted St Neots but it was Tiverton who started the second half the stronger.   Shane Krac shot over the bar when well placed and a long shot by Marcus Marin was comfortably saved by Abbey.  Nolan was brought down when going clear another caution for Palmer and then Dan Smith ran at the St Neots defence unchallenged but shot over the bar.   St Neots domination was now broken but they still looked defensively sound and substitutions by both sides did little for the game other than to give Tiverton and more attacking profile.   With 17 minutes left a Nolan flick on found Tolley and driven wide he left the ball for substitute Jake Woolley whose shot found the side netting and six minutes later a snap shot by Martin through a packed defence brought the brilliant save from Abbey.   Had that counted St Neots would have been left with just eleven minutes to find a match wining goal but after the let off they finished strongly with Farrell releasing Davies whose shot was a foot too high and Nolan beating the offside trap but losing control when he should have made the game safe.     Four minutes added time with Tiverton desperate for a goal meant a nervy finish but St Neots deserved their victory celebrated with their ecstatic fans.


 

 

 

St Neots: Abbey, Spence, Lee, Farrell, Frater, Hoyte, Hilliard, Davies, Nolan, Tolley, Adjei

Subs: Woolley (for Adjei 70 mins), Ford (for Tolley 81 mins), Ford (for Nolan 90+2 mins), Ferrari and Swan.

Cards: none

Goals: Hilliard (43 mins)

 

Tiverton:  Searle, J.Richards, Long, Palmer, Heveran, Gardner, Krac, Smith, Nardiello, Martin, Malsom

Subs: Wilson (for Krac 59 mins), A.Richards (for Heveran 66 mins), Wright (for Nardiello 76 mins), Chainey and Searle.

Cards: Gardner (Y – 15), A.Richards (Y – 17), Palmer (Y – 55), Martin (Y – 68)

Goals: none

 

Attendance: 522

 

Referee: Paul Kelly (Maidstone)

 

 

John Walker