St Neots Town FC 0 : 8 Cambridge United
St Neots Town FC 0 : 8
Cambridge United
Tuesday 15 July, 2014 19:45

Pre-Season Friendly



(att 433)


Cambridge United brought their entire playing squad to the Cozy Stadium for this pre-season friendly as their gear up for their first season back in the Football League after nine seasons in the Conference.   On a beautiful summers’ evening the shirt sleeved crowdwas treated to a feast of football and ultimately a flood of goals but the final score line fails to reflect the competitive nature of the match with four Cambridge goals coming in the last five minutes of the match as sheer fitness became the key factor.    St Neots effectively faced two different teams as United made eight half time substitutions and finished the match with no player on the pitch who had started and in the end the home side were run off their legs as the fresher players took full advantage.   St Neots Manager Gary King chose to give the basis of his available first choice squad as much time on the field as he could and despite the final score he will regard this as a very useful work out.


Seven of the St Neots starting line up was with the club last season with the only newcomers being full back Luke Thurlbourne, midfielder Bruce Wilson and wide man Martel Powell plus goalkeeper Sam Wyer.   Their new strike force of Chris Dillon and Drew Roberts were either injured or unavailable.   The early exchanges between the sides were fairly even with defences in control and there was little to note other than an effort wide of target by Mitch Austin after he had been played clear.   United went ahead after 14 minutes with an acrobatic volley by Tom Elliott after he had missed a headed chance just seconds earlier and eight minutes later the score was doubled as Elliott was left with the simplest of tap in goals after good work by Austin down the left flank.   In response St Neots best efforts were two lengthy strikes from Lewis Hilliard both just wide of their target.   St Neots keeper Sam Wyer produced two good saves to deny Luke Chadwick and Kwasi Appiah and the first half ended with the Cambridge keeper making a good save to a narrow angled finish by Matt Nolan.


The second half took some time to get a real shape with the ’new’ Cambridge line up slow to settle.   Five minutes after the break in their first real attack the visitors’ extended their lead as two of the fresh players combined with Ben Head setting up Harrison Dunk for a tap in finish and then further substitutions by both sides followed with St Neots introducing Matt Spring in midfield alongside the impressive Ben Farrell.   They also replaced both wide players sending on Ed Adjei and Lorenzo Ferrari but chances were few.   The match was lacking continuity but with fifteen minutes left a second outstanding effort resulted in the score moving to 4-0 as Ryan Donaldson produced a rocketshot from 30 yards to welcome St Neots substitute goalkeeper Adam Wright whose first action was to retrieve the ball from the net.  The score line at that point fairly reflected the difference in standard of the two sides but in the final frenetic four minutes Cambridge scored every time they attacked with St Neots visibly tired.   The goals from Delano Sam-Yorke (2) and Nathan Arnold (2) were almost irrelevant in the context of a useful work out for both sides.


St Neots:  Wyer (Wright), Thurlbourne (Michael), Lee, Farrell (Ford), Frater, Hoyte, Hilliard (Ferrari), Wilson (Spring), Nolan, Davies, Powell (Adjei).