Banbury United 1 : 1 St Neots Town FC
Banbury United 1 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 20 September, 2014 15:00


Southern League Premier Division


BANBURY UNITED      1          ST NEOTS TOWN       1


This was probably St Neots worst team performance of the season against bottom of the table Banbury who had lost eight of their nine league games prior to this encounter. The result was disappointing but the performance was just way below par especially in the second half and with only one St Neots victory in their last five league and cup matches alarm bells are beginning to ring.

   The midfield players were not competitive enough to dominate an inexperienced home side and although chances were created the finishing of the two visiting strikers was just not good enough for this level of football. It was a totally non-memorable experience for skipper Gavin Hoyte who will have been hoping to celebrate his 100th appearance for St Neots in style and it must have also been disappointing for rookie goalkeeper Jamie Greygoose making his debut for St Neots because he played well enough in the absence of the suspended Nathan Abbey but did not finish with a win on his first appearance. As a result of throwing two further points away St Neots dropped one place to fifth in the table but now trail leaders Poole Town by nine points.


   Ironically St Neots could have scored twice in the opening two minutes of the match. With less than a minute on the watch Drew Roberts put pressure on home defender Tom Fishwick forcing him to handle the ball to stop the striker getting through. The offence looked well inside the penalty area but Referee Neil Radford well behind play awarded a free kick outside the area. Roberts well placed free kick effort was palmed away at full stretch by Leigh Bedwell and in the next attack Roberts beat a thinly veiled offside trap to bear down on goal to bring a second excellent save from the home keeper. However that failed to inspire St Neots and Banbury began to create their own openings with Greygoose doing well to grab a corner under pressure and then Josh Shama shot across the face of goal when it looked easier to score. Lewis Hilliard was St Neots most dangerous attacker and he brought two saves from Bedwell and he was then involved in the move that led to St Neots goal after 22 minutes. Chasing a through ball into the area Roberts was brought down as his heel was clipped by Tom Fishwick earning the defender a booking and St Neots a penalty kick converted by Jay Davies. Now St Neots looked in control as Bruce Wilson shot wide from a narrow angle and Hilliard netted a clever Roberts chip but was ruled narrowly offside. Roberts was also through on goal just before the break but was dispossessed by Marvin Martin delaying his finish too long.

    Banbury came out looking rejuvenated after the break and dominated the opening ten minutes. They buzzed around the St Neots penalty area with Greygoose saving well from Darius Browne and after 55 minutes they were deservedly rewarded with an equaliser. With his back to goal Josh Shama received the ball on the edge of the area but he cleverly rode the defensive challenge to turn and shoot low past the right hand of the diving Greygoose. Nine minutes later the same player produced an electric burst of pace to go past his marker but before he could shoot Mason Spence came across to cover and concede a corner. After 67 minutes Arthur Lee had the ball in the net a third time for St Neots but once again the visitors were thwarted by an offside flag and although the visitors continued to see plenty of the ball their delivery from set pieces lacked quality and both Roberts and Matt Nolan failed to test the home keeper when well placed. As the game wore on Banbury grew in confidence with Aidan Hawtin and Leon Howards both going close to putting the home side ahead. St Neots were left hanging on and in the 90th minute a fierce close range shot from substitute Elias Katsoloudi rebounded off Ben Ford on the goal line to deny Banbury a winning goal they probably deserved.

St Neots: Greygoose, Spence, Lee, Farrell, Frater (R), Hoyte, Davies, Wilson, Nolan, Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Ferrari (for Hilliard 79 mins), Ford (for Farrell 86 mins), Powell, Abbey (Z) and Wyer.

Cards: none

Goals: Davies pen (22 mins)


Banbury:  Bedwell, Cray, Mzungwana, Martin, Fishwick, Ryan, Walcott, Hawtin, Shama, Wickham, Browne

Subs: Howards (for Wickham 79 mins), Katsoloudi (for Walcott 89 mins), Westbrook (for Browne 90+3 mins) Tappin and Hartigan.

Cards: Fishwick (Y – 22 mins), Ryan (Y – 90+4)

Goals: Shama  (55 mins)


Attendance: 281


Referee: Neil Radford (Worcester)



John Walker