St Neots Town FC 3 : 1 Burnham FC
Match
12
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Burnham FC
Saturday 04 October, 2014 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       3       BURNHAM       1

 

With St Neots midweek Managerial change, this was dubbed the start of a new era – and what a start.   Just 29 seconds into the match Drew Roberts lashed home a volley from the edge of the centre circle to give his side the lead after Nathan Frater had collected the ball but gone to ground. In his first match as sole Manager Gary King made three team changes including Max York for his debut at full back and recalling Matt Spring and Arthur Lee.

He must have been delighted to see his side stretch their unbeaten league run to eight matches with the next match away at Hitchin Town on Monday evening and then at home to so far undefeated league leaders Poole Town next Saturday, however he would be the first to admit that the side are still not recording a good ratio of goals scored to chances created because this result could have been sewn up prior to the half time whistle. Burnham were stubborn opponents but they created few chances and their late consolation goal was testament to their determination not to give up even when three goals adrift. Drew Roberts’ personal contribution of a hat trick in this match made him only the fourth St Neots player to record this feat at Step Three in 98 league matches at this level.

 

Some of the spectators had not got to their seats before Roberts scored the first of his goals. Four minutes later Lewis Hilliard was agonisingly close to doubling the lead with a shot that beat the keeper and was only inches above the angle of post and crossbar and this start set the tone for much of the first half. Burnham’s first two visits to the St Neots half in the opening quarter of an hour saw Nicke Kabamba fire across the face of goal and Josh Webb test Jamie Greygoose with an inswinging corner which the keeper did well to push away. Roberts then headed wide from a Hilliard cross, Hilliard shot just wide himself and then visiting keeper Alex Lynch produced a good save to deny Nathan Frater. In fact most of the action was in and around the Burnham penalty area as Pat Sappleton diverted a Roberts shot wide and Jay Davies sent a close range narrow angled shot into the side netting.

A second goal always looked imminent and it arrived after 35 minutes when a Bruce Wilson corner flicked off the head of a defender and at the far post Roberts rose to head past Lynch. It should have been 3-0 a minute before half time when the hard working Matt Spring picked up a loose clearance to send an unstoppable shot over the helpless keeper to rebound off the crossbar.

 

Burnham looked a more positive force after half time and from a Tom O’Regan corner Pay Sappleton sent a lob on to the roof of the net. At the other end following another set piece, the Burnham defence failed to clear and Gavin Hoyte sent a low snap shot wide when perhaps he should have scored. O’Regan then moved inside his marker to produce the visitors’ best shot of the match that curled away from Greygoose to pass the wrong side of a post and then after 66 minutes Roberts weaved his way into the penalty area to be upended by Brad Hewitt and a penalty was awarded after. Roberts picked himself up to complete his hat trick and take his goals tally for the season to eleven in just nine starts and three substitute appearances.

St Neots then sent on three substitutes and lost some of their rhythm and never really tested the visiting keeper in the final twenty five minutes with Greygoose pulling off one notable save to deny a close range effort by Craig Carby. He was however denied a clean sheet when Josh Webb claimed Burnham’s consolation goal a minute into added time.

 

St Neots: Greygoose, York, Lee, Wilson, Frater (R), Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Frater (N), Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Nolan (for Frater (N) 67 mins), Thorne (for Davies 73 mins), Peacock (for Roberts 76 mins), Bickerstaff and Ferrari.

Cards: Frater (R) (Y - 77)

Goals: Roberts 3 (29 secs, 35 mins & 66 mins pen)

 

Burnham:  Lynch, Webb (J), Carby, Hewitt, Sappleton, Ajanlekoko, Webb (N), Poulton, Kabamba, Couch, O’Regan

Subs: Baddeley (for Sappleton 62 mins), Bates (for Ajanlekoko 62 mins), Walker (for O’Regan 73 mins), Lockhart-Adams and McDonnell.

Cards: Webb (N) (Y – 43 ), Bates (Y – 87)

Goals: Webb (J) (90 + 1 mins)

 

Attendance: 282

 

Referee: Rob Smith (Letchworth)

 

 

John Walker