St Neots Town FC 3 : 2 Poole Town
Match
14
St Neots Town FC 3 : 2
Poole Town
Saturday 11 October, 2014 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       3       POOLE TOWN       2

 

Second in the table St Neots entertained long time league leaders Poole Town in a classic ‘six pointer’ and sent them back to Dorset to muse on their first league defeat of the season.  It was a classic contest with both sides fully committed and St Neots best crowd of the season were highly entertained throughout with fortunes swinging first one way then the other.

The visiting defence that had only conceded four goals in twelve league games prior to this meeting were given a thorough testing whilst at the other end St Neots paraded recent signing Paul Bastock in goal and the veteran stopper had a fine debut.

St Neots had two early attempts on goal as Lewis Hilliard’s close range shot was deflected into the side netting and Drew Roberts shot wide. Then in Poole’s first attack after 11 minutes they took a grip on the game. Steve Devlin’s shot was deflected wide and from the corner the visiting central defenders made St Neots pay as Michael Walker headed back across goal and after a defensive deflection Jamie Whisken forced the ball home through a crowded six yards box. 

St Neots apparent lack of width saw them struggle to create openings although Jay Davies arriving late to a Hilliard cross was only inches from a spectacular strike. Debut goalkeeper Paul Bastock did well to keep out a wickedly inswinging corner from Devlin and at the other end Nick Hutchings made a good save from Roberts. As the half drew to a close Nathan Frater had a stinging shot parried by Hutchings and the keeper then saved well from Hilliard.  

Then on the stroke of half time Jay Davies split the visiting defence and Drew Roberts powered a shot into the roof of the net via the underside of the crossbar to level the scores.

St Neots looked much stronger and better organised after the break with Hilliard now operating in midfield and after 63 minutes they forged ahead when a Jay Davies shot was blocked and as it went wide of the goal St Neots defender Ryan Frater produced an acrobatic overhead kick that looked to be on target but ace goal poacher Drew Roberts applied the final touch from close range.

Now with their noses in front St Neots began to look more confident and apart from a lone Poole attack in which Max York produced a critical clearance, the home side were dominating. With nine minutes left Roberts turned provider with an unselfish sublime, first time through ball to release Lewis Hilliard who rode a tackle to make it 3-1. 

St Neots then sent on Matt Nolan for Nathan Frater and within sixty seconds he should have made the game safe when he went clear on goal but delayed his finish and was robbed. Poole were throwing everything forward in a last ditch effort to save their unbeaten record and were rewarded in the 90th minute when substitute Luke Roberts netted following a Devlin corner to make it 3-2.  

In a tense period of seven minutes of added time it was the visitors who were on top and four minutes into that period Steve Devlin produced a bullet effort from 25 yards that Bastock got enough of a touch on to push the ball onto the crossbar and this was a match saver for St Neots who thoroughly deserved their victory.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Wilson, Frater (R), Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Frater (N), Roberts (D), Hilliard

Subs: Thorne (for Wilson 82), Nolan (for Frater (N) 86), Ford (for Hilliard (90 + 1), Peacock and Ferrari

Cards:  Bickerstaff (Y – 51)

Goals: Roberts (D) 2 (45 and 63 mins), Hilliard (81)

 

Poole:  Hutchings, Tallack, Martin,Walker, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbidge, Devlin, Brooks, Preston, Jermyn

Subs:   Gosney (for Preston 61), Roberts (L) (for Jermyn 64), Lindsay (for Martin 72), Munday and Manley

Cards:  Brooks ( Y – 84)

Goals:  Whisken (11 mins), Roberts (L) (90 mins)

 

Attendance: 619

 

Referee: Shaun Barry (Northampton)

 

 

John Walker