St Neots Town FC 0 : 1 Cambridge City
Match
21
St Neots Town FC 0 : 1
Cambridge City
Tuesday 18 November, 2014 19:45

 

 

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN        0       CAMBRIDGE CITY       1          

 

It is now just one win in their last six league matches for out of sorts St Neots and perhaps more worrying is that they have not scored a goal in the last 348 minutes league football.  This narrow victory recorded by neighbours Cambridge was perhaps predictable because the Lillywhites now have four victories in five Southern league encounters with St Neots and are beginning to become bogey opponents.   It should have been so different because Saints fans were delighted when it was announced that Chris Dillon was to start for the first time following a lengthy injury absence in a St Neots side alongside his strike partner Drew Roberts with whom he had scored goals for fun last season for Chesham.   However the pair got little first half service and when the game opened up after the break there was little evidence of their deadly partnership.   Dillon for the unfit Nathan Frater was the only change in the starting line up but the side seemed to lack the urgency and desire that has earned two notable FA Trophy victories indispersed amongst the disappointing league form.   Now they have only the near 600 miles round trip to Bideford at the weekend to try to rediscover some of their confidence and flair before the next round of the FA Trophy.

Despite the England match live on television there was a healthy midweek crowd of 322 to witness a rather nondescript contest that overall produced little entertainment.   In the first twenty minutes there were only two serious attempts on goal with both goalkeepers doing well to keep their side on terms.   First a low snap shot from Buster Harradine following a corner was saved at full length by Paul Bastock and at the other end Jamie Head rushed from his line to rob Lewis Hilliard who had been played clear by Drew Roberts.   Cambridge then lost injured skipper Lee Chaffey with a leg injury but replacement Adam Murray slotted in seamlessly in defence.   Claudia Vilcu was booked for a foul and from the resulting free kick Head had to stretch to touch Ben Ford’s well placed free kick around the woodwork.  Chris Bacon had two late first half attempts on goal for the visitors – the first a header well saved by Bastock and the second a shot wide of goal when he was well placed.  Three minutes before the break Head produced the save of the half going full length to deny Jay Davies.

It seemed that St Neots’ half time instruction was for more positive shooting at goal and for almost twenty minutes after the restart they dominated play without seriously testing Head.  Harradine did well to head away a Ford volley and Lewis Hilliard looking St Neots most dangerous play had three efforts – two saved by the keeper and the third wide of target.   In a rare Cambridge break Ryan Frater produced a brilliant saving tackle to deny Ieuan Lewis who should have done better and then back to the other end where Head saved at the feet of Hilliard.    However Cambridge emerged from the shackles and Dave Deeney cleared off the line after Bacon had squandered another Cambridge chance after 63 minutes.   Sixty seconds later Cambridge snatched what was to prove the match winning goal as a Harradine corner was not cleared and as the ball ping-ponged around the area substitute Adam Murray was able to head home from around two yards.   A lengthy Ben Ford strike was parried and retrieved by Head but that was the St Neots player’s last action as he was one of two players substituted in an attempt to freshen up the home attack.   Hilliard then played Roberts in on the right but he shot over the bar after moving inside his marker and as time ticked away St Neots efforts to level became less measured and more frantic.    Their final chance came two minutes from time when Frater rose to head down a Matt Spring free kick but the visiting defence scrambled the ball clear.

 

St Neots: Bastock, Deeney, York, Ford, Frater (R), Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Dillon, Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Ferrari (for Ford 76), Nolan (for Dillon 76), Ward, Plowright and Greygoose.

Cards:  Spring (Y – 81)

Goals:  none

 

Cambridge Head, Pepper, Reynolds, Vilcu., Chaffey, Martin, Lewis, Juliusson, Phillips, Bacon, Harradine

Subs:   Murray (for Chaffey 28), Akinsanya (for Bacon 69), Dawkin (for Harradine 84), King and Kelly.

Cards:  Vilcu (Y – 33), Phillips (Y – 90 +2)

Goals:  Murray (64 mins)

 

Attendance: 322

 

Referee: Paul Forrester (Luton)

 

John Walker