Chippenham Town 0 : 1 St Neots Town FC
Chippenham Town 0 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 13 December, 2014 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

CHIPPENHAM TOWN   0 - 1   ST NEOTS TOWN             

After their very poor performance in midweek a much changed St Neots side confounded their critics by returning from their trip to Wiltshire with all three points.  

Their opponents were Chippenham who were unbeaten in their previous five league matches (all drawn) so they were the side in form but a gutsy battling display by St Neots deservedly earned them the points with the fates seemingly stacked against them.  

With Jay Davies and Ed Adjei suspended they had to be team changes and then the news that skipper Gavin Hoyte had joined his fellow defender Ryan Frater on the sidelines with a hamstring injury meant that a root and branch reshuffle had to take place.  

Into the defence alongside Tom Ward came Dave Deeney but he lasted just 33 minutes before yet another hamstring pull forced another on field shuffle with Max York moving into the centre of the defence and Dean Cracknell employed as a full back. With a total of four changes in the starting line up there were recalls to the side for Ben Ford and Ben Mackey and the early injury meant a debut substitute appearance for an hour for full back Ryan Plowright.   

The sending off of home keeper Kent Kauppinen seventeen minutes from time inspired the home side to throw everything forward in search on an equaliser but the visiting defence stood firm to record only its second clean sheet since  9th September.

St Neots began brightly in a 4-3-3 formation and after neat work by David Hutton Ben Mackey had a shot deflected for a corner. Then after 12 minutes as Hutton worked his way into the penalty area he was upended by a clumsy Greg Tindle challenge allowing skipper for the day Drew Roberts to open the scoring from the penalty spot.   Immediately from the kick off Chippenham could have equalised when a poor defensive clearance by Deeney went straight to Ashan Holgate but his finish was far too high.  

St Neots thought they should have had a second penalty when Tom Ward up for a set piece looked to be shoved over but the Referee waved play on. Clearly struggling with injury Deeney was replaced by Plowright after 33 minutes and the reshuffle left St Neots on the back foot for a while with both Holgate and Alan Griffin wasting good openings for the home side. In fact the only real save to be made by Bastock in a low key first half came eight minutes before the break when he did well to get behind a Griffin volley.

From a long throw in the first minute after the restart Greg Tindle fired into the side netting as both sides sought to up the pace and at the other end Mackey only just failed to reach a cross from Ben Ford in front of a gaping net.  

However Mackey did bring the save of the match from Kent Kauppinen after good work down the flank by Dean Cracknell. Nathan Frater was sent on to replace Mackey and he was involved in the first of two second half incidents that were to have a bearing on the outcome.  

After 71 minutes Frater was involved in an incident with Jon Beeden that saw the Chippenham player throw himself dramatically to the ground in an attempt to get his opponent sent off. However Referee Mark Russell was perfectly placed to assess the situation and after the pushing and shoving ceased he rightly booked both players. Two minutes later Drew Roberts broke clear of the defence and Kauppinen ten yards outside his area brought the striker down as he attempted to go past him earning the keeper a straight red card.  

The home side brought on a substitute goalkeeper and he was equal to St Neots best efforts saving a Matt Spring free kick and a narrow angled effort by Frater. Chippenham went looking for an equaliser but this just gave St Neots more possession especially in midfield and they were able to slow the pace and dictate play in the last ten minutes.  

It was a much needed but well deserved haul of three points and now the main attention prior to the holiday period will be focussed on the treatment room where nine players will be in for treatment.

St Neots: Bastock, York, Ford, Wilson, Deeney, Ward, Cracknell, Spring, Mackey, Roberts, Hutton

Subs: Plowright (for Deeney 33), Frater (N) (for Mackey 65), Hilliard (for Wilson 81), Ferrari and Greygoose.

Cards:  Frater (N) (Y – 71)

Goals:  Roberts pen (12 mins)

Chippenham:  Kauppinen, Harvey, Beeden, Smith, Tindle, Preece, Ferguson, Francis, Griffin, Pook, Holgate

Subs:  Osman (for Ferguson 58), Edwards (for Griffin 69), Phillips (for Francis 73), and Clarke.

Cards:  Kauppinen (RED – 73), Beeden (Y – 71)


Attendance: 285

Referee: Mark Russell (Bristol)

John Walker