St Neots Town FC 3 : 1 Frome Town
Match
26
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Frome Town
Saturday 20 December, 2014 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       3        FROME TOWN       1      

 

In a very forgettable few days running up to this match St Neots lost Manager Gary King on resignation from his post after thirteen months, Club skipper Gavin Hoyte on transfer to Biggleswade Town after 115 appearances and almost certainly the six league points gained from their two victories over doomed Hereford United.  

Against that backdrop and with the naming of a replacement Manager still awaited, the side showed commendable character and determination to overcome a spirited visiting Frome Town. However the visitors were guilty of contributing to their own downfall when they had midfielder Brandon Munday sent off in the first half and then to add to their problems a second half accidental injury hospitalised their goalkeeper Darren Chitty.  

With injuries to Bruce Wilson and Dave Deeney there were recalls for Ryan Frater and Lewis Hilliard and there was a very welcome return at left back for Theo Davis after injury had kept him out for more than three years. Although the team never looked like making the most of their numerical superiority in the second half they gave a good overall performance as a unit and the new Manager has an experienced squad with which to work in the coming months.

The first real attack after six minutes saw a well placed free kick by Matt Spring rebound from the foot of a post and from the resultant corner Tom Ward headed firmly wide. St Neots were looking the more positive and were rewarded after thirteen minutes when a long cross from Lewis Hilliard picked out David Hutton wide on the left and he went both inside and outside his marker before unleashing a low left foot shot inside the far post to open the scoring. Four minutes later the first attempt on goal by the visitors would have produced an equaliser but for an acrobatic push over the bar by Paul Bastock from an Aaron Rodriguez volley from 30 yards.  

Hutton continued to torment the Frome defence down the left flank and he almost repeated his goal with a second low shot after good work by Ben Mackey but the ball passed just the wrong side of a post. Frome were creating little but they did win a free kick in a central position blocked by the defensive wall. Mackey and Drew Roberts were looking lively up front but the visiting defence held firm until four minutes before the break when Roberts took a return pass from the hardworking Dean Cracknell to curl a shot around the despairing dive of Darren Chitty to extend the lead to 2-0. Two minutes later a rather cynical late tackle by Brandon Munday on Lewis Hilliard earned the Frome midfielder a straight red card.

            That should have signalled a comfortable second half for the home side but Frome had other ideas. Making light of their imbalance, the visitors took the game to St Neots who had lost the injured Matt Spring a half time with Jay Davies substituting. Then, five minutes after the restart, a totally accidental collision between Chitty and Mackey left the keeper prone with a deep gash on his thigh. After several minutes on the pitch receiving treatment, he was stretchered off with outfielder Ricky Hulbert taking over in goal. The replacement keeper twice denied Mackey with useful saves and then after 64 minutes Frome broke forward for Lewis Haldane to pull a goal back with an angled shot that went in off the crossbar giving Paul Bastock no chance.  

            For a few minutes St Neots looked stunned but once Max York had headed home a Hutton cross after 72 minutes they were back to keeping possession and creating openings with Hilliard, Mackey and Hutton all close to extending the lead.  

            However Frome refused to capitulate and the St Neots defence had to be on their toes to repel good efforts by Haldane and Ben Thomson.  Next up is a visit from joint league leaders Corby Town on Boxing Day.


 

 

 

St Neots: Bastock, York, Davis, Cracknell, Frater (R), Ward, Hilliard, Spring, Mackey, Roberts, Hutton

Subs: Davies (for Spring 46), Plowright (for Davis 65), Frater (N) (for Mackey 83), Ferrari and Ford.

Cards:  Spring (Y – 40), Hilliard (Y – 63)

Goals:  Hutton (13 mins),Roberts (41 mins), York (72 mins)

 

Frome:  Chitty, Miller, Cooper, Baggridge, Vallis, Munday, Brown, Hulbert, Haldane, Thomson, Rodriguez

Subs:  Bonella (for Chitty 55), Hall (for Brown 83), Simpson (for Rodriguez 83).

Cards:  Munday (RED – 43), Vallis (Y – 49), Cooper (Y – 79)

Goals:  Haldane (64 mins)

 

Attendance: 307

 

Referee: Ian Corner (Stevenage)

 

John Walker