Paulton Rovers 0 : 0 St Neots Town FC
Paulton Rovers 0 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 10 January, 2015 15:00

Southern League Premier Division


PAULTON ROVERS       0        ST NEOTS TOWN       0    


This was a point gained rather than two lost on their travels for St Neots who featured in their first goalless league match since March 2014.   That was because they played for more than an hour with ten men after Nathan Frater was dismissed for alleged illegal use of his elbow.   Manager David Batch was critical of the decision saying that it was a 50/50 challenge with both involved players guilty of the same offence.   ‘In my view that was a yellow card at worst – and that would have been harsh’ he said after the match.   That decision galvanised the visitors whose work rate and commitment was evident as they buckled down to make light of their deficit in numbers to return home from Somerset with a well deserved point.   Making their debut for St Neots were the two midweek signings – full back Jack Wilkinson from Sudbury and midfielder Adam Tann from Leiston who numbers Cambridge United amongst his former clubs.   Both fitted in well and when the current injury list subsides it will give David Blatch some interesting selection alternatives.


An 8.30 am inspection found the pitch in good condition despite the heavy rain 24 hours earlier and Jack Wilkinson was in early action with a long throw to set up Nathan Frater but his off balance shot was just wide.   At the other end Paulton’s first effort was a shot from Jon Davies was comfortably gathered by Paul Bastock.   Nathan Frater was prominent in attack and he twice had shots deflected as St Neots sought to grasp the attacking initiative.   After 25 minutes a shot by Drew Roberts was deflected on to the foot of a post and away for a corner from which Adam Tann rose to head narrowly over the bar.   The game was punctuated by a series of free kicks and Mitchell Page found his was into the Referee’s notebook after three fouls in five minutes.   Then after 32 minutes the straight red card issued to Nathan Frater meant that St Neots had to regroup.   They sacrificed David Hutton to send on Ben Mackey as Roberts’ strike partner and reverted to a 4-3-2 formation.   Ryan Plowright named in midfield for the first time volleyed narrowly wide as St Neots settled and the scoreless first half represented a contest fairly evenly balanced.


The only change made by St Neots upon the resumption was to switch Plowright back to his customary full back role with Wilkinson moved forward to midfield.   It was to be a difficult half for the St Neots midfield trio playing against the extra man but with Wilkinson on the left and Max York on the right utilising their long throwing skills to the full St Neots discovered a useful attacking option.   Ben Ford curled a clever shot just wide but for a while Paulton were the more dominant side as St Neots defended well.   Ford was then injured and required on-pitch treatment for the second time but he was replaced by Ed Adjei whose added pace began to test Paulton.   After 73 minutes following a corner Adam Tann sent a low shot through a packed six yards box but it rebounded from a post and then as St Neots looked for a late winner Mackey saw an angled shot finger tipped away for a corner by home keeper Kyle Phillips.   The home side had lost their impetus and only a Brandon Barnes free kick over the bar threatened St Neots late surge as they finished the game looking the more likely to snatch all three points.






St Neots: Bastock, York, Wilkinson, Tann, Frater (R), Ward, Hutton, Ford, Frater (N), Roberts, Plowright

Subs: Mackey (for Hutton 38), Adjei (for Ford 70), Davis, Ferrari and Greygoose.

Cards:  Frater (N) (RED - 32), Ward (Y – 43)

Goals:  none


Paulton:  Phillips, Tovey, Teale, Anson, Brice, Barnes, Evans, Williams, Wilson, Davies, Page

Subs:  Bryant (for Wilson 82), Lacey (for Evans 82), Walker (for Davies 90), Green and Jefferies

Cards:  Page (Y – 27)

Goals:  none


Attendance: 167


Referee: Daniel Leach (Oxford)


John Walker