Burnham FC 0 : 1 St Neots Town FC
Match
35
Burnham FC 0 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 14 February, 2015 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

 

BURNHAM       0         ST NEOTS TOWN       1

 

On a very wet pitch that resembled a ploughed field St Neots ground out an important result against one of the bottom markers in the league.   It was never going to be a pretty match and as the game progressed St Neots were never going to be able to produce in the mud their usual brand of neat flowing football.   The valuable points came at a cost with two of their strikers – Nathan Frater and youngster Ebey Marango – both forced off with hamstring injuries and they may need intensive treatment if they are to recover in time for the next match.   However a third clean sheet in a row for the first time ever in the Premier Division was a measure of how well Manager David Batch has remodelled his defence.   The lockout was down on this occasion to the agility of goalkeeper Paul Bastock who produced two vital saves in the final three minutes to deny Burnham and goal and most probably a point.

 

Playing up the slope against the driving rain St Neots took the early initiative and after Drew Roberts had sent a shot wide the visitors took a fifth minute lead.   Lee Clarke picked out Lorenzo Ferrari on the left flank and his early cross into the box was headed home by Lewis Hilliard.   Clarke almost repeated his feat seven minutes later when his astute ball picked out a run by Matt Spring but his finish was less accurate and flew wide.   Roberts was booked by the over-fussy Referee for diving – an incident that looked more like an inevitable slip on the waterlogged surface and after 31 minutes Burnham created their only decent first half opening.   A through pass from Joshua Webb saw Adam Dickens get past Tom ward to go clear but Paul Bastock anticipated his shot to save.   Three minutes later Nathan Frater limped off with a hamstring pull to be replaced by Ebey Marango but sadly he only lasted around twenty minutes before suffering the same fate as the player he had replaced.  Meantime Burnham striker Inih Effiong tested Bastock from distance and Ferrari brought a save from Alex Lynch with a miss-hit shot.

 

By the start of the second half the pitch had deteriorated badly and St Neots were beginning to look unhappy as Burnham upped their pace.   Joshua Webb shot wide and when just before the hour Ryan Frater came on to replace the limping Marango St Neots had to reshuffle.   With Mat Mitchel-King playing in front of the reconstituted back four and Ferrari leading the attack St Neots were pushed back with much of the play now in midfield.   Hilliard flashed a shot just wide after more good work by the impressive Lee Clarke and St Neots then made their final change with Sam Harty on to boost midfield and Clarke moving up front.   Apart from a lone shot by Roberts most of the goalmouth action in the last fifteen minutes was at the opposite end with Bastock producing two magnificent saves to deny Nathan Webb and substitute Adam Bernard.   It was a case of survival for the visitors as Burnham threw everything – including their goalkeeper late in the game – into attack.   Tom Ward and the returning Ryan Frater won all the important aerial battles and St Neots took their recent record to five wins and three draws in nine games since the turn of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Neots: Bastock, Tann, Wilkinson, Clarke, Mitchel-King, WardHilliardSpring, Ferrari, Roberts, Frater (N)

SubsMarango (for Frater (N) 34)Frater (R) (for Marango 57) Harty (for Ferrari 71) Bickerstaff andWilson.

Cards:  Roberts (Y – 19)Spring (Y – 40)

GoalsHilliard (5 mins)

 

BurnhamLynch, Montgomery, Gray, Brown, Page, Gordon, Fogarty, Webb (J), Effiong, Dickens, Webb (N)

Subs:  Bernard (for Dickens 70), Lossaso (for Fogarty77), Davies (for Brown 85), Thompson-Wheeler andRisbridger.

Cards:  Montgomery (Y – 90 + 3)

Goals:  none

 

Attendance116

 

RefereeRichard Kendall (Luton)

 

John Walker