St Neots Town FC 3 : 0 Chippenham Town
Match
45
St Neots Town FC 3 : 0
Chippenham Town
Saturday 18 April, 2015 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       3          CHIPPENHAM TOWN       0      

 

It was make or break time if a Southern League play off place is to be gained and St Neots rose to the occasion in their last Cozy Stadium league match of the season with a competent display and a home victory over visiting Chippenham for the first time in three meetings.   It was at times a feisty affair with a second half penalty incident a key moment in the game with the visiting keeper Kent Kauppinen unnecessarily charging Lee Clarke to the ground with his elbow to concede a spot kick confidently despatched by St Neots leading scorer Drew Roberts.  The keeper was lucky to escape with just a yellow card and that gave St Neots some breathing space in a game in which up to that point they had not really oozed confidence.   They were without skipper Adam Tann who failed a pre-match fitness test on his injured thigh but they had the bonus of Robert’s return after he had been unavailable for the previous trip to Dorchester.   Utility player Brett Longden slotted back in defence with Nathan Frater moved out wide in a line up now looking settled with each passing match.    With Weymouth beaten at home by Corby, St Neots know that victory in their final match at Frome will guarantee a play off place for the first time in their history – and that place could be further confirmed if Weymouth lose at home to Poole in midweek.

 

There was a nervy start to the match with the visitors showing a lack of attacking ideas and St Neots cautious in their approach.   However they were really unlucky not to go ahead after ten minutes when Lewis Hilliard threaded a neat pass beyond the final defender and Roberts cut in to go round the goalkeeper and shoot towards the unguarded net but somehow Jon Beeden got back to clear off the line.   Roberts then had a second effort blocked after a poor clearance by the keeper but there was a shock at the other end when Brett Longden had to clear a sliced clearance off his own goal line.   From a free kick Matt Mitchel-King hooked a shot over the bar and Ryan Frater headed narrowly wide from a lengthy throw by Jack Wilkinson.   The visitors made no real headway towards the St Neots goal and the sum total of their first half efforts was a shot from 25 yards by Connor McCormack that flew well wide.  A Hilliard volley was deflected for a corner and the almost incessant possession paid off two minutes before the break when Lee Clarke neatly headed home a Hilliard cross to put St Neots ahead.   There was still time in the final minute of the half for Kauppinen to produce a full length diving save to keep out a well placed second Clarke header.

 

Upon the restart Kauppinen was kept at full stretch pushing away a Clarke snap shot and doing well to react to a low Hilliard effort from 15 yards.   From a Wilkinson long throw into the box Clarke saw a header rebound from the crossbar as St Neots applied further pressure and then the unexpected penalty gift from Kauppinen saw Roberts coolly give his side that important two goals cushion.   Chippenham by no means gave up and Paul Bastock for so long a spectator in the St Neots goal had to be alert to collect the ball at the feet of Alex Ferguson and then field a couple of high crosses into the box.   However St Neots were looking well in control and they sent on Sam Harty for Matt Spring in midfield.   A mistimed tackle by Harty earned him a booking and reduced Chippenham to ten men for they had used all three permitted substitutes.  It was a St Neots substitute who clinched the victory for making a late 79th minute appearance for the struggling Nathan Frater, seventeen years old Luis Vieira used his pace three minutes from time to cruise past the final defender and beat the keeper with a well placed low shot.   It was no less than St Neots deserved and the bumper shirt-sleeved crowd of 514 heralded the victory in noisy fashion.

 

 


 

 

 

St Neots: Bastock, Longden, Wilkinson, Mitchel-King, Frater (R), Ward, Frater (N), Spring, Clarke, Roberts (D), Hilliard

Subs: Harty (for Spring 65), Vieira (for Frater (N) 79), Ferrari (for Clarke 89), Bickerstaff and Marango.

Cards:  Clarke (Y – 16), Longden (Y – 77), Harty (Y – 84)

Goals:  Clarke (43 mins), Roberts – pen (57 mins), Vieira (87 mins)

 

Chippenham: Kauppinen, McCormack, Beedon, Coupe, Roberts (J), Preece, Ferguson, Pook, Griffin, Holgate, Guthrie

Subs:  Obam (for Guthrie 65), Campbell (for Griffin 65), Phillips (for McCormack 78)

Cards:  Coupe (Y – 24), Kauppinen (Y – 57)

Goals:  none

 

Attendance: 514

 

Referee: Matthew Buonassisi (Rushden)

 

John Walker