St Neots Town FC 2 : 1 Ilkeston FC
Match
FAT 1QR
St Neots Town FC 2 : 1
Ilkeston FC
Saturday 01 November, 2014 15:00

FA Trophy – First Qualifying Round

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       2       ILKESTON FC       1

 

Under the watchful eye of England ‘C’ team Manager Paul Fairclough, St Neots came back from behind with two second half goals to progress to the Second Round Qualifying of the FA trophy at the expense of Northern League Premier Division visitors Ilkeston FC.

It was an end to end contest with the visitors just shading the first half despite St Neots having a better share of possession but two well taken second half goals saw the home side through. 

“We did not take our chances and two individual defensive errors proved to be our downfall” said Ilkeston Manager Kevin Wilson “although the two sides were very evenly matched”.

Meantime Saints Manager Gary King professed himself “delighted” at the result. “I had four key players injured” he said “but the lads who played did the club proud. I thought we were unlucky to be behind at half time but it was a tremendous comeback to give us a well deserved victory”.

Those still injured were Ryan Frater, Arthur Lee, Bruce Wilson and Matt Nolan. St Neots feature in the next round of the Trophy on 15th November missing out on a trip to Hungerford that will now be rearranged in midweek.

 

St Neots enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with Ben Ford drifting a shot over the bar and Nathan Frater bringing a good save from visiting keeper Jordan Smith at the expense of a corner. St Neots then had a let off when a James Reid corner eluded the defenders and was turned goalwards by Rob Duffy but Max York was perfectly placed to clear off the line.

St Neots should have gone in front when Lewis Hilliard freed Drew Roberts but the striker mis-controlled the ball when going clear and the chance was lost.   Ilkeston then had David Morgan booked for a cynical foul on Nathan Frater bringing him down from behind and then a rising Hilliard effort was pushed for a corner by Smith.

Ilkeston’s first real attack then brought them the opening goal as Morgan found Che Adams with a neat forward pass and he cleverly duped Dave Deeney with a flick past the defender and followed up to beat Paul Bastock with a low finish after 32 minutes.

St Neots replied with a Jay Davies effort that sailed over the bar and a weak finish from an off balance Nathan Frater after good work by Roberts. Right on the break a Matt Spring corner found the head of Gavin Hoyte whose downward effort was scrambled away at full length by Smith.

 

The visitors clearly decided to sit on their narrow advantage upon the restart and there was much midfield play from both sides with few openings until Che Adams broke clear with pace but Paul Bastock stretched to push his clever chip onto the crossbar.

St Neots did get the ball in the net on 54 minutes but the Referee had blown for a corner that came to nothing. However the home side was beginning to dominate and it was no surprise when they levelled after 58 minutes as Ben Ford crossed from the left to the far post where Lewis Hilliard swivelled to hit a low shot past Smith.  

Ford then headed wide as did Dave Deeney but on the break Ilkeston could have regained the lead after 64 minutes when a deflected free kick by James Reid was well saved by Bastock.

Five minutes later St Neots made the significant break as the visitors were dispossessed in midfield and the ball was threaded forward to Nathan Frater who made ground to hit a well placed shot into the corner of the net. Ilkeston introduced substitutes to show a more attacking approach but it was St Neots who should have clinched the result when a long cross by Hilliard picked out Roberts at the far post but his free header went disappointingly over the bar. The only real threat of a second goal from the visitors and the prospect of a replay came two minutes from time when Adams, by far their most dangerous player, went past his marker to curl a shot away from Bastock but just the wrong side of the far post.  

St Neots were relieved to hear the final whistle but they had completed a good shift and been rewarded with a deserved victory.

 

St Neots: (4-4-2) Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Ford (Ferrari 75), Deeney Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Frater (N) Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Ferrari (for Ford 75), Cracknell, Farrell, Adjei and Dillon.

Cards: none

Goals: Hilliard (58 mins), Frater (N) (79 mins)

 

Ilkeston:  (4-3-3) Smith, Reid, Wallace, Burgess, Maguire, Lane, Morgan Chettle, Duffy, Hunter, Adams

Subs:  Williams (for Hunter 68), Waite (for Reid 84), Randall (for Morgan 89), Baker and Gordon

Cards: Morgan (Y – 28), Wallace (Y – 42)

Goals:  Adams (32 mins)

 

Attendance: 330

 

Referee: Adrian Gillett (Aylesbury)

 

 

John Walker