St Neots Town FC 2 : 3 Cambridge City
Match
SLP 28
St Neots Town FC 2 : 3
Cambridge City
Tuesday 01 January, 2013 15:00

 

 

Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       2      CAMBRIDGE CITY      3

 

Returning to the St Neots side for the first time since April 2011 after a very lengthy injury lay off Theo Davis marked his Southern League debut with a solid first half performance at left back but was helped off injured after 50 minutes and this incident proved pivotal in a highly entertaining match.   With limited options on the substitutes bench St Neots had to press skipper Dan Jacob into filling in at the back and this robbed the side of its most threatening forward.   Cambridge made a double substitution shortly afterwards and scored twice in three minutes to turn a half time deficit into a 3-2 victory to pick up all three points to move up to third in the league table.   In front of St Neots’ best crowd of the season (627) the two sides served up a feast of football and St Neots will play worse than they did on this occasion and still win.   Once again it was defensive frailty that proved their undoing and it may be significant that they have not won since central defender Arthur Lee was injured in the Bideford match.   They must be hoping that their worst injury list for several seasons starts to abate and that Manager Iain Parr will soon have serious selection options to consider.   To rub salt in the wounds former striker Stefan Moore hit a debut hat trick for his new club Leamington who moved up to within a point of the top of the table.

Visiting Cambridge got off to a dream start with a goal in just 49 seconds of the first whistle.  Picking up the ball on the half way line full back James Brighton moved forward and was allowed to continue going through a statuesque St Neots defence before firing low past Jack Giddens without even a sniff of a tackle.    Playing with a flat back four with Davis and Jay Davies back after suspension replacing the injured midfield pair of Adrian Sear and Ryan Sharman St Neots had to respond to this setback positively and they did just that.   Dan Jacob dragged a shot wide of the far post after good work by Ollie Thorne and after 12 minutes they were level.   Jay Davies weighted the perfect cross over the defence to pick out Craig Calver and when his fierce shot was parried by Zac Barrett it was Ade Yusuff who followed up to claim only his second goal for St Neots.   The whole complexion of the match changed with St Neots dictating play and Lewis Hilliard saw a shot well parried by Barrett.   Adam Marriott was the visitors’ liveliest forward and he saw Giddens block a shot with his legs but after 19 minutes St Neots were ahead after a very slick move.   Jacob combined with Hilliard and his clever pull back from the bye line set up Jacob for a low finish wide of Barrett.   A Jay Davies free kick skimmed the cross bar and on the break a cross from Brighton found Chaffey unmarked at the far post but he shot well wide.   Then further drama after 38 minutes as Hilliard impeded Ieuan Lewis on the edge of the area and the Referee’s decision of a corner was changed to a penalty kick on advice from his Assistant.   However Hammond put the spot kick wide and justice seemed to be done.

After an early second half shot by Jacob that was just wide he found himself back in defence with Jack Werndly on for the injured Theo Davis.   Ten minutes after the switch Jordan Gent misjudged an interception to allow Adam Marriott to go clear and he beat Giddens from twelve yards.   That signalled a double substitution by Cambridge and with two minutes one those Like Allen wriggled his way past two tackles to score from close range to give the visitors the lead.   Although Barrett did make one excellent save from Yusuff, St Neots failed to make a real impression as they strove to get back into the match.   Werndly had a shot saved but not until Jacob was pushed up front in the last ten minutes did St Neots look like saving a point.   In added time Marriott should have extended the visitors’ advantage but he shot just wide after a swift breakaway attack.    St Neots now hope to get back to winning ways in their upcoming County Cup semi-final.


 

 

 

St Neots: Giddens, Duncliffe, Davis, Thorne, Gent, Hoyte, Hilliard, Davies, Calver, Yusuff, Jacob.

Subs:  Werndly (for Davis 50 mins), Spark, Jenkins & Duggan.

Cards: Davies (Y – 85)

 

Cambridge: Barrett, Ramm, Brighton, Theobald, Chaffey, Nightingale, Lewis, Prada, Hammond, Marriott, Fuller.

Subs:  Allen (for Prada 60), Bryant (for Hammond 60), Cambridge, Death & Ordonez.

Cards: Chaffey (Y – 52), Theobald (Y – 76)

 

Attendance: 627

 

John Walker