Dereham Town 4 : 2 St Neots Town FC
FAC 1QR Replay
Dereham Town 4 : 2
St Neots Town FC
Tuesday 16 September, 2014 19:45



DEREHAM TOWN       1        ST NEOTS TOWN       1 (aet)

(Dereham won 4-2 on pens)


It was St Neots’ first ever penalty shoot out in an FA Cup tie and it all ended in tears as Dereham goalkeeper Andrew Wilton produced two outstanding saves to deny Drew Roberts and Lewis Hilliard goals from the visitors’ first two well taken spot kicks.   However St Neots can have few complaints because on the night they were overall the second best side in a match that failed to produce significant goalmouth action at either end.  Matt Spring and Martell Powell both converted their spot kicks but with Michael Clunan, Luke Tuttle, Toby Hilliard and Ryan Hawkins all beating Nathan Abbey from the spot St Neots brief FA Cup run was all over for another year.   With Saturday’s goal scorer Nathan Frater injured St Neots made three changes bringing in Matt Nolan, Matt Spring and Bruce Wilson leaving Ben Farrell and Martell Powell on the substitutes’ bench in an attempt to improve on their finishing but the attempt failed.  In the first half neither keeper had a save to make as the efforts from both sides flew high and wide of the target.   Dereham was once again a compact and well organised unit and two hours play on top of the ninety minutes at the Cozy Stadium never looked like producing goals to excite the watching crowd by either team.


Both Matt Spring and Matt Nolan header over the bar with relatively simple chances in the opening ten minutes and Drew Roberts sent a snap shot wide of the far post.   At the other end Dereham’s Saturday scorer Sam Borrer hit a shot straight at Nathan Abbey but St Neots did look vulnerable at set pieces scrambling a Luke Tuttle free kick away after a goalmouth melee.   As the first half progressed both sides began to look frustrated by their lack of success with Roberts chipping over the bar, Hilliard shooting wide and Arthur Lee also firing wildly over the bar whilst Nathan Abbey looked for long times a spectator.   St Neots enjoyed the better possession but did not look comfortable when Dereham mounted a swift counter attack and the first half ended scoreless with little to suggest that either side had a plan B.


An early second half free kick in a good position was ballooned well wide by occasional set piece taker Ryan Frater but then St Neots had to survive three successive dangerous corners that they struggled to clear.   From a Luke Tuttle free kick Michael Clunan headed tamely over the bar but the goal that the game badly needed arrived after 62 minutes when a long cross from the right by Mason Spencer was glanced into the net by the head of Matt Nolan.   That should have settled St Neots but there was little sign of this as Nathan Abbey making his final appearance prior to a three match suspension had to produce two excellent saves to deny Sam Borrer and Toby Hilliard.   Substitute Ryan Hawkins boosted the Dereham attack chipping onto the roof of the net and St Neots were hanging on to their slim lead until one minute from the end of normal time when an ill judged and unnecessary nudge in the back of Toby Hilliard by Arthur Lee conceded a silly penalty converted by Michael Clunan to send the match into extra time.  Both teams clearly affected by fatigue in the added 30 minutes never really looked like settling the match although Nathan Abbey made two important saves from Hilliard and Tuttle but Dereham was clearly the better side looking more composed.   St Neots best chance of an unlikelt late winner came from a speedy Lorenzo Ferrari burst through the defence but Wilton got down well to save the effort by the St Neots substitute.   Then it was on to the dreaded penalty shoot out……….





St Neots: Abbey (N), Spence, Lee, Spring, Frater (R), Hoyte, Davies, Hilliard, Nolan, Roberts, Wilson

Subs: Ferrari (for Wilson 69 mins), Farrell (for Davies 74 mins), Powell (for Nolan 85 mins) Ford, Bickerstaff, Abbey (Z) and Greygoose.

Cards: Lee (Y – 72), Nolan (Y – 78)

Goals: Nolan (62 mins)


Dereham:  Wilton, Willis, Blake-Tracey, Hockley, Howard, Eastoe-Smith, Borrer, Clunan, Tuttle, Hilliard, Bussens

Subs: Hawkins (for Bussens 69 mins), Bailey (for Hockley 69 mins), Kay, Mason and Powley

Cards: Hilliard (Y – 98), Clunan (Y – 117), Tuttle (Y – 119)

Goals:  Clunan (89 mins)


Attendance: 267


Referee: Mark Potkins (Woodbridge)


John Walker