St Neots Town FC 0 : 3 Slough Town
St Neots Town FC 0 : 3
Slough Town
Tuesday 09 December, 2014 19:45

Southern League Premier Division


ST NEOTS TOWN        0       SLOUGH TOWN       3       


            After the excitement of their dramatic Saturday victory St Neots let themselves and their followers down with probably their worst ever home performance in the Southern League. On Saturday even in victory serious questions were aimed at the sides’ ability to defend and this match proved those fears to be fully justified. However it did not stop there because against a side happy to sit on a comfortable three goal half time cushion St Neots was handed the second half attacking freedom of the park and despite adopting a definitely positive approach with three strikers on the pitch they failed to create enough chances to seriously test the visiting goalkeeper once. Overall it was a totally inept performance against a visiting side still trying to establish themselves in the top flight and against more accomplished opponents the result could have been totally devastating. It was difficult to identify one home player who emerged from the game with any real credit and it is beginning to look the start of a long hard winter if no improvement is found.   Exactly half the league programme is now complete but with less than half their home matches ending in victory Manager Gary King with a talented squad on paper needs to pull some rabbits out of the hat – and soon.


            It had begun well with Chris Dillon heading over from a good David Hutton cross and Drew Roberts being pulled down inside the area by Guy Hollis. The Referee pointed to the penalty spot but allowed himself to be overruled by his Assistant instead awarding a direct free kick on the edge of the area that was wasted. Meantime St Neots were looking anxious at the back as facing the strong breeze they tried to deal with a series of long throws hurled into the area and following one of these a shot from former Saint Adrian Sear was parried allowing Ed Smith to follow up to open the scoring. Drew Roberts work rate saw him create another chance for himself but his shot was comfortably saved by Jake Sommerville and then there was also a touch of ill fortune about Slough’s second goal six minutes before the break. Helping out in defence Lewis Hilliard saw his clearance charged down and once again Ed Smith reacted the quickest moving outside his marker to unleash a clinical finish past the surprised Paul Bastock from a narrow angle. That was bad enough but worse was to follow on the stroke of half time when the visitors’ third goal that was the best of the bunch left St Neots with an almost impossible mountain to climb. Sadly the goal was totally unavoidable because it came when Matt Spring was far too easily dispossessed by Jake Parsons who moved the ball on via Ed Smith and his inch perfect cross set up Scott Harris for a simple finish.


            It was clear from the restart that Slough thought three goals were more than enough to take home all three points and they settled down to soak up any pressure St Neots could muster. Dillon had a shot blocked, Hilliard brought a comfortable low save from Sommerville and Ben Mackey on for the disappointing Jay Davies just failed to reach a Hutton cross. Joining the attack Dave Deeney sent a good low shot just a foot wide after 68 minutes and that was to prove the best effort of a very disappointing second half. With Dean Cracknell on St Neots did look livelier in midfield as the half progressed but most of their attacks ended with high crosses being comfortably collected by Sommerville who was allowed to dominate his penalty area. Even the introduction of another fresh striker – Nathan Frater – did nothing to enhance St Neots efforts and when Mackey just failed to capitalise on good work by Roberts in the dying moments it was obvious that St Neots were not going to score.    With no goals scored in three of their last four home matches the evidence for urgent improvement is very obvious.


St Neots: Bastock, Deeney, Wilson, Hutton, Ward, Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Dillon, Roberts, Hilliard

Subs: Mackey (for Davies 59), Cracknell (for Wilson 68), Frater (N) (for Dillon 77), York and Ford.

Cards:  none

Goals:  none


Slough:  Sommerville, Fraser, Parsons (R), Hollis, Rumbold, Edwards, Parsons (J), Sear, Harris, Smith, Knight

Subs:  Dyer (for Harris 85), Dobson (for Smith 90 + 1), Betts, Foulser and Phillips.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Smith 2 (18 & 39 mins), Harris (45 mins)


Attendance: 199


Referee: Lee Forrester (Luton)


John Walker