Hungerford Town 0 : 0 St Neots Town FC
Match
34
Hungerford Town 0 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Tuesday 10 February, 2015 19:45

Southern League Premier Division

HUNGERFORD TOWN  0 - 0    ST NEOTS TOWN      

 

With both teams on the fringe of the play off places a tight contest was expected and that prediction proved to be fully justified as they fought out a goalless draw – but the final result could have gone either way.  

 

St Neots were the dominant side overall bossing the first and last twenty minutes of the match but the host side had their chances as well. In goalkeeper Paul Strudley Hungerford had the man of the match with his two second half saves from Lee Clarke and Lorenzo Ferrari worthy of saving the point for his side but St Neots are to be commended for their hard working and committed all round performance that rewarded them with back to back clean sheets for the first time this season.  

The side is now beginning to look settled with the only team change seeing the return of Nathan Frater after suspension in the place of teenage starlet Ebey Marango who was on the bench. Frater was handed a wide role and normally an out and out striker he displayed a pleasing ability to perform in what could be seen as an unfamiliar role.

St Neots made the better start with the slope in their favour and Tom Ward up for a Matt Spring corner glanced their first chance just wide before Frater brought Strudley into early action with a crisp shot.  

 

Probably the nearest to a goal throughout the match came after just 17 minutes when an astutely placed Spring free kick went around the defensive wall to rebound from the inside of a post and run along the goal line before being scrambled away. Most of the chances being created by either side were coming from set piece play with corners and free kicks making continuity of play difficult.  

For much of the first half St Neots looked comfortably in control with keeper Paul Bastock seldom tested whilst his opposite number had to save well from Lorenzo Ferrari and Drew Roberts.  

Just before the break Hungerford leading scorer Mark Draycott was left unmarked from an Alan O’Brien corner but he sent his header high over the bar.

Chances from set piece play continued after the break with Ward bringing a comfortable save from the keeper from another Spring corner and at the other end O’Brien shot wide from a long throw by James Rusby. After 67 minutes a clever flick on by Ferrari played Roberts clear on the right but driven wide he sent his shot into the side netting.  

 

Three minutes later Hungerford then tried to vary their play sending on all three permitted substitutes at the same time and adopting a more attacking approach.   Bastock then had to make his first serious save full length to deny O’Brien after good work by substitute Sam Wilson and then Lewis Hilliard tested Strudley with a low shot inside the far post.  

He was then replaced by Sam Harty and ten minutes from time Lee Clarke made a strong run from the half way line swapping passes on the way before bringing the save of the match from the home keeper. A long Roberts cross-cum shot just evaded the far post before the final three minutes produced chances at either end.   Ferrari brought a fine save from Strudley at the expense of a corner before Hungerford’s final fling that saw a cross from substitute Harry Goodger deflect off the crossbar and then Jack Wilkinson cleared off the line after a late goalmouth scramble.

St Neots: Bastock, Tann, Wilkinson, Clarke, Mitchel-King, Ward, Hilliard, Spring, Ferrari, Roberts, Frater (N)

Subs: Harty (for Hilliard 79), Vieira, Marango and Frater (R).

Cards:  Frater (N) (Y – 54), Mitchel-King (Y – 88)

Goals:  none

 

Hungerford: Strudley, Horgan, John,Rusby, Day, Pilling, Clark, Collins, Mpi, Draycott, O’Brien

Subs:  Goodger (for Pilling 70), Rees (for Mpi 70), Wilson (for Draycott 70), Munday and Osei-Tutu.

Cards:  Draycott (Y – 23), Collins (Y – 70)

Goals:  none

Attendance: 100

 

Referee: Ben Cobb (Poole)

 

John Walker