St Neots Town FC 1 : 0 Leamington FC
Match
02
St Neots Town FC 1 : 0
Leamington FC
Tuesday 11 August, 2015 19:45

 

Southern League Premier Division

ST NEOTS TOWN   1 - 0  LEAMINGTON

St Neots began their home programme with a narrow victory over Leamington and three well deserved points but their opponents who were relegated from the Conference North at the end of last season contributed to their own downfall.  

Their physical approach to the match resulted in them picking up two red cards and four yellow as they finished the match with just nine players.  

For long spells St Neots seemed unable to cope with their visitors’ robust approach but the match was lit up by a peach of a winning goal that gave Tom Meechan his fourth goal in just two matches.  

There was one initial team change with St Neots able to welcome back central defender Tom Ward after injury and this saw Mat Mitchel King moved into midfield and skipper Adam Tann slotted in at full back with Jamie Anton on the bench.  

The first half was very disappointing.  Neither side managed to find any rhythm amongst the littering of free kicks and it was difficult to identify a single save made by either goalkeeper. 

No one in the midfield area seemed to have the confidence to slow play down and produce a significant pass to mobilise an attack and the efforts on goal were limited to lengthy shots off target.  

St Neots had to overcome an early setback after ten minutes when Mat Mitchel-King was injured in an off the ball incident and despite lengthy touchline treatment he failed to recover and had to be replaced by Jamie Anton.  

Brett Longden shot well wide and Tom Ward had an attempt at a corner deflected whilst at the other end old boy Ben Mackey looking sharp rounded his marker but saw his shot blocked.  

Jamie Hood was booked for a cynical foul as he upended Remy Gordon and the half ended with a Mackey volley that flew over the bar.

The second half began well for the home side. A silky move after 48 minutes saw Ryan Hawkins win his way to the bye line and his early pull back was met at the near post by Tom Meechan whose Zola like flick went past goalkeeper and defenders to open the scoring. 

Three minutes later Gordon crossed from the opposite flank and Hawkins rose above the defence but sent his header the wrong side of a post. Leamington’s best effort of the game to that point after 55 minutes saw Mackey cleverly release Rob Ogleby who beat the offside trap but shot straight at Danny Gay.  

Conner Gudger then tested the keeper with an out swinging cross well claimed by the keeper but the visitors’ resurgence was only temporary. Hawkins headed down a cross into the path of Nathan Frater but he shot well wide and then St Neots thought they were denied a penalty when Hawkins was bundled over by two defenders but play was waved on.  

Four minutes from time Jack Edwards picked up his second yellow card of the game and was sent off but Leamington made a determined effort to salvage a point and substitute Will Green should have done better in injury time when he shot wildly over the bar with his sides’ best chance of the game.  

Then three minutes into added time Joe Magunda became the second visiting player to depart for an early bath after picking up a straight red card for kicking an opponent when he was down and in the melee that followed visiting skipper goalkeeper Tony Breeden was also booked and really very lucky to stay on the field of play. 

Overall St Neots deserved their victory but for much of the game were pushed out of their rhythm by a side that come to town to operate negative tactics.

 

St Neots: Gay, Tann, Wilkinson, Mitchel-King, Ward, Hall, Frater, Longden, Meechan, Hawkins, Gordon

Subs: Anton (for Mitchel-King 14),Clarke (for Frater 74), Cisse (for Meechan 83), Harty and Mailancol.

Cards:  Frater (Y – 13)

Goals:  Meechan (48 mins)

 

Leamington: Breeden, George, Gudger, Magunda, Hood, Mace, Moore, Edwards, Ogleby, Mackey, Jones

Subs:  Green (for Jones 72), Taundry, Westwood, Mitchell and Fenney.

Cards:  Edwards (RED – 86), Magunda (RED – 90+3), Hood (Y – 30), Jones (Y – 50), Breeden (Y – 90+3)

Goals:  none

Attendance: 368

Referee: Mark Wardell (Wellingborough)

John Walker