St Neots Town FC 2 : 2 Stratford Town FC
Match
05
St Neots Town FC 2 : 2
Stratford Town FC
Saturday 22 August, 2015 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       2        STRATFORD TOWN       2         

 

St Neots twice came from behind to share the spoils with league new boys Stratford Town but will be slightly disappointed with the outcome. When you have more possession and more chances than the opposition you should push home that advantage but sadly St Neots fell just short today. Stratford have found their feet quickly at the higher level and looked a well organised unit and could have snatched a surprise winning goal deep into injury time but St Neots will point to a shot off the woodwork and two goal line clearances that might have earned them full points. Once again the home side were indebted to the finishing skills of Tom Meechan who claimed both goals to take his tally to eight in just five outings.

The one change in the home starting line-up saw Nathan Frater back to replace Lee Clarke who failed a late fitness test.

The first half was end to end but produced surprisingly few open chances. Stratford’s central defensive pairing of Marcel Simpson and Liam Francis looked well in control when St Neots threatened and at the other end Danny Gay never had a direct shot to bother him before the break.

Nathan Frater had an early shot blocked following a Wilkinson cross and Stratford’s only early threatening move saw Gay sprint from his area to clear from the feet of Edwin Ahenkora. Tom Meechan, off balance shot wide and a blockbusting shot by Ryan Hawkins was too hot for Andy Kemp to hold but a defender produced a last ditch clearance. Isaac Galliford tried his luck from the left with a cross-goal shot but Adkins cleared off the line and at the other end Ahenkorah fired into the side netting after Stratford’s best first half attack. Just before the break St Neots carved out two more chances but Meechan saw Kemp out to field his cross with Hawkins poised on the far post and then Meechan set up Galliford whose hurried shot went well wide of target.

 

The second half was a much more open affair. After 50 minutes Hawkins had a good shout for a penalty waved away after he had been baulked by Simpson and two minutes later slightly against the run of play Stratford went ahead. St Neots conceded a free kick 30 yards in an almost central position and despite lining up a three man defensive wall they saw Robert Thompson-Brown strike the ball inside the wall and beyond the despairing dive of Danny Gay.

This setback seemed to inspire St Neots to greater effort and a cross-cum shot by Hawkins went over the head of Kemp to deflect off the top of the cross bar. Meechan volleyed wide and Hawkins shot over the bar but St Neots were on top and deservedly levelled after 64 minutes when Mat Mitchel-King headed down a Tom Ward free kick and Tom Meechan netted from a narrow angle. With substitutions by both sides the game lost some rhythm and after 71 minutes Stratford regained the lead as substitute Tyrone Fagan knocked down a Simeon Tulloch cross for Joe Halsall to force the ball home.

However, within sixty seconds parity was regained as from a great cross by Bamoussa Cisse, who had outwitted his marker close to the bye line, Tom Meechan was perfectly placed to net his second goal of the game with a powerful header from six yards. He might have had a hat trick in the next attack but clear of the defence he was cynically brought down outside the area by goalkeeper Kemp who seemed very fortunate only to be shown a yellow card.

As the game moved into added time both sides could have snatched a match winning goal.  For St Neots Tom Ward produced a spectacular goal line clearance at the expense of a corner and substitute Luke Trotman making his home debut saw his shot rebound off the legs of a defender. It could be seen as two points lost as St Neots continue to seek their first Saturday afternoon victory of the season however other results elsewhere mean we haven’t dropped down the table too far after today’s game.

 

 

 

 

 

St Neots: Gay, Anton, Wilkinson, Hall, Ward, Mitchel-King, Frater, Longden, Meechan, Hawkins, Galliford

Subs: Trotman (for Longden 53), Cisse (for Hawkins 65), Tann (for Frater 81 mins) Mailancol and Sutton.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Meechan 2 (64 & 72 mins)

 

Stratford: Kemp. Moran, Adkins, Simpson, Francis, Delfouneso, Mosey-Garvey, Halsall, Tulloch, Ahenkorah, Thompson-Brown

Subs:  Fagan (for Ahenkorah 64),Sheldon (for Delfouneso 69), Angus (for Thompson-Brown81), Charley and Price.

Cards:  Kemp (Y – 73), Mosey-Garvey (Y – 77)

Goals:  none

 

Attendance: 293

 

Referee: Gareth Viccars (Milton Keynes)

 

John Walker