St Neots Town FC 1 : 1 Weymouth
St Neots Town FC 1 : 1
Saturday 19 December, 2015 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

ST NEOTS TOWN 1- 1  WEYMOUTH          

St Neots seventh draw in their last eleven games leaves them still struggling to regain their form as they languish in mid-table.  

This was a match never short of incident with both sides finishing with ten men but despite St Neots having much the better of the first half they were unable to make their better possession and chances pay off with goals.  

Weymouth were twice denied by the woodwork after the break and could have stolen all three points with their spirited second half performance.

With Lee Clarke (unavailable) and Ryan Hawkins (suspended) joining Shane Blackett, Tom Ward and Drew Roberts (all injured) on the side lines the only thing St Neots will be hoping for this Christmas is a fully fit squad to choose from and for this match they introduced teenage trialist Robbie Sweeney from the Stevenage Academy and he played all but six minutes in a position wide right in midfield. 

Off the pitch the main talking point was the surprise retirement of Chairman Michael Kearns who was still supporting his side from the terraces.

After an early cross from Chris Shephard had tested home keeper Andy Wilton the game settled with St Neots in the ascendancy but there were too many stoppages notably for offside offences at both ends for the game to really flow.  

Adam Kelly stabbed a shot wide for the visitors but St Neots really should have been in front after 20 minutes when a clever pass by Isaac Galliford freed Tom Meechan but a poor first touch allowed Andrew Dawber to leave his line to collect the ball at the strikers’ feet.  

However five minutes later St Neots did take the lead when a sublime flick over the defence by the confident Remy Gordon once again put Meechan beyond the final defender and it took a quality full length save by Dawber to push the ball around a post.  

However from Galliford’s uncleared inswinging corner a shot by Robbie Sweeney was blocked by a defender but the ball fell to Matt Mitchel-King and he rapped home his fourth league goal of the season. 

It was no more than St Neots deserved and three minutes later they looked to be denied a clear penalty when a Galliford cross was handled by a defender but play was waved on.  

Gordon now getting back to fitness after his long injury lay-off then brought a fine save from the overworked visiting keeper and after a couple of long range off-target shots from the visitors the half ended with another St Neots chance as skipper Ryan Frater headed wide from a Galliford corner.

That first half had been St Neots best 45 minutes for several matches but they failed to build on that after the break. Galliford did volley an early half chance over the bar but with their leading scorer Stewart Yetton on as a substitute for the injured Ben Thomson the visitors looked more positive.  

From an Adam Kelly cross Yetton saw a close range header rebound from the crossbar and then Billy Lowes brought a good save from Wilton.   St Neots had lost their first half rhythm picking up three bookings as they struggled to contain the visiting attack and after 75 minutes a snap shot by Mark Moseley from 30 yards surprised Wilton but bounced off the junction of post and crossbar.  

However Weymouth only had to wait until their next attack two minutes later to get the equaliser they were threatening. A long through ball from Mark Cooper was chased down to the bye line by Adam Kelly and his low cross to the near post was turned into the net by Chris Shephard. 

St Neots made the positive move of introducing striker Chris Lewis for Galliford but before he had been involved a bust up between Ben Jones and Jordan Copp saw the Weymouth player pick up a straight red card and Jones a second yellow so both sides were reduced to ten men with seven minutes remaining.  

During that spell Weymouth looked the more threatening but St Neots held out for a point that saw them slip one place in the table to fourteenth with neighbours Biggleswade winning away at Leamington.  

The two meet at Biggleswade on Boxing Day.

St Neots: Wilton, Anton, Longden, Mitchel-King, Frater, Tann, Galliford, Jones, Meechan, Sweeney, Gordon

Subs: Lewis (for Galliford 78), Hobbs (for Sweeney 84), Ofosu (for Gordon 90+2), Burton and Dean

Cards:  Jones (RED – 83 – 2xY), Longden (Y – 62), Mitchel-King (Y – 66), Sweeney (Y – 70)

Goals:  Mitchel-King (25 mins)

Weymouth: Dawber, Cooper, Copp, Evans, McPhee, Brooks, Kelly, Lawes, Moseley, Thomson, Shephard

Subs:  Yetton (for Thomson 32), Sills (for Lawes 73), Wannell (for Cooper 84), Wells and Rigg

Cards:  Copp (RED – 83), Moseley (Y – 90+3)

Goals:  Shephard (77 mins)

Attendance: 299

Referee: Geoffrey Russell (Northampton)

John Walker