St Neots Town FC 0 : 2 Hungerford Town
Match
34
St Neots Town FC 0 : 2
Hungerford Town
Saturday 06 February, 2016 15:00

 

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN      0         HUNGERFORD TOWN      2

 

After their impressive performance at Cirencester seven days earlier it was back to earth with a bump as high flying Hungerford effectively produced a smash and grab raid scoring two first half goals before shutting up shop after the break. The three points were enough to lift the Berkshire club into the play-off places leaving the rather inexperienced St Neots no reward from a wind dominated contest. 

 

However, their overall performance fell short of the standard they had set in their previous outing and after a poor first half they created little after the break to seriously threaten the solid visiting defence. With Lee Clarke and Matt Smyth joining the injury list there was a recall to the starting line-up for 16 years old Claudio Ofosu whilst up front Dipo Akinyemi, another loanee from Stevenage, made his debut.  

 

With the wind in their favour in the first half, St Neots never looked capable of harnessing it in their favour but produced their best play after the break whilst the visitors always looked solid and confident in defence and once having established their two goal lead they never looked like losing.  

 

St Neots had goalkeeper Ben Jackson taken off to hospital after 56 minutes with a split eyebrow following an accidental collision but fortunately they had Andy Wilton on the bench and never looked disadvantaged. For Hungerford this was their second victory this season at the Premier Plus Stadium having knocked St Neots out of the FA Trophy in November before going on in the competition to pick up almost £15,000 in prize money.

 

Hungerford went ahead in the first real attack by either side after nine minutes. St Neots gave the ball away in midfield and a penetrating through ball from Mike Jones found James Clark behind the St Neots defence and his well-placed shot went across Ben Jackson’s dive to nestle just inside the far post. Thirteen minutes later Matt Day then squandered a chance to increase the lead when he volleyed over the bar but it was Day who set up the second goal after 28 minutes sending a cross to find the head of unmarked top visiting scorer Nat Jarvis who dived full length to convert. Both sides were struggling to come to terms with the swirling windy conditions with the ball out of play for far too long and St Neots’ best first half chance was a 25 yards shot by Dipo Akinyemi that passed just the wrong side of a post.  

 

Hungerford seldom created further openings and the first half drew to a disappointing close with both sides hoping for second half improvement.

 

There was almost a freak goal after 52 minutes when a viciously inswinging corner by Clark rebounded from the outside of the near post and another corner from the same player saw Ben Jackson dive forward to punch clear but in a subsequent accidental collision he suffered that cut eyebrow and so Andy Wilton returned to the side as a replacement. He was quickly in action pushing away a shot from Rhys Tyler before punching away another corner. Akinyemi tried hard to make some impression on the visiting defence but shot over the bar after neat play by Tom Meechan and in St Neots best second half move Meechan sent Ofosu clear on the right but his low cross was cut out by Gary Horgan with two St Neots players waiting to capitalize.  

 

The home side then sent on a partly fit Drew Roberts for his fourth appearance as a substitute in a bid to boost their attack but he saw little of the ball with the Hungerford defence giving nothing away. The visitors created two late chances but substitute Harry Goodger headed over the bar and Stefan Brown forced a good save from Wilton.

 

 

 

St Neots:  Jackson, Casey, Longden, Tann, Ward, Anton, Ofosu, Clark (P), Meechan, Akinyemi, Dawkin

 

Subs:  Wilton (for Jackson 56 mins), Roberts (for Akinyemi 69), Lewis (D) (for Ofosu 84), Hobbs and Muya.

 

Cards:  Ward  (Y – 62)

 

Goals:  none

 

 

 

Cirencester:  Strudley, Horgan John, Boardman, Day, Rusby, Tyler, Jones, Jarvis, Brown, Clark

 

Subs:  Reece (for Jones 70 mins), Goodger (for Jarvis 74 minutes)

 

Cards:  Goodger (Y – 79), John (Y -90+1)

 

Goals:  Clark (9 mins), Jarvis (28 mins)

 

Attendance: 234

 

Referee: Jonathan Block (Norwich)

 

 

 

John Walker