St Neots Town FC 0 : 0 Slough Town
Match
39
St Neots Town FC 0 : 0
Slough Town
Saturday 12 March, 2016 15:00

 

Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       0         SLOUGH TOWN        0      

 

The real drama in this scoreless draw came after 25 minutes when the ball did finish up in the back of the net. Lee Barney got the ball past the goalkeeper for the visitors after a Ryan Hope shot came back of the crossbar and as Slough celebrated Referee Joshua Few was persuaded by a posse of St Neots players to consult his Assistant as a result of which he awarded St Neots a free kick for a fractional offside.   

 

That resulted in St Neots deservedly taking what could be a vital point with none of the sides in the drop zone winning on the day. Now, with two matches in ten days against Frome, who are now just four points behind them and a trip to in-form Kettering the period up to Easter will be an anxious time for Andy Davies’ side.  

 

The Manager made just two changes to his starting line-up for this match restoring Brett Longden in defence after suspension and preferring Dan Schiavi to Charlie Coulson on the right of midfield. However, there was also a 35 minutes’ substitute appearance for Remy Gordon and he showed that as he approaches match fitness he could be a key member of the squad in the remaining eight league matches.

 

The match got off to a brisk start with Warren Harris charging down a delayed clearance by Alex Archer and his cross set up Lee Barney who mis-kicked wide and then at the other end Drew Roberts was played clear by Peter Clark but crowded out when a shooting chance beckoned. Archer then had to go down smartly at the foot of a post to gather a free kick by Jhai Dhillon and Warren Harris lobbed over the bar when well placed. As the match settled Slough were employing a policy of lobbing the ball over a retreating St Neots defence for their front players to exploit their pace and Tom Ward and Danny Burns produced some very timely tackles and clearances to thwart their efforts.  

 

The ‘disallowed goal’ incident led to the overall tempo of the match dropping and towards the end of the first half much of the play seemed to get marooned in midfield with the only significant attempt on goal being a lengthy free kick by Sean Fraser comfortably gathered by Archer.

 

The second half was a stark contrast with St Neots coming quickly out of the blocks to enjoy a twenty minutes’ purple patch where they should have taken the lead. Visiting keeper Mark Scott did well to gather a well-placed header by Roberts and then the same St Neots player sent in a snap shot from a reverse Josh Dawkin pass that tested the keeper’s reflexes.   Dhillon was then booked for arresting Dan Schiavi in full flight towards goal and the introduction of Gordon for Schiavi helped to maintain St Neots’ domination.   From a Gordon free kick Lee Clarke got above the visiting defence to bring another save from Scott but Slough eager to exploit St Neots all out attacking approach broke well for Scott Harris to head over the bar from an inswinging corner.

 

Still in action at the other end, Scott saved at full length from Gordon and saw a shot from Peter Clark that had beaten him pass just the wrong side of the far post. But that was as good as it got for St Neots with the final twenty minutes a rather nervy affair for both sides who clearly did not want to concede a goal. Roberts had a low shot blocked and Archer kept his goal intact with a reflex save from Warren Harris. Despite the slowing down of the tempo as the ninety minutes approached both sides could have snatched a late winner with Scott diving at the feet of Gordon to smother and Warren Harris twice guilty of failing to capitalize on chances in the final three minutes.  

 

The result was probably fair with neither side deserving to lose and the point probably more important to St Neots with Slough looking well clear of a threat of relegation.

 

St Neots:  Archer, Anton, Longden, Tann, Ward, Burns, Schiavi, Clark (P), Clarke (L), Roberts, Dawkin

 

Subs:  Gordon (for Schiavi 55), Brown (for Dawkin 72), Coulson, Heywood and Jeckells.

 

Cards:  Dawkin (Y – 53)

 

Goals:  none

 

 

 

Slough:  Scott, Fraser, Dhillon, Hollis, Hicks, Hope, Putman, Webb, Barney, Harris (S), Harris (W)

 

Subs:  Parsons (for Webb (28), Gokmen (for Barney 72), Rumbold, Koita, and Raju.

 

Cards:  Dhillon (Y – 51), Hicks (Y – 53)

 

Goals:  none

 

Attendance: 266

 

Referee: Joshua Few (Histon)

 

 

 

John Walker