Tilbury FC 1 : 1 St Neots Town FC
FAC First Round Qualifying
Tilbury FC 1 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 12 September, 2015 15:00


FA Cup First Round Qualifying

TILBURY  1 - 1  ST NEOTS TOWN               

This was St Neots’ poorest team performance of the season so far and yet they were in no real danger of going out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.  

Tilbury from the lower level in the Ryman League threatened the St Neots goal very seldom but they got away with a replay because of a single shot that took an awkward bounce in front of St Neots debut goalkeeper Andrew Wilton to find the back of the net.  

The other team change for the visitors saw the inclusion of Gui Mailancol for his full debut in the place of Isaac Galliford who was on the bench.  For the faithful fans that followed St Neots to the Essex coast it was a contest short on entertainment and rhythm and it is unlikely that the side can be quite as inept in the midweek home replay.  

There was little atmosphere in the sparsely populated ground and the main drama only arrived a minute before the end of normal time when the home side had a player dismissed with a straight red card for a crude challenge from behind on Ryan Hawkins who had been St Neots best player.  

Defensively St Neots were fairly sound with Tom Ward once again solid and dependable but they never came to terms with the swirling wind and bumpy pitch.

Losing the toss St Neots found themselves playing against the wind and up the slope and were slow to settle although Tom Meechan broke clear of the defence only to be halted by the award of a free kick against his side for an off the ball offence. 

Neil Richmond had Tilbury’s first attempt on goal – a shot that flew nearer to the corner flag than the goal.  

Meechan then only just failed to reach a Ryan Frater cross in front of a gaping net after 11 minutes and the visitors looked comfortable with Hawkins tormenting the defence and being brought down in full flight by Jimmy Cook who received a caution.  Mailancol was struggling to make his presence felt wide left but he did have one shot into the side netting after 31 minutes. 

 Less than sixty seconds later in their next attack St Neots took the lead.   Again it was the tricky Hawkins who created the opening marauding down the left touchline to find Nathan Frater with a precise pass.  

He had his back to goal but laid the ball in the path of Connor Hall and he scored his third goal of the season with a well-placed low finish. It was no more than St Neots’ first half play had deserved and they might have had a second goal just before the break but Mailancol shot wide after good work by Mitchel-King and Meechan.

Strangely St Neots failed to settle after the break and a lone effort by Mailancol was deflected for a corner as Tilbury began to look more assured. After 52 minutes full back Conor Mead joined the attack to send a speculative cross into the penalty area and Neil Richmond swivelled neatly to hit a well struck volley on the turn and the ball bounced beyond the arms of Wilton as he dived to his right.  

Three minutes later St Neots almost regained the lead in a smart counter attack as Hawkins played Tom Meechan clear and he skilfully rounded advancing goalkeeper Clarke Bogard only to see Mead scurry back to clear the ball off the line.  

St Neots were then temporarily struggling as Frater sustained an injury and after failing to recover following treatment he was replaced by Brett Longden. 

The visitors also reshaped their attack with Isaac Galliford on for Mailancol but the changes had little effect on a rather ponderous second half performance.  

Bogard did well to save at the feet of Meechan but there was little to suggest that either side would manage to obtain a place in the next round from this match.   The rather unsavoury end to the match that brought the sending off seemed to sum up an unsatisfactory contest in which neither keeper had a serious save to make and both sides will look improve in the replay.

St Neots: Wilton, Tann, Wilkinson, Hall, Ward, Anton, Frater, Mitchel-King, Meechan, Hawkins, Mailancol

Subs: Longden (for Frater 55), Galliford (for Mailancol 61), Osei-Addo, Vieira and Sutton.

Cards:  Hall (Y – 52)

Goals:  Hall (32 mins)

Tilbury: Bogard, Mead, Cook, Smith (D), Pooley, Game, Babalola, Carlile, Aiken, Richmond, Smith (K)

Subs:  Edmunds (for Babalola 81), Webb, Awokoya, Duarte and Nightingill

Cards:  Smith (D) (RED – 89), Cook (Y – 29), Game (Y – 38)

Goals:  Richmond (52 mins)

Attendance: 110

Referee: Will Finnie (Luton)

John Walker