Tilbury FC 2 : 5 St Neots Town FC
FAC First Round Qualifying Replay
Tilbury FC 2 : 5
St Neots Town FC
Tuesday 22 September, 2015 19:45

FA Cup First Round Qualifying

(match replayed per Football Association instruction)

TILBURY   2 - 5   ST NEOTS TOWN               

This re-match proved to be an exhilarating and pulsating match crammed with incident and controversy and was one St Neots could easily have lost.  

However they kept their nerve and produced a performance full of effort and determination to survive to return to FA Cup battle in four days’ time. 

The Referee was probably the busiest man on the pitch issuing an astonishing ten yellow cards in all two of which were second offences and converted to red for two Tilbury players plus a straight red for Jamie Anton.  

St Neots were reduced to ten men in the second minute of the second half and then under intense pressure with their backs to the wall for more than half an hour until the double sending off of Tilbury players which reduced them to nine men for the remaining twelve minutes of the match.  

During that time St Neots added three goals in a six minutes spell to clinch the victory after at one time looking very likely losers. The match also included two penalty kicks, one converted the other saved, plus a third awarded and then withdrawn and a controversial incident after 40 minutes that set the tone for an ill-tempered second half. 

St Neots went into the match with Andrew Wilton and Josh Beech cup tied and so recalled Danny Gay in goal and included Luis Vieira for his first Southern League start and the fit again Gui Mailancol in place of Isaac Galliford.  

The first half started quite slowly with the sides aware of the others’ abilities after their recent first meeting.  

Tom Ward headed wide from a tenth minute corner and two lengthy Tilbury efforts were comfortably dealt with.  

After 17 minutes St Neots took the lead as Jack Wilkinson sent in a right wing corner and Tom Ward climbed high above the defence to head in.

After 23 minutes St Neots suffered a setback as influential midfielder Matt Mitchel-King was helped off injured and unable to return with rookie youngster Dan Hobbs coming on in his place. This saw playmaker Ryan Hawkins slotted into central midfield and with two minutes his forward pass saw Tom Meechan win a corner from which Ward was bundled to the ground and a penalty kick awarded confidently slotted home by Tom Meechan.  

Leading 2-0 St Neots looked comfortable and apart from a header by Jake Pooley well saved by Gay the home side threatened little. Then five minutes before the break with Luis Vieira laying injured the Referee signalled for Gay to throw the ball into touch.  

Upon the restart a home player sportingly threw the ball back to the goalkeeper but against the spirit of the game Neil Richmond attempted to rob the goalkeeper in an attempt to score.  

Fortunately for St Neots his effort was wide but the action upset the St Neots players and Tom Ward was booked for his protest.  

In added time at the end of the half Gay brought down Richmond to concede a penalty but then the keeper made amends by saving Kurt Smith’s spot kick.

The second half was just two minutes old when Kurt Smith broke towards goal to be barged off the ball by Jamie Anton who was shown a straight red card for the challenge.  

It looked a harsh decision but the well placed Referee Mark Mellor viewed the incident as serious foul play and St Neots were reduced to ten men. 

 From the free kick the ball was scrambled off the line by a St Neots defender but from that point ion Tilbury gave an almost perfect exhibition as to how to make an extra man count. They dominated play pouring forward in wave after wave of attacks and the St Neots defence was under siege. 

There was some poor finishing after promising approach play and with Gay making two excellent saves St Neots survived until the 71st minute when Jack Carlile curled a delightful shot beyond the reach of Gay to give Tilbury a foothold back in the match.  

Survival continued to be St Neots main aim but after 78 minutes discipline was lost as Richmond was dismissed picking up a second yellow card for a blatant dive in a bid to earn a penalty and the follow up protests of Kurt Smith tried the Referee’s patience too far and he also picked up a second yellow card to follow his team mate into the dressing room for an early bath.  

St Neots quickly capitalised on their good fortune playing now against nine men and within two minutes of the double dismissal clever play against a sparse defence by Hobbs and Meechan set up Ryan Hawkins for the simplest of tap-in goals to restore the visitors’ two goals advantage. 

With nothing to lose now Tilbury pushed forward and sixty seconds later they made it 3-2 as Danny Gay fumbled a shot by Harry Cook into his goal.  

However that was only a temporary scare because with two minutes normal time remaining Tom Meechan capitalised on an absent defence to score his second goal of the match and in added time a delighted Tom Hobbs scored his first even senior goal to complete the scoring.

St Neots: Gay, Tann, Wilkinson, Hall, Ward, Anton, Vieira, Mitchel-King, Meechan, Hawkins, Mailancol

Subs: Hobbs (for Mitchel-King 23), Burton (for Vieira 67), Galliford, Roberts and Sutton.

Cards:  Anton (RED – 47), Meechan (Y – 29), Ward (Y – 40), Tann (Y – 45 + 2)

Goals:  Meechan 2 (25 & 88 mins), Ward (17 mins), Hawkins (85 mins), Hobbs (90 + 1 min)

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

Subs:  Babalola (for Richmond 67), Webb, Awokoya, Collins and Hanlon

Cards:  Carlile (RED – 78 – 2 x Y), Smith (K) (RED – 78 – 2 x Y), Smith (D) (Y – 25), Richmond (Y – 68), Aiken (Y – 900 + 2)

Goals:  Carlile (71 mins), Cook (86 mins)

Attendance: 97

Referee: Mark Mellor (Hemel Hempsted)



John Walker