St Neots Town FC 4 : 3 Kettering Town
Match
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SLP 40
St Neots Town FC 4 : 3
Kettering Town
Saturday 23 March, 2013 15:00

 

Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division

 

ST NEOTS TOWN       4       KETTERING TOWN      3 

 

The huge banks of snow around the pitch were testament to the unstinting hard work of some 40 officials and volunteers who cleared more than three inches of snow to allow this fixture to go ahead.   After an hour with their side trailing 3-0 the workers must have wished they had stayed in bed but they were rewarded as their side stormed back to claim an unlikely odd goal victory in time added.   Expectation was high with the return of crowd favourite Junior Konadu after his spell with Conference side Macclesfield and his inclusion in the starting line up for the suspended Jay Davies was the only team change.   Kettering almost certainly doomed to relegation came with the reputation of being inconsistent in both results and performances but it was clear the heavy pitch was going to be a great leveller.    However few could have anticipated the drama that was to unfold late in the match.

Neither side seemed to relish the conditions from the start.  Kettering looked slightly more composed but relied mainly on breakaway attacking moves and their first attack saw the fleet of foot Will Muzvimbiri outpace James Sage to bring a save from Jack Giddens at the expense of a corner.   At the other end Nathan Fox did well to get across to block a Kyle Asante shot but neither side looked in control.   Konadu was his usual tricky self on the ball initially playing just behind striker Dubi Ogbonna but he scuffed his first shot which flew wide.   Lewis Hilliard shot over the bar and Ryan Auger shot wide but St Neots’ play lacked its usual confidence and Kettering was beginning to look the better side.  After 20 minutes Louis Hamilton ran at the St Neots defence but was caught by a late James Sage tackle and a penalty was awarded that was confidently despatched by Nathan Hicks to give the visitors a deserved lead.   St Neots began to employ the visitors’ tactics attacking on the counter and three minutes before the break Ogbonna released strike partner Kyle Asante who brought a great save from visiting keeper Michael Quirke.

St Neots regular frailty in the first few minutes after half time was cruelly exposed for within twenty five seconds of the resumption a near post cross from Jamie Griffiths found Will Muzvimbiri unmarked and his delightful flick beat Giddens to extend the visitors’ lead.   Even worse was to follow for Konadu limped off with a dead leg and goalkeeper Jack Giddens could only flap at a Griffiths corner and a solid Henry Eze header extended the visitors’ lead to 3-0.   St Neots now decided to reorganise with new signings Louie Meech and Andre Da Costa introduced along with Jack Werndly.   The St Neots reshuffle breathed new life and determination into the side and was the major factor in their fight back.   Now employing a standard 4-4-2 formation St Neots looked a different side and dominated the remainder of the match.   Asante failed to capitalise of a defensive mistake but after an hour substitute Meech drove a cross to the far post and a spectacular diving header by Adrian Sear put St Neots back in the game.   However there were just twelve minutes left when St Neots won a free kick on the edge of the area and Ryan Augur sent a low free kick past the wall into the far corner of the net to make it 3-2.   Asante went clear to tuck a shot just the wrong side of a post and substitute Andre Da Costa struck a post with an angled shot.   However there was no stopping a rampant St Neots and a minute from time another Meech cross found Kyle Asante and he made up for earlier disappointments by levelling the scores.   A point would have been good but St Neots wanted more and a minute into added time the third substitute Jack Werndly got in on the act slipping a delightful pass through the tired square lying Kettering defence and Lewis Hilliard skipped through to confidently slot past Quirke to earn an unlikely three points for his side who extended their unbeaten run to five matches.

 

 

St Neots: Giddens, Auger, Sage, Sear, Lee, Hoyte, Hilliard, Konadu, Ogbonna, Asante, Adjei.

Subs:  Meech (for Konadu 48 mins), Da Costa (for Sage 53 mins), Werndly (for Ogbonna 57 mins), Wood and Nkinga.

Cards: Sear (Y – 90 + 3)

 

Kettering: Quirke, Johnston, Fox, Logan, Eze, Crowie, Hamilton, Fox, Verma, Muzvimbiri, Griffiths.

Subs:  Njie (for Hamilton 75 mins), Ford (for Muzvimbiri 90 mins), Bradshaw, Glen and Talbot.

Cards: Fox (Y – 63), Hamilton (Y – 72), Johnston (Y – 84)

 

Attendance: 379

 

Referee:  John Steel (Sutton. Ely)

 

John Walker