Banbury United 3 : 1 St Neots Town FC
SLP 41
Banbury United 3 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 30 March, 2013 15:00


Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division


BANBURY UNITED       3        ST NEOTS TOWN       1


Banbury’s Albanian striker Albi Skendi contributed a magnificent hat trick to almost beat St Neots single handed and send the visitors’ home pointless having tamely surrendered their unbeaten five match league run.   It was a very drab performance by St Neots who had opted to introduce new players and swap their team around to the point where very little rhythm and understanding was visible.   They looked like a collection of individuals rather than a team and no area of the side performed to its usual standard.   With Junior Konadu injured and Jai Davies completing his suspension the midfield was devoid of its usual authority and creativity and during the match several players were given the chance of leading the attack with little success.   The result especially in the first half was that the defence was under constant pressure from a lively Banbury attack and all three goals conceded could have been prevented had the back line been tighter.  

The home side attacked from the start and from their second corner in the third minute they were in front as Hopkins floated in a well weighted corner and Skendi was almost criminally unmarked on the edge of the six yard box and he picked his spot with a firm header.   St Neots did mount one early attack but Jack Werndly’s shot never seriously tested home keeper Warren Carter.   Then after 19 minutes Banbury doubled their advantage for with two players injured after a collision the match was allowed to continue and St Neots defence was pulled over to the left side leaving Skendi again in space to beat Jack Giddens with a low shot.   St Neots had started with Lewis Hilliard up front alongside Werndly and new signing Nathan Koranteng wide on the left but they were swapped and this better balanced St Neots.

However the match became scrappy with few clear chances for either side and apart from one off target shot from Koranteng little was seen of the visitors as an attacking force.

A half time change by St Neots saw the introduction of Kyle Asante for Tom Wood and with Asante and Werndly together St Neots created more chances.   From a Ryan Auger corner Gavin Hoyte had a low shot well saved by Carter but after an hour St Neots opted for more wholesale changes taking off Werndly and the disappointing Andre Da Costa and bringing on two fresh full backs with the versatile Ed Adjei pushed up to lead the attack.   Banbury seemed happy to sit back and soak up the St Neots pressure although in a quick break Giddens saved well from Kynan Isaac. Midway through the second half St Neots had three chances in as many minutes with Carter saving well from a Gavin Hoyte header to a Hilliard free kick, Adjei powered through to see his shot cleared off the line and Hilliard had another free kick saved by the keeper.   Then totally against the second half run of play Banbury broke forward to win a corner taken by Hopkins and Skendi got in front of Hoyte to head home at the near post to complete his hat trick.   To their credit St Neots tried to hit back and substitute Reece Loudon brought a save from Carter and Ryan Auger shot tamely when well placed.   However there was to be a consolation goal and it came twelve minutes from time when a Koranteng shot was blocked and it fell kindly for Ed Adjei who claimed only his second goal in a St Neots shirt.   It was however a pallid performance overall and one of St Neots worst on their travels this season.


St Neots: Giddens, Auger, Adjei, Sear, Lee, Hoyte, Da Costa, Wood, Hilliard, Werndly, Koranteng.

Subs:  Asante (for Wood 46 mins), Loudon (for Werndly 60 mins), Nkinga (for Da Costa 60 mins), Sharman and King.

Cards: Adjei (Y – 28)




Banbury: Carter, Cray, Martin, Ashton, Ryan, Polk, Bridges, Talabi, Skendi, Isaac, Hopkins.

Subs:  Blossom (for Ashton 63 mins), White (for Talabi 69 mins), R. Plowright (for Hopkins 84 mins) Dumbleton and W.Plowright.

Cards: Ryan (Y – 25), Ashton (Y – 30)


Attendance: 292


Referee:  Dave Avent (Northampton)


John Walker