Redditch United 1 : 1 St Neots Town FC
Redditch United 1 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 28 November, 2015 15:00

Southern League Premier Division

REDDITCH UNITED  1 - 1    ST NEOTS TOWN              

St Neots returned from Redditch with a hard earned but well deserved point after a storming second half performance against the side who are third in the league table.   Redditch had enjoyed five victories in their six league meetings against St Neots and this was only the second draw with St Neots still searching for their first league win against their hosts.  

On a bitterly cold wet afternoon on a very heavy pitch good football was at a premium but St Neots’ commitment and determination was visible as they struggle to shake of a recent poor run of performances and build on their midweek victory over Cambridge City.  

Perhaps the most significant factor was the return in defence of big Ryan Frater after a brief dalliance at Biggleswade Town and he dovetailed in with Shane Blackett to give St Neots a solid looking back four.  

However it was one in and one out as striker Drew Roberts still to complete ninety minutes this season was missing nursing a slight groin strain although he hopes to be fit for the midweek trip to Leamington.  

A further worry was another knock suffered by Ryan Hawkins who completed all bar the last fifteen minutes after sustaining a nasty first half injury.

Kicking up the slope against the wind and rain in the first half was to be St Neots fate after losing the toss but they set about their task with a will and after an early Ashley Sammons shot had been comfortably saved by Andy Wilton it was the visitors who looked sharp and determined as both Ryan Hawkins and Tom Meechan were brought down as they bore down on the Redditch goal with the second offence earning a booking for Simeon Maye.  

Home keeper Jose Veiga had to leave his area to head away a dipping cross but when the ball fell to Ryan Hawkins his opportunistic lob from 50 yards was only just reached by the back peddling goalkeeper.  

However towards the end of the first half Redditch had the better of the exchanges with a George Carline shot well saved by Wilton after 20 minutes and the goalkeeper then went on to produce a brilliant one handed save turning the ball for a corner to deny Ashley Sammons.  

Brett Longden joined his attack to test Veiga but Redditch almost snatched the lead in the final minute of the first half when Jamie Molyneux shot wide after good interplay between Daniel Dubidat and Luke Shearer.

With the elements in their favour after the break the half time instructions to the visitors will have been ‘more of the same’.   

However they then had an unexpected setback to overcome when against the run of early play the home side snatched a surprise lead as Simeon Maye produced a crisp shot from fifteen yards to beat the unsighted Wilton to give the home side the lead.   In reply St Neots won three successive corners and following the third Isaac Galliford shot narrowly wide.  

However the second half die was cast as St Neots camped for long periods in their opponents half without really creating the chances that their superior possession deserved.  

With well over half of the second period remaining Redditch had settled to sit on their slender lead and were employing outrageous time wasting tactics that earned defender Jim Mutton a booking. 

From a Hawkins free kick Frater headed wide as St Neots sought the equaliser they deserved and in the only serious Redditch attack in the last half hour Wilton had to block a fierce shot from substitute Troy Baker with his legs.  

However the pressure was eventually rewarded six minutes from time when a perfectly struck cross from the hard working Tom Meechan was firmly headed into the net for Lee Clarke’s fourth goal of the season.  

From that point on including an inordinately lengthy period of added time there could only have been one winner as St Neots pinned the home side back but the only real chance came from a Brett Longden free kick that sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.

St Neots: Wilton, Anton, Longden, Mitchel-King, Frater, Blackett, Hawkins, Jones, Meechan, Clarke, Galliford

Subs: Hobbs (for Hawkins 79), Mailancol, Ofosu, Gordon and Sutton

Cards:  Mitchel-King (Y – 58)

Goals:  Clarke (81 mins)

Redditch: Veiga, Cullinane, Flanagan, Maye, Mutton, Richards, Molyneux, Carline, Dubidat, Sammons, Shearer

Subs:  Baker (for Molyneux 60), Osborne (for Dubidat 74), Young, Bridgwater and Moreton.

Cards:  Maye (Y – 15), Mutton (Y – 70)

Goals:  Maye (52 mins)

Attendance: 192

Referee: Alan Berrow (Gloucester)

John Walker