St Neots Town FC 3 : 1 Bideford
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Tuesday 09 February, 2016 19:45


Southern League Premier Division


ST NEOTS TOWN      3         BIDEFORD AFC      1


Dipo Akinyemi, making only his second appearance in St Neots colors set The Saints on the way to a vital victory over bottom of the league Bideford. With the sides in the relegation zone now picking up points St Neots needed to climb further away from the scrap at the bottom and although they were expected to beat a side that had to make a 500 miles Tuesday evening round trip for this match, the pleasing thing was the manner in which the victory was secured.   St Neots refused to show anxiety when their first half superior possession failed to produce a goal and they bossed the second half despite the visitors showing an improvement once the goals started to come.  


Another plus was that recovering Drew Roberts played only his second full match coming through without any problems and now as match fitness returns he could be a key figure in St Neots aim to retain their slot at Step Three. Roberts’ inclusion in the starting line-up for youngster Claudio Ofosu and the return in goal of Andy Wilton for the injured Ben Jackson were the only team changes from the weekend.


There was a slow start to the match with Dipo Akinyemi shooting wide from distance at one end and Billy Tucker repeating the feat at the other. However, St Neots soon settled and played some attractive football that just lacked the finishing touch. Around the quarter hour mark, the home side won five successive corners as Bideford struggled to clear their lines and from the fifth Jamie Anton sent a Drew Roberts cross narrowly over the bar.  After eighteen minutes as St Neots continued to dominate both Peter Clark and Tom Meechan both forced excellent saves from visiting goalkeeper Kyle Moore whilst Bideford’s only reply was a 30 yards’ free kick by Stephen Reed that sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. Meechan saw a shot deflected after 32 minutes and from the resultant Roberts’ corner Tom Ward headed against the crossbar.   Meechan, in full flight towards goal, was then brought down by Billy Tucker earning the Bideford player a booking and the goalless first half ended with Ward bringing a useful save from Moore following a Josh Dawkin free kick.


Three goals in the first ten minutes of the second half livened up the match. After three minutes Tom Meechan went close with a shot that fizzed across the goal after good work by Josh Dawkin and a minute later St Neots determination was rewarded when Peter Clark fed a perfectly weighted through ball on the right and Dipo Akinyemi sidestepped a rash challenge by onrushing goalkeeper Moore to turn and slot the ball into the empty net from a narrow angle. 


Four minutes later Brett Longden won the ball in his own half and went down the left before cutting into the centre to unleash a fierce right footed shot into the roof of the net. Two minutes later St Neots were guilty of losing concentration as they failed to cut out a cross and Kevin Squire turned the ball into the net to halve the deficit. 


However, this was only a temporary setback as the home side were soon dictating play again with Clark, Roberts and Longden all close to increasing their lead. The clinching goal came fifteen minutes from time when the under pressure Chris McGrath turned a teasing Dawkin corner into his own net and there was no way back for the travel weary visitors as St Neots easily saw out time.


St Neots:  Wilton, Casey, Longden, Tann, Ward, Anton, Roberts, Clark (P), Meechan, Akinyemi, Dawkin


Subs:  Ofosu (for Akinyemi 72), Lewis (D) (for Meechan 87), Hobbs, Muya and Jeckells


Cards:  Longden 9 (Y – 71)


Goals:  Akinyemi (49 mins), Longden (53 mins), McGrath OG (75 mins)




Bideford:  Moore, Barker, Reed, Chamberlain, McGrath, Odufin, Bye, Tucker, Squire, Wilson, Andrew


Subs:  Fyneboy (for Chamberlain 77), Barker (for Wilson 83) and Harrison.


Cards:  Tucker (Y – 36)


Goals:  Squire (55 mins)


Attendance: 167


Referee: Sam Lewis (Ampthill)




John Walker