Dorchester Town 1 : 0 St Neots Town FC
Dorchester Town 1 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 27 February, 2016 15:00


Southern League Premier Division


DORCHESTER TOWN       1         ST NEOTS TOWN       0               


The dividing line between success and failure is very narrow and in football it is often one goal. That was the case when St Neots returned from their long trip to Dorset without any reward because a point from this match with no fewer than four players making their debut for the side would have been considered successful. Three of the loan players from Stevenage were unavailable for this trip and Brett Longden was serving the first of his two match suspension so into the side were drafted Alex Archer a goalkeeper signed from Witham Town, Dan Schiavi who has just returned from playing in the USA, Jordan Brown a locally based youngster on work experience from Cambridge United and Jordan Heywood a product of the Club’s U18 side. All performed well on their first outing in club colors with goalkeeper Archer making several outstanding saves. However, the Dorset hosts desperate to win their place back in the National League in their second season at this level stole all three points with the only goal of the match to move to within four points of the promotion play-off zone leaving St Neots 19th in the table – their lowest position this season but still nine points clear of the relegation places.


Archer was soon in action for his new club diving bravely at the feet of the onrushing Toby Holmes after just two minutes. Meantime St Neots began tentatively struggling to find any real rhythm and after 18 minutes the keeper once again had to race from his line to pick the ball off the feet of Ben Watson played clear by home player/manager Mark Jermyn. Jordan Brown showed some nice touches on the right for St Neots and Dan Schiavi was busy in midfield but with the visitors operating with Drew Roberts playing a lone role up front the home defence was rarely threatened. At the other end lengthy throws from Chris Dillon were constantly testing the St Neots back four and after 32 minutes Dorchester could have been in front when Franklyn Clarke robbed the hesitant Jordan Heywood to set up Toby Holmes but Archer again came to the rescue with two close range stops as the ball bounced around in the St Neots penalty area. As half time approached St Neots grew in confidence and created a couple of chances with Peter Clark firing into the side netting after neat work by skipper Adam Tann making his 50th appearance for the club and then Josh Dawkin forcing home keeper Shane Murphy into his first real save of the match.


Ninety seconds after the restart the visitors were awarded a free kick just ten yards from goal when Murphy handled a back pass but Drew Roberts’ effort was charged down by the entire home side. However, the visitors were showing more belief in themselves and Roberts’ shot just wide from a Tann pass and a Dawkin effort beat both the home keeper and the far post.  At the other end Luke Holmes went clear but the perfectly placed Archer deflected the shot with his legs and from the resultant corner by Clarke, Nathan Walker won the ball in the air but directed his effort over the bar.


The game had now opened up and after 63 minutes a superb attacking move by the home side split the St Neots defence with the ball moved swiftly from Sayers via Watson whose cross presented Brad Tarbuck with the simplest tap in finish at the far post. St Neots responded sending on Charlie Coulson for the tiring Brown and later Dipo Akinyemi for Schiavi to adopt a more attacking formation. They created a couple of good chances but Roberts off balance shot over the bar and Dawkin fired narrowly wide. With ten minutes left Dorchester had settled to protect their slender margin employing time wasting tactics and that almost cost them dear when following good work by Peter Clark the ball broke for Drew Roberts but his finish was too high. 


With all the sides below St Neots picking up points on the day the focus must now be on collecting sufficient points to protect their Step Three status.


St Neots:  Archer, Casey, Heywood, Tann, Ward, Anton, Brown, Schiavi, Clark (P), Roberts, Dawkin


Subs:  Coulson (for Brown 65), Akinyemi (for Schiavi 78), Hobbs (for Dawkin 84), Mazeo-Kelly and Jeckells.


Cards:  Dawkin (Y – 79)


Goals:  none




Dorchester:  Murphy, Hanger, Smeeton, Jermyn, Walker, Dillon, Clarke, Holmes (L), Holmes (T), Watson, Tarbuck


Subs:  Sayers (for Hanger 27), Ayunga (for Holmes (B) 86), Brookes (for Watson 90+1), Proffitt and Walker-Harris


Cards:  Jermyn (Y – 74)


Goals:  Tarbuck (63 mins)


Attendance: 360


Referee: Alexander Fisher (Portsmouth)




John Walker