Basingstoke Town 1 : 0 St Neots Town FC
Basingstoke Town 1 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 08 October, 2016 15:00


Southern League Premier Division


BASINGSTOKE TOWN      1       ST NEOTS TOWN      0      


After two excellent performances and winning results in a Cup match and a friendly it was back to earth with a bump in a league fixture for St Neots.   It was their second single goal away defeat in their last two Saturday league fixtures – both matches which could have been won had they been more positive in front of goal.   The match featured two fairly young and inexperienced sides that looked to be hoping to find some inspiration and on the day the result could have gone either way.   Basingstoke shaded the first half but after the break a more positive and determined visiting side dominated much of the possession and could have returned home with at least a share of the points but it was not to be.   With injuries and suspensions eating in to the squad St Neots paraded Sam Piesse at full back for his Southern League debut and after the break they welcomed back striker James Hall after suspension and gave a first Senior outing from the substitutes bench for Andre Williams currently starring in the U18 side.   But it was all in vain as Basingstoke, relegated from the Conference at the end of last season, stole all three points with a soft first half goal.  ‘We must learn to start from the first whistle not after we have handed the initiative to our opponents’ commented Manager Andy Davies.


There were few early chances at either end but St Neots could have taken the lead after 14 minutes when from a well-judged Ryan Hawkins cross Sam Mulready swiveled to volley goal wards but home keeper Alex Tokarczyk stretched to turn the ball around for a corner.  That proved to be the closest St Neots was to come to a first half goal although nine minutes later Ryan Hawkins looked to be pulled down in the area but the Referee waved play on.  The home side meantime had an effort by Sam Deadfield well saved by Alex Archer and he also did well to be in position to field an effort by substitute Aaron Jarvis after Ashleigh Artwell had gone off injured.   After 34 minutes Basingstoke won one of a string of corners and when the cross from Deadfield was only partly cleared Romone Rose hit a low shot through a crowd of players that caught Alex Archer unsighted as it passed under his desperate dive.  That spurred the home side who finished the first half strongly with Jarvis heading with from a Rose cross when he should have doubled the lead and Deadfield scuffing his shot wide after superb approach play by Nana Owusu.


From the restart with James Hall on in replacement of Sam Mulready St Neots looked a different side.  Hall was immediately in action drifting to the right to set up Hawkins whose low cross was hacked off the line by Joe Gater.  The same St Neots player then went passed two defenders only to see his shot deflect off a defender to land on top of the cross bar with the keeper beaten.   At the other end Gater headed wide from a Richie Whittingham cross but St Neots were dictating the pattern of play with Micky Hyem firing just wide after good work by Peter Clark.  Robert Atkinson then cleared a Hall effort off the line with Tom Spark instrumental in the build-up and in a bid to add to their attacking options St Neots sent on Andre Williams for Hawkins.   Tom Ward headed over from a Declan Rogers corner and the closest to an equalizer arrived courtesy of a Williams low shot blocked on the line by Atkinson.  Towards the final whistle St Neots pounded the home defence which stood firm and there was a late disappointment for St Neots when Miles Smith was helped off injured after a bad tackle by Jarvis that earned the home player a booking.   Now there is a week’s gap to the next match with Tuesday’s scheduled fixture with Chesham postponed because of a delayed League Cup fixture taking precedence.




St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Piesse, Hyem, Ward (T), Wood, Hawkins, Clark, Mulready, Rogers, Spark


Subs:  James Hall (for Mulready 46 mins),Williams (for Hawkins 67 mins),McGeorge (for Smith 45+3 mins), Hobbs and Nurettin.


Cards:  Ward (Y – 57)




Goals:  none




Basingstoke:  Tokarczyk, Johnson, Atkinson (R), Owusu, Gater, Ray, Deadfield, Bennett, Rose, Artwell, Whittingham


Subs:  Jarvis (for Artwell 33 mins), Atkinson (M) (for Whittingham 72 mins), Hallahan (for Rose 84 mins) and Greene.


Cards:  Rose (Y – 31), Jarvis (Y – 88)




Goals:  Rose (34)


Attendance: 396


Referee: Neal Templey (Witney)




John Walker