Stratford Town FC 5 : 2 St Neots Town FC
Match
26
Stratford Town FC 5 : 2
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 10 December, 2016 15:00

 

Southern League Premier Division

 

STRATFORD TOWN       5         ST NEOTS TOWN      2     

 

Some games and performances are best forgotten and this trip to Stratford readily falls in both categories.  For the first 70 minutes St Neots were outplayed almost to the extent of being overrun at times and even an improvement in the final twenty minutes will have failed to eradicate what was one of the team’s most inept performances this season - and it was all meant to be so different.   With players’ back from suspension Manager Andy Davies had almost a full squad to choose from except for Rogan McGeorge whose compounded injury problems have forced him to take a rest.   With striker Sam Mulready back in the side there was an expectation that memories of the 5-1 home reversal seven days earlier could be forgotten and facing the Warwickshire side just one point better off than themselves St Neots knew a victory would lift them out of the relegation spot they have occupied for much of the past three months.   All those hopes took a nasty knock after just four minutes when they conceded the first of five goals and then were completely eradicated in the following eight minutes when they shipped a further two goals.   It was the third consecutive game that the side had found itself behind within four minutes of the first whistle and the main objective now must be to compete more effectively and confidently from the start of the match.   With a tough trip to Wales and an unpredictable derby home match with St Ives their only league commitments before Christmas St Neots now face the prospect of a 2017 relegation dog fight.

 

 

 

After Daniel Summerfield had tested Alex Archer with the first shot of the match after two minutes the keeper’s next action was to retrieve the ball from his net two minutes later when from a Will Grocott cross tall defender Liam Francis rose his above the St Neots defence to open the scoring.   St Neots hardly time to draw breath before four minutes had elapsed and they were 2-0 behind as Mike Taylor got in front of his marker to volley home a cross by Kieran Westwood.   Then after 12 minutes Grocott curled in a free kick that was handled in the packed penalty area by Taylor Parr.   He was booked and Edwin Ahenkorah stroked home from the penalty spot.   In a brief show of defiance James Hall set up Declan Rogers for a shot saved at full length by home keeper Niall Cooper and that was only time in the first half that a St Neots goal looked likely.   James Hall not fully fit after a midweek knock lasted just 26 minutes before limping off to be replaced by Nassim L’Ghoul but the focus was on Stratford setting up wave after wave of attacking moves against the mesmerized St Neots defence.   Francis should have had a second goal heading well wide from a Grocott corner and then James Fry played Taylor clear on the left and he shot across the face of goal with only Archer to beat.   A fourth goal was always on the cards and it came two minutes before the break when Edwin Ahenkorah popped up on the right to go past two defenders to register an impressive solo goal.

 

 

 

St Neots really needed a positive start to the second half but their efforts were dashed within two minutes when Edwin Ahenkorah joyfully completed his hat trick with clever footwork and a positive finish.   St Neots’ response was to send on substitute Dan Gleeson and move Tom Wood into midfield for Peter Clark who had failed to impress.   Miles Smith then saved further embarrassment as he cleared off the line from Simeon Tulloch and a Francis volley from a Grocott corner was also blocked.   With twenty minutes left the pattern of the match changed as St Neots seemed to find another gear.  Sam Mulready had a header saved at full stretch by the goalkeeper and with 16 minutes left a delightful chip by L’Ghoul set up Declan Rogers for his eleventh goal of the season.   St Neots grew in confidence and finished well with a Nassim L’Ghoul goal two minutes into added time.   It was too little far

 

too late.

 

St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Jonny Hall, Hyem, Wood, Parr, Day, Clark (P), James Hall, Mulready, Rogers

 

Subs:   L’Ghoul (for James Hall 26 mins), Gleeson (for Clark 47 mins), Nurettin, McLean and Colicott-Stevens.

 

Cards:  Parr (Y – 12), Clark (Y-31), L’Ghoul (Y – 90)

 

 

 

Goals:  Rogers (74), L’Ghoul (90+2)

 

 

 

Stratford:  Cooper, Summerfield, Westwood, Fry, Francis, Clark (G), Tulloch, Grocott, Taylor, Stephens, AhenKorah

 

Subs:  Marsden (for Clark 64 mins), Evans (for Ahenkorah 69 mins), Parker (for Taylor 78 mins), Kalenda and Brathwaite.

 

Cards:  Evans (Y – 77)

 

 

 

Goals:  Ahenkorah 3 (12, 43 and 47), Francis (4), Taylor (8)

 

 

 

Attendance: 144

 

Referee: James Oldham (Derby)

 

 

 

John Walker