|Hayes and Yeading FC||2 : 0||
St Neots Town FC
|Friday 24 March, 2017 19:45|
Southern League Premier Division (played at Beaconsfield on Friday evening)
HAYES AND YEADING 2 ST NEOTS TOWN 0
St Neots returned home on Friday evening disappointed – not only with the result but also with their collective performance against not very good opponents. They had wasted a golden opportunity to further their ambition of remaining at Step Three in the National League system next season for their hosts began the match nine points below them, deep in relegation trouble. Now Hayes will feel they have a lifeline whilst St Neots must maximize their points gathering in their final five matches with two of their opponents vying for automatic promotion or a play-off place. Although St Neots lined up unchanged they were only a pale imitation of the side that had fought tooth and nail to bring three points home from Kings Lynn three days earlier lacking in ideas and conviction and never really testing the home goalkeeper throughout the match. In fact, the only real chance they created was when leading scorer Jevani Brown found the outside of a goalpost from a narrow angle. They now have an extra day’s rest before hosting Stratford Town next Saturday in a ‘must win’ contest.
There was a nervy start to the contest with neither side creating a real opening in the first quarter of an hour but then the visitors launched a promising attack when Brown won the ball well to pick out James Tricks on the left and his perceptive pull back found Declan Rogers on the edge of the area in space but his hurried finish saw the ball sail harmlessly wide. Five minutes later a long throw from Jonny Herd was knocked down to the same St Neots player but once again his disappointing finish sailed high and wide. After 26 minutes, goalkeeper Alex Archer showed poor judgement picking up a back pass to concede a free kick in the area. Fortunately, it was at a wide angle and the entire St Neots team in a wall near the goal line managed to block the resulting fierce free kick. However, the lack of threat from the visiting team seemed to give confidence to Hayes and they went ahead ten minutes before the break but the goal should have been prevented. Archer came off his line to try to retrieve a free kick but was clearly overstretched and his punch landed at the feet of Connor Toomey who hit it through the packed penalty area and into the net. St Neots were their own worst enemy failing to look after the ball when they had possession and they had to rely on shots from distance with Shane Hill putting one effort over the bar and a second, wide. The defining moment came in the final moment of the first half when a corner from Josh Chamberlain was not cleared and home skipper Tom Broadbent smashed the loose ball past Archer who seemed to be out of position and glued to the spot.
With their priceless two goals’ cushion in place after the interval Hayes settled down happy to look after their advantage. St Neots had found it difficult to break down their defence in the first half but with added players behind the ball the task became more difficult. With just six minutes gone Lee Clarke won the ball to send Brown away on the left but he had too little space to work with and his shot from the narrow angle clipped the outside of a post and was cleared. Another long throw from Herd saw the home defence struggling but Clarke’s effort was wide and then Herd himself forged forward but his effort was also wide. In that first hour St Neots had had more shots on goal than their hosts but home keeper Danny Boness had enjoyed a quiet evening. Both sides introduced substitutes in a bid to further their cause and Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson making his final appearance of his loan period added pace and invention on the left flank but St Neots seldom threatened. On the break, Hayes were looking good and only a last-ditch tackle by Taylor Parr robbed substitute Mitchell Weiss after he had left his marker for dead. Herd headed wide and the home keeper saved at the feet of Fortnum-Tomlinson but St Neots attempts to salvage something always looked doomed to failure
St Neots: Archer, Norman, Herd, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Rogers, Hill, Tricks, Hyem, Brown (J)
Subs: Fortnam-Tomlinson (for Rogers 67 mins), Knowles (for Tricks 67 mins), Bell-Toxtle (for Clarke 79 mins), Butler and Partridge.
Cards: Norman (Y – 87)
Hayes & Yeading: Boness, Brown (C), Chamberlain,Adebiyi, Broadbent, Smith, Toomey, Kabba, Rose, Hutton, Donnellan
Subs: Jones (for Toomey 64 mins), Weiss (for Rose 66 mins), Whittingham (for Hutton 85 mins), Locke and Kearney
Cards: Rose (Y – 58), Adebiyi (Y – 62), Donnellan (Y – 83)
Goals: Toomey (35 mins), Broadbent (45 mins)
Referee: Paul Johnson (Lightwater)