Stamford AFC 4:1 St Neots Town FC
First Round Qualifying Replay
Stamford AFC 4 : 1
St Neots Town FC
Tuesday 06 September, 2016 19:45


FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay


STAMFORD AFC      4       ST NEOTS TOWN       1       


For the second time in three years St Neots disappointingly bowed out of the competition at the first hurdle in this midweek replay.  They were outclassed by their hosts who play one level below them at Step Four in the First Division South of the Northern Premier League, in a first half performance that also reduced Andy Davies’ side to playing only for pride in the second 45 minutes.   More worryingly they lost defender Taylor Parr who picked up a straight red card in first half injury time and added two further bookings to a catalogue of indiscipline that will greatly affect the teams’ performance as the suspensions kick in.   After earning this replay with a gritty first half performance three days earlier St Neots never looked like being able to progress despite having Ryan Hawkins back in the side for only his second start this term, with Jordan Patrick left on the bench.   To their credit the ten men did lift their game after the interval and pulled one goal back early in the second half but it was always going to be too little too late.


The match began with St Neots looking out of sorts and forced on to the back foot by a very confident looking Stamford side that included former Saints goalkeeper Paul Bastock after injury.   However, he was forced into only one save of note to make in the ninety minutes.  After ten minutes Jevani Brown latched onto a Delroy Gordon free kick to bring a point blank save from Alex Archer but the respite was brief for six minutes later Stamford were ahead.  Ollie Luto drifted wide right to send a perfectly weighted cross over the square lying St Neots defence and Brown found the net with ease.   Sam Mulready was then left unmarked at the far post but failed to take advantage as Archer saved comfortably.   After 27 minutes the lead was doubled when Tom Spark was dispossessed in midfield and with the defence in disarray Sam Mulready netted from close range.   With James Hall playing up front for the visitors largely on his own St Neots were not creating chances and Stanford grew in confidence and added a further goal for 3-0 four minutes before the break following a corner when Jordan Smith returned the ball to the penalty area and Tom Batchelor rose above the defence to head home.  Any hopes of a credible St Neots response were cancelled out in time added at the end of the first half when Taylor Parr picked up that straight red card for a high challenge.


St Neots had to plug the defensive gap so upon the restart they sacrificed Tom Spark to send on Tom Wood.   It took some time to adjust their game but did try to get an additional player forward to support James Hall and this in essence meant less attacking opportunity for Stamford but left the visitors more vulnerable in defence.   A Jake Duffy free kick in a threatening position was blocked and after 53 minutes a brief glimmer of hope for St Neots as Peter Clark latched on to a Jonny Hall cross to fire home from 25 yards.  However, eight minutes later Stamford reinstated their three goals advantage as St Neots were caught short at the back and Luto’s lengthy throw in was not defended and Jordan Smith netted at the far post from close range.  St Neots defiantly replaced full back Miles Smith with Jordan Brown to add an attacking threat but Stamford responded by pulling back an additional defender happy to sit on their unassailable lead.   A Ryan Hawkins free kick was comfortably saved and with a quarter of an hour remaining a Declan Rogers snap shot rebounded from a post with Bastock beaten.  However, the keeper did have to be at his best to save a narrow angled shot by James Hall at his near post.   The match ended with Stamford happy to soak up St Neots late vain attempts to salvage something from the match and go on to visit Gresley Rovers in the second qualifying round.






St Neots: Archer, Smith (M), Jon Hall, McGeorge, Ward, Parr, Hawkins, Clark, James Hall, Rogers, Spark


Subs: Wood (for Spark 46 mins),JordanBrown (for Smith 68 mins),Osborne, Mason,Hyem, Patrick and Jeckells.


Cards:  Parr (RED – 45 +3), James Hall (Y – 24), Ward (Y – 83)




Goals:  Clark (53)




Stamford: Bastock, Gordon, Luto, Batchelor, Miller, Hill, Duffy, Brown, Smith (J), Mulready, King


Subs: King (for Bell 62mins), Sandy (for Mulready 62 mins), Brown-Hill (for Brown 88 mins), Batchelor, Hartley and McMillan.




Cards: none




Goals:  Brown – (16), Mulready (27), Batchelor (41), Smith (J) (61)


Attendance: 273


Referee: Robbie Dadley (Bedworth)




John Walker