St Neots Town FC 2 : 4 Marine FC
St Neots Town FC 2 : 4
Marine FC
Tuesday 15 November, 2016 19:45


Buildbase FA Trophy First Round Qualifying REPLAY




ST NEOTS TOWN       2       MARINE       4 (after extra time)                                                                    


Both sets of Club officials were left scratching their heads at the final whistle pondering the same question.  ‘How can a Referee issue 13 yellow cards and straight red in a match that at worst featured only two bad tackles’.  Clearly Tom Bishop from Finsbury Park lost all control of what was never a bad-tempered match and resorted to flashing his cards to try to retrieve some semblance of order.   As it was after just over two hours play it was visitors Marine who will progress to a money spinning third qualifying round tie at Darlington in ten days’ time.   However, after all the card issues there could hardly have been a more dramatic finish to a match because the visitors’ two goals that settled the tie came in added time after the completion of two hours’ football.   Even so regardless of the rights and wrongs of the dismissals and bookings St Neots Manager Andy Davies must now urgently review the discipline of his players because their accumulated absences from the starting line up between now and Christmas could have a huge bearing on results – quite apart from the inevitable fine that will be imposed by the Football Association.  After Saturday’s match in Lancashire there was bound to be some niggle between the players but this could not have been anticipated.   Marine came south with an unchanged starting eleven whilst the only St Neots change was the return of Tom Spark for Nassim L’Ghoul suspended by the club for his dismissal involvement in the first match.  Twice in the lead before the first sending off St Neots must shoulder the blame for this defeat by a side that never looked much better on the night.




After an early Tom Spark shot had been comfortably saved St Neots took the lead on 14 minutes when Peter Clark cleverly set up Declan Rogers for a crisp finish.  However, that lasted just five minutes before from a Warren Bellew corner Adam Hughes rose above the defence to level the scores.   St Neots seemed to look vulnerable at set pieces with Marine pushing their taller players forward to win the ball in the air and both James Short and Daniel Mitchely headed wide when well placed.   St Neots were giving as good in return with Clark firing wide but midway through the first half the St Neots goal had two let-offs with Alex Archer getting down to push a Robbie Threlfall shot for a corner and then the out of position goalkeeper was grateful to the Referee for spotting a foul on him when Marine had the ball in the net for the second time.  James Hall brought a fine save from Calvin Hare after good work by Clark and the half ended with the sides all square at a goal each and two bookings apiece.




St Neots began the second half clearly on top.  Jonny Hall headed narrowly over the bar from a Rogers corner, Sam Mulready saw a net bound shot blocked by a defender and after 51 minutes the home side regained the lead with the best goal of the match.   James Hall won the ball on the left to find the supporting Clark and he recorded his second assist of the game sliding the ball into the path of Mulready who finished well.   Kurt Sherlock contrived to miss from six yards flashing his volley wide and Rogan McGeorge produced a goal line clearance to keep his side in front.   However, the game changed after 73 minutes when Tom Wood picked up his second yellow card of the game to be sent off.   St Neots reinforced their team sending on club skipper Tom Ward after injury sacrificing the unlucky Sam Mulready.  With thirteen minutes of normal time remaining Robbie Threlfall produced a peach of an inswinging free kick from 25 yards to beat Archer and once again the score was levelled.  




Most of the unsavory drama came in extra time.  After 99 minutes’ there was flare up near the Marine penalty area resulting in three bookings – two for the home side.   Patience seemed to be at a premium as the players changed around for the final 15 minutes and sure enough nine minutes in another altercation between the sides, Miles Smith picked up a second yellow in just 15 minutes and he joined Wood for an early bath and before play recommenced Tom Ward only on the pitch for just over half an hour was shown a straight red card after what appeared to be a frank exchange of views with the official.   Even reduced to eight players St Neots appeared capable of holding out for a penalty shootout but it was not to be because a minute in added time after the two hours Michael Monaghan broke St Neots hearts with a low finish through a threadbare defence and there was still time two minutes later for Daniel Mitchely to banish all doubt and confirm that the £3,250 prize money was going back to Merseyside.   The tally of cards was six apiece – three red and three yellow for St Neots and six yellow for the visitors.








St Neots:  Archer, Smith, Jonny Hall, McGeorge, Wood, Parr, Spark, Clark, James Hall, Mulready, Rogers


Subs:   Ward (T)(for Mulready 73 mins), Hyem (for McGeorge 77 mins), Williams (for Spark 90 mins), Ward (C) and Clement-McNee.


Cards:  Wood (RED – 2xY – 73), Smith (RED– 2xY – 114), Tom Ward (RED – 114), Rogers (Y -20), McGeorge (Y – 76), Hyem (Y – 99)




Goals:  Rogers (14), Mulready (51)




Marine:  Hare, Field, Short,Threlfall, Foley, Hughes,Monaghan, Smart. Mitchely, Sherlock, Bellew


Subs:  Lindfield (for Sherlock 80 mins).


Cards:  Hughes (Y – 39), Foley (Y – 44), Smart (Y – 60), Lindfield (Y – 90+2) Short (Y – 99), Monaghan (Y – 115)




Goals:  Hughes (19), Threlfall (77),Monaghan (120 + 1), Mitchely (120 + 3)


Attendance:  178


Referee: Tom Bishop (Finsbury Park)




John Walker