|Kings Lynn Town FC||1 : 2||
St Neots Town FC
|Tuesday 21 March, 2017 19:45|
Southern League Premier Division
KINGS LYNN TOWN 1 ST NEOTS TOWN 2
A magnificent backs-to-the wall performance by ten man St Neots against their old foes at Kings Lynn earned them a priceless victory that could well propel them towards Premier Division survival. Now eight points above the relegation zone with just six matches left their future is very much in their own hands. It was a contest stained by early controversy as visiting striker James Tricks was issued with a straight red card after just fifteen minutes for the illegal use of an elbow on Ryan Fryatt. Just two minutes earlier the same pair had clashed with Tricks going down as a result of a similar offence that saw the Lynn man go unpunished. St Neots then had to play out the final 75 minutes plus added time with just ten men and they rose superbly to the challenge to record their best away league performance of the season. Central to their victory was two more goals – now sixteen for the season in fifteen starts – for the irrepressible Jevani Brown, but he would be the first to admit credit for the entire team in the extraordinary circumstances. Following the teams’ disappointing weekend performance at Cirencester, Manager Matt Clements made two team changes bringing in Harry Norman at full back and Shane Hill in midfield and leaving Jacob Partridge and Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson on the bench. Kings Lynn came into the match after three successive league victories but they found the St Neots defence in commanding form and seldom seriously tested St Neots keeper Alex Archer.
St Neots got the perfect start when they took the lead after just seven minutes. Shane Hill lobbed a forward pass over the retreating Lynn defence and home keeper Alex Street found himself a yard outside his penalty area and was forced to try to head away the bouncing ball. His mistimed attempt saw the ball skim off his head to present Jevani Brown with a simple finish. That was followed by the dismissal and Manager Clements quickly reshaped his side into a 4-4-1 defensive formation leaving the hardworking Brown to take on the entire Lynn defence. For a time, Lynn dominated possession and set up a wave of attacks that fortunately for the visitors bore little threat. The home side were then hit when former St Neots skipper Tom Ward limped off with a pulled muscle so they too were forced to reorganize. Towards the end of the first half St Neots set up several threatening attacks that should have seen them score more goals. Brown went past three defenders to set up Hill but a bad bounce of the ball saw him fire wide and then Lee Clarke won the ball well to find Brown wide on the left but his attempted chip seemed to stop on the goal line and was retrieved by the keeper.
Gradually frustration seemed to hit the home side after the break as they failed to penetrate the St Neots defence. Kegan Everington had their best early second half chance but he saw his shot charged down by Tom Wood. St Neots sent on Fernando Bell-Toxtle for Declan Rogers and he added a pacey dimension to the St Neots counter attacking that saw the side dangerous with Lynn becoming more committed to attacking. After 74 minutes Jacek Zielonka dwelt on the ball and was robbed by Micky Hyem who made for goal sidestepping the advancing goalkeeper before setting up Jevani Brown for a tap-in finish and two minutes later it could have been game over when Bell-Toxtle broke free of the defence only to be illegally blocked by the advancing Street. Both players required treatment after which the keeper looked very fortunate only to be shown a yellow card. With nine minutes left Michael Clunan forced Alex Archer into a finger-tip save – the only time he was seriously extended – as Lynn poured forward and two minutes later they were rewarded when from a Clunan cross Jacek Zielonka drove home a low shot for what was to be Lynn’s consolation goal. The triumphant visiting side celebrated with their fans at the final whistle what might prove to be a very significant victory.
St Neots: Archer, Norman, Herd, Clarke, Wood, Parr, Rogers, Hill, Tricks, Hyem, Brown
Subs: Bell-Toxtle (for Rogers 63 mins), Butler (for Clarke 87 mins), Fortnam-Tomlinson, Partridge and Knowles.
Cards: Tricks (RED - 15), Brown (Y – 80)
Goals: Jevani Brown 2 (7 & 74 mins)
Kings Lynn: Street, Fryatt, Yong, Gaughran, Ward (T), Everington, Clunan, Zielonka, Hilliard, McQuaid, Warburton
Subs: McWilliams (for Fryatt 15 mins), Ward (C) (for Ward (T) 31 mins), Edge (for Gaughran 45 mins), Lennon and Pearson
Cards: Street (Y – 76)
Goal: Zielonka (83 mins)
Referee: Nigel Smith (Bourne)