Saffron Walden Community Youth 3:2 St Neots Town U18
Quarter Final
Saffron Walden Community Youth 3 : 2
St Neots Town U18
Thursday 20 April, 2017 19:45


Thurlow Nunn League Cup Quarter Final

SAFFRON WALDEN TOWN U18        2        ST NEOTS TOWN U18       2      

(Saffron Walden won 3-2 on penalties)


Having completed a league double over Saffron Walden this season, St Neots may have started favourites to progress to the semi-finals of the Thurlow Nunn League Cup but in the event, they had to come back twice from behind to force the match into a penalty shoot-out.   Contrary to the previous round the Saints youngsters were unable to force a late victory with two of their five spot kicks being saved and a third placed wide of the goal.   However, a league title and a County Cup victory gives them a double at the conclusion of one of their most successful seasons.


St Neots were disadvantaged when after just five minutes’ skipper Isaac Clarke was injured and led off to take no further part.   Utility player Shae Humphrey who had started at centre forward slotted into defence with Ben Southwood on as substitute.   The home side sensed an advantage and set up early attacks in which visiting keeper Evan Jeckells had to save full length from Connor Molloy and then the same player saw a header saved from a corner.   St Neots looked jaded and short of ideas with Jack Eldridge seeing a shot blocked and Owen Bevan screwing a shot well wide after good work by Erhan Nurettin.  The home side deservedly too the lead after 31 minutes when Taylor Williamson netted from a Ronnie Ledwith cross and the lead should have been extended two minutes before the break when Callum Sparrow outpaced the St Neots defence but lobbed his shot wide.


St Neots looked more assured after the break with three substitutes on and a more attacking approach and after just three minutes a searching cross by Sam Piesse was turned past his own goalkeeper by Tim Jossaume to level the scores.   However, parity only lasted for nine minutes and then in a Walden attack the linesman spotted a foul in the penalty area and a penalty was awarded converted confidently by Connor Molloy.   St Neots continued to create openings but the home defence marshalled by Reef Cowell held firm until seven minutes from time when a 25 yards an opportunistic effort by Ben Southwood deflected in off the underside of the crossbar taking the match into a penalty shot out.


Four of the first six kicks were saved including those by Andre Williams and Jack Eldridge and although Ben Southwood and Erhan Nurettin tucked their kicks away it was left to Zac Rudman to score the tenth penalty to make it sudden death.   Unfortunately, his effort was wide and Walden were through to the semi-final.


St Neots:  Jeckells, Riley, Piesse, Waites, Clarke(I), Rudman, Williams. Nurettin, Humphrey, Eldridge, Bevan


Subs used:  Taylor (C), Southwood, Collins, Beavis and Clarke (H).                                      

Goals: Southwood and OG                                                                                                             

(John Walker)