St Neots Town FC 3:1 Royston Town
St Neots Town FC 3 : 1
Royston Town
Tuesday 26 September, 2017 19:45

Southern League Premier Division   


This first ever league meeting of these two sides turned out to be a feisty affair with the visitors contributing to their own downfall as their indiscipline saw them pick up four yellow cards and play the last 41 minutes with ten men when their skipper Scott Bridges was dismissed for an alleged stamp on an opponent.   For St Neots it was a welcome third consecutive home league victory and three points that lifted them to mid-table prior to their next two fixtures which are lengthy away trips.   However, regardless of the sending-off the St Neots performance fully merited their victory as they carried on from their impressive weekend performance with a confident all-round display of power and creativity that could have easily resulted in more than three goals.   There was one enforced team change with centre half Liam McDevitt unavailable for selection so the reliable Tom Wood seamlessly slotted into his place in a defence that seldom looked under serious threat.

With the visiting defence maintaining a high line up the field their goalkeeper Joe Welch had to twice leave his line to clear in the first five minutes as St Neots threatened but it was the visitors who took a surprise lead after six minutes when they counter attacked following two St Neots corners as Adam Marriott picked out the unmarked Josh Oyinsan who advanced to beat the unguarded St Neots keeper with a low shot.   If the St Neots defence were culpable in that incident they made up for this with a solid display for much of the rest of the game.   Former Cambridge United and Lincoln City professional Marriott did have one chance which he sent high over the bar for the visitors but St Neots settled to dominate much of the play.   After 15 minutes St Neots were level as Ryan Horne turned sharply in the penalty area to register his first goal of the season and within a minute the home side could have been ahead as Dylan Williams and Johnny Herd combined to set up Dion Sembie-Ferris whose shot beat the keeper but rebounded from the underside of the cross bar.   Kyron Wiltshire saw a shot deflected over the bar and eight minutes before the break the woodwork denied St Neots for a second time when a Herd shot rebounded from a post.   A Williams chip was cleared off the line by Lee Chappell but Royston ended the half with a flourish as a Marriott effort rebounded off the woodwork and Scott Bridges played clear by Ryan Ingrey shot the wrong side of a post.

There was an explosive start to the second half as Bridges picked up a straight red card and this saw the visitors vary their approach with two substitutions to adopt a more defensive approach to the match.   The pace of Sembie-Ferris was a constant threat and he picked out Tom Meechan whose shot was blocked by Marriott after 55 minutes but nine minutes later Meechan put St Neots ahead with a trademark goal as he skillfully weaved his way through defenders to make it 2-1.   Welch then produced the save of the match to deny Meechan a second goal but after 69 minutes there was further controversy as Oyinson and Taylor Parr clashed in a bloody ariel battle that resulted in the St Neots defender being helped off with a cut head from an elbow that earned the Royston striker a yellow card and substitution.   With the one- man advantage St Neots continued to dominate and after 77 minutes they clinched the result as Jack Bradshaw sent in a low hard free kick that was diverted into his own net by Scott Thomas.   This prompted further Royston indiscipline with Thomas and John Frendo both booked along with Luke Knight in a frustrated incident six minutes from time.   St Neots managed to keep their cool and in time added Adam Murray was extremely lucky only to be booked for a cynical challenge on an opponent on the edge of the penalty area.


St Neots:  Emery, Bradshaw, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Horne, Williams (D)

Subs:  O’Malley (for Parr 72), Sinclair (for Horne 79), Clarke (for Williams 85), Hyem and Tibbetts.

Cards:  Horne (Y – 54 mins), Knight (Y – 72 mins)


Goals: Horne (15 mins), Meechan (64 mins), Thomas OG (77 mins)


Royston:  Welch, Asafu-Adjaye, Alomenu, Bridges, Murray, Chappell, Castiglione, Thomas, Oyinsan, Ingrey, Marriott


Subs:  Scott-Morriss (for Marriott 52), Powell (for Alomenu 72), Frendo (for Oyinsan 72), Bridges and Ives.


Cards:   Bridges (RED – 49 mins), Ingrey (Y – 19 mins), Thomas (Y – 84 mins), Frendo (Y – 84 mins), Murray (Y – 90 + 3 mins)


Goals:   Oyinsan (6 mins)

Attendance: 207

Referee:  Robert Claussen (Northampton)



John Walker