St Neots Town FC 1:6 Frome Town
St Neots Town FC 1 : 6
Frome Town
Saturday 20 January, 2018 15:00


St Neots Town      1         Frome Town     6

It is difficult to gauge what the fall-out from this performance will be.   It was St Neots heaviest ever home defeat in more that six years in the Southern League and the first time they have shipped in six goals in a home league match since 1996.  The post-mortem began immediately after the match with Manager Matt Clements attempting to evaluate how such an inept performance had followed an impressive run of results up to the end of the first half of theseason.  It will clearly be a day to forget but it should be noted that Frome thoroughly deserved their victory although perhaps not by the final margin.   Defensively St Neots were woeful although the only player missing was the suspended Johnny Herd.  His replacement Ronayne Marsh-Brown had the most torrid of afternoons tormented constantly by man-of-the-match Darren Jefferies who seemed to be involved in almost every attacking Frome move, until his merciful second half substitution   The other absentee, also suspended, was team skipper Luke Knight and in a bid to fill the gaps Clements had brought in Marsh-Brown and Harry O’Malley as direct replacements as well as preferring Scott Sinclair to Stefan Broccoli who had struggled in the heavy going at St Ives.   Now the sides have two crucial away matches against the in-form Royston Town and struggling Dunstable and the recollection of confidence for the players will be as vital as the results.

Frome scored after just nine minutes in their first serious attack on the St Neots goal.   Darren Jefferies cut in from the right leaving two defenders in his wake to net a rebound after his first effort had been blocked and that set the standard with Jefferies terrorizing the St Neots defence setting up Joe Raynes for the second goal after 31 minutes.  In between the two goals St Neots had twice looked likely to be further punished when first acting skipper Taylor Parr and then Marsh-Brown had set up their visitors with careless defending.   In reply St Neots had Dion Sembie Ferris missing his kick in front of goal after good work by Nabil Shariff and Dylan Williams and then Kyron Wiltshire had a shot deflected wide.  Shariff then finished weakly after a good St Neots move out of defence and in time added at the end of the first half the under pressure visiting keeper did well through a crowd of player to punch the ball clear off the head of Williams.

Energized by their half time instructions St Neots began the second half strongly and Sembie-Ferris cut in from the right in the first minute to fire narrowly wide.   Wiltshire then had a shot deflected wide but on the break the visitors pace always looked to have the St Neots defence in trouble and after 51 minutes Ollie Knight beat a thinly attempted offside trap to collect the ball and round Mike Emery but somehow, he failed to find the unguarded net.   However, sixty seconds later in their next attack Frome added a third goal to present St Neots with a mountain to climb – a task they never looked capable of achieving.  Predictable it again came from Jefferies who left Marsh-Brown in his wake to cross to the far post where Emery’s poor attempt to punch away only saw the ball fall to the feet of Mitchell Page who bundled it into the net from close range.   Now the St Neots defence looked even more vulnerable when Frome attacked and they were shredded both on the right and left as the visitors wisely chose to keep the ball wide on the drier areas of a very wet pitch.   The introduction of substitute Ryan Bath up front proved significant.   After 76 minutes a flowing move involving Ollie Knight and Marcus Mapstone set up the substitute for a slick finish and a minute from the end of normal time he scored a second as he outmuscled Taylor Parr to score from an angle.   St Neots consolation goal (although that may be a doubtful description) came in added time when Sembie-Ferris cut in from the right to beat goalkeeper Kyle Phillips.



St Neots:  Emery, Bradshaw, Marsh Brown, O’Malley, McDevitt, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Shariff, Williams, Sinclair.

Subs:  Irwin (for Williams 56 mins), Wood (for Marsh-Brown 67 mins) Broccoli (for Sinclair 73 mins).

Cards:  Sinclair (Y – 18 mins), Williams (Y – 38 mins), Wiltshire (Y – 58 mins)

Goals:  Sembie-Ferris (90 + 1 mins)

Frome:  Phillips, Griffiths, Withey, Roberts, Mapstone, Hemmings, Davies, Raynes, Page, Jefferies (D), Knight

Subs:  Bath (for Page 64 mins), Holland (for Raynes 73 mins), Cleverley (for Hemmings 86 mins), and Jefferies (J)

Cards:  Page (Y – 41 mins), Mapstone (84 mins)

Goals:  Bath 2 (76 & 89 mins), Jefferies (8 mins), Raynes (31 mins), Hemmings (52 mins), Page (60 mins)

Referee:  Gavin Muge (Dunstable)

Attendance:  277


John Walker