Royston Town 5:0 St Neots Town FC
Royston Town 5 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Tuesday 16 October, 2018 19:45



Royston Town       5         St Neots Town      0        


This match was not part of the preparation for the historic FA Cup match at Alfreton at the weekend that Manager Matt Clements would have wanted.   In fact, it was a match the squad could have well done without and it finished with their biggest ever away defeat in the Southern League and the sides’ biggest away defeat since September 2006.   Of course, there were contributory factors – the result prompted by an early own goal followed by a freak injury for Matt Miles that saw him stretchered off in the first half with concussion, and then having Dan Olaniran sent off, but the Manager would not wish to dress this up other that a shoddy performance by his side.  Royston, third in the league table, are enjoying their best ever season at Step Three, and they took full advantage of their visitors’ shortcomings, but looking for excuses will not mask one of St Neots’ easily forgettable evenings.   As he did at Lowestoft two weeks earlier the Manager rested four of his senior squad to give playing time to his fringe players bringing in Gary Wharton, Devante Stanley, Dan Olaniran and Ben Worman for Johnny Herd, Russell Short, Dion Sembie-Ferris and Claudio Ofosu who were all on the bench.


The opening phase of the match was very high tempo with the home side employing long ball tactics that kept the three-man St Neots defence at full stretch.   Surprisingly there were no real openings in front of goal for either side until the 18th minute when home keeper Joe Welch had to go full length to save a snap shot by Nabil Shariff and Royston replied a minute later with the first goal when a cross from Vance Bola was defected across goal and attempting to clear Tom Wood could only divert the ball into his own net.   Watched by the Manager of Alfreton St Neots then had a rough patch as Harry Reynolds had to save well from an Adam Murray shot on the turn and he then saw a Sam Corcoran shot safely over the bar.  St Neots did break out for Ben Worman to have a shot blocked at the other end but after 33 minutes the defence left Vance Bola unmarked on the right and he collected a defensive clearance to advance on goal to beat Reynolds with a low shot with the outside of his boot into the corner of the net to double the lead.   There was then a lengthy delay as the unfortunate Matt Miles collected a fierce clearance full in the face and after receiving on-pitch treatment he was stretchered off to be replaced by Claudio Ofosu.


After the break Ofosu gave away possession in his own half freeing up Rohdell Gordon but with the goal at his mercy he fired over the bar after 48 minutes, but the respite for St Neots was brief for five minutes later Harry O’Malley pulled back Josh Castiglione in the penalty area and Rohdell Gordon confidently tucked away the penalty kick to extend the lead to 3-0.  St Neots protests saw Dan Olaniran booked and this heralded a spell of Royston dominance with Bola volleying over the bar when well placed and substitute Chris Assombolonga making an immediate impact as he forced Reynolds to save bravely at his feet.   St Neots were reduced to speculative shooting from distance with Worman and Shariff both seeing Welch save comfortably and Royston dominated the final quarter with St Neots being reduced to ten men when Dan Olaniran picked up a second yellow card as he upended Bola with a late challenge conceding a second penalty kick (St Neots fourth concession in two matches) which was despatched by Rohdell Gordon to make the score 4-0.   Reynolds then saved well to deny Murray and a late but fruitless burst by St Neots saw a Devante Stanley shot blocked and Nabil Shariff brought down to ignored penalty appeals.   To run salt in St Neots’ wounds, home substitute David Mooney rounded things off with a fifth Royston goal in added time.




St Neots:  Reynolds, Miles, Stanley, Olaniran, Wood, Parr, O’Malley, Worman, Shariff, Williams, Wharton

Subs:  Ofosu (for Miles 40 mins), Sembie-Ferris (for Wharton 66 mins), Short and Herd

Cards:  Olaniran (RED – 2 x Y – 63 & 82 mins), O’Malley (Y – 76 mins),

Goals:  none


Royston:  Welch, Scott-Morris, Norville-Williams, Mentis, Martin, Brathwaite, Castiglione, Corcoran, Murray, Bola, Gordon

Subs:  Thomas (for Corcoran 54 mins), Mooney (for Brathwaite 60 mins), Assombolonga (for Castiglione), Potton and Aolmenu

Cards:  Scott-Morris (Y – 35 mins)

Goals:  Gordon (2) - pens (53 & 82 mins), Wood (o.g) (19 mins), Bola (33 mins), Mooney (45+3 mins)


Referee:  Alex Rayment (Houghton Regis)

Attendance:  243


John Walker


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