St Neots Town FC 3 : 2 Banbury United
SLP 05
St Neots Town FC 3 : 2
Banbury United
Saturday 01 September, 2012 15:00

Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division




St Neots’ determination and perseverance was rewarded with three points they looked to have surrendered when they conceded a second goal to visiting Banbury early in the second half.   Then in a hectic two minutes period Dan Jacob who had passed a late fitness test scored twice to get them back in front and despite a late Banbury surge they held on to win.   St Neots never played well and will be very happy to have taken all three points.   There was an enforced team change with goalkeeper Michael Duggan serving his one match ban and the custodian duties were taken over by Jack Giddens making his league debut for the club.   He made several useful saves and stood little chance with the two shots that went past him.  However Manager Iain Parr will be looking for more consistency from his players with the money spinning home FA cup tie only one week away.

There was a scrappy start to the match with much of the early play in a competitive midfield.   The opening goal after 17 minutes came as a result of an excellent advantage played by Referee Adrian Sannerude when Jay Davies was impeded in the penalty area.   The ball ran loose to Stefan Moore who clipped a well placed shot wide of Tom Cross and St Neots were in the lead.    However the advantage was short-lived because seven minutes later a home defence miscued a clearance across the face of goal and Banbury’s leading marksman Ricky Johnson made no mistake with a close range volley.   Giddens was the busier of the two goalkeepers saving well from a Johnson snap shot and diving at the feet of Adeylinka Talabi to smother his effort.   The St Neots front runners were getting little or no service and the visitors were growing in confidence as the half time whistle approached with Josh O’Grady squandering their best opening as he shot high over the bar.

St Neots opted for a half time change taking off Declan Rogers and sending on Callum Stewart in a straight swap.   However the visitors continued to hold the advantage of possession although Ben Mackey did break away to shoot narrowly wide for St Neots.   Then after 54 minutes the St Neots defence was pulled too far over to the left and a shrewd cross ball found Josh O’Grady in acres of space and he cut inside to beat Giddens with a fine curling shot just under the bar.   For a short time St Neots were clearly on the back foot but they almost got back in the game when Jason Lee diverted an effort by Dan Jacob onto a goalpost with his keeper flat footed.   Play became more open and Jordan Gent was happy to concede a corner when Johnson looked threatening.   Callum Stewart looked strong going forward and twice he shot narrowly wide and with twelve minutes remaining a lifeline came.   Moore played Jon Paul Duncliffe clear on the right and his cross found Dan Jacob whose low shot levelled the scores and within two minutes what proved to be the winning goal arrived.   Again Stefan Moore was the architect with a visionary cross field pass to release Dan Jacob who went inside his full back to hit a shot just inside the far post.   Predictable Banbury threw everything forward but a great saving tackle by Stewart denied substitute Tom Lorraine a late equaliser and St Neots hung on to win.


St Neots: Giddens, Duncliffe, Rogers, Thorne, Gent, Lee, Hilliard, Davies, Moore, Mackey, Jacob.

Subs:  Stewart (for Rogers 46 mins), Adjei (for Hilliard 73 mins), Werndly (for Moore 87 mins), Manangu & Sharman.

Cards: Thorne (Y – 10), Hilliard (Y – 58), Gent (Y – 74), Mackey (Y – 90 +4), Stewart (Y – 90 +5)


Banbury: Cross, Cray, Ashton, Dolman, Lee, Polk, Kingston, Confue, Johnson, Talabi, O’Grady.

Subs: Cole (for Kingston 62 mins), Lorraine (for Talabi 72 mins), Agyeman-Prepeh (for O’Grady 80 mins), Woodley & Howell.

Cards: Ashton (Y – 34)



Referee: Adrian Sannerude


Attendance: 332


John Walker