Hitchin Town 2 : 2 St Neots Town FC
SLP 32
Hitchin Town 2 : 2
St Neots Town FC
Monday 28 January, 2013 19:45

Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division


HITCHIN TOWN      2       ST NEOTS TOWN       2     


Leading by two goals to nil with just 19 minutes left St Neots must have though they were on their way to their first away league victory since 13th October but a late Hitchin rally brought the two goals that ensured the sharing of the points.  Just two days after their defeat at Totton Manager Iain Parr made changes to his side with three of the back four different.   Into the side for his 100th senior start came Jordan Gent and alongside him after injury was Arthur Lee with new signing James Sage at left back and sole survivor Jordy Nkinga at right back.   Ollie Thorne was unavailable so Craig Calver was back up from alongside leading scorer Ben Mackey.   However this was not a vintage St Neots performance and despite their comfortable looking lead at one stage they never looked home and dry.    They will be disappointed not to have held out for the win but in truth it was a fair result with Hitchin just three points above the relegation zone desperate for points never willing to throw in the towel.  St Neots hero was two goals Ben Mackey who took his personal goals tally to twenty in just twenty five games this season.   The real unwanted statistics from the match was that officious Referee Nic Evans issued eight yellow cards and a red and in a match without any really bad fouls each side finished with ten men.

The first half was untidy to say the least with two very ordinary looking sides clearly lacking in confidence and unable to muster a decent chance between them in the first twenty minutes of the match.   The only notable action was when Jack Giddens dived at the feet of Woolley to gather following a Callum Donnelly corner and a free header from home skipper Lawrie Stewart that flew harmlessly over the bar.   Leading home marksman John Frendo looked lively but stabbed wide following another corner whilst Lewis Hilliard sent a skidding free kick just wide of the far post.   The match became more lively in the four minutes before the break and St Neots were twice lucky not to concede a goal when Daniel Webb sent a powerful header just wide from a Donnelly corner and then Jake Woolley found himself clear but Giddens blocked the shot with his legs.   Then the perfect sucker punch in first half time added as Ben Mackey stole a goal at the far post from a Dan Jacob free kick to give the visitors an unlikely half time advantage.

A Frendo free kick was well saved by Giddens after 53 minutes and then eight minutes later Mackey times his run into the area to perfection to convert a Lewis Hilliard cross at the far post.   After 67 minutes St Neots sent on Kyle Asante for Davies and St Neots began to look more comfortable but after 71 minutes from a Donnelly corner substitute Luke Gregson was left unmarked and his powerful header put Hitchin back in the game.   Dan Jacob had a good shot deflected wide and then St Neots sent on Ed Adjei for Craig Calver and two minutes later following his first touch he tangled off the ball with Hitchin bad boy Donnelly resulting a straight red for Adjei and a second yellow for Donnelly so the match became ten a side.   To make things worse still for St Neots five minutes from time Michael Noone curled in a corner that beat everyone in the crowded area to creep into the net at the far post and Hitchin had claimed what could be a priceless point.








St Neots: Giddens, Nkinga, Sage, Sear, Gent, Lee, Hilliard, Davies, Calver, Mackey, Jacob.

Subs:  Assante (for Davies 67 mins), Adjei (for Calver 61 mins), Hoyte, Werndly and Duggan.

Cards: Davies (Y – 8), Calver (Y – 31), Lee (Y – 45), Sear (Y - 61), Adjei (RED – 79)


Hitchin: North, Berry, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Webb, Beckett, Donnelly, Noone, Woolley, Frendo, Dhillon.

Subs:  Ann (for Webb 46 mins), Gregson (for Beckett 65 mins), Delderfield (for Dhillon 68 mins),Hitchcock and Bennett.

Cards: Donnelly (Y – 8), Noone (Y – 34) Donnelly (Y (RED) – 79), Gregson (Y – 89)


Attendance: 265


Referee:  Nic Evans (Grafham)


John Walker