Thurlow Nunn Youth West Division
BLACKSTONES U18 3 ST NEOTS TOWN U18 1
After five weather postponements and only one league match completed in the last nine weeks the under strength St Neots team looked badly out of sorts and capitulated to a bottom of the table Blackstones side who had not previously won this season in their fourteen completed league matches. It was without doubt the worst display of the season by the visitors and even a second half consolation goal failed to improve the memory of a very disappointing evening. ‘We were down to the bare bones’ said Manager Steve Pickering who had only twelve available players from which to name a side but he offered no excuses for a well below par performance. With the title all but beyond their reach it was hoped that St Neots could go on to secure the runner’s up spot but they will have to show significant improvement in their remaining matches to stand any chance of achieving this goal.
It was St Neots who created the first couple of chances after a low key start. David Hartley set up Dan Hobbs with a clever through pass but home keeper Matt Sewell saved well and then he was in action again preventing Blake Rivers from opening the scoring. Then after ten minutes in their first real visit to the St Neots half Blackstones went ahead as the visitors failed to clear an Even Cadley corner leaving Dale Hunnings to net from the edge of the area. Nine minutes later the lead was doubled when goalkeeper Dan Huff charged out of his area but failed to reach the ball although Curtis Hartley got back swiftly to clear at the expense of a corner from which Joe Morley sent in a low shot that beat the goalkeeper at his near post. St Neots did mount some resistance and Dan Hobbs saw a fierce shot rebound from a post and Rukky Diejomaoh squandered a one on one chance firing wide of the goal. Then a minute before the break the home side’s dominance was confirmed when Alex Montarelis broke clear on the right and curled a shot over Huff’s head and under the bar at the far post to make the score 3-0.
After the break Blackstones had clearly been instructed to protect their lead and they lined up ultra defensively with just one played in attack. It made St Neots task of getting back into the match doubly difficult but they did create chances with Hobbs bringing the save of the match from Sewell and David Hartley having net bound shot blocked by a defender. Twice Curtis Hartley joined the attack to go close and then after 69 minutes a Blake Rivers shot rebounded from a post to be netted by David Hartley but the effort was ruled out by an offside flag. Substitute Mitch Taylor headed narrowly wide and with thirteen minutes left Dan Hobbs produced a smart finish to give St Neots some hope of a late comeback. However with Blackstones defending well it was not to be and this will go down in the records as a very forgettable evening.
St Neots: Huff, Hartley (C), Mimms, Poli, Mattin, Hartley (D), Fife, White, Diejomaoh, Hobbs, Rivers
Sub used: Taylor
Goals (St Neots): Hobbs (77 mins)