Ridgeons Youth League West Division
HUNTINGDON TOWN 1 ST NEOTS TOWN 5
St Neots made a very impressive start to their U18 league campaign and their margin of victory over hosts Huntingdon would have been much greater but for some hard luck. The woodwork prevented further goals of three occasions and the player most affected by this bad luck was the hardworking Karl Saffee who might easily had a hat trick or better. The new squad short of several players looked very capable and the more experienced members of the squad from last season showed themselves a class above many of the newcomers to the squad. Particularly impressive were skipper Ryan Sharman and pacey attacking player Kaine Felix who already feature in Saints first team squad and newcomer Rukky Diejomadh (Rooky) who played the second half and looks to be a very exciting addition. This season revised FA regulations dictated the introduction of ‘roll on roll off’ substitutions (up to five per team) and this may be a confusing variation although it does ensure that more players may play some part in each match.
St Neots got off to a good start with a stunning goal after eight minutes when a Saffee cross was only cleared as far as Ryan Sharman and from 25 yards he unleashed an unstoppable left foot shot into the roof of the net. Saffee then shot wide when scoring looked easier after good work by Connor Belgrove and the St Neots defence were restricting their opponents to long range efforts and James Cockshot was twice just off target. Sean Barker twice got forward from midfield to test home keeper Scott Bladen and another effort by Saffee rebounded from the overworked keeper’s legs. Just before half time Bladen produced an early candidate for save of the season as he went full length to turn away a net bound effort from Kaine Felix.
The keeper repeated his feat by denying Felix again five minutes after the restart and St Neots then cemented their hold on the match with a second goal after 53 minutes as Sean Flynn rose to head home a cross from Jamie Massey. Sharman then saw an effort rebound from the crossbar but another cross from the same player after 63 minutes was converted by Kaine Felix. Huntingdon refused to give up and after 75 minutes Jake Irwin netted from a Bradley Maher cross but this was only going to be a consolation as St Neots continued to dominate. They added two further goals in the last seven minutes with Karl Saffee at last getting a deserved reward after twice hitting the woodwork and Rooky then produced a startling burst of pace to leave a defender in his wake as he scored the fifth goal.
St Neots: Banthorpe, Massey, Clark, Jenkins, Flynn, Belgrove, Barker, Hartley, Saffee, Sharman, Felix.
Subs: Diejomadh (Rooky) (for Clark 46 mins), Gibbons & Leneghan.