Thurlow Nunn Youth West Division
ROYSTON TOWN U18 3 ST NEOTS TOWN U18 1
This was a poor game considering that it featured two of the top four teams in the West Division of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League. The pitch was heavy making conditions far from ideal but neither side impressed and Royston’ victory only came courtesy of a penalty and a goal that looked yards offside. However the St Neots performance did not really deserve any reward and with just three games remaining they are probably looking forward to the end of a disappointing season. The first meeting of the two sides had finished 2-1 in St Neots favour but they have not won now since early December and they seem to have lost all momentum and motivation compared to the early part of the season.
Royston carved out the first chance with Daniel Haggerty cleverly setting up the unmarked Danny McGowan but he blazed his shot high over the bar. Then after 12 minutes the home side did go ahead as a Ross Maddox flick played McGowan clear on the right and as he attempted to round Dan Huff the keeper brought him down to concede a penalty which was confidently tucked away by Callum Wilson. St Neots hit back with Mitch Taylor firing just wide and then after 22 minutes the scores were levelled when Dan Poli moved forward to join the attack to set up Blake Rivers on the left and his low shot beat the diving Alfie Kemplen. However parity lasted for less than a minute for from the restart the pacey Daniel Haggerty slipped between the last two defenders to restore the Royston lead. Lawrence Harper-Scott shot over the bar but Royston were clearly in control and after 29 minutes Haggerty looking a good yard offside was allow to continue to curl a shot around Huff and in off the far post for 3-1. Sam Fletcher sent a free header over the bar from a Callum Wilson corner and Haggerty rounded Huff but was denied a second goal by a post.
The second half was a dull contest with no further goals and far too many free kicks awarded by an over zealous official. They was precious little continuity in terms of forward play from either side and frustration showed through with three bookings late in the game. Both sides utilised all their substitutes which did little to encourage any cohesive play and apart from efforts by substitute John Veal for Royston and David Hartley for the visitors there was little to suggest that further goals would follow. The one bright moment was a 25 yards effort by St Neots substitute Chris Lewis that brought the best save of the match from Alfie Kemplen.
St Neots: Huff, Poli, Harper-Scott, Taylor, Stringer, Mattin, Fawcus-Williams, Hartley (D), Brown, Hobbs, Rivers
Subs used: Jones, White and Lewis
Cards: Brown (Y – 82), Jones (Y – 90 + 3)
Goals (St Neots): Rivers (20 mins)