Thurlow Nunn Youth West Division
ST IVES TOWN U18 0 ST NEOTS TOWN U18 3
St Neots strolled to victory in their penultimate league match of the season against a very disappointing St Ives side. To their credit St Neots kept a high momentum throughout the match despite having very little luck in front of goal but a measure of their total domination was that in the second half St Ives failed to produce a single shot on goal. The victory lifted St Neots to third in the table – at least on a temporary basis. As usual skilful use of their substitutes proved a key issue because two of the three second half substitutes scored the late goals that gave the final score line a realistic picture of the contest. With just one match to be completed this season plans are already under way for next season which is around five months away but several of the squad are still eligible for next season and will have gained useful experience this time around.
Ironically St Ives created the first two chances in the opening ten minutes of the match. After four minutes Dan Huff had to leave his line smartly to save at the feet of David Lapkin and then a momentary defensive lapse allowed Kieran Case to find himself in a great shooting position but he put the ball high over the bar. St Neots then settled into a rhythm and Blake Rivers crossed for Curtis Hartley to head over the bar and after 13 minutes Rivers drifted past his marker to bring a good save from home keeper Luke Mason. Six minutes later Mason was in action again saving well from a low effort from Chris Lewis and by now St Neots were well in control. Their main threat was coming from the pace down the flanks of Rukky Diejomaoh and Blake Rivers and Mitchell Taylor dragged his shot wide after a great run by Rukky and then the same player shot over the bar. After 28 minutes the stalemate was broken when a fierce shot from Taylor was only parried by Mason and Blake Rivers followed in to give St Neots the lead and claim their 50th league goal of the season. That lead could have been extended just before half time when good work by Lewis set up Dan Hobbs but his net bound shot was blocked by a defender’s outstretched leg.
The second half was almost completely one way. When St Ives tried to attack they found St Neots defenders Kelton Stringer and Dan Mattin able to win every ball in the air and mop up on the ground and their accurate distribution ensured that St Neots enjoyed an almost embarrassing share of possession. They should of course have scored more goals but Lewis and Jordan Saywell both shot wide when well placed and Hobbs also failed to hit the target when played clear by David Hartley. The introduction of all three St Neots substitutes did little to upset the pattern of play and with eight minutes left Mason dropped a shot from Curtis Hartley and Remi Fawcus-Williams followed in to double the lead. The scoring was completed a minute from time when David Hartley won the ball in midfield and fed Sam Williams who made space for himself before hitting home the best goal of the evening.
St Neots: Huff, Hartley (C), Saywell, Stringer, Mattin, Hartley (D), Rivers, Taylor, Lewis, Hobbs, Diejomaoh
Subs used: Fawcus-Williams, Williams and White
Goals (St Neots): Rivers (28 mins), Fawcus-Williams (82 mins), Williams (89 mins)