Thurlow Nunn Youth West Division
ST NEOTS TOWN U18 1 DEEPING U18 1
St Neots held league leaders Deeping to a draw in a closely fought match to move up to second place and deny their visitors the chance of a league double. It was a game in which St Neots had the greater share of possession but they lacked the finishing to take advantage of some good approach play. With several regulars missing the home side settled quite quickly but found the visiting defence in good form and a first half disallowed goal did not help their progress.
In the first half it looked as though Deeping had come for a draw. They played just one man up front and seldom bothered home keeper Dan Huff. St Neots took some time to get into their stride although Luke Day saw an early effort pass just the wrong side of a post. After a quarter of an hour Jordan Brown cut in from the right to force visiting keeper Dylan Cliffe into an excellent save as he pushed the ball around the post for a corner. Four minutes later Brown got the ball in the net after a great run by Tyrell Samuda but he was denied by an offside flag. St Neots tried to vary their approach but bringing on no less than three first half substitutes but their efforts were in vain with that finishing touch in front of goal deserting them. Luke Day had a shot blocked after good work by Sam Williams and then after 39 minutes St Neots took the lead as Ryan Read-Edwards on his debut moved inside to beat his marker and his low shot to the near post was scooped out by Cliffe after it had crossed the line. Nathan Parillion produced Deeping’s first effort of note five minutes before the break with a free kick that skimmed the cross bar but four minutes later totally against the run of play the St Neots defence seemed to suffer a lack of concentration and Dan Powell’s looping cross was netted at the far post by Parillion.
If Deeping had a defensive match plan in the first half they certainly varied it after the break. Dan Huff had almost been a first half spectator but he was called upon twice in the ten minutes after the break to make significant saves to deny Parillion after a defensive error and Powell who had cut in from the right touch line. For St Neots Sam Williams sent a free kick narrowly over the bar and Jordan Brown took a return pass from substitute Matt Allen to go clear only to see his angled shot rebound from the foot of the far post. Huff was then again in action clinging on a to a rising shot from Brad Sprouse and with the play now moving swiftly from end to end either side could have snatched a second goal. Twice Williams was off target with shots from outside the penalty area and the lively Brown shot across the face of goal. With just eight minutes left Samuda wriggled clear and tried to round Cliffe but the keeper saved with his feet and St Neots final effort was from substitute Reuben White who chipped just wide.
St Neots: Huff, Hartley (C),Clark, Stringer, Poli, Williams, Brown, Harper-Scott, Day, Hartley (D), Samuda.
Subs used: Meeds, White, Read-Edwards and Allen.
Goal (St Neots): Read-Edwards (39 mins)