Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division
ST NEOTS TOWN 1 DEEPING RANGERS 0
This was St Neots first home league match of the season because of their various cup commitments and they managed to grind out what might prove to be a very significant result against third in the table Deeping Rangers. Because of suspension and injury St Neots were without three regulars including leading scorer Karl Saffee and skipper Ryan Sharman but a single goal coupled with an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Josh Banthorpe was enough to see them pick up all three points. It was also testament to the strength of the squad that players were able to perform competently in unfamiliar positions and the victory was thoroughly deserved.
Deeping was the first to settle and Nathan Perillion went clear only to be denied by Banthorpe who bravely took the ball off his toes. The keeper then produced a fine save to deny the same visiting player after a clinical through ball by Jamie Reeve. After 16 minutes St Neots were ahead as Kaine Felix surrounded by defenders slipped the ball sideways for Rukky Diejomadh to net from 20 yards with a clinical finish. There was then a good deal of play in midfield with neither side making real headway in the final third and both defences looking confident and assured. It was not until seven minutes before the break that the next clear chance arrived and that came from a Jamie Massey through ball that played Sean Baker clear but he over hit the ball and visiting keeper Jack O’Keefe left his line to smother the shot.
Barker was also denied by O’Keefe early in the second half after a good move between Connor Belgrove and David Hartley and St Neots began to grow in confidence. The pace of Kaine Felix always troubled the visiting defence and after 70 minutes he picked up a poor clearance to scythe through the defence but shot narrowly wide. With a quarter of an hour remaining and all three substitutes on to freshen up their approach Deeping began to look more dangerous. Substitute Matthew Jackson was a particular threat bringing an acrobatic save from Banthorpe with a neat header and then the keeper made the save of the match from the same player who had gone clear of the defence. More substitutions followed for St Neots but they spent the final few minutes weathering the storm and as the match moved into added time Banthorpe blocked a close range shot from Frazer Sturgess who had also got behind the defence.
St Neots: Banthorpe, Massey, Leneghan, Jenkins, Moya, Tamakloe, Felix, Hartley, Diejomadh (Rooky), Belgrove, Barker.
Subs used: Cochrane, Clark & Flynn
(not used) Gibbons