Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cup Round One
ST NEOTS TOWN 4 HISTON 2
Histon paraded their 100% record this season at St Neots but were sent packing from the Thurlow Nunn League Cup as the home side bounced back from their disappointing FA Youth Cup defeat seven days earlier. St Neots gave a debut selection to Junior Moya in midfield and he looked to be a very capable addition to the squad as he linked intelligently with skipper Ryan Sharman. The match was played almost throughout in torrential rain and it was a tribute to both the players and the pitch that this game was completed. It was also a memorable evening for St Neots striker Karl Safee who claimed a hat trick in just seventeen minutes in the first half to add to the four goals he had scored in the FA Youth Cup match at Thrapston three weeks earlier.
The match featured the most dramatic of openings when Histon took the lead after just twenty seconds. In the first action of the match an under hit back pass forced goalkeeper Josh Banthorpe into a hasty clearance which rebounded off of Harry Henbury to the feet of Josh Valpy-Nelson who was left with the simplest of tasks to side foot the ball into the unguarded net. Fortunately this did not faze the home side whose response was to set up a wave of attacking moves. A chip by Kaine Felix was pushed away at full stretch by visiting keeper Joseph Templeman and after eleven minutes the custodian was highly fortunate to only receive a yellow card for bringing down Karl Safee just outside the penalty area after the St Neots player had gone around him. Ryan Sharman’s free kick cleared the bar by inches and a potential equalising goal was lost. At the other end a header from Callum Bush was well saved by Banthorpe but the rest of the first half belonged to St Neots. After 29 minutes a delightful through pass by David Hartley found Karl Safee who moved outside his marker to level the scores. Seven minutes later as the rain continued Safee scored his second after his first effort had been blocked and then after Templeman had made an excellent save to deny Hartley a slick attacking move saw Jamie Massey set up Safee to complete his hat trick as the half moved into time added.
The second half continued in a similar pattern with Sean Barker netting but being ruled offside after the visiting keeper had spilled a stinging shot from Sharman. Then after 58 minutes the lead was extended as Moya and Safee combined to confuse the Histon defence and when the ball was not cleared Kaine Felix sent in a stunning volley to make the score 4-1. The now familiar round robin of rolling substitutes was employed by both sides making continuity of the match difficult but St Neots will have been pleased with the defensive pairing of Ash Farouqui and Harry Jenkins that snuffed out any danger created by Histon. After 64 minutes Safee was hailed down in the penalty area and a spot kick awarded but Safee squandered his chance of another four goals haul as Templeman pushed away his effort. Histon had the last word when the hardworking Josh Valpy-Nelson scored a late consolation goal four minutes from time with an outstanding left foot effort into the top corner of the net.
St Neots: Banthorpe, Massey, Clark, Jenkins, Farouqui, Moya, Felix, Hartley, Saffee, Sharman, Barker.
Subs used: Cochrane, Flynn, Tamakloe, Diejomadh & Gibbons