Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division
ST NEOTS TOWN U18 2 ROYSTON TOWN U18 1
Royston brought an undefeated league record to St Neots but were beaten in a fast competitive match by the odd goal in three with the home side scoring once in each half. Without a couple of injured regulars including skipper David Hartley, St Neots took some time to settle into a rhythm and were indebted to goalkeeper Dan Huff who twice in the second half helped to preserve their slim advantage with some smart saves. Royston varied their approach with the introduction of their substitutes in the second half but were unable to make their chances count as play swung from end to end.
It was a slow start in terms of significant goalmouth action and the first clear chance fell to the visitors when a Callum Wilson free kick clipped the outside of a goalpost after 15 minutes. Five minutes later St Neots created two chances in the same attack as Dion Sembie- Ferris wriggled through only to see his shot deflected and following up Blake Rivers saw his effort cleared off the line by Wilson. Ross Maddox then saw a rising shot pass just the wrong side of a post but then after 24 minutes Junior Muya joined his attack for a set piece corner and when the visiting defence failed to clear he sent a low shot on the turn into the corner of the net with visiting keeper Alfie Kemplen looking unsighted. St Neots seemed to get stronger as the first half progressed and just before the break Rukky Diejomaoh saw his shot deflected wide of the goal and Harlem Sambu brought a comfortable save from Kemplen with a direct free kick.
Royston sent on two forward substitutes at the start of the second half and their action paid quick dividends when after 58 minutes Nathan Godfrey one of the replacement players was on the end of a long cross by Jay Taylor to level the scores. The other substitute Conner Hemmings then brought a good save from Huff and the keeper also made a brave save at the feet of Godfrey as Royston enjoyed their best spell of the match. St Neots pushed Muya forward in the bid to rescue the attacking initiative with Dan Mattin coming on in defence and that seemed to make a difference as the lively Sam Williams shot across the face of goal after clever play by Sembie-Ferris and then Kemplen was lucky not to concede a goal when he dropped a Sambu free kick. Another Williams effort was pushed onto a post by the keeper and then at the other wend Huff saved well from Ross Maddox. The Winning goal came thirteen minutes from time after good play by Sembie-Ferris and Muya that led to Lawrence Harper Scott netting at the far post and the result was secured when Huff under pressure from two forwards did well to punch away a corner from Callum Wilson.
St Neots: Huff, Hartley (C),Saywell, Muya, Poli, Sambu, Harper-Scott, Sembie-Ferris, Diejomaoh, Williams, Rivers
Subs used: Mattin,Fawcus-Williams.
Cards: Hartley (Y – 27), Muya (Y – 79)
Goals (St Neots): Muya (24 mins), Harper-Scott (77 mins)