FA Youth Cup Round One
THRAPSTON TOWN 1 ST NEOTS TOWN 10
St Neots totally outclassed their hosts to ease themselves into the second qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup at Thrapston. The goals kept coming throughout the match courtesy of some flowing football with Karl Saffee scoring four times and being denied a fifth by a very questionable refereeing decision when a deflected shot bounced on the line and into the roof of the net before being scrambled clear. The Referee was unsighted and his Assistant unsure but fortunately the ‘goal’ was not really significant. St Neots keeper Kieran Gibbons had a very easy evening with hardly a direct shot to test him and Manager Steve Pickering must have been very pleased by the way his side persisted with their fluent attacking play regardless of the margin of victory.
After just less than two minutes of the start St Neots were two goals in front in the most explosive of starts. Karl Saffee pounced to score after a Ryan Sharman header had come back of the post after 50 seconds and a minute later the same combination saw Sharman set up Saffee for his second goal. The home side did manage one early shot with a Declan Ward free kick comfortable saved by Gibbons but much of the play was delightful to watch as St Neots set up wave after wave of attacking moves. Three times Kaine Felix was only inches from converting crosses at the far post and full back Rory Cochrane joined the attack to shoot narrowly wide. Harry Jenkins headed over the bar from close range after another delightful attacking move and it was 3-0 after 34 minutes when Ashley Farouqui was perfectly positioned to shoot home from twelve yards after good work by Jake Leonce. Three minutes before the break Karl Saffee collected an incising through pass by David Hartley to complete his hat trick and only a good save by home keeper Luke Dyke prevented Kaine Felix from getting on the first half score sheet.
Three further goals in a six minutes spell early in the second half saw the misery continue for the home side. After 51 minutes Saffee was pulled back in the area when he looked certain to increase his personal tally and skipper Ryan Sharman confidently despatched the penalty kick but Saffee did add a fourth goal two minutes later after a great attacking run by full back Jamie Massey. Four minutes after that it was 7-0 as Ryan Sharman beat the defensive wall and the goalkeeper with a perfectly placed direct free kick. That was the signal for Manager Pickering to send on a couple of substitutes resting two of the club’s senior squad members Kaine Felix and Ryan Sharman. However the change was hardly noticeable with Jamie Massey in the midfield creative role and the irrepressible Rukky Diejomadh on to torment the home defence. The other substitute Sean Flynn was involved in the 65th minute eighth goal set up by Saffee for a Jake Leonce lob to beat the home keeper and then Luke Stevens took full advantage of the one St Neots defensive error to snatch a consolation goal for the home side. St Neots replied with Jake Leonce scoring his second goal ten minutes from time after good work by Cochrane and the historic tenth goal came four minutes from the end when ‘Rooky’ audaciously fired through the goalkeepers legs to complete the rout.
St Neots: Gibbons, Massey, Cochrane, Jenkins, Farouqui, Belgrove, Felix, Hartley, Saffee, Sharman, Leonce.
Subs used: Diejomadh (Rooky) & Flynn
(not used) Banthorpe