SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL
St Neots Town 0 AFC Dunstable 4
Visiting striker Bernard Christie earned the man-of-the match award as he claimed all four goals as visitors AFC Dunstable humbled an injury-hit understrength St Neots side scoring twice in each half. It was the visitors’ first ever victory at the Premier Plus Stadium. The match was littered with cautions – each side picking up five as Referee Tom Hancock ensured his mention in the match report – and St Neots lost defender Wynford Marfo sent off after picking up two cautions upon his return from suspension! St Neots have struggled recently with injuries, suspensions, and unavailability resulting in their inability to field a settled side, and this has been a major contributory factor to them winning only one of their last six league and cup matches. On this occasion further injuries to Ben Heal, Kwai Marsh-Brown and Joe Rider plus the recall of central defender Mamadou Job by parent club Cambridge United, saw the return to the side after their injury breaks of Dequaine Wilson-Braithwaite and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown, and skipper Lee Watkins after suspension, with loanee Joshua Green making his debut.
After Lee Watkins had shot narrowly wide, the match became fragmented as a spectacle with the Referee booking three players in the first fifteen minutes. Gradually the visitors began to dominate the attacking play and Kieran Hamilton broke through to shoot across the face of goal from a narrow angle. Up for a corner Samuel McClelland was brought down by a St Neots defender and from the resultant penalty kick Bernard Christie opened his account. St Neots hit back with Myles Cowling setting up Kyjuon Marsh-Brown to bring a full length save from visiting keeper Jamie Head, and Charlie Johnson had a header from a Charley Barker corner headed off the goal line with the keeper beaten. However, Dunstable were creating the better openings and after half an hour home custodian Louis Chadwick at full stretch had to touch a Newman Carney corner over the bar and from the resultant corner Ryan Frater had a header cleared off the line by Aaron Smith. Then after 33 minutes Johnson was dispossessed by Hamilton who fed Bernard Christie who claimed his second goal. The half ended with three more cautions for what seemed trivial offences, so the visitors went to the break week in control.
After an early second half Barker effort that cleared the cross bar, the Referee looked as if he was going to issue further punishment to former St Neots player Alasan Ann booked in the first half but appeared to change his mind so that visiting player was quickly substituted by the visiting Manager! Barker and Johnson then saw their names added to the Referee’s notebook and St Neots sent on Joe Sutton for Marc Abbott. Six minutes later Sutton was scythed down in the area, and he got up to take the spot kick which was saved by Head and St Neots route back into the match lost. Aaron Smith then cleared off the line for St Neots but a major altercation fifteen minutes from time saw St Neots reduced to ten men and three more booked. After84 minutes a rare mistake by Chadwick let in Bernard Christie to complete his hat trick and the same player rounded off the scoring with his fourth goal two minutes from time.
Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match was awarded to Ky Marsh-Brown
St Neots Town: Chadwick, Marfo, Smith, Abbott, Johnson, Wilson-Braithwaite, Cowling, Watkins, Kyjuon Marsh-Brown, Barker, Green
Subs: Sutton (for Abbott 65 mins), Stokes (For Barker 86 mins), Smalley (for Marsh-Brown 86 mins) Thomas, and Peacock
Cards: Marfo (RED – 75 mins – 2 x Y), Abbott (Y – 14 mins), Barker (Y – 63 mins), Wilson-Braithwaite (Y – 63 mins), Marsh-Brown (Y – 75 mins), Gill – Manager – (Y – 75 mins)
AFC Dunstable: Head, Tavernier, Okito, Frater (R), McClelland, Carney, Hamilton, Harvey, Christie, Ann, Pattison
Subs: Longden (for Tavernier 53 mins), Farrell (for Ann 58 minutes), Frater (N) (for Carney 87 mins), Ferrell and Campbell.
Cards: Carney (Y – 10 mins), Frater (R) (Y – 15 mins), Ann (Y – 40 mins), Harvey (Y – 45 mins), Okito (Y – 75 mins)
Goals: Christie (4) (21 mins, 33 mins, 84 mins, 88 mins)
Referee: Tom Hancock