St Neots Town 1 Welling Town 2
St Neots utilized the depth of their signings and trialists to give all players the chance to stake their claim as Manager Pete Gill continues to ponder the whittling down of the squad ahead of the season. His starting line-up contained only three players who had featured last season and several making their first appearance in a St Neots shirt.
Visitors Welling Town, members of the Southern Counties East Premier Division, gave a good account of themselves rounding it off with a very late second half goal to return home with their victory.
In a disappointing and at times low key first half it was 42 minutes before the first direct shot on goal gave the visitors their slim first half lead. That came when Manny Adeldunbo progressed down the right-hand flank, and when his innocuous cross rebounded off a defender, Carl Oblitey was well placed to rap the ball beyond the dive of George Whitehall. Earlier both sides played some attractive approach football but there had been little in the final third to suggest a goal fest. After James Miles had lobbed wide in Welling’s first attack the pattern settled with St Neots just shading possession but showing few ideas in attack. The Amu brothers combined well after 26 minutes but Arel’s final effort was wide of target, and then Oli Bate set up Lawrence Hammond but his finish was well off-target. Just prior to the visitor’s goal Hammond turned provider with a cross to find Erin Amu at the far post but his weak finish was easily claimed by the goalkeeper.
St Neots began after the restart showing a more positive approach and Miles Cowling was only narrowly wide from 30 yards following a corner that was not cleared. Welling replied with James Miles forcing a smart save from St Neots’ second half goalkeeper Louis Chadwick and after 57 minutes Alex Nelson saw his effort rebound from the St Neots crossbar. On the hour home Manager Gill made multi changes and the home performance noticeably improved. Within a minute Joe Rider had seen his close-range shot deflect off a post and then Wynford Marfo powered through the defence to set up Rider, but his second effort only found the side netting. However, after 68 minutes Marfo again began the move that sliced open the visiting defence and the energetic JOE SUTTON confidently claimed his fourth pre-season goal. Chadwick made a brave save at the feet of Carl Oblitey when the visiting forward broke clear but that was to no effect when a minute from time James Miles snatched a winner for the visitors in a goalmouth scramble.
Photo Gallery Courtesy of David Richardson – @RichInVideo