St Neots Town can count themselves unlucky to have come up against keeper Ashlee Jones who almost single handedly thwarted the home offensive line with an inspired display late on when it looked odds on that the Saints would snatch all three points with a barrage of chances but a combination of wayward finishing, the woodwork and a decent shift from the visiting number one ensured the game ended in honours even. It was St Neots’ first goalless draw at home for more than three years since the visit of Tamworth in a Premier League fixture on 6th November 2018. Enforced team changes seemed to upset the rhythm of the home side. Mamadou Jobe was suspended following his dismissal at Hertford, Elliot Sartorious had left the club at the end of a brief stay, and two players injured in the previous match – Callum Anderson and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown – the latter making his debut at FC Romania were side lined. Their replacements were Neo Richard-Noel, Wynford Marfo, Charley Barker and former Manager Marc Abbott – the latter making his first League start in the team.
From the start St Neots bossed proceedings but it was to be more than half an hour before the home keeper was called up to make a save. As early as the sixth minute skipper Lee Watkins beat the visiting goalkeeper with a snapshot only to see his effort rebound from a post and then Neo Richard-Noel squandered a glorious chance firing over the bar after good work by Myles Cowling. Although the visiting side seemed happy to concede free kicks to halt St Neots’ attacks it was a home player – Wynford Marfo – who was booked as he committed his sides’ first free kick after ten minutes. An injury to defender Charlie Johnson after 23 minutes further hindered St Neots and his replacement was Julinho Gomes forcing a team reshuffle. Cowling saw visiting keeper Ashlee Jones make a good save but after 34 minutes the visitors mounted their first significant attack and George Whitehall had to be alert to save from Robert Clark and the same player then went past two defenders to shoot wide. Just before the break Kwai Marsh-Brown saw an effort rebound from the bar so the sides failed to break the deadlock before half time.
After the break the visitors sent on substitute Jack Daveney and he pepped up their attacking play. St Neots then almost committed football suicide when a stray back pass put Clark through on goal, but his effort was woefully wide of target. In the next fifteen minutes, St Neots regained the initiative and the visitors picked up three bookings as they strove to stem St Neots attacks but the best effort the home side could muster was a Charley Barker free kick that was wide. It was accuracy in finishing that was costing St Neots dear as Richard-Noel shot off target from a searching cross by Cowling and then the same St Neots played tried his luck from distance but saw his effort flash wide of goal. In the last ten minutes visiting goalkeeper Jones was the busiest man of the field. Richard-Noel broke clear of the defence but the keeper saved well, and he then dived full length to turn away a net-bound shot from Marsh-Brown. On the break Ibitayo Oyebola was upended by Lee Watkins earning the St Neots skipper a fifth yellow card of the season and a suspension and the match ended with Jones making two more outstanding saves to deny Cowling what would have been a match winning goal.
Tonight’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match was awarded to Kwai Marsh-Brown
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