Six wins and a draw from their eight pre-season outings must rate as St Neots’ best preparation to a new season for some time. Their latest victims, Chalfont St Peter, did make the task slightly easier when they had a player sent off after 52 minutes as he collected a second yellow card after several warnings, but that should not detract from a thoroughly professional showing which showcased two fine goals from Florian Tsaguim. Joe Rider scored again to record his fourth goal in the last four of those matches and the overall performance was measured and good to watch for the spectators, putting the team in good shape for the start of the league season next Saturday. A special mention too, for goalkeeper Louis Chadwick, who made three excellent saves as Chalfont refused to give up.
Visiting striker Alex Cathline was yellow-carded after just six minutes committing his second ugly foul in the very early stages. Both sides defended well in the first half hour and despite having much the greater share of play, St Neots lacked ideas in the final third. At the other end Aaron Smith and Charlie Johnson looked assured and confident with full backs Wynford Marfo and Ryan Thomas given space and time to supplement the home attack. The first real danger to the home goal came after 29 minutes when their former defender Tommy Boxer won the ball in the air from a corner to bring a fine full length save from Louis Chadwick. That sparked St Neots into a dominant spell before the break with Florian Tsaguim in the thick of the action. He was first harshly booked for an accidental collision with the visiting keeper but responded with his sides’ opening goal five minutes before the break after Charley Barker had slotted the ball into his path. He then collected a through pass from Neo Richard-Noel to bring an excellent save from visiting keeper Andrew McCorkell before wi8nning a corner from which Charlie Johnson shot into the side netting.
The second half began with the visitors being reduced to ten men when Cathline tried the patience of the Referee once too many times and the official had no option but to send him off. The visitors then regrouped and after McCorkell had saved well from Wynford Marfo, a heavy downpour saw the game lose some impetus. However, with Barker and Callum Anderson orchestrating the home attack they were soon dominating as Barker had a shot deflected and Richard-Noel saw the visiting keeper save well. After 68 minutes a delightful cross field ball from Anderson found Joe Rider whose crisp finish doubled the lead and then several substitutions were made by both sides.
Five minutes from time with Chalfont looking for a consolation goal Louis Chadwick produced a breath taking double save to deny Shamal Edwards from close range, and with two minutes left Florian Tsaguim rounded off an excellent personal and team performance with the third goal from an Aaron Smith cross.
Photo Gallery Courtesy of David Richardson @RichInVideo
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