WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN 2 ST NEOTS TOWN 0
An unfortunate own goal and a last minute second goal proved to be a very narrow margin of defeat as St Neots lost to league leaders Wellingborough Town. There was precious little to choose between the two sides in an end-to-end contest and St Neots can consider themselves unlucky not to have returned home with at least a share of the points. However, Wellingborough are not leading the way at present by accident – they are a well organised side that give little away in defence and look speedy and threatening in attack. Former Saint Neo Richard-Noel gave the visiting defence a torrid time and his side defended well against anything that St Neots contrived to throw at them. Saints Manager Cameron Mawer had the luxury of just one team change preferring Dean Dummett in midfield for Josh Brown who was on the bench. There was also a debut appearance from the bench for Rhys Thorpe just moved across town from Eynesbury Rovers.
Just two minutes in former Saint Neo Richard-Noel shot across the face of goal but the sides looked evenly matched from the start. However, after eleven minutes on the next notable home attack a speculative shot from Tom Iaciofano was deflected past his own goalkeeper by St Neots skipper Kyle Lincoln as he attempted to clear. St Neots refused to be deflected by this setback and Jordan Brown saw a shot blocked after neat play by Magloire Muyembe. The home side were looking particularly threatening down the right flank and after one run Iaciofano saw his shot comfortable saved by James Goff. Richard-Noel, off balance, shot over the bar and then Jorrin John joined the home attack to fire wide. In the ten minutes before the break St Neots dominated with Harvey Williams the main threat to the home defence. He had a shot blocked before firing narrowly over the bar and then brought an excellent save from home keeper Adam North. He was then upended in the area, but St Neots penalty appeals were waved away. The same player also brought a full length save from North just prior to the half time whistle.
St Neots continued their offensive after the break with Williams shooting across the face of goal and Jordan Brown was brought down but the official waved play on. In a counter-attack Richard-Noel fired wide from a corner and St Neots then tried to boost their attack by the introduction of speedy wide man Israel Ajana and striker Rhys Thorpe. A third substitute Jamal Batchilly saw his first shot blocked on the goal line and Williams had an effort pass the wrong side of a post. St Neots efforts were not sharp enough to pierce the home defence and pushing forward in search of an equaliser twice left St Neots short in defence. On the first occasion Goff did well to save from Richard-Noel but right-on full-time Lincoln was dispossessed in midfield, and this allowed Tom Iaciofano to bear down on goal to fire home the clinching goal. It was less than the St Neots performance had deserved.
Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match – kindly sponsored by The Greystones Public House, Sawtry – HARVEY WILLIAMS
St Neots: Goff, Reynolds, Nickels, Dummett, George, Lincoln, Johnson, Muyembe, Jordan Brown, Hatch, Williams
Subs: Ajana (for Johnson 57), Thorpe (for Hatch 65 mins), Batchilly (for Muyembe 71 mins), Josh Brown (for Williams 81 mins), and Black.
Cards: George (Y – 45 mins)