RACING CLUB WARWICK 2 ST NEOTS TOWN 1
The host side took their unbeaten league run to seven matches as they leapfrogged St Neots into third place in the league table. However, their victory came after a controversial incident a minute before half time when Harvey Williams was clumsily upended by a defender as he wove his way through the penalty area. Strong appeals for a penalty were ignored and play was waved on, and St Neots verbal protests led to a ten minutes’ sin-bin stay for striker Jordan Brown either side of the break during which the home side scored to retrieve their early one goal deficit. Disappointed St Neots Manager Cameron Mawer said “that error by the officials had a significant effect on the outcome of the match”. St Neots had travelled for the first ever league meeting of the two sides and began well but conceded a second goal seven minutes from time to return home pointless and drop to fourth in the league table. Jordan Brown returned to lead the attack after his ineligibility for the National competition with Dean Dummett on the bench and the only other team change saw fit-again Sam Johnson return, at the expense of Israel Ajana.
St Neots began confidently, and James Hatch saw an eighth minute shot blocked after he had gone past his marker. The home side saw an effort by James Hancocks sail wide of the far post, but it was the visitors who looked the more comfortable and they took the lead after fourteen minutes when Hatch won a tackle in midfield and set up Jordan Brown for the opening goal with a crisp finish across the keeper into the corner of the net. An acrobatic bicycle kick by Loui Monoghan was only just too high as the home side began to settle and Josh Parsons should have done better than drag his shot wide after a neat build-up. The home side were dominating possession but making little headway against a resolute visiting defence with skipper Kyle Lincoln their rock. James Goff did well to smother at the feet of Cameron Ebbutts after he had been played clear by Ryan Quinn, and the same player shot across the face of goal. Jordan Brown cleverly set up Magloire Muyembe and his well- placed shot was clawed for a corner by home keeper Brad Callow and from the resultant corner Nathan George misdirected a header just wide. The Williams incident followed, and St Neots went to half time with their narrow lead intact.
Resuming with ten men, St Neots found themselves under attack and after 52 minutes the home side capitalised on their numerical advantage after Goff had saved bravely at the feet of Parsons, but from the resultant corner Loui Monoghan was left unmarked and he headed home an equalising goal. As St Neots returned to full strength, a George header from a Johnson free kick was blocked by a defender and then St Neots introduced their two recent signings giving a boost to their attack. From a Johnson corner Muyembe fired narrowly over the bar after 78 minutes and then Callow made two important saves from Hatch and Josh Brown as St Neots ramped up their attacking pressure. With nine minutes remaining St Neots introduced a fourth substitute but two minutes later the home side mounted a swift attack and from a searching cross by the overlapping Callum Carsley, Josh Parsons produced a well-placed header that was to prove the winning goal for the hosts. St Neots tried to find a late rally and Ajana set up substitute Nathan Frater, but his angled shot flew just wide of the far post with three minutes remaining. That proved to be St Neots final chance as the hosts played out the remaining period concentrating on defence in numbers.
Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match – Kindly Sponsored By The Greystones Public House, Sawtry – JAMES GOFF