NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE – MIDLAND DIVISION
Loughborough Dynamo 3 St Neots Town 1
A penalty conceded in each half, proved St Neots downfall on their first ever visit to Loughborough Dynamo. There was no dispute about the second award – a goal that clinched the points after a St Neots comeback – but the first was a hotly disputed decision and agreed by home officials as a refereeing error. Lady Luck does seem to be hard on Pete Gill’s side at present because the overall performance was not bad and deserving of at least a share of the points. Once again it was a much-changed St Neots side that began the match with new signings Liam Hook and John-Paul Duncliffe making their debuts following their transfers from Yaxley. Full back Aaron Smith returned after his one match ban and Manny Osei returned to the side. Toib Adeyemi had departed from the club, Joe Tarpey and Marc Abbott were missing and Joe Rider started on the bench.
St Neots goalkeeper Jamie Greygoose was in early action saving bravely at the feet of Princewill Ogunmekan who had slipped the offside trap and then after a quarter of an hour Bastos went down under an innocuous challenge by Steve Sylvester and the Referee pointed to the penalty spot. St Neots protests were waved away, and Kevin Bastos netted from the penalty spot to put the home side ahead. Aaron Smith was then booked for a late challenge and St Neots problems multiplied when the home side scored an excellent second goal. The tricky Bastos went past his marker on the bye line and pulled the ball back to Jack Gibson who unmarked fifteen yards from goal produced an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. St Neots regrouped and tried to reply but their finishing was off target and the home keeper never tested. Greygoose then had to produce a brave save at the feet of Gibson after more clever play by Bastos and the first half ended with the St Neots keeper under pressure pushing away a fierce shot from the overlapping Brandon Webster.
The second half began with a very contrasting pattern to the match. With Joe Rider on for the limping Brandon Njoku St Neots dominated play for the first 25 minutes and created several decent chances to get back on terms. Trey Charles had an early net-bound shot deflected for a corner, Charlie Lewis got above the home defence to head wide from a corner and in St Neots best move of the game Callum Anderson exchanged passes with Manny Osei to set up Charles whose shot passed the wrong side of a post with the keeper beaten after 54 minutes. Five minutes later the same combination of visiting players saw Osei set up Joe Rider and his crisp shot beat the home keeper to put the visitors firmly back in contention. The score could haver been levelled but for a good save by home keeper Lewis King to deny Charles, and then the advantage seemed to shift as the home side hit back. After 70 minutes Bastos forced Greygoose into action once again and four minutes later a mistimed challenge by Lewis on Bastos conceded another penalty kick that the Loughborough away tucked away to dent St Neots newly found confidence. St Neots tried to rally with all three permitted substitutes utilised, but that unfortunately conceded third goal was enough to see the home side inflict St Neots’ sixth defeat in their last seven outings.
With Daventry Town winning at home St Neots are now further adrift of safety.
Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match – JAMIE GREYGOOSE
St Neots: Greygoose, Duncliffe, Smith, Anderson, Lewis, Sylvester, Boxer, Hook, Charles, Njoku, Osei
Subs: Rider (for Njoku 46 mins), Bombelenga (for Boxer 57 mins), Nche (for Anderson 83 mins) Barnett and Goumou.
Cards: Smith (Y – 23 mins), Lewis (Y 90+1 mins)
Goals: Rider (59 mins)
Loughborough: King, Sackey-Mensah. Webster, McNicholas, Whitehead, Cook, Bastos, Norris, Gibson, Ogunmekan, McGinnell
Subs: Oldham (for Gibson 77 mins), Cocks (for Sackey-Mensah 86 mins), Holliday and Young.
Cards: Bastos (Y – 73 mins), Ogunmekan (Y – 73 mins)
Goals: Bastos 2 pens (15 & 74 mins), Gibson (32 mins)
Referee: Richard Watson (Hednesford)