In front of a shirt-sleeved crowd of 810 St Neots produced a performance to be proud of against visitors Stevenage who are setting out on their latest adventure in Division One of the EFL following their promotion at the end of last season. The six levels in the status of the two clubs never showed though as the home side defended resolutely for the final hour without conceding a goal. A strong start had given the visitors an early two goals advantage but despite utilising much of their Football League squad they were unable to break through a determinedly stubborn St Neots defence. With most of his squad on show Saints Manager Cameron Mawer was delighted with his side’s dogged performance as he continues to build his team from scratch.
The visitors were up for the scrap right from the start and they took the lead after five minutes in only their second serious attack as experienced defender Carl Piergiannirose high above the home defence to head home an Alex Macdonald corner. Ten minutes later James Hatch tested the keeper at the other end with a rising shot but understandably the visitors were enjoying the lions share of possession with a second Piergianni headed at another set piece well saved. On the half hour Josh Marsh went down the left flank and his cross to the far post eluded all the players in a packed penalty are to creep in at the far post for a visiting 2-0 lead. St Neots keeper James Goff made two good saves from Theo Alkexandrou and Nick Freeman and right on half time his best first half save prevented a second Piergianni goal.
After the break with the visitors making several changes the pattern of play was replicated with the St Neots defences marshalled by skipper Kyle Lincoln holding firm. After 64 minutes Goff was in action again turning over a header by Jamie Read over the bar and although St Neots seldom threatened the visiting goal they continued to compete well. Two further saves in the dying minutes by Goff from Riley Mitchell and Luther Wildin kept his goal intact whilst Lorrell Smith was close at the other end to getting a consolation goal for the host side.
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