St Neots Town         3          Godmanchester Rovers        0          

St Neots pre-match concern about losing three of their four defenders to injury (Aaron Smith), suspension (Charlie Stallard) and unavailability (Charlie Lewis) was allayed when recent signing George Hoddle marked his debut after just eight minutes with a smart finish from distance to give them the lead. Recent meetings of the two sides have seen the visitors win two of their last three appearances at the ground so there was a score to settle and this was achieved with some ease after Godmanchester lost their keeper after just a quarter of an hour. Although the ten men put up a spirited performance, they were no match for the patched-up St Neots side which included striker Robbie Mason as an emergency centre half where he performed with distinction. The home side perhaps should have scored more goals but stand in keeper Ollie Butler produced a confident performance and some of St Neots finishing was very questionable.

St Neots began really confidently with Saleem Akanbi using his pace to go clear after four minutes, but former St Neots custodian Finlay Iron blocked with his legs. However, he was helpless four minutes later when an opportunistic shot from distance by George Hoddle on his debut flew into the net to give St Neots the lead.  Two minutes later Andre Hassanally could have doubled the lead, but his cross-goal effort flew wide of the far post. The visitors first effort after 13 minutes saw a shot from defender Richard Chadwick take a deflection off a defender, but Jamie Greygoose recovered to save. Then on 14 minutes the Godmanchester defence went missing as Trey Charles picked up a pass to go clear on goal from his own half. Visiting keeper Finlay Iron rushed from his area but handled the ball and was sent off with Ollie Butler substituting and Michael King sacrificed. The reorganised visiting defence was slow to settle and after 22 minutes St Neots skipper Callum Anderson took full advantage picking up a loose pass to beat Butler from 25 yards.   St Neots then enjoyed a spell of dominant possession up until half time but failed to push home that advantage with further goals. Hasanally had a goal bound effort blocked, Akanbi shot over the bar when a goal looked certain, and Butler made one impressive save to deny Charles.

After the break the reorganised visiting side with Jason Kissi on for Ben Tait competed better and Matty Allan had a shot deflected wide. Manny Osei impressively left two players in his wake but fired harmlessly over the bar, Akanbi went clear but shot across the face of goal and Butler again saved well to deny Charles. However, Charles was injured and Harvey Beckett back from injury substituted with Robbie Mason returning to his normal strikers’ role. Akanbi then cut in with pace only to see his shot rebound from the woodwork and the same player then shot over the bar after beating his marker. The match came disjointed with a series of minor injuries to visiting players and Hoddle then put Osei clear but again his shot was too high. An excellent save by Butler from an Hasanally free kick looked to have kept the second half goalless but in the final minute of normal time Toib Adeyemi added a third St Neots goal after a neat overhead assist from Mason.

Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match was awarded to skipper Callum Anderson




St Neots: Greygoose, Nche, Tarpey, Anderson, Mason, Adeyemi, Osei, Hoddle, Charles, Hasanally, Akanbi.

Subs: Beckett (for Charles 64 mins), Abbott (for Nche 90 mins), Badiani, Kimpton and Bent.

Cards: none

Goals: Hoddle (8 mins), Anderson (22 mins), Adeyemi (89 mins)



Godmanchester: Irons, Unwin, Hall, Sulman, Chadwick, King, Lewis, Lindsay, Rogers, Tait, Allan

Subs: Butler (for King 15 mins), Kissi (for Tait 46 mins), Dear (for Sulman 76 mins), Spark, Atkin Jolly and Augusto.

Cards: Irons (RED – 14 mins), Lindsay (Y – 90+1 mins), Unwin (Y – 90+3 mins)

Goals: none

Referee: Darren Lander (Cambridge)

Attendance: 273

John Walker