NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE – MIDLAND DIVISION
St Neots Town 2 Coleshill 1
As the clock moved on to the 90th minute, Trey Charles, St Neots’ leading marksman, took advantage of a careless clearance to rob the last defender and slot home a fierce low shot under the diving body of the hapless visiting goalkeeper to give a resurgent home side all three points.
It was the perfect finish to a match in which St Neots had shown a defensive sureness and a burning determination to overturn two previous away defeats this season by the visiting side. It had been a tightly fought contest with the goalless first half tribute to the defensive qualities of both sides, but the hard-working well-organised home side always looked to be the better of the two and deservedly picked up the points that lifted them out of the automatic relegation area. With leading scorer Charles fit again, he resumed his place in the side alongside newly re-signed defender Charlie Johnson who added steel to the back four. Making way for them was striker Robbie Mason and defender Charlie Stallard who were both on the bench and destined to make brief second half appearances.
St Neots began well and inside the first quarter hour had created two or three good chances to stamp some early authority on the tie. After twelve minutes home skipper Callum Anderson saw his first shot rebound from the crossbar before placing a second effort that shaved the wrong side of a goalpost. Then in the next attack a looping Joe Rider header from a Charlie Lewis lengthy throw was well saved by visiting keeper Paul Hathaway. At the other end a low effort by Chris Lait was wide but St Neots were enjoying the better of the exchanges and Jon-Paul Duncliffe fired over the bar after neat attacking play by Manny Osei. After 24 minutes Trey Charles did well to outwit a defender to go clear but his shooting angle was too acute and the chance was lost. Then around the half hour from a Liam Hook corner debutant Charlie Johnson forced a full length save from the visiting keeper. Although possession had been evenly shared the visitors seldom threatened the St Neots goal and just before the break another long throw – this time from Arron Smith – was won by Johnson but his snap shot passed the wrong side of a goalpost.
With little to show from the first half the visiting side was expected to restart the match in a positive way but they created little to threaten the defensive partnership of Johnson and Tom Dickens. On the hour a Lewis free kick to the far post was not cleared and Anderson sent an effort over the crossbar but St Neots were using their long throwing ability as a real threat to the visiting defence. After 71 minutes their persistence paid off as a throw from Smith was knocked into the area and Charles set up Manny Osei (pictured left) for the opening goal – his first league goal for St Neots. Briefly the visiting side rallied and Kai Tongue and Alex Tomkinson both had efforts comfortably gathered by Jamie Greygoose. As the second half entered the final ten minutes St Neots sent on Charlie Stallard for Joe Rider but after 85 minutes St Neots failed to defend a Tomkinson corner leaving Amadir Sandhu the room to net an equaliser from close range. However, St Neots were not prepared to settle for a point, and they once again pressed forward. As the final minute of normal time arrived a poor clearance by the visiting keeper saw Trey Charles (pictured right) rob a defender to reinstate St Neots lead with a positive finish and St Neots were robbed of a second late goal when Hathaway made amends for his error with a backbreaking save to deny Liam Hook.
Tonight’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match was awarded to CHARLIE JOHNSON
St Neots Town: Greygoose, Lewis, Smith, Anderson, Dickens, Johnson, Duncliffe, Hook, Charles, Rider, Osei
Subs: Stallard (sub for Rider 84 mins), Mason (sub for Duncliffe 86 mins), Sylvester, Boxer, and Webster.
Card: Duncliffe (Y – 69 mins)
Goals: Osei (71 mins), Charles (90 mins)
Coleshill Town: Hathaway, Birch, Sandhu, Dainty, Byrne, Doyle, Tongue, Williams, Lait, Tomkinson, Washbourne
Subs: Marsilla (for Birch 76 mins), Higginson, and Rowe
Cards: Doyle (Y – 73 mins), Byrne (Y – 90+3 mins)
Goal: Sandhu (85 mins)
Referee: Luke Scott (Northampton)