EASINGTON SPORTS 0 ST NEOTS TOWN 1
St Neots gained revenge for a 1-0 home defeat by Easington with a same margin of victory in their favour in the return match. However, they left it late with the goal coming just four minutes from the end of normal time. It was a far from impressive performance but Manager Cameron Mawer said ‘a win is a win and three points and we can examine the performance in midweek’. With Newport Pagnell losing at home to Histon, (St Neots’ next visitors on 30 December!) Mawer’s team moved up into the play-off places with at least one match in hand of all the clubs ahead of them. There was just a single team change from the Godmanchester victory with Israel Ajana replacing the suspended Jordan Brown.
The match got off to a lively start with early chances at both ends. The first Easington attack after four minutes saw St Neots keeper James Goff save at full stretch after Leam Howards had been set up by Luke Swann and then at the other end the lively Israel Ajana outpace his marker, but his shot only found the side netting. As the match settled St Neots found it difficult to string passes together and it was the home side that bossed attacking possession. Josh Reilly should have done better firing over the bar after good work by Howards and then Goff was in action again pushing away a Barton Elliott free kick. The home side continued to create the better chances and the busy Goff saved well from Howards. St Neots best first half chance fell to Rhys Thorne, but he delayed his shot and Jack Myatt saved at his feet. The final phase of the first half fell away to a stalemate with each defence quite comfortably snuffing out the best that the other side could muster.
The visitors looked the more lively of the sides’ after the break and had the better of the exchanges. Against the run of play Ellis Barton skied Easington’s best opening high over the bar and St Neots then pepped up their attack with the introduction of two substitutes. The pressure was building on the home defence and four minutes from time Harvey Williams took advantage of defensive hesitancy to score what was to be the winning goal. That sparked Easington’s late almost frantic spell of pressure as they sought an equaliser. Thankfully the St Neots defence marshalled by Nathan George and Murphy Culkin remained in control of the ariel bombardment from a string of corners for their side to hold out for all three points.
Today’s Saints Supporters man of the Match – kindly sponsored by thre Greystones Public House, Sawtry – RHYS THORPE