NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE – MIDLANDS DIVISION
St Neots Town 0 Boldmere St Michaels 2
An off-colour and out of form St Neots never looked likely to get or deserved any reward from the visit of League newcomers Boldmere St Michaels. The host side were hesitant in defence; their passing was hopeful rather than accurate and they seemed to be woefully short on confidence and fresh ideas. Mamadou Jobe and Dan Barton, both with Cambridge United connections, returned to the side at the expense of Patrick Campbell and Saleem Akanbi but the overall balance of the side looked wrong and Barton limped off injured after picking up another first half knock. The return as a second half substitute of former leading scorer Joe Rider was welcome but he is still far from match fit and he had little chance to contribute anything significant. Promoted from the lower-level last season the visitors are a compact, confident and well-organised unit and should do well in their first season at Step Four.
There was a slow start to the contest with only one significant shot on target in the first twenty minutes – that a low effort from the visitors’ Owen Parry well saved by Jamie Greygoose after five minutes. St Neots first effort was from skipper Manny Osei who shot wildly over the bar after good approach work by Declan Nche. Greygoose also had to be alert, to get back to field a speculative lob by Alex McSkean and Dan Barton was upended making for goal to pick up that injury. Then, after 24 minutes, a Jack Burgess corner was not cleared, and Andre Brown turned in the box to open the scoring with a low finish. St Neots responded winning two corners and from the second Toib Adeyemi won the ball, but his finish was wide. Parry went clear of the home defence after 37 minutes, but he also missed his chance shooting high over the bar and then using area wide on the flanks the visitors were beginning to dominate. St Neots did create a couple of openings late in the first half, but Nche shot over the bar after good work by Andre Hasanally and from a free kick Mamadou Jobe’s header tested the visiting goalkeeper.
St Neots looked better immediately after the break as they took the game to their visitors. Employed in a more forward position Nche brought a fine save from Gwilliams and then saw an audacious chip from distance also safely gathered. Hasanally should have done better than fire over the bar after good work by Alex Solomon and Aaron Smith but with their first significant attack of the second half after 57 minutes the visiting side added a second killer goal. The ball was delivered across the width of the pitch to Owen Parry who was unmarked, and he advanced to beat the St Neots keeper with a low shot just inside his near post. That second goal signalled a change in tactics by the visitors, confident that they could see out the last half hour preserving their two goals advantage. Leaving one man up front they were happy to soak up St Neots attacks restricting them to lengthy efforts on goal. On the break Greygoose had to be alert, to save efforts from Parry and Kyle Byrne whilst St Neots best efforts came from Nche who shot over the bar and Jobe who saw his close range shot blocked on the line by a defender.
St Neots Town must now regroup swiftly for their tricky looking away Hunts Senior Cup date on Tuesday evening at their lower graded neighbours, Eaton Socon.
Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man Of the Match was awarded to Mamadou Jobe
St Neots Town: Greygoose, Tarpey, Jobe, Nche, Solomon, Adeyemi, Hasanally, Osei, Charles, Barton, Smith.
Subs: Rider (for Charles 60 mins), Anderson (for Barton 60 mins), Jickiemi, and Tonks.
Boldmere SM: Gwilliams, George, Westwood, Christophorou, Craven, Burgess, Byrne, West, Brown, Parry, McSkeane,
Subs: Sweeny (for Byrne 46 mins), Thompson-Brown, Shaw, Palmer, and Bowen
Goals: Brown (24 mins), Parry (57 mins)