LEICESTER NIRVANA          0           ST NEOTS TOWN           1 

A stunning perfectly placed shot from 35 yards ten minutes from time by 17 years old substitute Israel Ajana ensured that St Neots returned from Leicester with their 100% league record intact at the top of the league table. The home side unbeaten in their two opening matches, proved to be stubborn opponents but rarely threatened the St Neots goal. The conditions were perhaps the real factor in a disappointing game with the gusty wind making anything airborne nothing less than a lottery and it was surprising that there was little significant goalmouth action throughout the ninety plus minutes. St Neots suffered an early blow pre-match when full back Tommy Reynolds had to pull out after suffering a strain in the warm-up. However, that proved a case of every cloud having a silver lining for his late replacement recent signing Rav Kalek proved to be a more than adequate alternative on his debut for the club.

Losing the toss St Neots faced the blustery win in the first half, and after Lorrell Smith had won an early corner, Tom Rowley shot over the bar after good approach work by Magloire Muyembe. The only real effort by the home side was a shot by Will Gonga across the face of goal after twelve minutes. Johnson looked lively on the right flank, and he saw a cross deflected for a corner with unmarked players at the far post. James Hatch looked likely to break through after 23 minutes nut he was brought down by Andre Raceada earning the home defender a caution. Four minutes later home keeper Luis Parry had to dive bravely at the feet of Lorrell Smith to prevent the St Neots striker from opening the scoring, before in a rare home attack Mahmoud Juma volleyed wide from a set piece. The first half ended with Smith seeing his rising shot deflected for a corner which was cleared.

After the break St Neots had the wind at their backs and they found it difficult to utilise it to their advantage. Hatch was upended in the penalty are from behind, but the Referee waved play on as St Neots appealed in vain for a penalty.   Muyembe weaved his way past defenders also to be upended in the area but to the visitors’ astonishment he was shown a yellow card for what the Referee deemed to be a dive! Several substitutions followed as both sides tried to get to grips with the conditions but apart from a Josh Brown effort blocked by a defender and a last-ditch tackle to rob Hatch as he went through the penalty area there was little sign of a goal from either side. There were just ten minutes left when Israel Ajana lit up the game with that stunning strike that proved to be the winning goal, and apart from a late shot by Dom Lawless well gathered by Luis Parry there was little to suggest that St Neots narrow lead and three points haul would be threatened.         

Today’s travelling Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match – kindly sponsored by The Grerystones Public House, Sawtry


St Neots Town:  Goff, Kalek, Nickels, Brown, George, Lincoln, Johnson, Muyembe, Smith, Hatch, Rowley    Subs:  Lawless (for Smith 62 mins), Ajana (for Rowley 63 mins), Romero (for Hatch 85 mins), and Barnett.

Cards:  Muyembe (Y – 55 mins), Johnson (Y – 60 mins), Hatch (Y – 85 mins), Goff (Y – 90+5 mins)

Leicester Nirvana: Perry, Masendo, Dassu, Forish, Rowley. Conteh, Raceada, Juma, Umeh, Moye, Gonga

Subs:  Hopewell, Ashkir, Elliott, Carter-Fell, and Zakeraseem.

Cards:  Raceada (Y – 23 mins), Rowley (Y – 78 mins), Carter-Fell (Y – 87 mins)

Referee: 63

Referee:  Nathan Parry (Coventry)

(John Walker)