Pre-Season Friendly

St Neots Town      3          Soham Town Rangers          2

A spectacular goal two minutes from time saw St Neots recover from being a goal behind to nail a nemesis in a very wet midweek pre-season friendly. The visitors were Soham Town Rangers who in the past twenty years had inflicted four FA Cup and Vase defeats on the Saints in as many meetings. At half time it looked as though the trend would continue as the Cambridgeshire visitors had recovered from a goal down to lead 2-1 but a fightback in the final ten minutes saw St Neots score twice to record their fourth victory in five pre-season outings. With several former St Neots players in the visiting line-up, it had promised to be fascinating contest – and so it proved.

St Neots got off to the perfect start after ten minutes when a surging goalward run by Myles Cowling saw him set up Neo Richard-Noel who beat former St Neots keeper Finlay Iron with a well-placed shot. Defender Charlie Johnson was included in the St Neots line-up after injury and three minutes later his rising shot following a Joe Sutton corner was blocked by a defender. St Neots enjoyed the better share of possession in the opening phase of the match but Soham utilising the power and height of striker Rob Mason were always a threat on the break. The equaliser arrived on the half hour when the home side failed to contain a right wing attack and Mason sent a low shot across the diving body of Louis Chadwick into the far corner of the net as the visitors began to look threatening, and four minutes before the break their pressure paid off when Joe Cardon was played clear on the left and Chadwick left his line to challenge but the visiting player skipped around his mistimed attempt to intercept and was able to roll the ball into an unguarded net for that 2-1 half time advantage.

Just before the hour St Neots replacement defender Dequaine Wilson-Braithwaite was injured and had to be replaced and St Neots then opted for several more changes in a bid to boost their flagging attack. At that point the torrential rain arrived and for a spell both sides found it difficult to adapt to the challenging conditions. St Neots, despite having the better possession failed to create significant openings and there was little goalmouth action at either end.   After 71 minutes Joe Sutton took a return pass to see his net bound shot blocked but four minutes later St Neots were handed another chance when Harvey Steel was upended and a penalty awarded. However, Iron guessed correctly to beat away Richard-Noel’s firmly hit spot kick and the chance was lost. St Neots persevered and ten minutes from time from a Ryan Thomas cross, Joe Rider volleyed home an equaliser and an honourable draw looked the most likely outcome. However, with just two minutes remaining substitute Oli Yun had other ideas as he crashed home a curling shot from distance to claim the winning goal.

(John Walker)

Photo Gallery Courtesy of David Richardson @RichInVideo