St Neots Town         4        Yaxley        1

St Neots stretched their unbeaten run to three matches as they clambered out of the second automatic relegation spot for the first time since early November. It was a much needed but bitter/sweet victory for they created chances almost at will against a poor visiting defence, but three times they were denied by the woodwork and their overall finishing was not good, and they tarnished their overall display when they conceded a late careless goal.However, a tally of seven points out of nine in their last three matches is almost as good as it gets, and they must now build upon these green shoots of recovery to start climbing up the league table. The morning news that Brandon Njoku had departed on loan to higher graded Cheshunt was a shock as he was fast building a promising partnership with Trey Charles in the St Neots attack but against only modest opposition, he was hardly missed with Manny Osei moving forward to link in attack. Also missing from the starting line-up was injured skipper Callum Anderson but he was replaced by George Hoddle who relished his midfield freedom, and Dan Barton returned in Njoku’s wide berth.

There was a breathless start to the match as both sides made it clear that attack would be their approach. In St Neots first attack inside two minutes visiting keeper Kacper Kurylowicz distinguished himself with a fine save at the foot of a post to deny Trey Charles and then play switched swiftly to the other end where from a corner visiting skipper Alfred Wren fired over the bar. The action continued with Charles seeing a shot deflected that Kurylowicz did well to push around a post and then the under siege keeper did well to push a Dan Barton cross for another corner. All that action was in the first six minutes, and the pace did not drop with St Neots well in control. After heading a Manny Osei cross wide TREY CHARLES made amends after 17 minutes when he opened the scoring from close range after more excellent work by Osei. Liam Hook, Joe Rider and Charles all went close to extending the lead and then after 25 minutes a second goal from JOE RIDER settled St Neots nerves and within a further ten minutes St Neots had been denied by the woodwork twice.  Several more good chances were squandered and Yaxley must have felt fortunate only to have conceded twice in the first 45 minutes.

The pattern continued after the break and in the first eight minutes after the break St Neots added two more goals.   First JOE RIDER exchanged a sweet 1-2 with Charles to score the best goal of the match and then TREY CHARLES claimed his second goal with a direct free kick from the edge of the area that the visiting keeper could not hold. With both of their substitutes on, the visitors adopted a more defensive pattern seemingly determined to make St Neots attacking approach more difficult. The tempo of the match noticeably dropped with St Neots still dominating possession but creating fewer openings. Visiting skipper Alfred Wren tried his luck from distance but his volley was wide and as the second half progressed Marcus Pancho had Yaxley’s clearest opening but shot weakly wide. St Neots seemed to think that their job was done but they were careless at the back and goalkeeper Jamie Greygoose and his defence seemed to lose concentration allowing Dimargio Robinson to steal in for a simple tap in consolation goal four minutes from time.  Substitute Jack Barnett then saw an effort deflected for a corner and Osei sent St Neots final effort wide.

St Neots Town: Greygoose, Lewis, Smith, Hoddle, Boxer, Dickens, Barton, Hook, Charles, Rider, Osei

Subs:   Solomon (for Hook 63 mins), Mason (for Charles 63 mins), Barnett (for Barton 64 mins) and Duncliffe and Goumou.

Cards:  Hook (Y – 49 mins)

Goals:  Charles 2 (17 & 53 mins), Rider 2 (25 & 48 mins)


Today’s Saints Supportrers’ Man of the Match – JOE RIDER







Yaxley:   Kurylowicz, Squillage, Adebayo (Jude), Wren, Hunnings, Brown, Waumsley, Hammill. Hamilton. Robinson, Pancho

Subs: Brown (for Waumsley 46 mins), and Adebayo (Jonathon) (for Hamill 46 mins)

Cards: Hamilton (Y – 85 mins)

Goal: Robinson (86 mins)

Attendance: 240

Referee: Shaun Barry (Daventry)

John Walker