NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE – MIDLAND DIVISION
St Neots Town 0 Bedworth United 4
St Neots Town may have had a new Management team in place for this match but unfortunately the team performance and result were predictably unchanged as they fell to their ninth and heaviest home defeat since joining the Northern Premier League. The match had been billed as a ‘must win’ if they were to pull off an escape from the end of season play off matches, but now with consecutive Saturday matches against the top two sides in the league table, their chances of automatic survival as this level is looking extremely unlikely. They had to introduce a new goalkeeper with Tom Finch injured in their previous game at Boldmere and his replacement the youthful Jonah Gill performed well enough but was under constant second half pressure from the lively visiting forwards. Dan Barton and Charlie Lewis dropped to the bench with Manny Osei and Albert Adu included in the starting line-up and with Robbie Mason picking up a fifth yellow card for the second time this season there will have to be further changes in the upcoming matches.
The first half began promisingly enough with St Neots more than holding their own in very tricky windy conditions. The defences dominated at either end and neither goalkeeper was seriously tested in the first half hour but St Neots were looking confident in possession. After 34 minutes in a breakaway attack the visiting side should have scored when Elliott Parrott played Chris Camwell clear of the defence but his wild finish was too high. Five minutes later Camwell had a second chance picking up a Chris Cox cross but the young St Neots custodian produced a full length save to push the effort for a corner. Trey Charles then saw a rising effort parried by visiting keeper Sam Lomax and the half ended disappointingly for St Neots, for as the game moved into added time a long throw was not cleared and Liam Murphy forced the ball home from close range to put Bedworth ahead.
Apart from another low shot by Charles well gathered by the visiting keeper the second half began with Bedworth dictating play. Gill had to save bravely at the feet of Murphy and the same visiting player then unselfishly played Desean Martin clear at the far post but his finish was wide of target. After 65 minutes St Neots varied their pattern of play with Dan Barton and Charlie Lewis on for Albert Adu and Tommy Boxer but within two minutes of their introduction the visiting side stepped up a gear. In the next seven minutes they twice shredded the home defence with goals to clinch for them a significant victory. After 68 minutes substitute Liam Locket cut in from the left leaving two St Neots defenders in his wake before beating the diving Gill at the near post with a crisp finish, and four minutes later St Neots hopes of some reward from the match disappeared when Desean Martin produced a burst of speed to go clear and leave the home keeper helpless with a low finish. St Neots frustration showed as Robbie Mason picked up a fifth yellow card since December with a late challenge on the visiting keeper and St Neots woe was compounded when Liam Murphy claimed his second goal of the match thirteen minutes from time. St Neots defiant late spurt saw them win three corners, but this was little consolation in an overall shoddy second half performance.
Today’s Saints Supporters’ Man Of The Match was awarded to ROBBIE MASON
St Neots Town: Gill, Duncliffe, Smith, Anderson, Dickens, Boxer (T), Osei, Tarpey, Mason, Charles, Adu
Subs: Barton (for Adu 65 mins), Lewis (for Boxer (T) 65 mins), Rider (for Osei 74 mins), Hook and Baldwin.
Cards: Anderson (Y – 63 mins), Mason (Y – 76 mins)
Bedworth: Lomax, Moore, Rowe, Parrott, Barnett, Endall, Cox, Blackmore, Murphy, Martin, Camwell
Subs: Lockett (for Camwell 46 mins), Middleton (for Martin 75 mins), Burroughs (for Blackmore 79 mins), Blythe and Edjenguele.
Cards: Camwell (Y – 32 mins), Rowe (Y – 55 mins), Blackmore (Y – 63 mins), Martin (Y – 84 mins)
Goals: Murphy 2 (45 & 77 mins), Lockett (68 mins), Martin (77 mins)
Referee: Chris Darling (Newmarket)