St Neots twice came from behind to record their highest league victory for eleven months. They were aided by the sending-off of one of their former players, Martel Powell, who was dismissed just before the break for verbally abusing the Referee. A feature of the match was a second hat trick this season for striker Joe Rider, two of which came from the penalty spot. Barton battled well in the second half despite their numerical disadvantage and a key point in the match came immediately after the break when St Neots man-of-the-match goalkeeper Louis Chadwick saved a penalty kick that could have given the visitors the lead in the match for the third time. With Callum Anderson injured at North Leigh three days earlier, the enforced St Neots team change saw the return in midfield of Charley Barker in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up. Two of the goals came in time added at the end of the game but St Neots totally dominated the second half and will have been disappointed not to have scored more goals against a packed defence.
Barton issued an early wake up call to the home side when they took the lead after just five minutes when former Saint Nathan Frater was involved in the build-up as Christopher Regis fired home from close range. St Neots replied quickly, and Joe Rider was twice denied an equalising goal – first when visiting keeper Kyle Forster made a good save and then a minute later when Paul Andrews blocked his close-range finish. However, after 17 minutes the scores were levelled when St Neots central defender Wynford Marfo netted following a short corner to record his first ever goal for St Neots. The contest continued at breakneck pace with Lee Watkins having a shot deflected wide and Martel Powell clearing acrobatically off the goal line to deny Neo Richard-Noel. St Neots then uncharacteristically gifted Barton their second goal as an emergency clearance by goalkeeper Louis Chadwick went straight to the unmarked Bradley Bell who fired into the unguarded net. Unperturbed St Neots regained the initiative swiftly as Rider headed over the bar and then had another effort thwarted as the visiting keeper saved bravely at his feet. Richard-Noel then set up his strike partner again but off balance he fired over the bar. As the first half moved into added time Harvey Steel was upended just inside the penalty area and the Barton protests earned a booking for skipper Andrews and a red card for Powell. After the furore had subsided Joe Rider calmly slotted home from the penalty spot to send the sides to their half time break on equal terms.
The drama resumed immediately after half time when Barton were awarded a penalty in the 48th minute when Ben Heal was judged to have brought down Luke Williams, but Chadwick pushed away Charlie Smith’s penalty kick and just four minutes later St Neots were ahead for the first time in the match. Richard-Noel rounded his marker on the left and crossed for Joe Rider to slot home to make in 3-2. It got even better for St Neots four minutes later when the best move of the match saw Charlie Johnson feed Rider from deep in the St Neots half and his early cross picked out Neo Richard-Noel who netted. Barton regrouped with substitutes introduced and they adopted a more defensive approach making it difficult for St Neots to break down their defence. Myles Cowling had a shot deflected and Forster twice saved well from Watkins and defiantly Barton tried to attack the home defence on the break. Bell should have reduced the deficit when played clear, but Chadwick saved well with his legs and as the game moved into added time there was still much drama to unfold. Joe Rider was brought down in the penalty area but got to his feet to slot home to complete his hat trick and three minutes into extra time another smooth three man move produced a sixth goal for St Neots, substitute Joe Sutton feeding Rider and his square pass set up Myles Cowling for his third goal of the campaign.
Tonight’s Saints Supporters’ Man of the Match was awarded to LOUIS CHADWICK
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.