Pre Season Friendly

Deeping Rangers  3    St Neots Town   4

Peter Gill’s second Pre Season Friendly as manager of St Neots Town saw his charges run out winners by the odd goal in seven in a game played in sweltering conditions at Deeping Rangers.

Once again, we were without most of our players from Cambridge United who were at training camp in Wales and others who, for one reason or another as always happens in early pre-season, were unavailable this weekend however this gave Peter and Sean the chance to give others an opportunity to impress.

The Saints began the game with a period of controlled possession, moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, trying to draw the home team out but were noticeably struggling with the length of the grass which was hampering their normally slick passing. This was allowing Deeping to nick the ball and test the Saints defence on the breakand in all honesty, should really have taken the lead on at least a couple of occasions when we were caught upfield and it was only wayward finishing which prevented this.

Our first real effort of note of the afternoon was after 17 minutes when debutant Neo Richard-Noe saw his effort tipped onto the crossbar by ex Saints keeper Dan Swan.  Saints did eventually take the lead in the 35th minute when the ball was fed out to the left and AARON SMITH cut inside and crashed an unstoppable effort into the Rangers’ net via the underside of the bar from just outside the corner of the penalty box, very much like Geoff Hurst’s effort in the ’66 World Cup Final.

This seemed to settle the lads a little and now having made the breakthrough and got to grips with the playing surface, began to look much more assured and it was no surprise when the lead was extended in the 40th minute when a good passing move allowed Jordan Slama to squeeze between the defence and force a good save from Swan but unfortunately for him, RICHARD-NOEL was in the right place at the right time, like every good striker should be, to follow up on the rebound and score probably what has been his easiest goal so far in his career, rolling the ball into an empty net.

So, at the break, everything was looking rosey with a two goal cushion and ten outfield changes were made with just custodian George Whitehall remaining from the original eleven starters. Things almost immediately got very much better as the recently introduced Joe Sutton and Arel Amu played a sweet one – two on the right hand side and it was JOE SUTTON who fired across the keeper into the far corner of the net to give the Saints a very healthy looking lead and looking comfortable victors. How wrong were we………

Now was to begin a ten minute spell which was to prove disastrous for ourselves as the home side took advantage of our second half side not really settling and clawed back three goals including one very unfortunate effort which rebounded from the post and hit Whitehall on the back and nestled in the back of the net. Credit to the lads, they regrouped, regained composure and began to play again and after eighty – two minutes the winning goal arrived when JOE SUTTON scored his second of the game and the pick of the goals, receiving the ball on the left hand side and spotting the keeper slightly off his line, unleashed a sublime curling effort into the top right hand corner leaving the keeper rooted to the spot and only able to watch the ball fly past him.

All in all, a decent runout for both sides in searing conditions and we move onto Tuesday evening, when we entertain Haverhill Rovers at the Premier Plus Stadium, kick off 7:45pm.


Mike Green