ST NEOTS U18         1          BUGBROOKE ST MICHAELS U18        1

(Bugbrooke won 4-2 on penalties)        

Bugbrooke gained revenge for their defeat by St Neots in this competition eight years ago when they successfully concluded a penalty shoot-out as two home players saw their spot kicks saved by visiting keeper William Panter.   It was the third time in the past four seasons that St Neots had been beaten in their first match in the National competition.

The visitors began confidently as Levon Stewart looped an early effort over the St Neots crossbar and then home keeper Alex Bent had to be alert to save a Jack Culwick header following a free kick. At the other end Frankie Webster burst through but saw his effort deflected for a corner. Then after 16 minutes St Neots took the lead when Finley Morris was left unmarked, and he cut in to net. Bent was again in action turning an effort by Stewart over the bar before a St Neots effort was ruled out by an offside flag. The visitors finished the first half strongly and only a brave save by Bent at the feet of Lenon Muma kept the narrow lead intact at the break.

St Neots enjoyed their best spell at the start of the second half. Harleigh Camfield shot across the face of goal and then visiting keeper William Panter saved bravely at his feet. Lucca Edwards shot wide, but the pattern of the match changed after 65 minutes when St Neots were reduced to ten men when Hanson Graham was sent off. The home side regrouped with just one man up front and set about soaking up a series of determined attacks by the visiting side. Chris Muchapa should have done better when played clear and Bent saved well from Carter Oakes but eleven minutes from time the pressure paid off as St Neots conceded a penalty and from the spot Levon Stewart levelled the scores from a rebound after Bent had pushed his first effort onto a post.   Neither side looked like winning in normal time and so a penalty shoot-out decided the outcome. St Neots scored their first spot kick but two saves by the visiting keeper from Caleb Wright and Uriah Brewster settled the contest.


St Neots Town:  Bent, Hughes, Hercules, Webster, Baker, Khoo, Smith, Morris, Camfield, Jolly, Edwards.

Subs:  Collins, Coleman, Banton, Brewster, Wright, Tonks.