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St Neots Town 3  Northwood 0 

Saturday 15th October 2011

  • Line-ups
  • Match Report

Northwood
EvoStik Southern League
Hunts Post Stadium, St Neots
St Neots Town
Derek Lewis
1
Kick Off
1
Michael Duggan
Scott Raper
2
3.00 p.m.
2
Ashley Deeney
Lee Grant
3
Attendance
3
Rene Steer
Milton Elenge
4
336
4
Lewis Webb
Liam Fowler
5
H/T
5
Nick Henebery
James McCluskey
6
0-2
6
Chris Hope
Jonathan Constant
7
Scorers
7
Pearson Mwanyongo
Craig White
8
Northwood
8
Adrian Seal
Romaine Walker
9
n/a
9
Stefan Moore
Ben Alexander
10
St Neots
10
Lewis Hilliard
Sam Sharples
11
Webb 12, Moore 36
Mwanyongo 70
11
Aaron Greene
 
Substitutes
Gary Burrell (7, 54m)
12
Bookings
12
Shane Tolley (8, 74m)
Jack Hutchinson
14
Northwood
14
Jordan Gent
Jimmy Froud
15
McCluskey, Alexander
15
Max Avory
Garry Senior (4, 66m)
16
St Neots
16
Rodney Sno (11, 74m)
Aaron Lansiquot (6, 46m)
17
n/a
17
Junior Kanuda (10, 74m)
Red Card
 
RIVERSIDE MAN OF THE MATCH:
xxx
St Neots: Tolley
 
Referee: Mr George Sprague

Assistants: Mr Shaun Barry
& Mr Paul Hodgson



The Saints gained revenge for last month’s 4-1 defeat at Northwood with this solid victory achieved through a hard-working performance, but the Woods performed better than the scoreline suggests. After Tuesday night’s strength-sapping replay defeat which was played with ten men for more than an hour, Northwood could probably have done without facing the pre-season title-favourites who had hardly played a game for three weeks.

They did so with a few enforced changes with a new signing, former Cambridge City defender Milton Elenge, joining on a dual-registration basis with Wingate & Finchley, to take his place in the centre. This allowed Scott Raper to move to his more familiar right-back position and Lee Grant to switch to the left in place of the suspended Ronayne Marsh-Brown. They went into the game with an attacking 4-3-3 formation, Craig White restored to the midfield after missing the replay, and Romaine Walker and Jonathan Constant supporting target-man Ben Alexander. Skipper Oliver Hawkins remained side-lined with injury. Former Woods wideman Gary Burrell, who has been out with injury all season, also came in from Wingate & Finchley for a few games and was on the bench.

On a superb pitch surface, the Woods started brightly with Walker’s twisting run setting Alexander up for a chance in the first minute but his powerful shot was always rising and flashed over the bar. They continued to take the game to the home side, attacking with plenty of confidence but St. Neots sprung forward to take the lead with their very first attack in the twelfth minute. Adrian Sear knocked a header forward which caught the defence napping and former Aston Villa and QPR striker Stefan Moore was in on goal. Derek Lewis spread himself well to block his shot but the ball ran loose and home skipper Lewis Webb reacted quickest to slot home.

The goal clearly buoyed the home side who settled from then on but the next chances fell to Northwood. After 23 minutes, Alexander combined with White to set up Constant, but he lacked composure and blasted his shot miles over, while Walker squeezed a shot through the solid home defence four minutes later but goalkeeper Michael Duggan was behind it to save comfortably.

Lewis kept out a deflected shot from Sear and then Pearson Mwanyongo volleyed over a far post corner from Lewis Hilliard as the Saints started to threaten and play continued to switch from end to end. Another swift run down the left from Walker saw him square the ball across the six-yard box and with Constant coming in at the far-post, Chris Hope did well to stretch and steer the ball away for a corner. From that, Constant picked out Liam Fowler, whose header was straight at Duggan.

Once again, having threatened to score, the Saints broke through to score a second. Hilliard’s dogged determination, together with a bit of luck with rebounds, saw him get through Raper and Fowler and with Elenge coming across to block his cross, he still managed to knock it in.  Lewis was able to parry it but only as far as a now unmarked Moore, who gratefully tapped into the empty net. The Woods pushed again and from a Walker corner, Hilliard sliced his attempted clearance towards the top corner. It looked a certain own goal but Duggan somehow launched himself across goal and managed to palm the ball round the post.

A goal then might have changed things, but still two goals behind, the Woods started the second half positively by replacing midfielder James McCluskey with striker Aaron Lansiquot. It failed to have an immediate effect, though, and Burrell was called upon to replace Constant and offer some fresh legs.

After 57 minutes Walker played a neat ball to the tireless White, who squared for Raper to hit a crisp shot but again the ball was deflected just wide for a corner. From that, Lansiquot knocked it back across the goal and both Elenge and Walker should have pulled the trigger but were crowded out by a well-drilled defence. The Woods had scored in every competitive game previously, but there were signs that a goal was going to be hard to come by in this one. However, they continued to battle and Lansiquot’s flick onto a Sam Sharples cross at least brought Duggan into action.

St. Neots were starting to threaten again, with Hilliard bobbling a shot wide while Moore also knocked one shot wide with another being saved low down by Lewis. At the other end, Burrell did well to control a far-post free-kick but his shot was unable to beat Duggan at the near post and then the Woods were hit by an injury to Elenge on 67 minutes which left the defence weakened.

Within three minutes, St. Neots had hit the third goal which gave them the extra cushion they needed. Mwanyongo took on Grant down the right and after it looked like the defender had robbed him of the ball, he nabbed it back and played a neat exchange of passes with Moore before slotting the ball across Lewis and in for a fine finish. Lansiquot had a chance to reduce the arrears almost immediately and he showed good pace to get ahead of his marker but his attempt at lifting the ball over Duggan just failed as the keeper stretched to keep it from dropping into the net quite comfortably.

With the game safe, the Saints made a triple substitution and the final fifteen minutes looked like being a non-event until the final stages. After 88 minutes, the unfortunate Raper was caught just on the touchline by a late challenge from St Neots sub Shane Tolley, by all accounts, studs up, over the ball and a possible ankle-breaker. Tolley’s red card left the home side with ten men for the final stages, as did the stretcher for the Woods defender, who has since reported ankle ligament damage that will keep him out for some time. A sour note to end the game and more defensive woes for the Woods.

Report by ALAN EVANS