Saints see off league leaders Weymouth
PUBLISHED: 10:20 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:20 20 August 2014
Southern League Premier Division
St Neots Town 2
Early league leaders Weymouth tasted their first defeat of the season after goals in either half.
They had won both of their opening fixtures but on Saturday were beaten in an entertaining encounter at Rowley Park.
It saw Saints lifted into second place, level on points and goal difference with Cambridge City at the top.
It was a close contest, with sharp finishing giving Saints the points.
St Neots lined up with an attacking intent – Josh Bickerstaff and Nathan Frater were brought into the starting line-up and helped to make an impact from the kick-off as Weymouth were not allowed to settle.
Nathan Frater, making his first league start for St Neots, was inventive and his pace was causing trouble for the visiting defence.
And he was pivotal in Saints’ opening goal.
Nathan Frater drifted wide to find Matt Nolan at the near post, and his flick-on allowed Arthur Lee to score his second goal in successive matches.
At the other end, Stewart Yetton rounded Saints keeper Nathan Abbey but was driven wide and Ryan Frater got back to clear for Saints.
But it was visiting keeper Jason Matthews who was to be the busier of the two shot-stoppers, making saves at the feet of Nathan Frater and then Jay Davies.
Ed Palmer sent a chance high and wide after the best early move by Weymouth and teammate Adam Kelly had his shot deflected for a corner.
The second half had a lively start with Nathan Frater brought down on the edge of the area and Matt Spring curled the free-kick just beyond the near post.
Saints kept Weymouth from scoring when Yetton’s header was brilliantly saved by Abbey.
St Neots replied with a powerful shot from Davies that left the Weymouth keeper helpless, but the ball rebounded from the woodwork.
Midway through the second half, with Weymouth pushing for an equaliser, St Neots brought on Mason Spence and moved to a flat back four with the aim of keeping a clean sheet.
Not only did the tactical change work, but Saints, following the introduction of Lewis Hilliard, doubled their lead, with Hilliard setting up Jay Davies to score.