Super subs seal victory for St Neots against Hereford as Eynesbury Rovers also win opening game

11:10 13 August 2014

Matt Nolan opens the scoring for St Neots. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Matt Nolan opens the scoring for St Neots. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Archant

Within a minute of Nathan Frater’s St Neots debut in the dying moments of their opening league game of the Southern League Premier Division, he was brought down for a penalty and barely a minute after that was tucking home the rebound to make the points safe.

Nathan Frater is congratulated after scoring the victory-sealing goal over Hereford. Picture: CLAIRE HOWESNathan Frater is congratulated after scoring the victory-sealing goal over Hereford. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

All in all, considering there were almost as many protesting Hereford fans outside the ground as those inside, St Neots served up a solid, if rather unspectacular performance.

Hereford had been relegated two steps down from the Conference for financial irregularities and were an unknown quantity. They featured a mix of youth and experience and gave the visitors a fairly stern test.

The feature of the victory was that two second half substitutes each scored a goal to earn the spoils.

The opening phase was a little scrappy with neither side looking positive enough in the final third. A Lewis Hilliard shot was blocked and debutant striker Chris Dillon forced a reflex save from home keeper Luke Williams before sending a second effort wide.

Hilliard shot wide and then sent a far post header over the bar but St Neots’s best first half chance fell to Gavin Hoyte from an Arthur Lee corner but he headed just over.

St Neots looked more positive after the interval and three minutes in, Hilliard had the ball in the net from a Davies through pass but was ruled marginally offside. The introduction of Matt Nolan for Dillon energised the attack and with 61 minutes gone he timed his run past the last defender to shoot under the diving body of Williams.

Frater joined the fray two minutes from time and with his first touch went past Joshua Oyibo and was brought down from behind. Jay Davies’s spot kick was parried by Williams but Frater was perfectly placed on the edge of the area to convert the rebound.

Eynesbury Rovers made a winning return to the United Counties League Premier Division by beating Oadby Town despite having Darren Woodend red carded on the hour. Goals from Lee Bassett (two) and Stephen Smith enabled them to come from behind and win 3-1.

It was a mixed match for Sean Barker in St Neots Youth and Saints’ first game in the United Counties League Division One as he scored one but also received a red card as his side lost 3-2 to Rushden and Higham United. Tyler Prince scored the other for the Saints.

Saints played Chesham away last night, coming from 3-0 down to finish 3-3. They take on Weymouth at Rowley Park on Saturday. Eynesbury were at Wisbech last night, a game that finished 1-1 and will be on the road again on August 30 when they take on Sleaford.

Bourne Town travelled to the Youth side last night and drew 2-2, before Andy Davies’s men’s visit to Woodford United on Saturday.

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