Bannister seals Vase glory

F.A. Vase Long Melford 0 St Neots 2 LIFE on the road took a turn in the right direction as St Neots FC made the pressure pay as they defeated Long Melford to progress to the next round of the FA Vase. After dominating the first hour without scoring St Ne

F.A. Vase

Long Melford 0 St Neots 2

LIFE on the road took a turn in the right direction as St Neots FC made the pressure pay as they defeated Long Melford to progress to the next round of the FA Vase.

After dominating the first hour without scoring St Neots Manager Marvin Johnson made an inspired double substitution sending on Jon Hall for Nathan Eno and Jamie Steele for Pete Okechukwu and between them the substitutes contrived to turn a frustrating afternoon into a place in the next round.

St Neots were cheered on by a large following of supporters who had travelled on a specially commissioned coach and they must have thought that Saints had taken a 26 minute lead when Luke Knight netted but the effort was ruled out for off-side. The home keeper was kept busy as Matt Bannister and Declan Rodgers went close in the first half. Dean McElroy was given plenty of freedom and after a weak header was saved he then hit the bar when he looked certain to score.

Johnson's men had played well without reward in the first half and it was more of the same in the second period. McElroy went close again before Johnson rang the changes. Almost immediately Hall sent a rising shot just beyond the far post and after another smart move down the left Jamie Steele had the ball in the net but was penalised for a foul on the goalkeeper. From another Jon Hall cross the ball was not cleared and the hard working Matt Bannister opened the scoring with just 11 minutes remaining. The goal knocked any remaining resistance out of the host side and with four minutes left a pinpoint cross by Hall picked out the head of Steele and he claimed his first St Neots goal to clinch the victory. Johnson said afterwards: "It was just reward for hard work, we fully deserved the win as once again we had the greater share of the play"

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n Saints have a tough trip to Blackstones on Saturday.

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