Football: Poor first half costs St Ives
UCL Premier Division St Ives Town 0 Northampton Spencer 2 A DREADFUL first 45 minutes inflicted irreparable damage at Westwood Road for the home side, as they slumped to defeat against Northampton. Assistant manager, Jez Hall, said: It was one of the mos
UCL Premier Division
St Ives Town 0 Northampton Spencer 2
A DREADFUL first 45 minutes inflicted irreparable damage at Westwood Road for the home side, as they slumped to defeat against Northampton.
Assistant manager, Jez Hall, said: "It was one of the most disappointing 45 minutes of football in the last four years, and in front of a big crowd."
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After an initial period of pressure and half chances, the hosts went behind on the half hour and then conceded again just before the interval.
"We can't really put our finger on what went wrong. It was a better second half but still not brilliant.
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"We've got Liam Kennett back in the squad for Saturday against Stotfold and we just have to forget about the Northampton game and move on," added Hall.
Cogenhoe 1 St Neots Tn 0
COGENHOE inflicted the season double over Saints, by the same margin as the reverse fixture, in a closely contested game with little to choose between the two sides.
The balance was arguably tipped eight minutes into the second half when Saints defender Damien Matthews received a second yellow, for a challenge just outside the Saints penalty area, his first yellow coming only minutes earlier for dissent.
Player-manager Steve Kuhne took the option to drop back into Matthews' vacated position leaving Gary Walker as the lone striker for the remainder of the second half.
Saints were unlucky not to take the lead as early as two minutes into the game, when Jason Darvall was just inches short of making contact at the back post from a Mark Franklin cross.
Saints keeper, Steve Young, thwarted Cogenhoe's first good chance of the game with a superb diving save to deny Darren Collins.
Ironically, the visitor's better chances of the game came during the second half while down to ten men.
But unfortunately on a day when the overall team performance was good, the finishing was well below par with both Gary Walker and Mark Franklin squandering excellent chances that probably should have allowed the Saints to go home with maximum points.
The goal that condemned Saints was not pretty but it was good enough to give them the three points.
A hopeful cross found its way through the Saints defence and hit the base of the post. The resultant rebound almost magnetically drew itself to the only Cogenhoe player in the area, Darren Collins, who slammed it home from close range, with only minutes left on the clock.
This was a cruel blow for Town, and a draw would probably have been a fairer result.