ST Neots Town manager Iain Parr has added two players to his St Neots Town squad following the team’s 1-0 defeat at home to Frome Town on Saturday.
After signing striker Dubi Ogbonna following the player’s release from Eastern Counties side Wisbech Town, the club confirmed on Tuesday Tuesday that it had tempted goalkeeper Niall Conroy to move from Westwood Road.
The signing of Ogbonna could be viewed as a risk, considering the player left his former club under a cloud last week, but Parr told The Hunts Post: “He’s been at a lot of clubs but it’s time for him to settle down. Maybe St Neots is the perfect club for him to do that at.”
Ogbonna was the leading goalscorer at Wisbech and featured for the club in their two matches against St Ives Town in the FA Vase. He is a tricky and pacy forward who should prosper alongside Ben mackey at the club. As long as he fits in.
On his decision to release the 21-year-old, Wisbech manager Steve Appleby told The Hunts Post’s sister paper The Cambs Times: “Dubi is a very talented footballer who could no doubt play higher if he applied himself better. He’s a colourful character, but very individual and I’ve decided that it’s time for us to go our separate ways.
“Another factor in the decision was that all three lads haven’t attended training when required. They have only turned up to one of the last four sessions, which is unacceptable.”
Ogbonna will get his debut in Kettering tonight before making his home debut against the league leaders Leamington on Saturday.
Leamington, of course, is the club that Stefan Moore joined after leaving St Neots recently. They might be top and favourites for the title, but they lost 6-0 to Barwell on Saturday – and Parr believes that result just about sums up the Premier. “That result was typical of this league,” he said. “Anyone can beat anyone on their day.”
Conroy’s decision to leave St Ives for St Neots is not surprising considering the 20-year-old had lost his place to Nick Bennion this season.
The goalkeeper said: “I am gutted to be leaving St Ives as I have made so many good friends there and I have genuinely enjoyed my time and have some very fond memories too, especially in the FA Vase,”
Joint manager at St Ives, Jez Hall, said: “It’s a shame to see him leave, but when a good club two levels higher wants you, you need to go.”
Given the vitality of their performance against Chesham United the previous Tuesday, St Neots 1-0 defeat at home to Frome on Saturday was a setback and somewhat surprising.
Frome, all the way from Somerset, had not won a game since Christmas, yet capitalised on yet another defensive error from the Saints to score early on, and never looked troubled from then on.
What the Saints did well to win 3-1 against Chesham, they hardly did at all just four days later.
“We were beaten by a team that simply wanted it more,” said Parr. “We had more possession but only created a few chances and got what we deserved.
“As much as we were good on Tuesday, we were poor today.
“We learn from it, put it to one side and move on quickly to Wednesday night.”
And so to Kettering Town, where St Neots should be able to pick up three points from the Southern League Premier Division strugglers – but which St Neots will turn up?
On Saturday Ben Mackey and Craig Calver were given scant service and only late on, in the final minute in fact, did the team go close to breaking through when substitute Kyle Assante almost turned a powerful ball into the box goalwards. In the end, it slammed into the hoardings behind the goal and the game was done.
Mackey needs a supply line and Calver a break – he certainly didn’t deserve some of the criticism brandished at him from behind the goal in the second half. Jack Giddens, the St Neots goalkeeper, was also the target of what can only be described as abuse.
It seems the natives are getting restless at The Cozy Stadium. Perhaps the introduction of Ogbonna will help out in that regard.