IT was billed as the return of Stefan Moore but in the end it turned out to be more memorable for the excellent job done on the former St Neots Town striker by one of Iain Parr’s new breed.
It was Jordy Nkinga who stole the limelight from the ex-Saint, who left the club earlier this season for Leamington, when he marked Moore more-or-less out of the game – but ultimately, that meant little with the Southern League leaders scoring the only goal of the game midway through the second half to take all three points.
Coach Andy Davies was highly complimentary of the defender’s performance. “Stefan was starting to pick out little pockets and cause us a few problems, but I think Jordy was fantastic – he coped with Stef Magnificently, he man-marked him really.”
Following their tepid performance against Frome Town the previous week, Parr had acted by bringing in goalkeeper Niall Conroy from St Ives Town and striker Dubi Ogbonna who had been released by Wisbech Town.
Conroy, of course, was never going to start this game, his job now is to oust Jack Giddens from the number one shirt, but it was a bit of a surprise that Parr didn’t begin with Ogbonna up front, instead giving young Kyle Asante another chance to prove himself alongside main man Ben Mackey.
And in the first half, things looked good with Lewis Hilliard just missing the target and Lawrie Walker making saves from Jay Davies and Dan Jacob.
For Leamington, Jamie Hood should have done better than find the side netting with his shot, while Saint Jamie Sage saw his header saved in the 45th minute.
In the second half, Leamington pushed deeper and this is when Nkinga had to work hard to stop Moore coming into the game.
Despite the defender’s best efforts, though – others in blue shirts weren’t quite as on the ball, and this is what disappointment Parr.
“We had such a positive first half – but when we haven’t got the ball we tend to get in areas and wait to attack, it’s like two different games,” said the manager.
“At half time we told them to manage the game because we had done so well and I thought it would be pretty difficult to replicate that for another 45 minutes ... we stood up to the test really well.”
But the goal, when it came, was a floating cross from Richard Batchelor which Giddens misjudged tand let creep under his crossbar.
“I was disappointed with the result because I thought we did deserve something from the game today – and I was disappointed by the goal which I thought was an out-and-out free kick which was missed by the referee,” added the St Neots manager.
“It wasn’t to be today.”
St Neots: Jack Giddens, Ryan Auger, Jamie Sage, Adrian Sear (Theo Davis), Jordy Nkinga, Gavin Hoyte, Jay Davies, Lewis Hilliard, Kyle Asante (Dubi Ogbonna), Ben Mackey, Dan Jacob.