NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: A night that promised much only delivers a heavy home defeat as St Neots Town remain in the Southern League Premier Division drop-zone
- Credit: Archant
St Neots Town failed in their mission to jump out of the Southern League Premier Division relegation zone last night.
A piece of sheer individual brilliance, which deserved to dominate headlines, was reduced to a distant memory as Saints succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Banbury United.
But they did hit the front in spectacular style at the Premier Plus Stadium as recalled midfielder Rogan McGeorge displayed terrific vision and quality to score from close to the halfway line after spotting visiting goalkeeper Jack Harding in no man’s land.
It was a moment of genius and the lead it provided was no more than a Saints side, missing their first-choice central defensive pairing of Tom Ward (only fit enough to be a substitute) and Taylor Parr (suspended) along with injured striker Sam Mulready, deserved following a smart start.
Jonny Hall was a whisker away from a second goal before Declan Rogers fired an excellent chance to double the advantage straight at Harding with his weaker right foot.
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But Banbury gradually grew into the game before turning it around with two goals in the final nine minutes of the opening half.
Eddie Odhiambo levelled before Jack Self slotted the visitors ahead on the stroke of the interval with both players given far too much freedom in the penalty area.
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Saints again looked threatening as the second half followed a similar pattern to the first - but without a home goal.
James Hall guided a glorious opportunity to level straight at goalkeeper Harding after skipper Micky Hyem had seized possession and delivered a pinpoint cross.
McGeorge unleashed another ambitious effort which didn’t catch Harding napping while wideman Tom Spark twice tested the Banbury number one from range before making way for French debutant Nassim L’Ghoul.
And while the Gallic wideman possessed the fastest feet inside the Premier Plus Stadium, and a smart set of skills to go with them, following his introduction just after the hour, it was another substitute who settled the contest.
That man was Banbury replacement George Jeacock who bagged a brace following his introduction.
He shrugged aside two Saints defenders before steering his first effort past goalkeeper Alex Archer with a quarter-of-an-hour to go.
And Jeacock was then left unattended to head in an 85th minute rebound after Zac Eachran had slammed a shot against the bar.
The final scoreline was undoubtedly harsh on Saints, who could certainly have done without their goal difference, which keeps them in the danger zone, taking such a hit.
St Neots travel to Redditch this Saturday.