NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Derby delight for St Neots Town as they see off the 10 men of St Ives Town in Huntingdonshire showdown
- Credit: Archant
The Huntingdonshire bragging rights belong to St Neots Town.
Matt Clements’ side beat local rivals St Ives Town in a hastily re-arranged Southern League Premier Division derby clash last Thursday night. It had initially been scheduled for - and postponed on - Easter Monday.
The hosts triumphed 3-1 at the Premier Plus Stadium to snap a run of five matches without a victory and condemn their struggling set of fellow Saints to an eighth defeat in nine games.
St Neots battled to earn a point in the reverse fixture back in January despite playing more than an hour with 10 men, but it was St Ives who suffered a first-half dismissal on this occasion as recent signing Lewis Leslie collected two cautions in the space of three minutes.
St Neots were already ahead by then thanks to an early opener from player-coach David Bridges who pounced to finish from close range after a Dylan Williams shot was diverted into his path by Tom Meechan.
Meechan, making the first appearance of his third spell as a St Neots player, then fired another opportunity over before Tom Wood saw a volley blocked on the line.
But the hosts were soon left with a numerical advantage to accompany their lead as Leslie was yellow-carded for a tackle on Williams before receiving his marching orders after a rash challenge on Luke Knight.
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Contact appeared to be minimal for the second indiscretion, but referee Oliver Mackey still deemed it sufficient to reduce the visitors to 10 men and it was no surprise as St Neots soon doubled their lead.
Nabil Shariff struck for the third time in five matches when converting a Jordan Norville-Williams cut-back five minutes before the break - and provider turned goalscorer as Clements’ men sealed the points early in the second period.
Teenage Cambridge United loanee Norville-Williams opened his St Neots account with a speculative 30-yard shot which crept under the body of the diving St Ives goalkeeper Tim Trebes.
That strike could have been the signal for the floodgates to open, but it instead took much of the sting out of the game and the only other breakthrough was a late St Ives consolation as Danny Kelly classily struck with three minutes to go.
Kelly was the beneficiary of a fine run and pass from Dubi Ogbonna as he found the net for the first time in almost seven months, but the result had long since been put beyond doubt.