NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Striker Nabil Shariff back doing what he does best as St Neots Town triumph at Banbury

Nabil Shariff celebrates in front of the travelling St Neots Town supporters at Banbury. Picture: CL

Nabil Shariff celebrates in front of the travelling St Neots Town supporters at Banbury. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Striker Nabil Shariff made a goalscoring return to St Neots Town as part of a performance that left boss Matt Clements purring.

Dylan Williams hits St Neots Town's third goal in their victory at Banbury. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Dylan Williams hits St Neots Town's third goal in their victory at Banbury. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Saints recorded their second win of the Southern League Premier Division Central season with a 3-1 triumph at Banbury last Saturday.

Two Shariff goals helped them to come from behind in the first half before Dylan Williams sealed the points in the second period.

Clements said: “It was a superb performance. The desire and accountability shown by the players were top class.

“We did the basics consistently well, we were frightening as an attacking force and Nabil provided that ruthlessness in front of goal that we had missed.

Johnny Herd took over as captain for St Neots Town's victory at Banbury with Luke Knight suspended.

Johnny Herd took over as captain for St Neots Town's victory at Banbury with Luke Knight suspended. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant


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“They excited me with the way they played and that’s the sort of football I love. I would have happily paid to watch us!

“It’s three wins on the spin in all competitions and that helps build confidence. I’m proud the players are again believing and seeing how good they are.”

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Clements rung the changes – many of them enforced – with five players coming into the side that triumphed against Bishop’s Stortford in the FA Cup the previous weekend.

Suspended skipper Luke Knight, unavailable defensive talisman Taylor, ill midfielder Harry O’Malley and injured striker Gary Wharton missed out along with goalkeeper Harry Reynolds, who made way for regular number one Finlay Iron.

Nabil Shariff was one of two St Neots Town players to hit the woodwork in their 0-0 draw against Hit

Nabil Shariff was one of two St Neots Town players to hit the woodwork in their 0-0 draw against Hitchin. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Shot-stopper Iron had been prevented from playing in the FA Cup the previous weekend by his parent club with midfielder Ben Worman, who also returned at Banbury in the same position. Shariff, James Peters and Dan Olaniran were others to come into the side.

Iron was beaten as Banbury hit the front in route one fashion after 17 minutes when Ravi Shamsi struck after Jack Self had flicked a long clearance from goalkeeper James Goff into his path.

Clements’ men weren’t in arrears for long as Shariff benefitted from the approach play of Claudio Ofosu and Dion Sembie-Ferris to level on the half-hour and the returning frontman struck again seven minutes later when darting between two defenders to convert a chipped Worman pass.

Shariff was also involved when Saints sealed the points with their third goal just before the hour. His cross was only cleared as far as Dylan Williams who placed a fine shot into the corner.

St Neots Town boss Matt Clements (left) with new assistant manager Jack Cassidy (right). Picture: CL

St Neots Town boss Matt Clements (left) with new assistant manager Jack Cassidy (right). Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Iron made good saves to keep out Ricky Johnson and Shamsi as Banbury attempted to respond before Shariff was denied a hat-trick by Goff, who spent part of last season as St Ives Town’s number one.

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