Saints slump to ninth home league defeat of season against Arlesey

Lewis Hilliard fires St Neots in front

Lewis Hilliard fires St Neots in front - Credit: Archant

FAILING to turn possession and chances into goals saw St Neots lose at home for the ninth time this season on Saturday.

Saints let a first-half lead slip away, killing off any remaining hopes of making the play-off places in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The side played well in the first half, with the midfield pairing of Junior Konadu and Adrian Sear seeing plenty of possession and creating plenty of chances in front of the Arlesey goal.

However, Saints, with Ed Adjei and Jai Davies up front, never looked to be causing enough problems for the Arlesey defence, despite all the hard work.

It was Arlesey who created the first opening after six minutes. Aston Goss drifted past the last defender to shoot across the face of goal.

After that the home side took control – Konadu, back in his familiar midfield role, dominated play setting up Davies who had a volley saved and then putting in Jordy Nkinga who shot over the bar.

The goal game after 18 minutes following a foul by St Neots old boy Ollie Thorne, who picked up a yellow for upending Sear. From the free-kick Lewis Hilliard curled the ball past Nathan Abbey and into the corner of the net.

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Five minutes later a great cross from Ryan Auger gave Ed Adjei a chance but his header went wide of the post.

Arlesey showed that they were still a threat on a quick break – Nathan Koranteng cleared off the St Neots goal line.

But Abbey was by far the busier keeper, saving from Adjei and Hilliard.

The introduction of Chris Marsh at the start of the second half gave Arlesey more purpose. Again Saints cleared off their own goalline – this time Sear cleared from Christopher Dillon with keep Jack Giddens beaten.

Both Davies and Koranteng had sight of the Arsley goal, but shot wide.

Then, after 54 minutes, a well crafted goal saw Arlesey draw level. Full-back Shane Blackett crossed for Dillon to score with a header.

A minute later and Saints thought they had regained the lead. A superb throughball by Konadu picked out Adjei who put the ball in the net only for the effort to be ruled offside.

The deciding goal came in the 75th minute when a long clearance from Abbey was chased wide on the left by Drew Roberts whose cross/shot deceived Giddens and went past him into the far corner of the net.

Saints have scored just eight goals in their last six matches – four of which came against relegated Kettering.

St Neots v Arlesey: Giddens, Auger, Nkinga, Sear, Lee, Hoyte, Adjei, Konadu, Hilliard, Davies, Koranteng.

Subs: Meech (for Nkinga 68 mins), Da Costa (for Koranteng 77 mins), Wood, Sharman and Conroy.