St Neots Defeated in Final Rowley Park Game
UCL Premier DivisionSt Neots Town 2 Sleaford Town 3SAINTS would have been hoping to close the doors of Rowley Park with a win on Saturday but visitors Sleaford spoiled the party. In particular, visiting goalkeeper Lee Crocket had a fine game in an incid
UCL Premier Division
St Neots Town 2 Sleaford Town 3
SAINTS would have been hoping to close the doors of Rowley Park with a win on Saturday but visitors Sleaford spoiled the party.
In particular, visiting goalkeeper Lee Crocket had a fine game in an incident-packed farewell to the St Neots ground.
Saints could have grabbed a win with the number of chances presented to them but Sleaford played their part in the entertainment and refused to shut up shop even when leading 3-1.
New Saints boss Marvin Johnson was forced to ring the changes with three regulars suspended. Recent signing Craig Rydeheard made a good start to life at St Neots with a sound display on the left and Luke Swain made his senior debut after his heroics in the Scott Gatty Cup Final last week - see back page.
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Early action saw another debutant, Dean Hamilton, shoot narrowly wide and Dean McElroy had a shot clear of the line as the home side dominated proceedings.
After just seven minutes recalled Dave Fisk crashed home the opening goal from fully 35 yards for his first strike since day one of the season.
Saints kept Sleaford on the back foot for long periods and it wasn't until the 25th minute that the visitors had a sight of goal. Two chances were created in quick succession but both were snuffed out by the alert home defence.
Barrington Belgrave then had a great chance to double the lead after good work by Hoggett, Fisk and McElroy but Crockett pulled off a good save.
On 38 minutes the Lincolnshire side equalised through Jamie Shaw, who burst through at pace and planted his shot past Jon Chatfield for a well-taken goal.
Rydeheard had a couple of chances to restore the advantage before the break but it was that man Crockett who made sure the scores stay level.
The game took a turn in the wrong direction for Johnson's men within 15 minutes of the restart. Quickly out of the blocks, Sleaford's Shaw smashed in a 30-yard effort after only eight minutes and this was followed five minutes later when a Matt Hodgkin free kick seemed to go through the wall and leave Chatfield stranded.
Sleaford continued to play an open game which presented St Neots with chances to pull goals back and Ben Cole found space to flick in a superb headed goal to reduce the deficit with 20 minutes left.
Swain, Belgrave and Cole all seemed certain to score in the final minutes but Crockett in the visitors goal was in the form of his life and continued to deny the hosts right up until the final whistle.