St Neots beaten by Welling Town but pre-season still proving promising
- Credit: DAVID RICHARDSON/RICH IN VIDEO
The latest pre-season friendly didn't go to plan but it has still been a positive few weeks for St Neots Town.
Saints hosted Welling Town of the Southern Counties East Premier Division and succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.
Manager Pete Gill utilised the depths of their signings to give all players the chance to stake their claim as he ponders whittling the squad down ahead of the new season.
His starting line-up contained only three players who had featured last season with several making their first appearance in a St Neots shirt.
A low-key affair in the first half brought just one shot on goal, Carl Oblitey well placed to rap the ball beyond the dive of George Whitehall and give Welling a 1-0 lead.
St Neots began the second half showing a more positive approach and Miles Cowling was only narrowly wide from 30 yards following a corner that was not cleared.
Welling replied with James Miles forcing a smart save from St Neots’ second-half goalkeeper Louis Chadwick and they also hit the bar through Alex Nelson.
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Multiple changes on the hour by Gill brought a noticeable improvement.
Within a minute Joe Rider had seen his close-range shot deflect off a post and then Wynford Marfo powered through the defence to set up Rider, but his second effort only found the side netting.
The equaliser wasn't long in coming though and Marfo again began the move that sliced the visiting defence wide open, Joe Sutton confidently claiming his third pre-season goal.
It wasn't enough though and after Chadwick had made a brave save at the feet of Oblitey, Miles snatched a winner for Welling after a goalmouth scramble in the final minute.
Four days earlier it had been a much-more comfortable outing for St Neots as they won 3-0 at home to Haverhill Rovers.
Once again, the Cambridge contingent of players were unavailable and the performance would have given manager Gill more questions.
All the goals came in the second half.
Four minutes after the restart Ayinde Salimon''s cross-cum shot sailed over the head of the keeper to open the scoring and only the woodwork prevented him from doubling his tally
Florium Tsaguim was the one to finally make it 2-0 and Lawrence Hammond's crisp finish late on rounded off the victory.