Workmanlike Saints hit four at Bedworth to progress to the next round of the Trophy
- Credit: Archant
St Neots Town took advantage of a red card to claim a 4-1 win at Bedworth United and move into the next round of the FA Trophy.
They had taken a lead in the dying moments of the first-half, Ryan Robbins with a penalty for his fourth in three games, but the hosts levelled after the break, even following Reece Blackmore’s dismissal.
However, three goals in the final 15 minutes, two within a minute of each other, was enough to give them the victory.
The opening 25 minutes were dour with neither side able to claim the initiative and neither goalkeeper tested.
Bedworth lost striker Luke Keen to an early injury and they failed to create a clear opening in the first half.
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Ben Worman had a close-range effort smothered and in the 10 minutes before the break, the St Neots defence came under some pressure without ever really being in danger.
But just when the first half seemed likely to end in stalemate, the lively Lee Watkins was shoved in the back by Philip Bilson and Robbins stepped up to confidently despatch the penalty kick.
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The second half began with Worman shooting narrowly over the bar and Bedworth having a goal ruled out because of offside.
The key moment in the game came on 56 minutes. Blackmore ignored a whistle and then saw red after words towards the official.
In the past, and most notably earlier this season at Yaxley, Saints have struggled when facing 10 men and must have feared the worst when Bedworth defiantly levelled with a powerful finish from striker Mitchell Piggon.
But on this occasion they rolled their sleeves up and just 12 minutes after his introduction for the limping Robbins, Sam Gomersall restored the lead with a well-placed finish after impressive approach play by Worman.
A minute later and it was three, Arel Amu punishing a poor defensive clearance with his fourth goal in three games.
That relaxed the visitors and they played some impressive football for the remainder of the game, keeping the ball from their hosts and crafting chances.
Andrew Walklate produced a stunning save to deny Worman but it was just a temporary respite as the final word came two minutes from time with Liam Bennett scoring through a low shot for the visitor’s fourth.
St Neots Town: Whitehall, Bennett, Battersby, Wilson-Braithwaite, Dickens, Goode, Watkins, Smith (Cowling 89), Robbins (Gomersall 63), Amu, Worman
Sub (not used): Corr.
Goals: Robbins (pen) 45+2, Gomersall 75, Amu 76, Bennett 88.
Booked: Bennett 30, Wilson-Braithwaite 32, Dickend 62.
Bedworth United: Walklate, Bilson, Steele, Parrott, Barnett, Mulders, John, Blackmore, Piggon, Keen, Blythe
Subs: Deards (for Keen 15 mins), Walton (for Bilson 58 mins), Dawson (for Piggon 72 mins), Moore, Truslove, Rowe, and Templeton
Goal: Piggon 65.
Sent-off: Blackmore 56.
HT: Bedworth United 0 St Neots Town 1
Referee: Scott Chalkley (Birmingham)