St Neots Town’s under-18s end their season with win over Eynesbury Rovers in the Gayton Cup

Young Saints

Young Saints - Credit: Archant

ST Neots Town’s impressive under-18s added the Gayton Cup to the club’s haul of silverware this season when they defeated Eynesbury Rovers 2-0 with a goal in each half.

GOING IN: Karl Safee scores the opener for St Neots Town.

GOING IN: Karl Safee scores the opener for St Neots Town. - Credit: Archant

The match took place at Eynesbury’s home ground with both sides winners of the competition in the previous two years – but from the off it looked like the visitors were the favourites this time around.

After ten minutes, the Saints’ captain, Ryan Sharman, was fouled, and from his free kick a close range header by Dion Sembie-Ferris was scrambled away by a defender and the goalkeeper Christian Duddridge.

A cross by Jamie Massey was then deflected for a corner as St Neots applied further pressure with the breakthrough coming on 18 minutes when full back Junior Moya joined the attack to cross the ball for leading scorer Karl Safee to score with an off-balance left-footed shot that took a slight deflection on its way in.

Eynesbury made two early first-half substitutions in a bid to add some impetus and one of them – Liam Dawson – registered their first real attempt on goal, a shot that Josh Banthorpe saved comfortably.

In the latter stages of the first half, St Neots created a string of openings with Sharman heading over the bar and a Safee effort saved at the second attempt.

Eynesbury broke away and their best chance of the half came from a defensive misunderstanding which left Dawson with an open goal – but he delayed his shot and Massey got back to clear.

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The half ended with Duddridge making a fine save from an effort by Sharman.

Sharman was prominent again, sending St Neots’ first second half chance over the bar and setting up Sembie-Ferris at the far post for a header that went wide.

More ‘rolling’ substitutions followed and play became ragged.

Defensively, St Neots looked secure and confident with Dan Tousaint-Jackson firmly in control and goalkeeper Josh Banthorpe hardly tested.

Safee sent a shot just wide and the best second-half move saw Connor Leneghan, Jake Leonce and Sharman all involved in a move that set up Sharman for a volley that beat Duddrigde but passed just the wrong side of the far post.

There were just eight minutes remaining when St Neots scored the clinching goal with a Leonce corner finding the head of Sharman – and the ball flying into the net from his towering header.