St Neots Town improve massively to claim deserved point against Berkhamsted
- Credit: KARYN HADDON
St Neots Town’s best performance for several weeks afforded them a deserved share of the points in a 1-1 draw with high-flying Berkhamsted.
The Hertfordshire side were hoping for a victory that would have taken them back to the top of the Southern League Division One entral table but in the end they were fortunate to leave the New Rowley Park with a share of the points.
Only their finishing let St Neots Town down but with Neo Richard-Noel and Joe Rider both injured, they went into the game without a recognised striker.
If the visitors had imagined that this would be a routine victory over a struggling side, it did not take long for this notion to disappear.
St Neots adopted a defiant attacking policy from the start with visiting keeper Xavier Comas-Leon having to save an early Charlie Johnson header from a Charley Barker corner.
Aaron Smith then saw a net-bound shot blocked by a defender and Joshua Green, making only his second start, also tested the keeper.
At the other end Berko saw a Cheyce Grant volley sail harmlessly over the bar and there were only five minutes remaining in the first half when the visitors built their first credible attack.
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Alie Bangura broke on the right only to see his effort rebound from the woodwork, but before St Neots regained possession, a searing 25-yard effort by Grant flew into the net for a 1-0 lead.
After Barker had sent St Neots’ first shot of the second period over the crossbar, the hosts deservedly levelled the scores on 56 minutes, skipper Lee Watkins netting his third league goal of the campaign after good work by the Marsh-Brown brothers.
That seemed to boost St Neots’ confidence and in the next five minutes they squandered a golden opportunity when the unmarked Kwai Marsh-Brown fired over the bar from 10 yards and Wynford Marfo then was only inches wide of the far post with an angled effort.
Briefly the visitors threatened with Louis Chadwick having to dive bravely at the feet of Lewis Toomey and substitute Jordan Frederick shot wide.
Watkins almost doubled his goals tally with a shot that beat the visiting keeper and the far post as well and then Robbie Goodman brought down Myles Cowling on his way forward and was booked.
The lively Kai Marsh-Brown had a shot parried and Barker should have scored but shot over the bar.
Both defences cleared off the line in a lively finish, substitute Dequaine Wilson-Braithwaite saving St Neots, and Ryan KInnane denying Marfo at the other end.