Three penalties and three points for Neots

IT WAS a game of three penalties – one converted and two missed – as St Neots Town came through a patchy second-half performance to claim three points.

UCL Premier Division

Deeping Rangers 0

St Neots Town 1

IT WAS a game of three penalties – one converted and two missed – as St Neots Town came through a patchy second-half performance to claim three points.


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Rob Hughes’ spot kick on the stroke of half time was enough for a win that maintained the Saints perfect start to the season, but a second-half fightback from Deeping had Neots nerves jangling.

Neots had by far the better of the first half, dominating possession and pinning Deeping back. Only wasteful finishing prevented them establishing a lead sooner.

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Early chances for Dan Chillingworth and Lee Bassett, scorer in the 1-0 midweek win at Desborough, were passed up but Dan Jacob asked questions continually on the Neots left.

As the Neots dominance grew, Deeping began to show their frustration and manager Pat Howard was eventually sent from the dugout by the referee.

For all their possession, the Saints lacked the killer touch in front of goal as they picked the wrong option or were denied by desperate defence.

They saw a penalty shout waved away by the unsighted referee, before Lewis Hilliard twice went close.

Luke McShane was kept on his toes by occasional Deeping efforts, but it was the ex-Saints stopper in the Deeping goal who nearly gifted his former team a goal. Lee Crocket lost track of the ball in a goalmouth scramble and watched as it trickled agonisingly wide.

In first-half stoppage time, Neots were presented their first goal seemingly on a plate when Glen Fuff was bundled over and the clinical Hughes put them ahead.

After a halftime rocket, Deeping shot out the blocks in the second half, putting Neots under pressure. They forced a penalty 10 minutes in when Des Byrne handled in the box, but Mitchell Griffiths’ effort was easily saved by McShane.

A torrential downpour made the game scrappy, though Neots won another penalty when Bassett was pushed. Hughes could not repeat his first-half effort, seeming to change his mind in the run-up and offering Crockett a simple save.

Late interceptions from Glen Fuff kept the Neots clean sheet intact, and helped the Saints hold on for the points.

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