09 November 2014


One totally unnecessary first half moment of madness effectively condemned St Neots to their third home reversal of the season as Truro returned home with their first victory over the Saints in four meetings.  
            It was the same old story as St Neots recovered to totally boss the second half hitting the crossbar and seeing two shots cleared off the line but the superbly drilled visiting defence held out under constant pressure and in the final minute of the game Truro mounted their only second half attack to twist the knife with a second goal.  
            However with hindsight there was not too much to criticise in St Neots overall performance for they created enough second half chances to have won the game at a canter but they were denied any reward by a combination of bad luck, good defending and at times indifferent finishing.   
            For the second time in recent matches St Neots started with an unchanged line up and there was the encouraging sight of striker Chris Dillon on the bench alongside recent addition to the squad Tom Ward. Truro’s second half tactics of conceding space and inviting St Neots to find their way through their packed defence as they ‘parked the bus’ worked a charm and St Neots must quickly learn their way through this obstacle if they are to taste serious success this season.
            Both sides could have scored in the first three minutes as the unmarked Matt Spring headed wide as he met a Ben Ford cross and play quickly moved to the other end where Matt Wright was played clear but the approaching Paul Bastock out of his area did enough to force him to place his shot at the unguarded goal a yard wide. St Neots then settled quickly despite the driving rain and both Lewis Hilliard and Nathan Frater found the side netting after good work both times by Drew Roberts. Dave Deeney then headed wide from a Spring corner and Roberts contrived to blast wide after a Spring free kick had been spilled by Charlie Burns. On the break Wright saw a close range effort smothered by Bastock but after 21 minutes disaster struck.
            Dribbling away from goal Jay Davies spurned several chances of playing a short pass to a colleague eventually giving the ball to the experienced Barry Hayles.   He looked up and sent a perfectly weighted pass for Craig Duff to run clear and beat Bastock with a low drive. St Neots were finding it difficult to utilise the wind in their favour with too many forward passes going straight to the goalkeeper although Hilliard did get the ball in the net after a slick three man move only to be ruled offside.   As the rain ceased the wind abated and strangely the pace of the match dropped and there were few further significant chances before the break.
            From the start of the second half the Truro tactics were apparent. They conceded space with ten players behind the ball as St Neots attacked and were clearly bent on sitting on their narrow advantage. Faced with almost all the possession St Neots was unable to press home their advantage although chances came and went. A Drew Roberts header from a Josh Bickerstaff cross was well saved by Burns and then the excellent visiting centre half Rob Farkins was perfectly placed to hack the ball off the line when Nathan Frater’s shot had beaten Burns. Truro further stiffened their defensive formation pulling off Hayles who had been their only second half attacker and then the unlucky Frater saw his shot go over the keeper but land on top of the crossbar.
            Substitute Lorenzo Ferrari, on for Ford, was quickly in the thick of the action seeing Ed Palmer block his close range shot and after 76 minutes St Neots looked to have levelled when Burns was beaten by a shot from Roberts but once again Farkins was on the line to clear and keep the Truro goal intact.
            In the last eleven minutes St Neots threw everything into attack sending on substitute Chris Dillon for his first appearance since his injury on 9th August but despite having three up front it was all in vain. Ironically two Truro substitutes combined for the late second goal as Les Afful set up Cody Cook with the St Neots defence absent.
St Neots: Bastock, York, Bickerstaff, Ford, Deeney, Hoyte, Davies, Spring, Nolan, Roberts, Hilliard
Subs: Ferrari (for Ford 71), Dillon (for Deeney 79), Cracknell, Farrell ands Ward.
Cards:  none
Goals:  none
Truro:  Burns, Pugh, Brett, Ash, Farkins, Palmer, White, Lowry, Wright Hayles, Duff
Subs:   Cook (for Hayles 63), Afful (for Duff 83), Green (for Wright 83), Tully and Moore.
Cards:  Ash (Y – 62), Lowry (Y – 83)
Goals:  Duff (21 mins), Cook (90 mins)
Attendance: 299
Referee: Nigel Phillips (Witchford, Ely)

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