Saint’s Ruing Missed Chances Again
St Neot will be ruing, yet again, their inability to convert chances in what transpired to be an enthralling encounter last night at the Callywith College.
New signing Jack Bartlett, after 3 years out of the game, started on the bench for Saints, but Adam Blaxley, who expected to be with him, was handed a surprise start in goal by manager Adam Bainbridge.
Lanivet came out of the blocks with clear intent. The Saints defence were taken a little aback by the ferocity of the attacking play, but managed to steady themselves. Blaxley in the Saints goal, put in an admirable performance. Blaxley isn’t a goalkeeper by trade, but by the time O’Regan, his relief , (and Saints first choice keeper) arrived, he managed to thwart a number of Lanivet chances, and hand over to O’Regan leaving in his wake a clean sheet and a steady ship.
Dissapointly shortly after O’Regan took overbetween the sticks, Lanivet got their goal. The Lanivet forwards managed to pull apart the Saints defence, just enough for them to take a shot. O’Regan, unsighted by a number of his own defenders, was too late to see the ‘worm burner’ of a strike fly past his left hand side and nestle in the bottom of the Saints goal.
With 10 minutes until half time, St. Neot took the fight to Lanivet. A number of chances went begging, including a headed shot from Saints defender Adam King, that was cleared off the line by the Lanivet man on the far post.
Scott Corson out on the Saints right, had a quiet game by his usual standards, but a moment of skill and perseverance allowed him to get around one defender and draw another to him, allowing a perfectly placed cross to reach Crowle who was one on one with the keeper. Crowle’s lofted shot was destined for the back of the net, until the keeper stuck his arm straight up to tip the ball over the net and save the equaliser.
The second half was a tight, and equally matched affair. Saints, chasing the equaliser played some of the best passing football they had ever played.
It was 15 minutes from time that the intricate passing paid off. Bartlett drifted out to the right wing, and put a ball to the box. Only he will be able to tell us whether it was a cross or a shot, but the resultant flight of the ball was falling just behind the keeper. Slightly off balance the Lanivet keeper attempted to, as he had done in the first half, tip the ball over his cross bar, but thankfully for Saints fans, was able to push it on to the inside of his cross bar and in.
Manager Bainbridge, probing the Lanivet defensive frailties with astute tactical switches placed midfielder Nathan Berry up top. A sublime ball over the top of the Lanivet defence saw Berry race clear of his marker to be one on one with the keeper, only to be denied a goal by some fine keeping.
St. Neot Starting line-up:
BLAXLEY, KING, GERMAN, DAVY, CORSON, KEEN, ELDRIDGE, BERRY, BRYANT, GRAHAM, KEMP.
CROWLE, BARTLETT, O’REGAN, BANYARD
St. Neot MoM: BLAXLEY