Blackstones 2 St Neots Town 2
Saturday, 12 January 2008
An entertaining Lincoln Road contest saw Stones remain undefeated on home territory and the Saints unbeaten on their travels.
St Neots made the brighter start with Paul Sheehan's goalline clearance thwartung Jon Hoggett and home keeper Ian Flavell tipping over a Danny Marlow shot from the edge of the box.
As Stones got into the game, Liam Harrold's well struck effort was deflected to safety by Steve Dogbe.
The home side took the lead after 23 minutes when Dan Cotton's corner from the left was glanced in by Phil Stebbing.
Luigi Rocco put a free header wide as St Neots responded, but Blackstones went further in front a minute past the half hour.
Cotton's free kick round the wall was parried by Jon Chatfield who recovered well to keep out Ross Watson's follow up, but the keeper was helpless as Stebbing lashed home the loose ball.
A good spell for Stones saw Luke Kennedy volley wide from a Watson knockback while Harrold was unable to get a telling touch on Stebbing's pass.
Two minutes before the break St Neots were back in the game. Debutant Dean McElroy broke forward on the right and his clever ball in behind the home defence found Rocco all alone to volley home.
The Saints had a let off in the dying seconds of the half. Stebbing took a return ball from Harrold to break clear but after rounding Chatfield he was unable to keep his shot down.
A lively start to the second period saw both sides create openings. Danny Marlow glanced a header over the visitors from a Rocco corner while at the other end Watson was unable to convert a Stebbing pass.
A flying header from Kevin Byrne drew a reaction save from Flavell while Dogbe volleyed wide from a visiting corner.
A Luke Kennedy cross gave Stebbing a chance to complete his hat trick only for Chatfield to save.
As the half wore on St Neots forced Blackstones back into defence. Byrne was off target with an acrobatic volley but three minutes from time he made no mistake, controlling Mark Franklin's chipped free kick into the box and turning to fire into the roof of the net.
St Neots almost snatched victory after 89 minutes but veteran striker Steve Kuhne was unable to keep his shot down.
Blackstones: Ian Flavell, Robbie Blowers, Trevor Smith (Andy Boome), Paul Sheehan, Richard Jones, Ross Watson, Dan Cotton (Ross Nicholls), Luke Kennedy, Liam Harrold (Richie Bond), Phil Stebbing, Kevin Ainslie.
St Neots: Jon Chatfield, Dean McElroy, Paul Bloss, Steve Dogbe, Mark Burrows, Jon Hoggett, Dave Fisk (Mark Franklin), Danny Marlow, Luigi Rocco (Luke Maitland), Kevin Byrne, Ryam Francis (Steve Kuhne).