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ST NEOTS TOWN Kettering Town FC ISSUE 16: THE OFFICIAL MATCHDAY MAGAZINE The Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

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WELCOME The Poppies will always have a place in our history Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the Premier Plus Stadium, home of St Neots Town Football Club and the Mick George Academy, for today’s Evostik League Southern Premier Division match. Today we extend a very warm welcome to the players, officials and of course, the travelling supporters of Kettering Town and we hope you all have an enjoyable stay here with us today. The Poppies will always have a place in our history as they were our very first opponents when we moved into our current home, with the then

manager, Mark Cooper, bringing his full first team squad, who were then plying their trade in the Conference Premier division, for our showpiece opening pre season friendly. Things haven’t worked out so well in recent times for our opponents however they are now in a stable position and the Club is building for the future which is great to see as Kettering Town really are one of non league fooball’s giants.

Our opponents arrive here today coming off the back of a 1-0 defeat at Cirencester Town on Tuesday evening, that being the home side’s first win in the Premier division since October 3rd so hopefully we won’t feel the backlash of the wounded beast today. We have now finished our

marathon run of away games, ending up losing just one of the five games, that at champions elect Poole Town, winning at Cambridge City and gaining credible draws at Redditch, Leamington and Slough. Tuesday evening saw us entertain local rivals Histon Football Club, our first home game since Tuesday 17th November when we drew 2-2 with lowly Bedworth, a

team who’s fortunes have picked up slightly since that evening, culminating in a draw on Saturday and a brilliant 3-1 home win over Chesham United on Tuesday evening, fresh on the heels of their FA Cup exit up at Bradford City on Sunday. Our Tuesday night blues continued as we managed a 1-1 draw with the Stutes with a severely weakened squad due to unavailability, injury and suspension, with Wardy, Blackett, MMK, Drew and Meech all missing on the night. Our goal came courtesy of a penalty tucked away by Isaac Galliford, his second goal in the space of some 36 hours. Don’t forget we are in action here next Saturday too when we entertain Weymouth Football Club as we look to continue our climb up the table. Ok then, as ever, please get behind the lads from the off. Your support is crucial, even more so today as our visitors are bound to have brought a sizeable, vocal following down the A14 to cheer the Poppies on. PUMP UP THE VOLUME Mick Green


KETTERING TOWN Year founded: 1872 Nickname: The Poppies

Chairman: Ritchie Jeune


Playing at conference level for most of the past 35 years Kettering are having to make their way back up the ladder after enforced relegation. A very special welcome for our next engagement in the EvoStik Southern League Premier Division with a visit from near neighbours KETTERING TOWN. What a roller coaster our visitors have been on over the past few years. In 2012/13 having been relegated from the Conference with a ten points deduction Kettering finished bottom of the Southern League Premier Division but the following season finished third in the Central division but lost in the play offs. Then last season they stormed through to the Central Division championship to win their way back to the Premier Division this season. In addition to their trials on the field of play Kettering lost their long time Rockingham Road ground in the Town and were forced to seek a ground share with neighbours Corby Town before joining up with lower league Burton Park Wanderers in a nearby village to develop their Latimer Park ground up to the required standard. Club History Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891. The club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founder members of the Football Alliance in 1979. The club maintained its status in the

top flight of semi-professional football throughout the Gola and Vauxhall sponsorships, until the 2000-01 season. Many honours found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midlands League title in 1896 and 1900. The Southern League Championship was won on three occasions, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930’s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions. The Conference Title has so far eluded Kettering, who have finished runners-up in 1981, 1989, 1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup, (the nonleague, league Cup) was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, then known as the Bob Lord Trophy. County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times.The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before. The Poppies lost 2-0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3-2. Most recently, the club were

narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000/01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The Poppies made a quick return to the Conference in the 2001/02 season winning the Southern Premier League with a last-day victory at Tiverton Town under Carl Shutt - his first full season in charge. In October 2005 it was announced that long-serving chairman Peter Mallinger was to hand over the reins to a consortium consisting of Imraan Ladak, Mick Leech and England legend Paul Gascoigne. Gascoigne was installed as manager, replacing Kevin Wilson, and exArsenal stalwart Paul Davis was recruited as assistant manager. In February 2006, Morell Maison was appointed Kettering Town manager, and led the team to 6th place in Nationwide North, after a run of seven wins in the last eight games. An announcement was made in May 2006 that the playing staff for 2006-07 would be full-time, and that six new signings had been made. These included exTottenham starlet Darren Caskey from neighbours Rushden and Diamonds. The ambition was there for all to see, but after a roller coaster of a season, saw the Poppies fall behind eventual Champions Droylsden, with Maison sacked with just two games to go.


in early November.

Courtney, a striker who was originally at Coventry City making his debut against , he has also had spells at Tamworth, Romulus, Nuneaton Town and Redditch United before joining the Poppies in August 2015. Courtney opened his goal scoring account with the third goal in the 3-2 win over Merthyr Town, the Poppies first win of the season.

Wilson a midfielder / winger was a key member of Corby Town’s Evo-Stik Premier Championship winning side last season scoring 13 goals from midfield and has played in the Vanarama North this season for the Steelmen.

LIAM BATEMAN Liam is a young full back who was been with the Aston Villa Under-21 side until injury set back his promising career. The former Villa scholar is back in action and played in the recent victory at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium as Aston Villa trounced Newcastle United 6-2 in the Barclay’s Under-21 Premier League. Liam was voted Manof-the-Match on his Poppies debut at Merthyr Town. JAMES BRIGHTON James is an experienced full back who has played for Cambridge United, Cambridge City and Hemel Hempstead Town. He had an outstanding pre-season and signed for the Poppies in August 2015 after impressing manager Marcus Law. CHRIS CARRUTHERS Chris a full back originally played for the Poppies in 2005 on loan from Northampton, making two appearances before returning to the Cobblers. He has also played for Oxford United, Crawley Town, Bristol Rovers, York City Gateshead, Hereford United, Corby Town and Brackley Town before returning to the club from Corby


ANDY GOODING. Andy is a dynamic midfielder, whose previous clubs include Bedworth United, Coventry City, Burton Albion, Rushden & Diamonds, Hinckley United, Corby Town, and Solihull Moors. He is a former England under 17 and 19 international who joined the Poppies in June 2013, having played at various levels throughout the nonleague pyramid.

United in the Nationwide Conference North. It was obvious Rene would move on which he did at the end of the season to Peterborough United. DOMINIC LANGDON. Kettering born Dom is defender who has previously played for Histon, Atherston Town, Brackley Town, Tamworth, Solihull Moors, where he made over 150 appearances and Leamington LIAM CANAVAN. Liam originally joined the Poppies on loan from Nuneaton Town in September, having previously played for Thurnby Nirvana, where he scored 38 goals in the 2014-15 season, he has also played for Hinckley United.



Will is a former Toronto Lynx and Kitcherners-Waterloo (Canada) defender, he has also played for Loughborough Dynamo, Tamworth and more recently Rugby Town. Will scored his first goal for the club in the 5-0 away win in the FA Cup at Market Drayton Town.

Dubi the club’s leading striker was signed from St Ives Town in November 2013. A prolific goal scorer with Soham Town Rangers, King’s Lynn Town, Wisbech Town and St Neots Town.

CRAIG HILL. Goalkeepr Craig has recently joined the Poppies from Oxford City having been with Aston Villa from their youth Academy. The youngster made his debut in the 3-1 win at Biggleswade Town in late October. RENE HOWE. Rene as striker originally joined the Poppies in 2006 from Bedford Town, making a huge impact at the club. With 25 goals in the 48 games played that season. He scored 5 against Clitheroe in the FA Trophy and 4 against Hyde

HERVE PEPE-N’GOMA Herve a no nonsense centre half was also another key member of Corby Town’s Championship winning side last season, a young powerhouse who has played for the Steelmen in this season’s Vanarama North. ELLIOT SANDY. Elliot originally joined the Poppies in 2014 from Brackley Town. An attacking midfielder / forward he has also played for Cogenhoe United, Oxford City, Leamington and Corby Town. promotional campaign adding a different dimension to the forward line.


12 12 4 17 8 4 14 21 1 5 18 1 19 15 2 4 1 10 14 12 13


5 1





2 5

9 1

1 1 4


1 4 1 1 4 6 1

2 3 1 7 5 4

7 3 4

3 1 4 2 2 5

3 6 1 8 6



1 17 3

2 5 9 5 1



2 3 8 3 8 5 3

2 1 1 1




1 1 1


1 1



1 1

1 4

3 2 3 1

2 1

2 4 1

3 1 1

1 2 2

26 1 1 1 9 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 16 0 0 1 0 1 8 0 15 4 1 5 4 0 0 1 23 2 3 5 9 0 0 0 4 1 2 2 22 0 0 4 27 1 0 9 0 3 9 1 5 6 2 1 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 20 2 1 0 6 5 11 1 28 0 0 20 20 1 0 4 3 8 3 1 0 1 4 0 6 1 1 1 4 0 10 0 18 5 5 1 3 10 6 2 22 1 0 3 17 0 3 0 16 0 1 0

Details correct up to and including Tuesday 8th December










1 1


1 1 1


1 1


19 6




Anton Jamie Beech Josh Berkes George Blackett Shane Burton Ben Clarke Lee Frater Ryan Galliford Isaac (L) Gay Danny Gordon Remy Hall Connor Hawkins Ryan Hobbs Dan Horne Ryan (L) Jones Ben Lewis CJ Longden Brett Mailancol Guy Meechan Tom Mitchel-King Matt Ofosu Claudio Ossei-Addo Kelvin Roberts Drew Sutton Ollie Tann Adam Vieira Luis Ward Tom Wilton Andy Wilkinson Jack




St Neots Town First Team Player Stats 2015/16


3 1



1 3 7


2 5


2 4 1 4 1 2


ST NEOTS TOWN 4 - 3 KETTERING TOWN The huge banks of snow around the pitch were testament to the unstinting hard work of some 40 officials and volunteers who cleared more than three inches of snow to allow this fixture to go ahead. After an hour with their side trailing 3-0 the workers must have wished they had stayed in bed but they were rewarded as their side stormed back to claim an unlikely odd goal victory in time added. Expectation was high with the return of crowd favourite Junior Konadu after his spell with Conference side Macclesfield and his inclusion in the starting line up for the suspended Jay Davies was the only team change. Kettering almost certainly doomed to relegation came with the reputation of being inconsistent in both results and performances but it was clear the heavy pitch was going to be a great leveller. However few could have anticipated the drama that was to unfold late in the match. Neither side seemed to relish the conditions from the start. Kettering looked slightly more composed but relied mainly on breakaway attacking moves and their first attack saw the fleet of foot Will Muzvimbiri outpace James Sage to bring a save from Jack Giddens at the expense of a corner. At the other end Nathan Fox did well to get across to block a Kyle Asante shot but neither side looked in control. Konadu was his usual tricky self on the ball initially playing just behind striker Dubi Ogbonna but he scuffed his first shot

which flew wide. Lewis Hilliard shot over the bar and Ryan Auger shot wide but St Neots’ play lacked its usual confidence and Kettering was beginning to look the better side. After 20 minutes Louis Hamilton ran at the St Neots defence but was caught by a late James Sage tackle and a penalty was awarded that was confidently despatched by Nathan Hicks to give the visitors a deserved lead. St Neots began to employ the visitors’ tactics attacking on the counter and three minutes before the break Ogbonna released strike partner Kyle Asante who brought a great save from visiting keeper Michael Quirke. St Neots regular frailty in the first few minutes after half time was cruelly exposed for within twenty five seconds of the resumption a near post cross from Jamie Griffiths found Will Muzvimbiri unmarked and his delightful flick beat Giddens to extend the visitors’ lead. Even worse was to follow for Konadu limped off with a dead leg and goalkeeper Jack Giddens could only flap at a Griffiths corner and a solid Henry Eze header extended the visitors’ lead to 3-0. St Neots now decided to reorganise with new signings Louie Meech and Andre Da Costa introduced along with Jack Werndly. The St Neots reshuffle breathed new life and determination into the side and was the major factor in their fight back. Now employing a standard 4-4-2 formation St Neots looked a different side and dominated the remainder of the match. Asante failed to capitalise

of a defensive mistake but after an hour substitute Meech drove a cross to the far post and a spectacular diving header by Adrian Sear put St Neots back in the game. However there were just twelve minutes left when St Neots won a free kick on the edge of the area and Ryan Augur sent a low free kick past the wall into the far corner of the net to make it 3-2. Asante went clear to tuck a shot just the wrong side of a post and substitute Andre Da Costa struck a post with an angled shot. However there was no stopping a rampant St Neots and a minute from time another Meech cross found Kyle Asante and he made up for earlier disappointments by levelling the scores. A point would have been good but St Neots wanted more and a minute into added time the third substitute Jack Werndly got in on the act slipping a delightful pass through the tired square lying Kettering defence and Lewis Hilliard skipped through to confidently slot past Quirke to earn an unlikely three points for his side who extended their unbeaten run to five matches.

St Neots: Giddens, Auger, Sage, Sear, Lee, Hoyte, Hilliard, Konadu, Ogbonna, Asante, Adjei. Subs: Meech (for Konadu 48 mins), Da Costa (for Sage 53 mins), Werndly (for Ogbonna 57 mins), Wood and Nkinga. Cards: Sear (Y – 90 + 3)

SLOUGH TOWN 2 ST NEOTS TOWN 2 Southern League Premier Division / 05.12.2015 / Attendance: 280 / Referee: Shaun Barry (Northampton)

A fifth successive trip on the road and another very useful draw for a St Neots team that is gradually rediscovering its form and confidence. Only one defeat in their last seven league outings sees their record returning to the level achieved at the start of 2015 and the appointment of Manager David Batch. For the first time since the end of August there was an unchanged starting line up in successive games with only two significant absentees in Tom Meechan (suspended) and Tom Ward (injured) and the performances are reflecting a level of consistency to match the line-up. There was also a return to action just sixteen weeks after breaking his leg for Remy Gordon who had a ten minutes substitute appearance after being carefully nursed back to fitness. However the result should have been better had not a controversial refereeing decision gone again St Neots in the first half before they were further penalised by a brilliant penalty save by the home keeper. Slough are fast becoming a bit of a bogey side for when the two sides had met in the Central Division promotion season the Buckinghamshire side threatened to derail St Neots’ ambitions by being the only side to record a league double over them. For the third time in eight days the high wind made conditions very difficult but to the credit of both sides there was some entertaining football served up. St Neots made much the better start with Ryan Hawkins leading the attack looking lively to lay on a fourth minute cross that just required a touch

and six minutes later clear on goal he was cynically brought down from behind by home skipper Dan Hicks who looked very fortunate only to be issued with a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Hawkins’ effort was well saved by Mark Scott and then Drew Roberts outwitted his marker to cross to the far post where the unmarked Lee Clarke was only inches from putting the visitors ahead. As the half wore on Slough began to threaten and Charlie Mpi beat Andy Wilton in a race to a through ball but skied his effort over the bar. An Isaac Galliford volley after 23 minutes was well saved and two minutes later two close range efforts in the same attack by Clarke were both blocked by first Scott and then Sean Fraser. After 27 minutes St Neots went ahead when a long throw by Brett Longden was not cleared and Ryan Frater celebrated his return to St Neots by flicking home from close range – his first goal since 1st January – coincidentally the Manager’s first game in charge. St Neots then lost Frater’s codefender Shane Blackett who was injured and replaced by Adam Tann with Matt Mitchel-King moving back into defence. Then on the stroke of half time from a Lewis Putman corner Frater seemed to be shoved in the back as he went up to clear – the ball striking his arm – but instead of giving St Neots a free kick the Referee gave Slough a penalty converted by Ed Smith.

After the break St Neots pushed Clarke up front with Hawkins moving to a wider role on the right and after the early exchanges St Neots went ahead for the second time in the match when poor defending by Slough saw the ball ping pong around the area before Isaac Galliford shot home through the confused defence. Slough lifted their game and Smith tested Wilton before winning several corners. From the last of these after 72 minutes Lewis Putman’s cross was only cleared as far as Ryan Hope some 25 yards from goal and he hit a hard low shot goal-wards that took two deflections the second of which struck Charlie Mpi and he claimed his sides’ second levelling goal. Three minutes later Hawkins was brought down just inside the penalty area by Hope and St Neots were awarded a penalty. Slough protested long and loud at this decision culminating in Hope being sent off for his refusal to accept the decision. With regular penalty taker Tom Meechan suspended the ball was handed to Drew Roberts who hit a well struck and well placed shot but Scott anticipated brilliantly to push the ball onto the bar from where it was bundled clear. However St Neots tried hard in the remaining 15 minutes to make the extra man count without any success and Smith squandered a late chance to steal all three points for Slough shooting over the bar from four yards. John Walker

St Neots Town

Slough Town

Wilton, Anton, Longden, Mitchel-King, Frater, Blackett, Clarke, Jones, Hawkins, Roberts, Galliford Subs: Tann (for Blackett 35), Gordon (for Roberts 80), Hobbs, Mailancol and Lewis Cards: Longden (Y – 35), Roberts (Y – 45+2), Jones (Y – 49) Goals: Frater (27 mins), Galliford (62 mins)

Scott, Fraser, Clayton, Hollis, Hicks, Hope, Putman, Webb, Mpi, Smith, Harris Subs: Rumbold (for Mpi 79), Dhillon, Maloney, Strutton and Gokmen. Cards: Hope (RED – 75), Hicks (Y – 10) Goals: Smith (45 mins), Mpi (72 mins)

Welcome to the managements, players, officials and supporters of Kettering Town. We hope they have a safe journey home. After four good results - three and a half of them with good performances - on the road against some of the better teams in the league, I was disappointed not to take all three points at home to Histon on Tuesday. Clearly we were again decimated by player unavailability just as I thought we were looking more consistent in our selection. In fact, the game before was the FIRST time we’ve been able to name the same team this season! We still had enough on the pitch to get a win though, but in circumstances like that

you need everyone playing well as its very difficult to really change anything from the bench. That’s not a criticism of the young players involved and those on the bench, but it’s a big gamble putting someone on the pitch that you haven’t even seen play and expecting him to make a difference. That said, both Dan Hobbs and Chris Lewis did very well when they came on and Chris nearly nicked the winner with a great header at goal in the dying minutes of the game.  Credit must go to Adam Tann, who played despite injury and was clearly in pain from the

outset. Also Remy Gordon was forced to have 80 minutes, after just 10 minutes of match action prior to that since breaking his leg in August! Today at least sees Matty Mitchell-King back from a work assignment aboard, as well as top scorer Tom Meechan who has completed a three match suspension. I hope Drew may be available too, after straining his thigh in the dying minutes of the game at Slough.  Enjoy the game Batchy


Welcome to the officials, players and supporters of Kettering Town for todays match, I hope you enjoy your stay with us this afternoon. I usually refer to the team and our performances and of course our continued injury list but now that we have many more readers of the programme because of our new E programme publication I can leave all of that to David’s notes and write about more topical subjects. There have been many people suggesting that for a number of reasons our attendances have been receding mainly because of what some suggest our style of play. Of course like all good businesses we take on board

comments and see if those comments actually have some credence. We have definately seen our attendances drop a little compared to this period last season and it is very hard to measure like for like as we have not played the same teams over those periods. Away support is always important and some visiting clubs like today’s opponents and ourselves when we travel do have sound away support that will bolster the home attendance. This season we have maybe only a couple of instances where the historic away support has given us the gates we would call decent. Poole Town of course a Saturday match and Leamington a mid week game were good attendances, unfortunately other teams to visit us so far this season are not fortunate to have such a good away following of supporters. Hence I believe that’s one of the main reasons our attendances do not look so great. The FA Cup can have and add to attendances but the FA Trophy shows reduced attendances for nearly all clubs in fact looking at this Hitchin

Town who are usually well supported had a replay in the FA Trophy against Haringay Borough on a mild November evening only had 109 in attendance of which helps to prove my point. However our Derby match last Tuesday we had a very decent attendance of 312 against Histon which apart from the Poole V Hungerford match was the highest of the mid week attendances. I have no doubt that todays match will proberbly be the highest attendance in the Southern League this weekend, as will next weeks home fixture against Weymouth. We then move on to the new years fixtures where we entertain Kings Lynn again this will possibly be the highest attendance of the day. Add all those attendances together and our average for the first half of the season will be well up on last seasons average. So it’s not a case of people staying away it is just some people’s assumption that they are, why, well maybe they like to think that. I have asked before if it could

be brought to my attention if anyone knows for certain any regular supporters who have stopped coming to watch the Saints during this season and I will endeavor to speak to them and see if I can convince them to return. So far I have heard of no one that is staying away. Another reason for reduced attendances is of course individual’s finances of which we all fully understand and this brings me on to my conversations with other club Chairman in our league about lower attendances in general. I spoke to Chris Swan the Redditch Chairman who indicated to me that their gates were down on last season as a whole and he could not give an explanation as to why, another chat with the Leamington Chairman Jim Scott and I got the same answer. Then a chat with Gary Setchell manager of kings Lynn of course the same answer. Having analyzed many other non-league clubs it’s the same attendances average down. Now both Leamington and Kings Lynn are a very good yard stick for average attendances as they have a large loyal supporter base and I very much doubt if there supporters would ever stop watching their club no matter how they played or what position they were in the league, I think its called through thick and thin, bit like me and Chelsea I suppose I didn’t like what I saw at times over many years but would never discredit the club, team, manager or players ever, they are the club I have

supported all my life and always will and as someone once said to me when Chelsea started bringing foreign players in “I don’t care if they come from the moon” as long as they play there heart out for our club.

The thing is there was not the poison called social media then where people can spout off all kinds of rubbish not caring who they offend.

watch of which I am seriously not in favour of as I believe that is betraying our season ticket holders and our regular loyal supporters who part with their £10 at every home and away match. And yes I did succumb to that just two seasons ago when we charged a reduced admission price (for everyone) against Chesham. A complete financial disaster but it proved that this type of promotion just does not work at the level of gates we achieve.

So where is this all taking us, well it’s a case of many people making assumptions on Social

media and in some cases seriously rocking the boat as they say. We as a club have experienced indeed since I have owned the club some decent average attendances over the years but the thing is that they have never increased by very much and as I have just shown never decrease that much either. And it really has not as yet made any difference if we have a successful season or not. Catchment area, too many other teams in the area, or that old chestnut not enough advertising maybe the reasons. Or the one of give new potential supporters a price incentive to come and

So to conclude and hopefully close this particular subject. Our attendances are NOT down because people have stopped coming because of the style of our play (I’m not sure of what people mean by that) or indeed because we need to advertise more or have more concessions to gain a larger match day following. What we need is what we always say, “bring a mate and double the gate” many have done that and over the years it has been successful but unfortunately we need many more mates coming to see the Saints. More Chairmen’s views on another topical subject in my next notes the so-called “style of play”. All for one and one for all. Mike


THE STARS WHO GOT US TO STEP THREE Michael was the goalkeeper brought in at the start of our Southern League campaign to replace the experience Luke McShane who had racked up 80 appearances between the posts for the club but who had moved on. He made his debut at home to Beaconsfield SYCOB on 13th August 2011 playing his last match on 5th December 2012 at home to Gosport. Michael sustained a hip injury in only his third appearance in the Southern League at Aylesbury resulting in his missing the next match at home to Bedworth but that was the only Central Division league match he missed all season. In the following season in the Premier Division he was sent off in the first match away at Chesham missing the home match against Banbury as a result but he then appeared in the following 17 league and Cup matches before being replaced in goal by Jack Giddens. He then moved on and is currently playing in the Northern Premier League (southern division) for Spalding United.

Career Record MATCHES PLAYED 70 GOALS CONCEDED just 88 in 70 appearances APPEARANCES IN SOUTHERN LEAGUE ERA 58 (+ 12 cup matches)


EVERYONE remembers their first time. Mine was at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium.

It’s the day life really begins. The first time you watch a football match – live. After watching the U’s in friendly action, my first top flight game was Tottenham against Sheffield United. Paul Walsh scored a hat-trick and Nayim got the other in a 4-0 win, but I was mainly in awe of seeing Gazza. Not that I support Spurs.

I was happy watching anything, from top to bottom. My dad was involved with the Eastern Counties League and he shared his love of Non-League football with me. We went to Sudbury once and

I went home with a club teddy bear as a keepsake from the chairman. My dad would often have to catch up with the referee after the games. I’d wait outside the changing rooms with the scent of liniment wafting down the corridor. I loved that smell. And I’ll never forget the first ever trip to Wembley Stadium. The FA Vase final in 1991, Guiseley v Gresley Rovers. It finished 4-4. Not too bad for your debut at the home of football! I’d just turned six so don’t recall much of the game, but the stand out memory is running up the stairs to get to our seats while the national anthem was on because we were late. It’s probably why I enjoy covering FA Vase finals so much now. Remember your first game? We’ve started a new feature in The NLP this season called, Football Firsts. As it says on the tin, it’s about all those early

memories and why we all fall in love with football. The first pair of boots, the first kit, your first footballing hero. It’s been interesting speaking to players about how it all began. Chester striker Ross Hannah remembers going to watch Sheffield Wednesday with his grandad having normally been at a family house near Hillsborough listening the supporters’ roar. Didcot Town’s joint-manager – and club legend – Jamie Heapy

recalled going to watch Reading and his dad taking a little step for him to stand on so he could see. Danny Cowley, Braintree’s manager, told a story from watching West Ham and how his brother Nicky, also his assistant, cried when the Hammers scored because the crowd was so loud! However young or old you are, everyone has that starting point, and it’s why you’re at a game today. Matt Badcock Follow us on twitter: @NonLeguePaper


A brief round up of the recent results from the teams that matter FA Cup Second Round Proper action from Valley Parade 6 December 2015 Andy Leese’s Chesham United, victors at Bristol Rovers in the First Round Proper, went behind midway through the first half at Valley Parade and Bradford City doubled their lead two minutes from the interval before two goals in the first two minutes of time added on gave the League One side a somewhat flattering 4-0 victory and brought to an end the Generals’ superb run which had started back in September with a goalless draw at home to Aylesbury in the First Round Qualifying.

Premier Division 5 December 2015 Poole Town struck after twenty minutes to give them a 1-0 home victory over challengers Leamington and open up an eight point lead at the top of the table as second placed Chippenham Town, behind in the second minute, scored three minutes into the second half to take a point from a 1-1 draw at Hitchin Town but Hungerford Town, who had taken the lead in the sixteenth minute, went behind three minutes after the interval but moved into third when two goals in four minutes late on gave them a 3-2 win at Cirencester Town while Redditch United went behind three minutes after the break before converting a penalty seven minutes later to secure a 1-1 home draw with second

from bottom Paulton Rovers. Dunstable Town scored twice in the closing minutes of the first half and added three more after the break to complete a comprehensive 5-0 home win over Bideford but Weymouth, a goal behind ten minutes from time, needed a penalty in the third minute of time added on to snatch a 1-1 draw at Stratford Town and Kettering Town were held to a 0-0 home draw by Cambridge City while Dorchester Town scored twice in the final quarter of the match to secure a 2-0 home victory against Kings Lynn Town. Slough Town, having gone behind thirteen minutes before half time, equalised from the spot in time added on at the end of the first half but needed a goal seventeen minutes from time to secure a 2-2 home draw with St Neots Town and Merthyr Town, behind in the eighth minute but leading ten minutes before the break, were held to a 2-2 draw at home when bottom of the table Bedworth United equalised just before the midway point of the second half while Frome Town, who found themselves trailing two goals behind visiting Histon three minutes after the break, also drew 2-2 at home when they scored just before the hour and again at the midway point of the second half.

Division One Central 28 November 2015 Chalfont St Peter scored twice in the opening twenty minutes

and scored again in the first minute of the second half to secure a 3-0 home win over Barton Rovers and go back to the top of the table replacing St Ives Town who, after going behind soon after the hour, secured a 1-1 home draw with Uxbridge when they struck nine minutes from time while AFC Rushden & Diamonds dropped down to third when, after leading at the break from a goal scored in the nineteenth minute, they crashed to a 4-1 home defeat by fourth placed Royston Town and Ware held on to fifth position when a strike in the final minute secured a 1-0 home victory against Beaconsfield SYCOB. Kings Langley scored three times in the first half to record a 3-0 win at Aylesbury but Egham Town went behind six minutes from time but struck back two minutes later to take a point from a 1-1 home draw with Northwood while Potters Bar Town scored with four minutes remaining to record a 1-0 victory against visiting Bedford Town and Arlesey Town, trailing at the interval, scored twice in eight minutes to win 2-1 at Petersfield Town. Godalming Town scored twice and conceded an own goal in the final fifteen minutes to win 2-1 at Aylesbury United while Fleet Town, ahead after seventeen minutes but level at the break, struck with six minutes remaining to secure a 2-1 home victory over bottom of the table North Greenford United.

Manager: David Batch Assistant Manager: Steve Eastaugh Goalkeepers Andrew Wilton Ollie Sutton Defenders Brett Longden Adam Tann (Captain) Tom Ward Jamie Anton Shane Blackett Ryan Frater Midfielders Ryan Hawkins Lee Clarke Mat Mitchel-King Guy Mailamcol Remy Gordon Issac Galliford Forwards Drew Roberts Tom Meechan Luis Viera Claudio Ofosu Colours Dark Blue Shirts, Shorts & Socks

Manager: Marcus Law Assistant Manager: Brian Page Line Up From: Courtney Baker-Richardson Liam Bateman James Brighton Chris Carruthers Wilson Carvalho Andy Gooding Will Grocott Craig Hill (GK) Rene Howe Steve Kinniburgh Dominic Langdon Gary Mulligan Liam Canavan Silvano Obeng Dubi Ogbonna Herve Pepe-N’Goma Elliot Sandy Brett Solkhon Ben Stephens Oliver Thorne Paul Walker (GK) Colours Red/Black Hoops Black Shorts

The match line up will be displayed on the electronic scoreboard Referee: James Turner Assistant 1: Ahmed Mohamed Assistant 2: Mark Chalkey

Next Home Game: Weymouth FC Evostik League Southern Premier Division Saturday 19th November / KO 15:00

As a Club we support Grass Roots Football and stand firm against racism within football, visit for more information on playing your part.

Mascot feature Mascot Fact File Name: Robbie Woodward Age: 9 Favourite St Neots Player and why: Luis Viera because he was a scholar at Saints and made the first team which is what I want to do. Who do you play for? St Neots Academy U10s What position do you play in? Centre Back Who do you support? Man United What do you want to be when older? Footballer or Coach Favourite Food: Pasta with Dads’ special sauce Favourite Television Programme: All football programmes and Moto GP

The Saints Matchday Mascot Experience! • Free entry for mascot and parents • Use of our hospitality room • Signed match day programme by your favourite player, which you will also appear in • Meet your favourite player and have your photo taken • Tour of the stadium • Have a kick about on the main pitch • Lead the Saints on to the pitch • Free portion of chips and drink for the mascot

To apply to be a Matchday Mascot contact Louise Spark on



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