Hepburn the goal-scoring hero as Colney Heath record confidence-boosting win over St Neots

Colney Heath recorded a vital 1-0 win over St Neots Town.

Colney Heath recorded a vital 1-0 win over St Neots Town. - Credit: NEIL MET

Colney Heath secured a memorable victory at home to St Neots Town - their second of the Southern League Division One Central season.

Kwon Hepburn got the only goal from the penalty spot on 52 minutes and they had to play out the final eight minutes with 10 men after two bookings ended Peter Mokwenye's afternoon early.

But for all the possession late on, Saints struggled to break the home side down and it was a deserved 1-0 victory.

The hope now will be this is the catalyst for improved form and a climb away from the foot of the table.

For St Neots though this makes it one win in seven and their play-off dreams are starting to slip away rapidly.

Both sides had one new signing on show.

The Magpies fielded winger Ebrima Sawaneh, brought in from Isthmian League Premier Division high-flyers Enfield Town.

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He was one of three changes from the squad that narrowly lost 1-0 to league leaders Berkhamsted last time out, the others coming in being Mokwenye and Kwon Hepburn with Hadley Gleeson, Dion Laughton and Carlos Simao missing out.

St Neots meanwhile had Gradi Milenge available and on the bench after his switch from Northwood.

The defender also played for Bedford Town last year and had three appearances for London Colney during the 2017-2018 season.

The first period showed that despite their differing positions in the table, and their differing ambitions this season, there was actually very little between the two sides.

St Neots shaded the territory stats, and the possession ones too, but the chances belonged to Colney who had a strong opening 15 minutes.

Their best opportunity was their first.

Danny Fitzgerald played a clever ball over the top which set Matthew Walsh away and clear.

His advantage was overhauled by the defender though to the point that as he was about to shoot, Aaron Smith got back to make a very timely challenge.

But still the Magpies threatened.

Hepburn unleashed a cross-shot that Louis Chadwick pushed out while moments later an effort from Elias Nichols was deflected into the side netting.

Hepburn had another cross flash across the face of goal, and behind both Walsh and Nichols, while a header from Toby Byron was over the top.

Having survived that spell though Saints recovered and began to push the home side further and further back. 

They didn't create much, however, and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown's shot from a narrow angle on 42 minutes was the first one Tiernan Parker had to deal with in anger.

It left the half-time team-talks in both dressing rooms almost as important as any of the preceding 45 minutes.

Just 28 seconds had elapsed since the restart when St Neots hit the post.

Nehemiah Richard-Noel had the bobbly shot that went wide of Parker but he it dinked the upright and the rebound was cleared.

Kyjuon Marsh-Brown blazed another well over the top and it seemed as if St Neots were the side who were heeding the words of wisdom,

And yet all of a sudden Colney Heath were the ones in front.

It came from a penalty for handball after a Walsh effort was drilled towards goal and Hepburn's successful conversion was justice because after the ball had rebounded off the defender, Walsh powered the ball into the corner

The ref though had already blown for the spot-kick.

It signalled a great spell for the home side and Max Jessop side-footed over another shot a minute later.

They should have made it two when the rapid Hepburn got away from the defence and squared for the unmarked pair of Sawaneh and Walsh.

They both left it for each other though and Chadwick dived on the loose ball.

But with those chances gone, the plan became one of containment and defence.

St Neots pushed further and further forward and threw on striker Joe Sutton for defender Dequane Wilson-Braithwaite.

Parker had to make one good save from the dangerous Richard-Noel, the rebound being scrambled clear by Lovell, but with 10 minutes to go there was frustrating shouts of "push up" from the Saints bench.

The game could have swung on the red card but Colney's defence was superbly disciplined and in the end they would have sealed it but for a superb block on a Jack McShane shot.

In the end though even seven very nervy additional minutes couldn't prevent them from taking a big win. 

Colney Heath: Parker, Rahho, Mokwenye, Fitzgerald, Byron, Lovell, Hepburn, Jessop, Walsh (McShane 65), Nichols, Sawaneh (Nimi 78).

Subs (not used): Knaggs, Laughton.

Goal: Hepburn (pen) 52

Booked: Mokwenye 5, 82, Lovell 67

Sent-off: Mokwenye 82

St Neots Town: Chadwick, Wilson-Braithwaite (Sutton 68), Smith, Abbott (Milenge 59), Johnson, Barker, Cowling, Watkins, Richard-Noel (Green 88), Kwai Marsh-Brown, Kyjuon Marsh-Brown.

Subs (not used): Anthony, Clark. 

Booked: Cowling 14

HT: Colney Heath 0 St Neots Town 0

Referee: Jamaal Horne (London)

Attendance: 117