Gary King and Zema Abbey have made “a massive impact” at St Neots Town says Lee Kearns

17:38 04 February 2014

Gary King stands and watches St Neots beat Banbury United on Saturday. Picture: Claire Howes

Gary King stands and watches St Neots beat Banbury United on Saturday. Picture: Claire Howes

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St Neots Town’s managing director Lee Kearns says the new management team has “tremendous ambition” which he only hopes the Southern League club can match.

Under managers Gary King and Zema Abbey, and assistant Nathan Abbey, there has been a upturn in form at St Neots – so much so that Kearns believes the Saints are now in a false position.

“Of course we are where we are because that’s the amount of points we have won,” he said. “But it now feels as if we are in a false position because there has been so much of an improvement.”

St Neots beat Banbury United 3-1 at The Cozy Stadium on Saturday with goals from Lorenzo Ferrari, Lewis Hilliard and Jake Woolley. It was the second time they had beaten the team this season after the 1-0 win in Oxfordshire last year.

The Saints did fall behind to a Marvin Martin goal in the first half, but Ferrari fired home a rebound from free kick in the 45th minute for the equaliser. In the second half St Neots bossed the game.

The win followed a midweek 2-1 defeat at Chippenham Town – but with the relegation zone now 14 points adrift, there is certainly less to worry about these days.

Talking about the new managers, and their goalkeeper-assistant, Kearns said: “The three lads have made a massive impact. With the players they have brought in and added to the ones who were already here, we are becoming a difficult team to beat. It bodes very well for next season. We have spoken about next season and we are all looking forward to that.

“There is an air of confidence about what they are doing and with all the hard work that I and Iain Parr have put in, things are beginning to fall into place. Coming out of a miserable time of the year weather-wise things are very positive and productive. It’s very exciting. We feel buoyant”

Parr was the manager for the first third of the season but the Saints were in trouble from pretty much the off. But the former manager had more to deal with than just the first team as he worked hard on youth development and the burgeoning apprenticeship scheme.

“Iain was always much more important to the club than just being the first team manager,” said Kearns. “What he is working on is important for the future of the club.

“But since the lads have come in, what they have done has been way past my expectations. We are almost looking like a new team.

“The is an air of professionalism about the way they are going about their business. They have got tremendous ambition and we are just hopeful we can match that ambition as a club.”

St Neots make the trip to Dorset on Saturday for a game against Frome Town. It will be a tough one but Frome are only eight points above the Saints and a win on the road should not be discounted.

“It’s all about taking gradual steps,” said Kearns.

Tonight, the Saints are due to play a Peterborough United side in a free-to-watch friendly at The Cozy Stadium. Peterborough could feature former target and St Ives Town frontman Conor Washington, who signed for the Championship club from Newport County last week.

Meanwhile, St Neots Town Youth & Saints, the under-21s team, who play in Division One of the United Counties League, were once again without a game on Saturday. Because of postponements, the team has not played in the league since a 1-1 with leaders Oadby Town at the end of last year.

Currently sitting in fourth, the new Saints are due to host Buckingham Town on Saturday.

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