SOUTHERN LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ten-man St Ives Town snatch point thanks to late penalty while St Neots battle out goalless deadlock
- Credit: Archant
Captain Robbie Parker coolly converted a late penalty as 10-man St Ives Town snatched a fine Southern League point.
The Saints battled to a 1-1 draw against Needham Market despite playing the final 65 minutes of their Premier Division Central home clash at a numerical disadvantage.
They had Ollie Snaith dismissed for a dangerous tackle just past the midway point of the opening half and the writing appeared to be on the wall when the visitors hit the front five minutes into the second period.
Jeremiah Kamanzi put the Marketmen ahead when firing into the roof of the net after Saints goalkeeper Tim Trebes finger-tipped a deep Joseph Marsden cross into his path.
Trebes breathed a sigh of relief when seeing a Marsden effort land on the roof of his net, but Saints held firm before finishing the game strongly.
And they were rewarded when Parker steered an 88th minute spot-kick into the corner of the net after substitute Ben Seymour-Shove was tripped inside the box.
Saints gave a debut to new signing Owen Wallis, who has arrived from their opening day victims Tamworth, as a second-half substitute.
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Assistant boss Craig Adams took charge of Saints with manager Ricky Marheineke away. He will also be in command for their Bank Holiday Monday trip to Royston.
St Neots collected a point which was not quite so dramatic but no less hard-earned yesterday.
Matt Clements’ men were involved in a goalless stalemate at King’s Lynn Town in the Premier Division Central.
The Saints chief rung the changes - including giving a full debut to new striker Kasey Douglas - after a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Rushall Olympic in their previous outing and they were fortunate to survive early pressure from their hosts.
A fine Finlay Iron save also kept out former Saints man Ryan Hawkins who then blazed a gift-wrapped chance over the bar just before the break.
Saints were much improved after the break and began to trouble their hosts with Dion Sembie-Ferris failing to take their best opportunity in a one-on-one situation.
But they were more than happy to settle for a point ahead of a Bank Holiday Monday home date against AFC Rushden & Diamonds, 3pm.