Ben Mackey hopes to score for fun on return to St Neots

HAT-TRICK HERO: Ben Mackey scored three goals in 12 minutes against Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: A

HAT-TRICK HERO: Ben Mackey scored three goals in 12 minutes against Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: Andy Wilson. - Credit: Archant

Fans’ favourite Ben Mackey wants it to be a case of ‘same again’ after returning to St Neots.

The prolific frontman fired the club to the Southern League Division One Central title in 2011-12 before eventually moving on towards the end of the following season.

He slammed in 44 goals in just 55 appearances during his previous spell and is convinced he can score for fun again to ignite the Saints’ bid for promotion from the Premier Division.

The 28 year-old’s transfer from Conference South side Hemel Hempstead Town – a team he helped to the title at this level last term when breaking the Hertfordshire club’s scoring record – was agreed late last week.

Mackey made a brief appearance as a substitute in a 1-1 draw at Bideford last Saturday as a late equaliser denied St Neots victory.

Mackey told The Hunts Post: “The opportunity to return to St Neots came up and it felt like the right thing for me to do.

“It is a great club with great fans and a very good squad. Winning promotion is the ambition and hopefully I can help do that.

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“It is definitely achievable but it is all about being consistent in this league.

“I just want to get my season going though. I had a bitty pre-season, had a couple of knocks and then ended up getting injured in my first game at Dunstable after going on loan there.

“I only had a few minutes last Saturday, but it was great to be back around the lads and trying to win a game of football.

“It shouldn’t take me long to get into the groove and hopefully scoring goals again. I’ve only just turned 28 so I don’t see why I should be slowing yet.”

Mackey’s return is a welcome boost to Saints boss Gary King who has seen his attacking arsenal hit hard by injuries so far this season.

Summer recruit Chris Dillon has missed much of the campaign while Nathan Frater could be out until Christmas after picking up a hamstring problem. Matt Nolan is still getting over a calf injury.

Crucially, Mackey is eligible to play in the FA Trophy and he could be in line to start when St Neots entertain lower-level AFC Sudbury, of Ryman League Division One North, in a third qualifying round tie on Saturday.

This is already the club’s best run in the competition, but they are desperate to advance to the first round proper.

King said: “We are coming into a very busy spell of games and we needed to bring in extra firepower.

“Ben knows the club and he was very keen to come back. It is a perfect fit at just the right time and he is also available for the FA Trophy which is a big plus.

“If we could make the first round proper it would a huge achievement.”

Mackey moves in the opposite direction to defender Arthur Lee who recently left St Neots for Hemel Hempstead.

Boss King says he is ‘gutted’ to see Ben Farrell depart Rowley Park after finding his first-team opportunities limited.