NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Saints open their Southern League account by seeing off Bedworth to bag first win of the season
- Credit: Archant
Manager Matt Clements reckons St Neots Town’s first win of the season could have been more convincing.
Saints beat Bedworth United 2-1 in a Southern League Premier Division Central clash at the Premier Plus Stadium last night (Tuesday).
Taylor Parr hit the winner early in the second half after an opener from Claudio Ofosu had been cancelled out by a clumsily conceded penalty on the stroke of the interval.
Parr makes a habit of scoring winning goals against Bedworth. He also struck the decisive blow in an FA Trophy triumph over the same opponents back in 2016.
And boss Clements was pleased with the latest success as Saints got off the mark following an opening day defeat at Stratford.
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He said: “It was important to get the first win on the board as quickly as possible and I’m pleased for the players.
“We missed two or three good scoring opportunities and also gave away a careless penalty so I feel the scoreline could have been greater.
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“We’ve got a few players who are still settling in and one or two others who are getting their fitness levels up, so it will take a couple more weeks to really get firing.
“But we will look to build on this result and try to get into a run of form.”
Saints were reliant on goalkeeper Finlay Iron for two fine saves during an action-packed start to the game.
That continued when the hosts hit the front courtesy of a fine Ofosu strike as he cut inside from the left and unleashed a fierce shot into the far corner to register the first goal of his second spell as a Saints player.
They came close to doubling their advantage when Parr saw a header cleared off the line by defender Thomas Sharpe before Lewis Irwin volleyed over after fine work from Ofosu.
But Saints were stung by a Bedworth leveler two minutes before half-time as visiting skipper Alexander Troke tucked away a penalty conceded by Daniel Olaniran.
A smart save prevented Dion Sembie-Ferris from restoring Saints’ lead three minutes after the break, but they didn’t have to wait long for what would prove to be the decisive goal as Parr blasted in captain Luke Knight’s corner.
Both the scorer and architect of that goal received high praise from Clements for their performances along with number one Iron, who has started his second loan spell with the club in excellent form.
Troke and Daniel Dubidat later wasted decent chances to bring Bedworth level a second time while substitute Devante Stanley went closest to a third goal for Saints.
But they had already done enough to open their account for the new campaign ahead of another home clash this Saturday when they entertain Rushall Olympic in a first-ever league clash between the two sides, 3pm.