BEN Mackey was a ‘different class’ in St Neots Town’s 6-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town at The Cozy Stadium last night (Tuesday), his manager Iain Parr told The Hunts Post.
The striker scored a hat-trick in the win against the second-placed side, taking his Southern League Premier Division tally to 21 goals this season.
Dan Jacob scored twice and Dubi Ogbonna got the other goal as the Saints put the their mini dry-spell comprehensively behind them.
“He [Mackey] looked like he did at the beginning of the season,” said Parr. “He worked hard and bullied his markers.
“We had some of our youth players in the stands watching the game after training and it was good for them to see someone like that leading the line.
“The kids got to see how hard he works.”
There’s a lot of learning going on at the club. The club’s chairman Mike Kearns said St Neots are learning a lot – game by game.
“To be honest, we discussed it after the game and there were three players on the pitch that were with us at the start of the season: Mackey, Jacob and Lewis Hilliard,” he pointed out.
“We are learning about the teams in this division and learning about ourselves.
“We learned a lot at Bideford on Saturday when they defended from the first minute and we hit the post twice and the crossbar once.
“We learned a lot against Hemel, who are the best footballing side we have played all season.
“For the first 20 minutes they passed us all over the place. We got a good goal late on in the first half and then defended well. Then things went for us in the second half and we were absolutely Magnificent, brilliant, fantastic.”
The Saints started slowly and rode an early Hemel wave but a Jacob goal was the difference between the two teams at half time. There was another off-spell at the start of the second half but Ogbonna scored his first goal for the club to calm the nerves.
Jacob got his second for 3-0 before the visitors pulled one back – and then Mackey stepped up and put on that show for the kids.
His three goals came in 12 minutes with the first in the 77th minute and the third in the 89th. “He was a different class,” said Parr.
Kearns added: “I had one real problem – I had to tell the Hemel chairman that they were the best team we have played this season after we had just beaten them 6-1.”