MIKE Kearns said St Neots Town’s stunning 4-3 win against Kettering Town was due reward for all the hard work put in by the 50 or so fans who turned out to clear the Cozy Stadium pitch of snow.
Last night, with heavy snowfall forecast, the match was in doubt – but even further in doubt was a win for the Saints when at 59 minutes they were 3-0 down against the Southern League Premier’s whipping boys.
However, that was when the fight back began and goals from Adrian Sear, Ryan Auger and Kyle Asante turned things around with Lewis Hilliard hitting home the dramatic winner in injury time.
“For the fans to go to all that effort and then come away after watching the team lose would have been disappointing,” said Kearns, the chairman.
“What we have got is a good young side here and they don’t give up.
“They worked very, very hard today and just kept at it. It was great for the neutral. It doesn’t happen very often that teams go 3-0 down and then win 4-3.”
Iain Parr gave a start to returning hero Junior Konadu but the pitch was so soft under foot that it made it difficult for the quick-footed midfielder to play the game he is known for. Instead, there was a hint of long ball about the Saints in the first half and a penalty gave Kettering an undeserved lead against the run of play in the 20th minute.
Still, no-one was expecting what happened at the start of the second half. Straight from the restart the visitors attacked and scored their second through Will Muzvimbri. A third followed through Henry Eze with St Neots again sloppy at the back and Konadu limping off after taking a knock.
The situation looked hopeless but Sear headed home a cross in the 59th minute from close range as the tide began to turn.
The introduction of new signings Louie Meech and Andre Da Costa, and the striker Jack Werndly, added some impetus and it was 3-2 going into the final 10 minutes after Ryan Auger hit a low free kick around the Kettering wall and inside the far right hand post.
There was chance after chance after that with Da Costa, who joined the club from Macclesfield late in the week, fantastic down the left hand side. The Portuguese winger set-up several attacks and hit a post with a beautiful curling strike which had the Kettering goalkeeper beaten.
With a minute to go the ball popped up in the box for Asante to hit home and a minute later Werndly put through Hilliard who was composed and accurate in a one-on-one to make it 4-3.
The team celebrated in the snow piled high behind the goal.
But this was only part one. Part two is on Wednesday when St Neots go to Corby to play Kettering for a second time in five days after that match was postponed earlier in the season.
The manager Parr said: “I’m looking forward to that one now because Kettering are going to feel a bit cheated and they will come at us.
“I was pleased with the desire we had to win the game and the changing room was buzzing after which was pleasing because it felt like a new team with four new players but there was still a great team spirit.”