St Neots Town’s hopes of Southern League Premier Division Central survival are fading fast.
Marc Abbott’s men were cast eight points adrift from safety with only five matches to go after crashing to a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of out-of-form Banbury yesterday.
The visitors arrived at the Premier Plus Stadium having only won one of their previous nine matches, but they strolled past Saints after hitting the front through Giuseppe Iaciofano in the sixth minute.
Banbury had the ball in the net again moments later through Giorgio Rasulo but his effort was eventually ruled out with referee Sean Barry ruling the ball had gone out of play for a corner.
Iaciofano fluffed two other excellent chances before Banbury doubled their lead in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half through Ricky Johnson.
Saints debutant Ben Bradley saw an effort side early in the second half but the hosts lacked any real threat and the result was put beyond doubt when Johnson struck again just after the hour.
St Ives Town are now mathematically safe from the drop with five matches to spare.
Ricky Marheineke’s men collected another fine result on their travels yesterday when drawing 1-1 at second-placed Stourbridge.
Saints were fortunate not to fall behind in the opening 20 seconds as Kaiman Anderson headed wide after charging down a clearance from keeper Martin Conway.
But that was only a brief reprieve as Stourbridge hit the front through a Greg Mills penalty in the fifth minute after Anderson was dragged down by Tom Wood.
The hosts, who boast the best home record in the division, twice hit the woodwork in quick succession in the second half, but Saints – whose away form this season is bettered only by runaway leaders Kettering – also gave a good account of themselves.
Ben Seymour-Shove and Owen Wallis both missed good headed chances before they levelled courtesy of an own goal with three minutes to go. A Ben Baker cross was fumbled by Stourbridge keeper James Wren and the ball rolled in off defender Zak Lilly.
Godmanchester Rovers produced a second-half fightback to earn a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division point yesterday, but they slipped out of second place in the process.
Ollie Drake’s were held to a third draw in four games when sharing six goals at lowly Long Melford.
Buster Harradine put Rovers ahead early on, but they found themselves 3-1 down early in the second period before two Austen Diaper goals dragged them level.
Rovers dropped to third in the standings after being leapfrogged by runners-up rivals Woodbridge, who climbed above them due to boasting a superior goal difference.
Huntingdon Town dropped into the United Counties League Division One relegation zone yesterday.
Jimmy Brattan’s men drew 1-1 with fourth-placed Bugbrooke at Jubilee Park, but they were leapfrogged by relegation rivals Raunds and now sit second-bottom of the standings with five games to go.