St Neots Town were pushed closer to the Southern League Premier Division Central drop on Saturday – after being beaten by the champions elect.

Gavin Hoyte goes close for St Ives Town in their home defeat at the hands of Alvechurch. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONGavin Hoyte goes close for St Ives Town in their home defeat at the hands of Alvechurch. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

The struggling Saints went down 2-0 at the hands of table-toppers Kettering Town with both goals arriving in the first half.

The first of those came from the penalty spot in the 16th minute as Rhys Hoeness struck for the Poppies after Saints man Harry Beckley handled.

Kettering doubled their advantage through a Declan Towers header 10 minutes before the break while a series of fine saves from goalkeeper James Philp prevented further damage in the opening half.

A Saints side containing eight teenagers were then rescued by the woodwork early in the second half, but they avoided conceding further goals.

There was a playing debut as a second-half substitute for coach Ben Yeomans with Saints' squad depleted by injury and unavailability.

They remain five points from safety with only seven games to go.

Fellow locals St Ives Town went down by the same scoreline against play-off chasing opposition.

Ricky Marheineke's men succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Alvechurch at Westwood Road - a result which lifted the Midlands visitors into the top five.

They were undone by early goals in each half with the unmarked Kyle Morrison heading the visitors ahead after six minutes and Tom Tonks finishing a slick move to double the advantage three minutes into the second half.

Ben Baker and Ty Ward were denied by smart saves late in the opening period for Saints and the hosts then applied plenty of pressure in the closing 20 minutes without reward.

Gavin Hoyte flicked a close-range effort over the bar at full-stretch, Ward was denied by a fine save from Alvechurch keeper Dan Crane and Jake Newman nodded against the outside of a post.

Godmanchester Rovers fared considerably better as they produced what boss Ollie Drake described as 'the perfect performance'.

Rovers breezed to a 5-0 success against Hadleigh United in a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash as they strengthened their bid to finish as runners-up.

Drake saw goals from Jack Chandler (2), Buster Harradine, Austen Diaper and Matty Allan earn the points in a happy return to the dugout following a two-game stadium ban.

Eynesbury Rovers earned a United Counties League Premier Division point with 10 men - thanks to Matt Clifford's first goal for the club.

They shrugged off the dismissal of Jordan Jarrold to draw 2-2 with Pinchbeck United at Hall Road.

Jordan Brown saw an early effort disallowed before Rovers fell behind late in the first half, but Brown did then level on the stroke of the interval.

Rovers then found themselves a goal and a man down in the 65th minute when Jarrold was somewhat harshly sent off for conceding a penalty which was tucked away by Lee Beeson.

But Mark Ducket's side made light of their numerical disadvantage to reply courtesy of a classy free-kick from Clifford.

Eric Makate was another player to open his account for a local club yesterday, but his first Huntingdon Town goal was not enough to prevent a 3-1 defeat at table-toppers Lutterworth Town in United Counties League Division One for Jimmy Brattan's side.

It was a fourth consecutive loss for Town who are now only one point above the drop-zone with five matches to play.