St Neots Town suffered defeat in their big Southern League Premier Division Central survival clash yesterday.
Marc Abbott’s men dropped back into the relegation zone after being beaten 3-1 by Lowestoft Town in a six-pointer at the Premier Plus Stadium.
Saints went into battle one place and one point ahead of the Suffolk side, but they finished the day two points adrift of safety.
The visiting side had a ferocious wind at their backs in the first half and quickly took advantage with Jake Reed headed a second-minute breakthrough.
Saints then saw a strong penalty shout for handball ignored before Reed doubled the Lowestoft lead, but a two-goal deficit didn’t look beyond the hosts as they enjoyed the benefit of the wind in the second half.
But conceding a third goal only two minutes after the break – as Reed completed his hat-trick – proved to be a huge blow.
Saints were then guilty of fluffing glorious chances to respond as Ryan Hughes headed over from close range and Jordan Norville-Williams skied a penalty.
Gary Wharton did convert another spot-kick with 19 minutes to go – his fourth goal in as many games – but it proved too little, too late.
St Ives Town enjoyed another excellent away day as they won 2-0 at fellow mid-table side Leiston.
Leading scorer Ben Seymour-Shove hit the outside of a post in the first half before he and recalled striker Jake Newman went close early in the second period.
Newman eventually made the breakthrough midway through the second half when slamming in a Ben Baker cut-back.
Seymour-Shove, Newman and Ben Jackson all went close to further goals as Saints dominated before sealing victory in stoppage time when captain Robbie Parker converted a penalty earned by substitute Andrew Osei-Bonsu.
Ricky Marheineke’s men have now picked up 28 points on their travels – a tally bettered only by table-topping Kettering Town and equalled by third-placed King’s Lynn.
Godmanchester Rovers boosted their hopes of a third Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division runners-up finish in five seasons yesterday.
They triumphed 3-0 at lowly Great Yarmouth Town in the absence of banned boss Ollie Drake. Russell Bull and Buster Harradine struck either side of an own goal.
There was no cheer for another manager currently serving a suspension.
Huntingdon Town chief Jimmy Brattan could only watch on from the stands due to a touchline ban as his side slipped to a third successive United Counties League Division One defeat.
They were beaten 2-1 by Sileby Rangers at Jubilee Park despite going ahead through captain Corey Kingston in the first half.
Town were then stung by a second-half turnaround from their Northampton visitors which was completed by what Brattan described as a ‘dubious’ penalty.
Eynesbury claimed an excellent victory at title-chasers Rugby Town in the United Counties Premier Division.
Jordan Jarrold tucked away a late penalty to earn a 4-3 success for Rovers in a high-scoring contest.
Eynesbury had trailed 2-0 in the first half before scoring three times in 10 minutes through Jordan Brown, Dan Draper and Brandon Williams to lead 3-2 at the break.
Rugby then leveled just after the hour but Rovers emerged victorious thanks to ice-cool Jarrold after Brown was sent tumbling in the box.