LIFE without Conor Washington started with a 1-1 home draw against Deeping Rangers as St Ives Town failed to win only their third game of the season on saturday – but then they went to Irchetser United smashed seven past the Northamptonshire side on Tuesday evening.

Still unbeaten, the Saints were clinging to the top spot of the United Counties League Premier Division with second-placed Holbeach United still boasting a 100 per cent record after winning all nine of their games following Saturday's results.

But that all changed with the Saints' big win and the Westwood Road club is now three points clear at the top again - though Holbeach do have three games in hand.

Below, Spalding United were sparking into life with former the St Neots Town striker Shane Tolley now the UCL's star striker following last week's departure of Washington to Newport County. But on Tuesday night they lost 2-0 to the improving Deeping, who are now fourth.

"Deeping are probably the best side we have come up against this season," said joint manager Jez Hall on Saturday.

It was Ricky Miller, the player brought in on loan to replace Washington on loan from Corby, who scored St Ives' goal. It came early in the second half, the striker netting from 30 yards with a wonder strike. But the lead didn't last very long and Deeping were equal again in the 56th minute.

On Tuesday night Karl Gibbs scored his second hat trick of the season, proving there certainly is life up front after Washington, while Miller scored two more, and Jon Stead and Stuart Cobb got one each.