St Neots Town earned a creditable Southern League Premier Division draw at form team Redditch yesterday.

Lee Clarke headed his fourth goal of the season to earn the Saints a share of the spoils as they battled third-placed hosts and the Midlands elements.

Only a back-pedalling home goalkeeper denied Ryan Hawkins a spectacular 50-yard strike as Saints acquitted themselves well when playing against the wind and rain, and kicking up a slope, in the opening period.

But they fell behind early in the second half as a defence featuring the returning Ryan Frater was breached. Frater slotted in alongside Shane Blackett only 24 hours after rejoining the club from Biggleswade Town while analyst Ben Jones was pressed into playing service for the second successive match.

They helped Saints dominate for long periods and their reward arrived with 10 minutes to go when Clarke met a Tom Meechan delivery.

That was enough to earn a return to the top half of the table for David Batch’s men. They remain nine points off the play-off spots, but boast matches in hand on all but one of the 11 teams currently above them.

Saints go to second-placed Leamington on Tuesday.