ANYONE connected with St Neots who arrived at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday thinking that a Saints win was a formality and promotion was already a done deal were handed a firm reality check come tea time.

UCL Premier

St Neots Town 2 King's Lynn Town 4

ANYONE connected with St Neots who arrived at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday thinking that a Saints win was a formality and promotion was already a done deal were handed a firm reality check come tea time.

King's Lynn's fully deserved 4-2 victory blew the race for promotion wide open, with just a point now separating the two clubs after the same number of games played and 17 still to play.

The gut-wrenching loss also ended St Neots' remarkable run of 46 consecutive league fixtures without defeat - a run stretching back to October 27 2009 when they lost 2-0 at home against Newport Pagnell Town.

Meanwhile Saturday's attendance of 1, 481 set a new record for a UCL Premier Division fixture and was almost 1, 000 better than St Neots' previous record league attendance.

It also eclipsed the previous attendance record for the ground, which had stood at 1, 177 - achieved in a pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur two years ago.

However this shock defeat is sure to act as a wake-up call ahead of this weekend's crunch FA Vase last 16 clash between the two sides at the Walks.

The return league fixture is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 16.

There was a surprise on the team sheet with manager Dennis Greene handing a debut to goalkeeper Dave Hogan, who had signed on a dual registration prior to the match from League One outfit Dagenham & Redbridge.

But it was a move that backfired spectacularly with Hogan - who received torrid abuse from the travelling contingent throughout the match - at fault for two of King's Lynn's goals.

St Neots took the lead on 13 minutes when Lewis Webb scored from the spot after Luke Thurlbourne had upended Stefan Moore.

Lynn were back on level terms on 32 minutes through Stephen Spriggs, before Stefan Moore calmly picked his spot to put the home side 2-1 up at the interval.

The visitors were level again after 53 minutes, when Spriggs shot past Hogan, who looked to have his angles all wrong.

Lynn certainly used the wind to their advantage in the second half. Jack Defty put Lynn in front for the first time on the hour, scoring with an effort Hogan probably should have saved, before Spriggs completed his hat-trick on 66 minutes to settle it.

Unfortunately the match was marred by an incident in the second half which resulted in a supporter being assaulted.

Neots' downfall came less than four days after their crushing 6-0 win over Yaxley. Shane Tolley (2), Lewis Webb (2), Lewis Hilliard and debutant Dallas Moore were their scorers.

And they are due back in league action tomorrow night (Tuesday) at St Ives Town.