BEN Mackey became the third St Neots striker to score a hat trick this season when the Saints drew 3-3 with Burnham at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday.

The big and bustling striker was outstanding in a game that Dennis Greene's side should have won - but could have so easily lost.

Had they won that game, St Neots would have gone top of the Southern League's Division One Central table - but they failed to keep hold of a 3-1 lead. Luckily, leaders Slough Town also drew in dramatic fashion at home to AFC Hayes. After going 1-0 ahead in the 89th minute, the Rebels conceded an equaliser in the 95th minute.

It was Burnham who went 1-0 up at The Hunts Post Community Stadium when Will Hendry curled a free kick around the St Neots wall. But Mackey scored the rebound from a Chris Hope header in the 22nd minute and then redirected a Jordan Gent header in the first minute of the second half.

He completed his hat trick with a fine shot through a crowded area just a couple of minutes later.

But there were already signs that this wasn't St Neots in their best form. Having scored nine against Aylesbury and then eight against Royston Town in the Hinchingbrooke Cup in their last two games, expectations were high again. But in midfield Junior Konadu was being tightly marked and was finding the close attention tough to deal with, while his partner in the centre, Adrian Sear, was struggling to win the ball.

Four minutes after they had gone 3-1 up, Dan Willment was allowed to head a Johnny Gray corner past Michael Duggan - and with just seven minutes left, Lewis Driver pounced and beat Duggan again.

"I was disappointed with the last half an hour," said Greene. "We played well in the first half and should have been better off than 1-1 at half time.

"Quite rightly in the second half we got two goals in five minutes - and then after that we couldn't pass water!"

On Tuesday night the Saints were at home again. Still three points behind Slough, a win against Daventry Town will have taken them top with the Rebels having a night off.

EIGHT different players scored in St Neots Town's brilliant 8-2 win over Royston Town in their Hinchingbrooke Cup quarter final at The Hunts Post Community Stadium last week.

Manager Dennis Greene fielded a strong team, resting only tough-tackling midfielder Adrian Seer and winger Dan Jacob, while giving his nephew Aaron Greene a start following his return from a loan spell with United Counties League side Blackstones.

Rashid Kamara, Junior Konadu and Pearson Mwanyongo gave the Saints a 3-0 half-time lead before Shane Tolley scored a cracking fourth after the break. Royston then won a debatable penalty and Arin Fehmi scored from the spot before Dan Bond got their second. Substitute Ben Mackey got St Neots fifth in the 73rd minute before Stefan Moore, another substitute, clipped the ball over the oncoming Royston goalkeeper for number six.

Goal seven was scored by Greene - his first goal for the senior team - before Moore handed the ball to defender Rene Steer in the 84th minute after being brought down by the goalkeeper. Steer put the penalty away with a sweet left-footed strike.