St Neots Town wasted a golden opportunity to boost their Southern League Premier Division survival hopes when seeing a stoppage-time spot-kick saved yesterday.

St Neots Town players celebrate Jevani Brown's opening goal in their defeat against Hitchin.St Neots Town players celebrate Jevani Brown's opening goal in their defeat against Hitchin.

Jevani Brown was denied from the spot as Saints slipped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of title-chasing Hitchin at the Premier Plus Stadium.

Brown stepped up after Taylor Parr had been brought down in the box, but his penalty was kept out by visiting goalkeeper Michael Johnson.

Taylor Parr won St Neots Town's late penalty in their defeat to Hitchin.Taylor Parr won St Neots Town's late penalty in their defeat to Hitchin.

The two teams had earlier exchanged goals within the space of five minutes during the first-half.

Brown made the breakthrough with a terrific strike for Saints, but his 26th minute effort was soon cancelled out as Robbie Burns restored parity.

Declan Rogers suffered fractured fingers in St Neots Town's defeat to Hitchin.Declan Rogers suffered fractured fingers in St Neots Town's defeat to Hitchin.

Neither side really looked like finding the net again in a game of few chances, but that situation changed late on.

Brett Donnelly fired high-flying Hitchin ahead only seconds after Saints man Bradley Fortnam Tomlinson had been denied in a one-on-one situation at the other end.

There was still time for a St Neots lifeline when referee Andy Humphries pointed to the spot in the dying seconds, but Brown squandered that glorious chance to earn a welcome point.

Clements said: “It was in our hands to pick up a point and we definitely deserved that at the very least.

“The positive spin is that we have been competitive against teams in the top six in our last two games.

“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with Banbury and Hitchin on the last two Saturdays, and we have to take positives from that.

“I feel sure that we will have points to back up these good performances sooner rather than later.”

Saints weren’t helped by the loss of 13-goal frontman Declan Rogers to injury early in the second half. He suffered fractured fingers when attempting to lean in on an opponent.

Clements’ men remained a point above the relegation zone after this loss, but were then sent sliding back into the relegation zone by a Cambridge City triumph against Weymouth on Monday night.