HUNTS Post sports reporter CARL FIELD joined St Neots Town on their FA Vase fourth round trip to East Midlands Counties League outfit Gresley on Saturday – to get a first-hand insight into a Saints away day – and recorded events as they unfolded in Derbyshire. Here’s how he got on…

ON THE ROAD: Hunts Post sports reporter Carl Field experienced an FA Vase away day with the Saints.

HUNTS Post sports reporter CARL FIELD joined St Neots Town on their FA Vase fourth round trip to East Midlands Counties League outfit Gresley on Saturday – to get a first-hand insight into a Saints away day – and recorded events as they unfolded in Derbyshire. Here’s how he got on…

10.40: Arrive at The Hunts Post Community Stadium. People start to drift in and the atmosphere and mood among the supporters in Reedman’s seems fairly relaxed and positive.

11.15: Team/officials and supporters coaches both depart the ground.

11.34: Quick stop off at Brampton Hut services to pick up five or six of the squad – or the ‘Peterborough lot’ – which soon livens things up at the back of the coach. One player not on board is Stefan Moore, who is heading straight there.

Saints chairman John Delaney informs me that travelling on the other coach is Chris Howell, who was manager of the Saints the last time they reached the last 16 of the FA Vase back in 2001/02.

12.00: Bit of banter and chit-chat at the back of the coach, the lads cracking a few jokes. Captain Glen Fuff sits alone, perhaps focusing on the task in hand while ‘Big Roy’ Essandoh catches up on the day’s big news stories in The Sun.

12.10: Manager Dennis Greene is watching the new (and extremely funny) BBC comedy staring David Walliams and Matt Lucas – Come Fly With Me.

13.14: Coach pulls in to the Moat Ground in Gresley. At first glance you notice the sloped pitch, the surface doesn’t look great and it’s freezing. Got cup upset written all over it. Still, Mr Delaney isn’t worried. “Away win,” he said when asked for a prediction. “At least five today.” That’s better John – but I’ll go 3-1 Saints.

13.25: Might have got in free but there’s no complimentary programme for the press at Gresley. “Pound, please.”

14.00: Mr Delaney invites me upstairs into what appears to be Gresley VIP room – a temporary building with a table and kettle – although a rather nice cup of tea more than makes up for the programme shenanigans!

14.30: Assistant manager Tony Scully is putting the players through their paces. Time for a pre-match pint and a chat with a few of the natives.

14.55: A glance at the team sheet Gresley have pinned up makes for interesting reading. It’s good to see those household Neots names like Junior ‘Vanudu’ and ‘Tim’ McShane are playing today, while Mickey ‘Huem’ can be called upon off the bench if required.

14.56: Here come the teams, with the Star Wars theme booming out around the ground. Come on Saints!

15.02: Nearly two minutes into the game and the Star Wars music is still playing over the tannoy. Neots going up the slope in the first period and right-back Jack Bradshaw has to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent their man getting a shot in early on

15.11: There’s the first chance. Hilliard’s 20-yard shot from the right-hand edge of the box is well saved by the home keeper down to his left.

15.45: Goalless at half-time and, so far, it just isn’t happening for Saints. Not much joy in the final third as yet and Gresley are giving as good as they get. Real battle on here.

15.57: Out they come for the second half. I’m sure ‘Greeney’ will have had a word or two to say at half-time.

16.03: Oh dear – this wasn’t in the script – Gresley have taken the lead and now time to see what Neots are really made of. I’d love to describe the goal, but I’m still stuck in the queue for the tea and food hut.

16.23: And we’re all square again, the Gresley keeper does well to parry Dan Jacob’s pile driver and looks like he’s done enough to tip it over, but the ball drops in the top left-hand corner.

16.30: Controversy as the home side appear to have had what looked like a legitimate second goal chalked out. Now where’s that TV replay?

16.36: Normal service resumed. Saints get their noses in front and it’s that man Tolley again – punishing a lapse of concentration in the Gresley defence. Just the 36 goals now this season. He says he isn’t too bothered about breaking records. Maybe not, but he will anyway.

16.44: It’s all over now as Tolley makes it 3-1. Hurry up and blow the whistle ref, time for a pint or two. Attendance recorded as 400-odd, not bad. And my prediction was spot on, should have had a bet with Mr Delaney on that one.

16.50: There goes the whistle. A big shout out must go to the hordes of travelling fans from St Neots. Brilliant all the way through - and the players rightly went and celebrated with them on full-time.

17.51: Back on the coach for the return journey. “That was massive for us today,” said a proud Saints chairman. Bring on King’s Lynn in round five.