ST Neots Town destroyed Woodford United 3-0 on Saturday to go second in the Southern League Division One Central table.
All three strikers scored in a classy performance which underlined Dennis Greene’s side’s credentials as serious promotion contenders this season.
In front of their biggest Southern League crowd – there were 505 fans there to see the win at The Hunts Post Community Stadium – Stefan Moore, then Ben Mackey, and finally late substitute Shane Tolley all found the back of the net, with Lewis Hilliard impressing down the left in front of the excellent Dan Jacob, who stood in for the suspended Rene Steer at right back.
In the middle of the field, Adrian Sear was fearless, while Junior Konadu was his usual cheeky self. At one point, in the second half, a demoralised Woodford player shrugged his shoulders and walked away from St Neots’ tricky midfielder after Konadu had dummied him for a third time with another drag back.
Greene said: “Three goals, three strikers – we don’t plan it that way, we just want to score goals, but it was nice to see them all get on the scoresheet.
“Dan had his best game of the season there at left back – he stepped up to the plate and did great. He was fantastic.”
Mark Wright had been earmarked for that position, but his sudden unavailability on Friday night must have given the manager a bit of a headache. Jacob’s performance will have been a huge fillip for the boss.
Mackey scuffed a shot wide early on while Hilliard had a shot cleared off the line by the visiting captain Chris Jackson. And even central defender Jordan Gent had a go at breaking the deadlock – his shot was blocked, too.
It was a sweeping move from the back that eventually gave the Saints their 26th minute lead; Jacob finding Hilliard, who found Moore, who calmly fired the ball past the goalkeeper.
Mackey and right-winger Pearson Mwanyongo hit a post and the bar before half-time – with Woodford’s Lewis Travers their biggest threat either side of the break.
Mackey finally got his goal a little way in to the second half when he beat Matt Finlay with a brilliantly executed goal, finding the far corner of the net with his right foot. His celebration was almost as impressive: a one-handed forward flick-stroke-cartwheel, if such a thing exists!
Later Tolley secured the points with a simple header, while there was a cameo role for new attacking midfielder Rashid Kamara, the ex-Arsenal trainee, who made his debut from the bench.
With tricky feet, he impressed – but it was Mackey who almost got the fourth; his late shot saved by Finlay at full-stretch.
On Tuesday night the Saints were at Uxbridge – a report from the match will feature at www.huntspost24.co.uk/sport – while on Saturday they travel to Beaconsfield SYCOB, one of the two teams they leapfrogged when their game was called off because of the cold weather on Saturday. The other team was Bedworth United, who are now third. It’s really beginning to hot-up, this division...