ST Neots Town chairman Mike Kearns says he was ‘ambushed’ into paying £4,000 for 20-year-old midfielder Jay Davies by manager Iain Parr and coach Andy Davies.
The Saints’ 1-0 win at Stourbridge on Saturday was Davies’s first game following his return from Blue Square Bet Premier Division side Woking after an impressive loan spell at Rowley Park earlier on in the season.
It came four days after a 2-1 home loss to Redditch United which convinced Kearns to stump up the cash.
“I think Iain and Andy did a great job in ambushing me,” said the chairman, who had just returned from holiday to watch his team beaten at home by Redditch.
“I thought the whole Redditch game was set up to show me that we missed Jay Davies, which made me go out on Wednesday morning, finish the negotiations with Woking which had been going on for four weeks, and finally we came to an agreement.
“We paid £4,000 for Jay and we got him on an 18-month contract.
“We did miss him – he’s a very good footballer and, more importantly, he plays very well with Ollie Thorne and he knits the team together.”
Davies, the son of coach Andy, was certainly the answer on Saturday when Lewis Hilliard scored a late free-kick at Stourbridge for the Saints to leapfrog their opponents into third place in the Southern League Premier Division table.
However, things did not go quite so well on Monday night when they lost 2-0 to Hitchin Town in the first round of the league’s Red Insure Cup.
Davies’ return is a definite fillip to a club aiming for Conference football themselves.
Manager Parr said of Davies: “It was the style and the way that Jay went about his game – I was saying to the boys ‘he came in, he did well, now let’s focus on why he did well’.
“It was a little bit too soon for Ryan Sharman and Lewis Hilliard is more comfortable out wide, though he can play in the centre, and Ollie Thorne is a different style of player.
“It was such an immediate success with Jay in there that anything that came afterwards wasn’t quite good enough – and that wasn’t through the boys trying.”
Meanwhile, left-sided defender and midfielder Declan Rogers has been sacked for ‘gross misconduct’.
Rogers, who joined St Neots from Huntingdon Town during the summer, immediately re-joined his old club and played in United Counties League 2-1 defeat of Holbeach Town on Saturday.
Huntingdon Town manager Ricky Marheineke said: “He’s a young lad and he made a silly mistake and he’s disappointed he did that.
“But he is also disappointed that he has been punished in the way that he has been.”