St Neots Town started the new Southern League season with a point at home to Bedworth United in a 1-1 draw – although they may be wondering how they didn’t end up with three.
They had finished a good first half with a deserved goal two minutes before the break but the visitors equalised soon after half time and even though Bedworth were reduced to 10 men with just under 30 minutes left, the Saints couldn’t find a winner.
Manager Barry Corr had been forced to pick himself for the first time, after injury robbed him of Sam Goode, and Aaron Smith was back in a midfield role for the Division One Central clash.
St Neots created enough openings to have claimed full points but their finishing was sometimes awry.
That was not necessarily true of summer signing Leon Lobjoit though who made it five goals in three games with a close-range finish from a cross delivered by Joe Sutton.
Prior to that Saints had dominated the first period.
Sutton shot across the face of goal and Lobjoit curled a free kick narrowly over the crossbar. And the chances kept coming with Sam Gomersall also shooting over after good work from man of the match Liam Bennett and Lobjoit heading wide.
At the other end Louis Chadwick had little to do barring a parry from Josh Steele on 33 minutes.
The second-half started in similar fashion with Tom Dickens going close and efforts from Gomersall and Corr being deflected off target.
And yet despite all that the game was level again nine minutes after the restart, Mitchell Piggon stabbing home a cross from Reece Blackmore.
St Neots were given the upper hand again on 62 minutes when Liam Trusloe was shown a straight red for a tackle on Aaron Smith.
The visitors sacrificed both strikers to defend their point and the rearguard action worked perfectly.
The hosts had almost all the possession and won six corners in the last 15 minutes but apart from a Bennett shot blocked on the line by the packed defence, the visitors held out almost comfortably.
Ironically the closest Saints came to snatching a winner came after a careless back-pass forced Daniel Crane to throw himself full length and push it round a post.
St Neots: Chadwick, Bennett, Battersby, Wilson-Braithwaite, Dickens, Corr (Hassani 71), Watkins, Smith, Sutton, Lobjoit, Gomersall.
Subs (not used): Dallas, O’Hara and Martin.
Goal: Lobjoit 43.
Booked: Wilson-Braithwaite 33, Watkins 52.
Bedworth: Crane, Dudley, Steele (Rowe 59), Parrott, Barnett, Walton, Truslove, Blackmore, Piggon (Dawson 69), Blythe (John 88), Mulders.
Subs (not used): King, Templeton.
Goal: Piggon 54.
Booked: Walton 31, Barnett 63.
Sent off: Truslove 62.
Referee: Harry Tannant (Towcester)