Frustration for Green as St Neots delayed again

DENNIS Green is getting a little bit frustrated: St Neots Town haven’t played a Southern League Division One Central game now since September 24.

When Greenford roll up at the Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday, 21 days will have passed since then.

Why so? Well, I put it to the manager that there might be a few too many cup competitions around.

He laughed that off straight away. “Not for us there ain’t,” he said. “We keep getting knocked out of them. There are only three left for us now.”

The point is, by the end of the season, the St Neots first team will have taken part in: The FA Cup, The FA Vase and The Southern League Cup, the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup and the Hinchingbrooke Cup.

Plus, you can get knocked out of a cup and still find yourself without a game.

Tuesday’s scheduled Southern League game against Daventry Town was called off because of their continued participation in the FA Vase.

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Ten days before that the club brought their game against Bedford in the Southern League Cup forward to fill the space caused by their non-involvement in the first round proper of the FA Cup, the competition they went out of in the preliminary round to Thurnby Nirvana – their first hurdle.

Last Saturday they played a Luton Town side made of returning first teamers and promising youngsters to fill another gap. They beat the Blue Square Bet Premier side 4-1 that day – and at least it gave the manager the chance to try a few ideas out.

“It is starting to get a bit ridiculous,” said Greene, before Tuesday night’s friendly against Eaton Socon, organised to replace the Daventry game. “But we we’ll get around to playing all of the games at some point. By the end of the season we will have played all 42 games and that will be that. We won’t have to worry about cup competitions then.

“But on Saturday it will be three weeks since we last played in the league and that’s not ideal.”

There was actually only one match play in St Neots’ division on Saturday – Chertsey Town beat Leighton Town 5-1.

And, at the time of writing, Saints were still sitting pretty in seventh despite their lay-off. Before the Chertsey result, they were sixth.

It’s not even as if – because of their time off – they have accrued a nice number of games in hand. St Neots have played nine where most of the teams around them have played ten. Only Bedworth United, at the top of the table, have played 11 more than Saints of the teams above them.