NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Neots Town jump out of the relegation zone despite another stoppage-time setback

New St Neots Town signing Dan Trendall during his debut against Biggleswade Town in the Southern Lea

New St Neots Town signing Dan Trendall during his debut against Biggleswade Town in the Southern League Premier Division Central. Picture: MARK RIDER - Credit: Archant

St Neots Town’s joy of climbing out of the Southern League Premier Division Central relegation zone last Saturday was accompanied by the despair of conceding a last-gasp leveller for the second consecutive game.

The young Saints had to settle for a 2-2 draw in an A1 derby showdown against Biggleswade Town at the Premier Plus Stadium that they twice led.

The visitors’ second equaliser arrived three minutes into stoppage time, just as eight-man Redditch’s response did in a 1-1 draw against Saints the previous weekend.

Marc Abbott’s men had gone ahead after eight minutes when Gary Wharton pounced for a third goal in as many games.

The in-form frontman raced onto a long clearance from goalkeeper James Philp and punished indecision from visiting number one Sam Donkin to claim a gift-wrapped opener.

The lead was shortlived as Biggleswade replied after a quarter-of-an-hour when a corner was headed in by Joe White, but Saints restored their advantage 10 minutes before half-time when Prince Mutswunguma turned in an initial Mason Wilson-Rhiney effort.

It meant the local club struck twice in a league match for the first time in 2019, but it wasn’t enough to earn victory as one-time Saints defender Jordan Gent poked home in a goalmouth scramble in the dying moments of the second half to ensure the points were shared.

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“We’re pleased to have lifted ourselves out of the relegation zone,” said boss Abbott. “But we’re also disappointed for the second Saturday running not to have won.

“Even though we conceded so late – and both of the Biggleswade goals were preventable – we were able to take a lot of positives from the performance.

“The effort and commitment were again huge and the boys are learning all the time when coming up against opponents who are vastly more experienced.

“There wouldn’t have been too many questions asked if we had won given how well we played.”

New signing Dan Trendall made an impressive debut against Biggleswade after stepping up two levels to join Saints.

The former Saffron Walden wideman was prominently involved in the move which led to their second goal scored by Mutswunguma.

Fellow new recruit Aaron Hudson – another winger who has been snapped up from Step 4 outfit Barton Rovers – was an unused substitute.