It could be a ‘Special Two’ for Saints supremo

Mat Mitchel-King (rising highest here) is a major doubt for the play-off final. Picture by Claire Ho

Mat Mitchel-King (rising highest here) is a major doubt for the play-off final. Picture by Claire Howes. - Credit: Archant

It has already been a good Bank Holiday weekend for Mike Kearns.

His beloved Chelsea, managed by Jose Mourinho, clinched the Premier League title today.

Tomorrow it is the turn of Kearns’ club, St Neots Town, and their own ‘Special One’, David Batch, to chase honours.

The Southern League Premier Division Play-Off Final trophy and promotion to the Football Conference awaits if Saints can triumph in their Bank Holiday Monday battle at Truro City (3pm).

It is the one remaining hurdle for a Town team, revitalised since the late-December appointment of Batch, to hop over.

“I’ve known David for 25 years and he had been on my radar for a long time,” said Kearns.

“I had always thought there might be too much travelling involved for him to consider becoming St Neots manager, but that wasn’t the case.

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“He has proved to be an excellent appointment. We’ve only lost once since he came in and he has really put a different perspective on things.

“Along with the rest of his management team, he has added a serious amount of professionalism and really bought into the infrastructure at the club.

“So many managers in football are in it for themselves, but it is all about the club where David is concerned.

“The players deserve a lot of credit for getting to the play-off final as well. They have really bought into how David wants them to play.

“We are a patient team, we are well-organised and we have become a real handful from set pieces. We are a big threat.”

Kearns has long talked up St Neots’ chances of success if they were able to make the cut for the top-five.

They secured their place in the play-offs on the final day of the regular season and then sank a Poole team, who had set the pace for much of the campaign, at the semi-final stage on Tuesday.

They were underdogs that night in Dorset and they will assume the same role again tomorrow according to their chairman.

Kearns added: “I said all along that no team would want to face us in the play-offs. We are the form side in the division after only losing once since Boxing Day.

“But the best thing is there is absolutely no pressure whatsoever on our lads. That was the case at Poole in the semi-final when we played as well as we needed to – and it will also be the case at Truro.

“They finished third in the league and they have the home advantage so they will be the favourites, but I would much rather be facing them than Hungerford so I was pleased when they won the other semi-final.

“We haven’t lost at Truro since coming into the Premier Division and hopefully that record can continue. They have a decent pitch down there and it suits our style of play.”

St Neots could be without influential midfielder Mat Mitchel-King who sustained a nasty gash to his leg in the opening moments of the semi-final win at Poole.

He played on until half-time but later required more than 40 stitches to treat the wound.