King’s reign starts with two wins as Saints move into second

Roberts sends a header goalwards.

Roberts sends a header goalwards. - Credit: Claire Howes

Gary King’s start as the sole manager in charge of St Neots Football Club got off to a flyer – thanks to a hat-trick from Drew Roberts.

On Saturday, they beat Burnham 3-0, and followed this with a 4-3 win at Hitchin Town, on Monday.

King had to wait just 29 seconds for his first goal – Roberts volleyed home from the edge of the centre circle to give Saints the lead against Burnham.

Saints had made three changes for this home clash. Max York made his debut at full back while Matt Spring and Arthur Lee were recalled to the starting XI.

Some of the spectators had not got to their seats before Roberts scored the first of his goals.

Four minutes later, Lewis Hilliard was agonisingly close to doubling the lead with a shot that beat the keeper and was only inches above the angle of post and crossbar.

This start set the tone for much of the first half with Burnham rarely venturing forward.

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On 35 minutes, Saints doubled their lead. A Bruce Wilson corner flicked off the head of a defender and at the far post Roberts rose to head home.

It should have been 3-0 a minute before half time when Spring picked up a loose clearance to send an unstoppable shot against the crossbar.

Burnham looked more positive after half time with Pay Sappleton sending a lob onto the roof of the net.

But at the other end, Burnham failed to clear a set-piece and Gavin Hoyte sent a low snap-shot wide.

On 66 minutes, Roberts weaved his way into the penalty area to be fouled by Brad Hewitt. Roberts picked himself up and completed his hat-trick from the spot.

And Roberts was back on the scoresheet on Monday night as the win at Hitchin moved Saints into second in the Southern Premier Division.

Nathan Frater had opened the scoring for the visitors on four minutes before Ollie Thorne added the second just before the half-hour mark.

Roberts got his 12th goal of the season on 85th minutes while Matt Nolan grabbed the winner in the last minute of normal time.

Saints will face tougher opposition at home this Saturday when they face the undefeated league leaders Poole Town.

They sit at the top of the league on 31 points with Saints on 29 having played two more games. Kick-off is at 3pm.