More home misery as St Neots Town fail to reign in the rain

Mat Mitchel-King battles for the ball during St Neots Town's defeat to King's Lynn. Picture: HELEN D

Mat Mitchel-King battles for the ball during St Neots Town's defeat to King's Lynn. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

It might be a new year, but it was the same old story for St Neots Town today.

St Neots Town boss David Batch (right) had much to ponder after another defeat for his team. Picture

St Neots Town boss David Batch (right) had much to ponder after another defeat for his team. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

There appeared to be no upturn in sight as Saints’ disappointing Southern League Premier Division season took another turn for the worse when suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of King’s Lynn at a rain-lashed Premier Plus Stadium.

Their win-less run now stands at eight games and the latest loss was rather more emphatic than a solitary late Lynn goal scored rather fortunately by a rather delicate area of David Bridges’ anatomy might suggest.

Substitute Bridges was struck by an attempted clearance from Adam Tann with six minutes to go as Saints’ resistance was finally broken when they failed to deal with the latest in a long-line of dangerous Lynn set-pieces.

And, despite carving out two glorious opportunities to claw their way level in the closing minutes, Saints found themselves tasting a seventh home defeat in all competitions this season.

“This was one of those games a team wins when things are going well,” said Saints boss David Batch.

“But when things are going against you – as they are for us at the moment – it is the sort of game you end up losing 1-0.”

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Neither side posed much in the way of attacking threat in the opening period with an early blocked shot from Shane Blackett as good as it got for Saints.

They looked highly fortunate not to concede a penalty at the other end when Brett Longden appeared to halt Liam Hurst illegally inside the box, but referee Chris Ward instead awarded the visitors a free-kick just outside.

But Saints were second-best from the word go in the second period when they only succeeded in keeping Lynn out thanks to a couple of fine Andy Wilton saves, a terrific last-ditch clearance from Ryan Frater and the crossbar before Bridges broke through.

Saints had barely even ventured into Lynn territory, let alone carved out any opportunities, before falling behind, but they responded well and should have at least levelled if not snatched victory.

Tom Meechan burst into the box and stepped round the diving Lynn goalkeeper Alex Street only to see his shot blocked by one of three visiting defenders who threw themselves across the turf.

Meechan’s immediate reaction was to vehemently appeal for a penalty, but they had to settle for a corner which came to nothing.

Then, with the clock already having ticked into stoppage time, came an even more gift-wrapped opportunity.

Street flapped at a whipped-in free-kick and the ball dropped invitingly for Ryan Frater, but the captain could only launch his short into orbit with the goal at his mercy - a wayward strike which ensured the vast majoirity of a 500-plus crowd when home thoroughly miserable.

Batch added: “The first half was fairly even with us edging it stats-wise as we carried a bit more threat and had a few more set-plays around the box.

“Lynn certainly created better chances in the second period before we had a couple of really good ones after going behind.

“The lads were adamant we should have had a penalty when Tom’s shot was blocked, but he could also have taken it a bit earlier.

“It should have been put away just as the chance that fell to Ryan should have been as well, but they weren’t and we’re talking about another defeat rather than a draw or a win.”

St Neots remain 15th in the standings, but now find themselves 10 points off the play-off places.

St Ives Town’s home clash against Bedford in Division One (Central) was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at ProEdge Westwood Road.