NON-LEAGUE: Declan and James at the double as St Neots Town leave the Southern League Premier Division drop-zone behind in style

James Hall struck twice as St Neots triumphed at Redditch. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

James Hall struck twice as St Neots triumphed at Redditch. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

St Neots Town stormed out of the Southern League Premier Division relegation zone yesterday – thanks to the best 45 minutes of manager Andy Davies’ reign.

Red-hot striker James Hall and fellow frontman Declan Rogers both struck twice in a fine 4-1 away success at play-off chasers Redditch.

Three of those goals arrived during an accomplished second-half display - dubbed the best Davies has seen since stepping into the hotseat in January when he took temporary charge before being appointed permanently in the summer - as Saints recovered from conceding in the second minute to charge to glory.

Davies said: “We started very slowly, conceded far too easily and looked shaky for the next 20 minutes.

“Getting level before half-time was important and we were able to regroup on level terms while have a very open teamtalk.

“And I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction in the second half. It was the best I have seen us play since I stepped in as manager back in January.

“We could easily have had more goals, but the vital thing now is repeating level of performance seen in the second half on a consistent basis.

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“Being out of the bottom four is a small step in the right direction, but we need to keep our feet on the ground.”

An ultimately memorable afternoon got off to an utterly forgettable start as Saints fell behind after just 63 seconds.

And only two smart Alex Archer saves and an acrobatic goal-line clearance from Jonny Hall prevented their arrears increasing.

But Saints began to grow in stature as the first half wore on and they were rewarded by a 39th minute leveller as James Hall seized on a loose clearance before finding the target.

And they struck again six minutes into the second half to complete a quick turnaround as the over-lapping Miles Smith delivered a deep cross which was finished by a Rogers volley.

Rogers then turned provided for James Hall to hit his 11th goal of the season on the hour before both players were again involved in their 71st minute clincher.

James Hall fired against the bar after pouncing on a weak back-pass and Rogers was on hand to put away the rebound to seal the club’s first-ever win at Redditch.

It launched Saints four places up the Premier Division standings to 17th as they eased three points clear of the drop-zone.