NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Another narrow defeat for St Neots Town as they slip further into the relegation zone
- Credit: Archant
A bunch of St Neots Town old boys pushed the club’s current crop of players deeper into Southern League relegation bother on Saturday.
Saints dropped to third-bottom in the Premier Division standings as a result of a 3-2 defeat at a play-off chasing Chesham side, which featured four of their former men.
One of the past Saints, David Hutton, was on the scoresheet, while another, Drew Roberts, had a hand in the first goal.
Brett Longden and Mat Mitchel-King, who went off injured in the first half, also featured in a Chesham defence which St Neots breached twice, but still left Buckinghamshire empty-handed.
They were left with an uphill task after conceding twice in the opening 10 minutes. One-time Premier League player, Barry Hayles, headed the first of those goals before Hutton doubled the advantage with a classy curler.
Loan ace Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson’s first goal in Saints’ colours soon halved their arrears and he saw a good chance to level go begging early in the second half.
Substitute Lee Clarke, who replaced injured debutant James Tricks, was denied moments after his introduce and fellow replacement Nassim L’Ghoul twice tested home goalkeeper Ashlee Jones.
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But Saints’ search for a leveller ultimately proved their undoing as Dave Pearce snatched a third Chesham goal in the 90th minute.
There was still time for Jonny Herd to grab his first St Neots goal deep into stoppage time, but it was little consolation on an afternoon where they were worthy of at least one point – and possibly all three.
Boss Matt Clements admitted: “We didn’t get started early on and that is what lost us the game.
“For 80 minutes we were excellent and more than matched a team challenging for a place in the play-offs, but we gave them a two-goal head start.
“For the third match running, we are left with nothing when we deserved at least a point, if not a victory.
“We still have games in hand on the teams above us and are still in control of our own destiny, but we really do have to start turning these performances into points.”
Clements also handed a debut to Cambridge United youngster Fernando Bell-Toxtle. Another new arrival from the League Two club, Tom Knowles, was an unused substitute.
Saints now sit two points from safety ahead of a trip to King’s Lynn tomorrow night.