NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Bank holiday blues as St Neots suffer back-to-back defeats
- Credit: Archant
It was a bank holiday weekend to forget for St Neots as they suffered back-to-back defeats in the Southern Premier Division.
Matt Clements’ side conceded six goals and scored only one across the weekend as they lost on Saturday to Hereford FC, 3-1, and followed it up with a 3-0 reverse at Kettering Town on Monday.
Though it is still early in the campaign, Saints have collected just two points from their opening five league encounters and find themselves in 21st place.
All three goals in Monday’s clash with Kettering arrived inside 33 minutes as the hosts blasted out of the blocks.
Though early chances for Scott Sinclair and Danny Watson offered some promise for St Neots, it didn’t take Kettering long to impose themselves as they sought to dominate proceedings.
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The hosts opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Ben Milnes out-jumped his marker to head past Mike Emery and, just two minutes later, the advantage was doubled when Jack Bradshaw brought down Rhys Hoeness as he was running away from goal, with the referee pointing to the spot.
Hoeness dusted himself down to slot the resulting penalty kick past Emery.
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A combination of pace and inventiveness kept Kettering well in control and, after 33 minutes, Milnes floated a free-kick to the far post where Rene Howe added a decisive touch to make it 3-0.
Luke Knight cleared an in-swinging corner from Milnes off the goal line and Howe could have further tightened the screw but he headed wide when left unmarked at the far post.
To their credit, St Neots refocused at half-time and were a much-improved proposition after the break. Taylor Parr saw a header cleared off the line and there was also a good chance for Johnny Herd which was well saved.
Kettering proved too strong on the day, however, and comfortably held on for the win.
Saturday’s clash with Hereford FC followed a similar pattern, albeit with St Neots managing to pull a late goal back by way of consolation.
The visitors netted twice in the opening half through Pablo Haysham and John Mills, before adding a third goal on the hour mark.
Injuries reduced St Neots to 10 men for the final period of the game but, despite the disadvantage, they still managed to pull a goal back courtesy of Scott Sinclair’s smart volley in the 86th minute.
St Neots are back in action again on Friday when they travel to Cambridge City in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup. Kick off is 7.45pm.