NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Declan Rogers is a last-gasp match-winner as St Neots Town triumph, but no-show of striker angers boss

St Neots Town players and management celebrate a last-gasp winning goal against Frome. Picture: CLAI

St Neots Town players and management celebrate a last-gasp winning goal against Frome. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

The Premier Plus Stadium is clearly the place for heart-stopping football entertainment this season.

Declan Rogers celebrates his first-minute opener for St Neots Town against Frome. Picture: CLAIRE HO

Declan Rogers celebrates his first-minute opener for St Neots Town against Frome. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

The drama is being provided by a free-scoring St Neots team who snatched a last-gasp victory in an edge-of-the-seat Southern League Premier Division thriller yesterday.

Declan Rogers struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time to earn a 3-2 victory against a previously unbeaten Frome Town team who had equalised only two minutes earlier.

Rogers’ decisive blow – the eighth goal scored by Saints in just two home games this - season sparked wild celebrations from players and management alike.

It was testament to the precision of the left foot of the player, as he guided a shot into the net during a frantic spell of goalmouth pressure, and also reflected the ability of boss Andy Davies to see into the future.

Declan Rogers celebrates his first-minute opener for St Neots Town against Frome. Picture: CLAIRE HO

Declan Rogers celebrates his first-minute opener for St Neots Town against Frome. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

“When Frome equalised by I said to Lee Clarke, who was with me in the dugout, that I had a feeling we would grab another goal,” recalled Davies.

“And that’s exactly what we did. It was a great way to win a game of football and it was another afternoon of great value for money for our fans.

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“We have some great talent going forward, but we’re well aware of the need to tighten up defensively.

“That’s something we’ll look to address in the coming games.”

Peter Clark scored St Neots' Town second goal in their victory against Frome Town. Picture: CLAIRE H

Peter Clark scored St Neots' Town second goal in their victory against Frome Town. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Rogers’ last-gasp heroics ensured he completed a rare brace of scoring in the first and last minutes of a match.

His early breakthrough, which followed some clever link play with James Hall, was cancelled out by a Harry Davies penalty for Frome on the half-hour. Teenage full-back Dom Mason was the Saints’ offender.

The sides remained deadlocked until Peter Clark marked his first start of the season by firing Saints back ahead with eight minutes to go.

That goal arrived soon after Frome were reduced to 10 men when a defender appeared to aim a punch at Saints substitute Jordan Brown as they battled for possession close to the touchline.

Youngster Brown and substitute Micky Hyem, who was making the first appearance of his second spell as a Saints player, were denied further goals before the visitors snatched an equaliser.

But there was still time for Rogers to settle the contest as a day that had a stressful start for Davies came complete with a smashing finish.

One thing Davies hadn’t seen coming was the failure of striker Dubi Ogbonna to show up for the game. His stay at the club could now be over after just two games with Davies already lining up a swoop for another striker.

Prolific Bernard Christie of AFC Dunstable is his target after scoring 50 goals at Step 5 level last season.

Davies added: “I got a call from Rogan McGeorge who said that Dubi wasn’t at home to get picked up.

“His brother hadn’t seen or heard from him since the previous day, and I’ve still not been able to make contact with him myself.

“I can’t stand for that sort of thing and I’ve had to put seven days in for another forward.”

Saints are back in action when they travel to St Ives for a Huntingdonshire derby clash on Tuesday.

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