NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Plenty of hard work is still ahead for Saints despite their rapid recent rise

St Neots Town players celebrate a goal during their victory at Tiverton. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

St Neots Town players celebrate a goal during their victory at Tiverton. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Manager Matt Clements insists his rapidly rising St Neots Town side are still nowhere near the finished article.

Saints have climbed into the top half of the Southern League Premier Division standings for the first time since the opening month of last season.

That is thanks to a run of three successive league victories – a feat they have achieved for the first time in almost three years.

But boss Clements has stressed the need for his men to maintain the level of performance seen in recent games to ensure they are not sucked back down into the lower reaches of the table for the third successive season.

“Hopefully the supporters are enjoying a good run which has been a very long time coming,” said Clements. “But the reality is that we still have a lot of work still to do.

“We’re very happy to have won four of our last five league games. I’m very proud of everyone who has contributed to the upturn in form, but you don’t become a good side in the space of 10 days.

“The challenge now is to hit the standards we’ve set ourselves in recent games over a longer period of time.

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“We have the base on which to progress and that will only happen if we keep working hard on the training pitch and in games.

“Providing that happens, I am confident we can establish ourselves as a mid-table team in line with our target for this season.”

Saints have picked up home wins against Slough and Royston, and triumphed at Tiverton in recent days.

They face another long trip to Frome this Saturday before entertaining bottom side AFC Dunstable on Tuesday.

Clements has bolstered his squad with the capture of defender Ronayne Marsh-Brown.

But the 32 year-old, who has played professionally in England, Holland and Belgium in the past, suffered a miserable start to his Saints career.

He was sent off during his debut in a 1-0 defeat at lower-level AFC Rushden & Diamonds in a Southern League Challenge Cup tie last Tuesday night.

Marsh-Brown received his marching orders following a late flare-up as Saints waited to defend a corner.

He became the second member of a much-changed Saints side to see red on the night. Tom Wood was also dismissed for conceding the penalty from which Diamonds scored the only goal after 47 minutes.

First-team coach David Bridges appeared for Saints in that game after registering as a player. The 35 year-old, who enjoyed an extensive career in the Football League and non-league, is again available for selection tomorrow.