NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ryan at the double as St Neots Town stay on the rise thanks to triumph at Tiverton
- Credit: Archant
Ryan Horne hit a first-half double as St Neots Town continued their rapid rise when making their longest trip of the Southern League Premier Division season a successful one.
Saints triumphed 2-1 at promoted side Tiverton yesterday and the delight in Devon provided a third successive victory for Matt Clements’ upwardly mobile men.
It is the first time the club has achieved that feat for almost three years and it earned a leap into the top half of the Premier Division standings – a position they haven’t occupied since the opening month of last season.
“We had to grind out another fantastic result,” said Clements. “It was an ugly win but there were still bits of magic thrown in.
“We showed how clinical we are going forward with a couple of great goals from Ryan despite never really getting out of third gear.
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“We were actually much better in the second half in terms of controlling the game and had plenty of chances to add to our lead before Tiverton scored.
“We had to absorb a lot of pressure in the final part of the game, but we were very solid in front of a commanding goalkeeper in Mike Emery.”
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Tiverton were the first team to find the net, but Ben Mammola’s 17th minute effort from a corner was ruled out for a push.
But there was no indiscretion when Saints struck eight minutes later as Horne unleashed a fine long range strike after being picked out by a Dylan Williams free-kick.
And the same player doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time after being left unmarked to convert after Jack Bradshaw surged down the right and delivered a fine cross.
A fine save from Emery prevented Tiverton from halving the deficit early in the second half before Williams scuffed a glorious opportunity to extend Saints’ lead after a slick move involving Horne and Tom Meechan.
Tiverton went on the attack in a bid to claw their way back into the game and that approach paid dividends when Levi Landricombe burst through to beat Emery.
That was the trigger for almost constant pressure in the final quarter of the contest, but two fine saves from Emery ensured Saints remained ahead.
Williams and Luke Knight were both denied late breakaway goals by home goalkeeper Martin Rice, but Saints had done enough to continue their fine recent run.
Clements sent on teenage loan recruit Josh Davison as a substitute in the second half. The striker has joined on loan from League One side Peterborough.
Saints are back in action on Tuesday when they go to AFC Rushden & Diamonds for a Southern League Challenge Cup tie.