Now it’s up to us’
UCL Premier Division St Neots Town 2 Blackstones 1 PROMOTION is back on the cards for St Neots after this vital win against rivals Blackstones. Town now lie second and joint-manager Ivan Finch believes his side are in good shape to challenge for promotion
UCL Premier Division
St Neots Town 2 Blackstones 1
PROMOTION is back on the cards for St Neots after this vital win against rivals Blackstones.
Town now lie second and joint-manager Ivan Finch believes his side are in good shape to challenge for promotion.
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"It is good to have the points on the board," said Finch. "There are sides below us with games in hand who can catch us but they have to win their games so we are in the driving seat."
Goals from debut-making Andy Findlay and Kevin Byrne allowed St Neots to see off their opponents from Lincolnshire in a close contest.
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Finch was full of praise for the team and said: "The work-rate and conviction of the lads was phenomenal, on a bumpy, heavy pitch they rose to the occasion.
"The defence, led by Steve Dogbe and Tony Russell, was outstanding and, given that Tony had to slot in after an injury to Mark Burrows, it was a good performance by the lads."
Town have been beaten once in the league since November despite having faced four of their closest rivals for the crown.
The visitors showed all the early intent as they took the game to Town and the home side were indebted to goalkeeper Jon Chatfield, who pulled off a fine early save from Phil Stebbing.
Play was tense with neither team finding many clear-cut chances but the Rowley Park side grabbed the lead just before the break.
Chatfield's massive clearance found former Arlesey man Findlay, who guided home a well-judged lob.
The 1-0 lead was probably more than the hosts could have expected and it was the visitors who made the early running when play recommenced.
Chatfield prevented Stebbings from getting on the scoresheet but the defence was finally breached in the 57th minute when Richard Jones was left unattended at the far post and he was able to steer Dan Cotton's corner into the net.
Play at times became a little scrappy but it was St Neots who won the contest eight minutes from time. Mark Franklin's short free-kick gave Danny Marlow the opportunity to cross, Jon Hoggett headed down and Byrne found the room he needed to slot home.
Barrington Belgrave, making a return from injury, was unlucky not to make it three when his last-minute effort was cleared off the line.
Town visit Long Buckby on Saturday.