Refined approach planned by new St Neots boss

Drew Roberts scores for St Neots Town in their victory at Dunstable Town on New Year's Day.

Drew Roberts scores for St Neots Town in their victory at Dunstable Town on New Year's Day. - Credit: Archant

David Batch was delighted with a winning start to his St Neots reign – but he has plenty of hard work ahead.

Despite having 12 players sidelined through a catalogue of injuries and illnesses, Town triumphed 3-1 at Dunstable on New Year’s Day thanks to a Ryan Frater header and a Drew Roberts double.

But Batch has issues to address after the club’s failure to raise a team for the scheduled Hunts Senior Cup semi-final at Yaxley last Saturday – a tie eventually forfeited.

Batch, who took charge just 48 hours before that game, said: “Considering the lack of preparation time we have, the lads implemented our gameplan very well.

“We will gradually refine our approach over the forthcoming weeks, but it was obviously pleasing to start with a win.

“The lack of availability we saw on Saturday was a surprise and there are clearly some dots that need to be joined at the club to provide a clear pathway from youth football into senior football.

“That is something I will be working on along with those responsible for the youth sides and the Under 21 team (Youth and Saints).”

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Batch’s most immediate concern is a marathon trip to Somerset side Paulton Rovers on Saturday. Ed Adjei, Ben Mackey and Josh Bickerstaff are expected back to ease the injury situation.

A 350-mile round trip would not normally be seen as ideal, but Batch plans to use the time wisely.

He continued: “It is a long journey, but one which will give me a chance to speak to players individually.”

Assistant boss Steve Easthaugh – like Batch a UEFA A licensed coach – and goalkeeper coach Darren Plowman have followed the new boss from former club AFC Sudbury.

St Neots have seen six points scrubbed from their tally as the results of Hereford were expunged following that club’s December winding-up. It leaves them ninth, three points outside the play-off spots.

Midfielder Jay Davies has left St Neots for Conference South strugglers Bishop’s Stortford.