Saints forced to pay triple Cup penalty

ST NEOTS Town manager Scott Houghton blasted the performance of referee James Turner as his side went down to their first defeat of the season. Turner awarded three penalties and sent off Saints forward John Coley as St Neots crashed out of the FA Cup, 5-

ST NEOTS Town manager Scott Houghton blasted the performance of referee James Turner as his side went down to their first defeat of the season.

Turner awarded three penalties and sent off Saints forward John Coley as St Neots crashed out of the FA Cup, 5-2 at Soham Town Rangers.

The former Peterborough United midfielder raged: "It was a sub-standard refereeing performance, no doubt about it.

"Soham are a good side and we were facing a tough task to beat them with 11 men, let alone 10. We played well in the first half but conceded a sloppy goal and the refereeing performance made it very difficult."


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The St Neots boss said he would not be punishing Coley for his red card - but the front man will not be involved at the club for a few weeks.

Houghton said: "We punish players who are booked for dissent with fines but that will not be happening in John's case as I feel he was harshly treated.

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"However, John will be taking a few weeks away from the club to cool down."

Houghton will be boosted for the weekend's league match at Cogenhoe by the return of ex-Yeovil Town man Barrington Belgrave from suspension.

Also back in contention will be Russell Lawes, Nathan Buckland and Stuart Beevor, who has returned from honeymoon.

Meanwhile, Houghton pledged to take revenge against former teammate Ian Benjamin when he takes his side back to Soham in the FA Vase next month.

"When we go back there to play in the Vase game we will have some important players back and will be well-equipped to take revenge," said Houghton.

"We knew it was a tough draw when it was made but if I could have picked one to win it would have been the Vase game as that is the ultimate non-league competition."

Houghton played alongside Soham boss Benjamin at Luton Town in the early 1990s, but the 35-year-old St Neots manager admitted he needs a few more years in management to catch up to Benjamin.

He said: "I spoke to Benjy after the game on Saturday and he was able to offer me pieces of advice here and there.

"He has been in the management game nine years so I would naturally expect him to have picked up a trick or two.

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