Saints hold on to win thriller

St Neots v Poole Town. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

St Neots v Poole Town. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

St Neots’ biggest crowd of the season watched their side beat league leaders Poole Town in a five-goal thriller.

Coming into the match, the visitors boasted one of the best defensive records in the Southern Premier having conceded just four goals in 12 games.

The early exchanges saw Saints make two chances, Lewis Hilliard and Drew Roberts going close, before Poole opened the scoring with a shot through a crowded six-yard box past debutant keeper Paul Bastock.

Jay Davies, Nathan Frater and Hilliard all had first-half efforts on goal but it was Roberts who grabbed the equaliser, scoring with a powerful shot which went in off the underside of the crossbar.

After the break, Saints took the lead when Roberts deflected in a Frater overhead kick from close range.

With the momentum in their favour, the home side made it three when Roberts released Hilliard to score.

Substitute Matt Nolan had a chance to guarantee all three points but was dispossessed when clean through.

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The Saints’ defence, under pressure from Poole, held out until the 90th minute when the visitors scored from a corner to reduce the deficit.

A tense seven minutes of added time followed but Saints held out for the win, largely thanks to Bastock who produced a stunning save, touching a 25-yard pile-driver onto the bar to send the majority of the 619-strong crowd home happy.

The next league action for Saints, who were due to face Royston Town in the Red Insure Cup last night (Tuesday), is a trip to Cirencester Town on Saturday.