Saints target play-off place

St Neots Town players celebrate Lee Clarke's opening goal in their 4-0 win against Cirencester on Ma

St Neots Town players celebrate Lee Clarke's opening goal in their 4-0 win against Cirencester on March 7. - Credit: Archant

A place in the Southern League Premier Division play-off zone is the aim for St Neots Town on Saturday.

The Saints have made stunning progression since the late December arrival of manager David Batch to emerge as promotion contenders.

And they can take the next step towards achieving that dream when entertaining Hungerford at the Cozy Stadium.

The two teams are level on points with Hungerford currently occupying the final play-off spot by virtue of a superior goal difference. They have also played one game more than the Saints.

Batch said: “We’re top of the current form table and we’ve got that bit of momentum which is crucial at this stage of the season.

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“We are probably the last team that anyone wants to face at the moment and I hope I’m still saying that in six weeks’ time with us in the play-offs.”

St Neots warmed up for the Hungerford clash with another crucial success against fellow play-off hopefuls on Saturday.

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They saw off Cirencester 4-0 despite being short of their best.

Lee Clarke’s opener was followed by a Tom Ward effort on the stroke of half-time.

Defender Ward’s second goal and a strike from substitute Nathan Frater arrived in the closing stages to provide a slightly flattering final scoreline.

It was another memorable occasion for Paul Bastock as the Saints shot-stopper bettered the 1,005 league appearances of goalkeeping great Peter Shilton. Bastock’s 1,006th came complete with a clean sheet thanks to a couple of terrific saves.

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