St Neots pull away at the top after beating Bedworth

ST Neots Town won their game in hand on Tuesday night and Dennis Greene’s side are now three points clear at the top of the Southern League Division One Central table.

The Saints beat third-placed Bedworth United 3-0 with goals from Stefan Moore, Ben Mackey and Rene Steer to pull away from promotion rivals Slough Town who were without a game. Both clubs now have just seven games remaining.

Previously, St Neots chairman Mike Kearns had upset the manager of Slough – but he won’t care about that if his club has won promotion at the end of the season.

Following some ‘door banging’ antics by the Slough players following their win at The Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday, march 10, the Slough manager Steve Bateman reacted to some of Kearns comments by saying: “The guy has clearly got plenty of money and is happy to spend it, but there’s no need for what he said.”

On The Hunts Post website last week, Kearns was quoted as saying: “With all due respect to Slough and many others, kick-and-run type football is not what any of us want to see ... It is far easier to find players with less ability and just play the lump-it-forward game, it would be a lot cheaper for the club as well.” And video comments the chairman made on SNTV – the YouTube channel on club’s official website – caused a stir too. “I read and watched the comments of the St Neots chairman with a little smile on my face,” Bateman told his club’s official website. “I found them quite embarrassing and bordering on arrogant.”

Things might have calmed down of course had St Neots not taken the leadership of the Division One Central table straight back off Slough - on goal difference - just four days after losing it in their big clash.

On the Tuesday night (March 13) St Neots went to Rugby Town and won 4-2 with a hat trick from Moore and another goal from Dan Jacob. On the same evening Slough inexplicably lost 2-0 at home to strugglers North Greenford United. Immediately Saints fans began Tweeting with the hash tag #keepbangingthedoors. Fun and games.

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On Saturday, Slough were about to lose again, but two very late goals saw them beat visitors Biggleswade Town 2-1 after they had gone 1-0 down in the 49th minute and only pulled their first goal back in the 85th. In Chertsey, St Neots made light work of their opponents with a 2-0 win with Mackey and Moore the goalscorers.

After his five goals in eight days, Moore is now top of the Division One Central goalscoring chart – but his manager still thinks he could be finding the net more often. Of the former Aston Villa striker, who has now scored 29 Southern League league and cup goals this season, Greene said: “He’s a handful when he wants to be. He’s class – and if he worked a bit harder he would be able to do that all that time.”

Shane Tolley is fifth in that list of goalscorers with two more St Neots players – Dan Jacob and Ben Mackey – in the top 18.