St Neots Town Saints make sudden exit by withdrawing from the United Counties League

Non-league football from the Hunts Post.

Non-league football from the Hunts Post. - Credit: Archant

The Huntingdonshire non-league scene has lost a team.

St Neots Town Saints have withdrawn from United Counties League Division One after only two-and-a-half seasons in senior football.

Club chairman Jeremy Billingham notified league officials of the decision last night (Wednesday).

The sudden exit came just 24 hours after Saints had been beaten 8-1 by league leaders Peterborough Sports.

A UCL spokesman told the Hunts Post: “It is hugely disappointing for a team to fold mid-season.

“The chairman of St Neots Saints spoke to a league official by telephone yesterday before following up that conversation with an email which confirmed the club was withdrawing with immediate effect.

“He told us he has reached this decision with great sadness, but unfortunately it was a case of having a lack of financial and playing commitment, and not enough support for a dedicated team of volunteers.”

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“The club’s results will be expunged in due course and as per league rules, there will be a financial penalty for withdrawing.”

The Saints club was formed in the summer of 2013 with the intention of fielding a team made up of Under 21 players in senior football.

It was seen as a separate entity to St Neots Town despite groundsharing at the Premier Plus Stadium

Saints finished ninth in their debut season before being second-bottom last season. They again occupied that position this term until their demise having won only two games in all competitions under manager Lydia Bedford, who was appointed in the summer.

The club will face a £750 fine for withdrawing from the league.

Chairman Billingham said: “It is with great sadness that the committee and I have come to the decision to withdraw St Neots Town Saints FC from the United Counties League Division One.

“We have a few really dedicated volunteers who have put a great deal of time and effort into keeping this team going, together with the support of senior clubs within the area. However, we have found it increasingly more difficult to carry on.

“We shall continue to provide grassroots football for all and continue to work closely with St Neots Town FC towards the future.

“We wish to thank the United Counties League for their support in this matter.”

The Saints’ exit comes hot on the heels of that of Huntingdon Reserves who withdrew from the UCL Reserve Division earlier this week.