St Neots Town win but management team ‘relieved of their duties’

Ollie Thorne strikes on his return to the club. Picture: Claire Howes

Ollie Thorne strikes on his return to the club. Picture: Claire Howes - Credit: Archant

Arlesey 1 St Neots Town 3

Ollie Thorne scored on his return to St Neots to spark a late second-half revival that spared Saints blushes against their lowly hosts and lifted them up to third.

Back on loan from Hemel Hempstead and making his first appearance for St Neots since January 2013, midfield dynamo Thorne was the inspiration behind the victory, scoring the equaliser on 75 minutes and looking the best player for Saints in a rather torrid first 45 minutes.

St Neots failed to cut out a move down the left allowing Jamil Shariffu space to cross to the near post where Mark Gallagher squeezed between two defend-ers to flick the ball home on 10 minutes.

Three forward thinking substitutions were made around the hour mark and the move paid dividends. After 75 minutes a long throw from Jay Davies set up Thorne for a crisp finish that was assisted by a slight deflection.

Two minutes later a defensive error let in Nathan Frater for his eighth goal of the campaign and a 2-1 lead. After that there was no looking back.

A third goal two minutes from time sealed the victory when Drew Roberts got on the end of a Lorenzo Ferrari cross after the substitute had left two defenders

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behind with his searing pace. St Neots had turned first-half disappointment into three valuable league points.

Meanwhile, St Neots Town chairman Mike Kearns has made it clear performances on the pitch were behind his decision to “relieve of their duties” Zema Abbey and brother Nathan, the joint manager and assistant manager respectively, after Saturday’s 3-1 win at Arlesey.

Gary King will now again take sole responsibility for the first team, after the Abbeys joined him in November 2013. The trio had worked together before at Arlesey.

Kearns said that “with the brilliant squad we have” he felt the team’s performances should have been better so far this season.

“I have been uncomfortable with the performances,” he said. “I have come to this decision regardless of our decent playing record this season. I have been very uncomfortable with certain aspects of the first team management and I believed that a change had to be made.

“I would like to wish Zema and Nathan all the best for the future.”

He added: “I don’t make knee-jerk decisions. It’s not ideal but it’s better if you make a decision sooner rather than later.”

“I had a good discussion with Gary on Sunday. There will be two new assistants, including Liam George, who has a wealth of experience.”

George played 102 times for Luton among other clubs and has moved into physiotherapy since ending his playing career.

Another assistant manager is expected to be appointed by the end of the week.