Stefan Moore strike secures a point as St Neots Town stumble at home to Bashley

STEFAN Moore’s ninth goal of the season saved St Neots Town a point to keep them third in the Premier Division of the Southern League when they drew 2-2 with Bashley on Saturday.

Ian Parr’s Saints took a 21st minute lead through Dan Jacob at Rowley Park – but it was 2-1 when Moore struck in the 73rd after goalkeeper Michael Duggan had made a mistake to gift the Hampshire side their lead.

“We didn’t deserve to win it and they didn’t warrant enough to win it either,” said Parr.

“I think it’s just the basics – we keep popping up with mistakes.

“Against Stourbridge we were magnificent, against St Albans we were consistent – but having a week off killed us.”

The free Saturday was due to Kettering Town’s financial problems – that cancelled match meant the Saints two wins on the trot were followed by a break in the campaign.

But some of the football they played at times during the game on Saturday certainly sent a positive message to the fans, despite the dropped points.

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The first goal came from Dan Jacob – a nice cut inside on his left football which beat the Bashley goalkeeper with a tiny deflection on its way through the box.

But it was the movement that led to it that was impressive. Jay Davies and Moore were patient, playing the ball around in midfield before pushing the ball forward for Lewis Hilliard who found the goalscorer with a perfect ball.

There were further St Neots chances in the first half – Moore hit a post and Ben Mackey shot weakly – but it was Ian Richardson

who found the net, for the visitors, when he was unmarked in the box following a free-kick.

It was from another free-kick that the Saints went 2-1 down. Duggan was at fault, letting a long punt from Andy Jenkinson float over his head and down into the net.

Mackey and Moore both went close after that before Hilliard skipped through Bashley’s defence and fed Moore with a ball he could hardly fail to divert into the goal.

Moore almost snatched a winner in the 82nd minute but his shot was saved – and Jacob was red carded shortly before the end for alleged violent conduct.

St Neots are at home to Bideford on Saturday and will be welcoming back Ollie Thorne and Jordan Gent who were both suspended.

“We’re not in that situation now where possibly in previous years we would have gone out and signed players for a couple of games.

“We’ve got some good young lads in this squad. We have a good enough squad to step up and beat teams here.

“I think the only good goal a team has scored against us was St Albans where the lad has hit from 30 yards.

“We seem to have to work really hard for our goals - and we give away a lot. But that’s a team thing.

“We need to work as a team just a bit harder to keep the ball and get the ball back.”

After Bideford, who were promoted from the other Southern League Division One as South & West champions last season, the Saints are away at second-placed Leamington on November 17.

Now that will be a tough one…

St Neots: Michael Duggan, Jon-Paul Duncliffe, Ed Adjei, Ryan Sharman (Adeoye Yusuff), Arthur Lee, Gavin Hoyte, Lewis Hilliard, Jay Davies, Stefan Moore, Ben Mackey, Dan Jacob.