NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Late Christmas present for struggling St Neots Town thanks to Boxing Day glory
- Credit: Archant
A year of lows ended on a high for St Neots Town on Boxing Day.
The struggling Saints - without a manager following the recent resignation of Marc Abbott - collected only their third Southern League Division One Central success of the campaign.
And a 2-1 victory at promotion-chasing Bedford certainly isn't a result to be sniffed at for a side under the control of director of football Matt Clements and coach Sean Greygoose, but without their captain Lee Watkins due to illness.
They deservedly hit the front when leading scorer Prince Mutswunguma danced round Bedford keeper Jamie Head and tucked the ball into the empty.
Former Saints man Brett Longden hit the woodwork as Bedford fruitlessly searched for a leveller before Mutswunguma turned provider when the visitors doubled their lead midway through the second half as his cross was forced in by Joe Sutton.
And while Saints' advantage was halved in stoppage time, they had done enough to earn a morale-boosting success - their first on the road since winning at Kempston Rovers in August.
Clements said: "I'm pleased for the players, the coaching staff and the supporters.
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"It was clear to see after the game how much a good result meant to everyone.
"The lads are well aware there is no hiding place and they delivered for us.
"We know we have the quality and pace to hurt teams. We set out to go forward as quickly as possible, so it was very encouraging to see us score two counter-atttacking goals.
"We also expect the lads to work their backside off when we're not in possession and that was also very evident.
"We played in the style and manner required to go toe-to-toe with a good Step 4 side."
Saints remain second-bottom of the standings but now have an 11-point buffer over basement side Wantage who are yet to open their account this season.
Saints are within five points of the side directly above them, Kempston, who they also host at the Premier Plus Stadium on New Year's Day, 3pm.
And that fixture is followed by a short trip up the A1 to another bottom-six side, Yaxley, on January 4.
Clements, who will remain in charge for those two games, added: "It was great to get the win at Bedford, but one victory alone is nothing. It is important now to follow up that result and build some momentum.
"We're certainly looking for positive performances and points in the next two games to get closer to the group of teams above us in the table.
"We can't allow our standards to drop. It's all about improving on the platform we gave ourselves at Bedford."
Midfielder Fernando Bell-Toxtle made a second Saints debut at Bedford after joining from Ilkeston Town.