Three out of 10 says boss but St Neots in top five

Brett Longden on the ball for St Neots in their 0-0 draw at Cambridge City on Saturday. Picture by C

Brett Longden on the ball for St Neots in their 0-0 draw at Cambridge City on Saturday. Picture by Claire Howes. - Credit: Archant

St Neots Town have returned to the Southern League Premier Division play-off places for the first time in three months.

A goalless stalemate against Cambridge City on Saturday was enough to lift David Batch’s men into the top five despite the harsh dismissal of defender Tom Ward for collecting two cautions.

It could prove be a considerably more significant than memorable step towards promotion as boss Batch gave a damning verdict of his team’s display at The Glassworld Stadium, but it is a result which means their fate now lies entirely in their own hands.

“It was by far the poorest performance in my time at the club,” says Batch, who took charge for the first time on New Year’s Day.

“If I had to mark, I would only give it three out of 10 and two of those would be for turning up and putting the right kit on!

“In all seriousness we did not play at all well, but that has happened once in 14 games and any manager would take that sort of record.

“All that matters is that it goes down as a decent point which took us up a place in the table on a day when six of the top 10 teams in the division lost.

Most Read

“We always felt our fate would be in our own hands and that is now the case. We have six games remaining and, if we can play well, it will take a very good side at our level to beat us.”

Miserly defending has been the cornerstone of St Neots’ resurgence under Batch. A sixth clean sheet in the last eight games was secured against Cambridge City.

Next up for Saints in their run-in of matches against mid-table teams is a home clash against Bideford at the Cozy Stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Batch has put his interest in two transfer targets – understood to play for Premier Division rivals Hitchin – on hold until the summer after Saints had a double-bid rejected.

St Neots were due to host Peterborough United for a friendly last night. The fixture gave Batch the chance to run the rule over a couple of possible recruits from the League One club.