NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: First success for St Neots Town boss as two new recruits open their accounts
- Credit: Archant
Barry Corr’s first success as St Neots Town manager came complete with stellar performances at both ends of the pitch.
The struggling Saints gained only their fifth Southern League Division One Central win of the campaign when seeing off mid-table side Coleshill at the Premier Plus Stadium.
And while the eventual 3-0 triumph might have been an emphatic one in which two of the club's Cambridge United youngsters opened their goal accounts, it owed much to the man-of-the-match contribution of another of their young prospects.
Goalkeeper Finley Iron produced a series of fine stops on his way to a first clean sheet since returning for his latest loan stint at the club.
Saints looked lively from the first whistle with a Joe Sutton shot being kept out by a smart save from Coleshill keeper Paul Hathaway before Panny Boxer's goalbound effort was deflected wide.
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But they refused to be denied an opener which was eventually provided by Cambridge loanee Tom Dickens' first goal in Saints colours midway through the first half as he forced in a Tommy Boxer cross at the far post.
And it was followed almost immediately by a second goal which again owed much to their borrowed youngsters.
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Lewis Simper was pulled down in the penalty area and Joe Neal made no mistake from the spot as he confidently smashed the ball past Hathaway to also register his first Saints goal.
The rapidly-assembled advantage was then preserved by a couple of fine Iron saves before the break and it took Saints only four minutes of the second half to stretch further clear.
This time Neal not only converted a penalty, but also earned it himself having been crudely upended in the box.
And Iron then ensured there was no chance of a Coleshill revival as he produced two stunning saves to deny Jordan Francis in a one-on-one situation and keep out a Lewis Rankin free-kick.
In fact it was Saints who came closest to scoring again when Lewis Simper slammed a long-range blast against the bar before substitute Prince Mutswunguma saw an effort cleared off the line.
Mutswunguma had been left out of the starting line-up by Corr after having a trial at Premier League club Watford the previous day.
Saints' victory lifted them above Kempston Rovers and into 18th place in the Division One Central standings.
They have good opportunities to make further gains when facing two other bottom six sides - Didcot Town and Biggleswade FC - on the next two Saturdays.
A re-arranged Tuesday tussle with table-toppers Corby Town at the Premier Plus Stadium is sandwiched by those two fixtures.