A RUTHLESS St Neots comeback saw them strengthen their grip on the United Counties League Premier title race and just about ended the Swans’ own chances.
Terry Shrieves’ men went into their trip to Cambridgeshire in need of a win to keep their hopes of catching the big spenders alive, and they looked set to bridge the gap on the leaders to four points after racing into a two-goal lead.
However, St Neots hit back to level the game before the break and all but ended the Swans’ title aspirations for another year with three second half goals, leaving them 10 points clear of Newport and six better off than Kings Lynn Town in second.
The Saints had the better of the early stages with Will Fordham unlucky not to open the scoring with a powerful header from a Lewis Hilliard corner which drew a fine tip over from Swans keeper James Broadbent.
But the home side were stunned by Newport’s 22nd minute opener, Sean McBride firing home a snap shot from 20 yards after the home defence failed to clear a throw-in.
And then three minutes later the league’s leading scorer Daren Dykes left Luke McShane helpless with a great 25 yard strike to put Newport in the driving seat.
But St Neots were back in the hunt after 36 minutes as a Theo Davis through ball saw former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore outpace the Swans defence and lob advancing keeper Broadbent.
McShane tipped away a header from Vinny Shrieves before St Neots drew level three minutes before the break - Dan Jacob the provider for Moore who rounded the keeper and slid the ball just inside the far post from a difficult angle.
A lively end to the first half saw Junior Kanudu have a shot blocked on the line while at the other end Davis made a saving tackle to thwart Darren Lynch.
Following an even start to the second half, St Neots took a 59th minute lead as Fordham’s quickly taken free-kick found Moore with his back to goal, and his overhead kick found Dallas Moore to slot home at the far post.
And the home advantage was extended after 70 minutes when Jacob’s cross saw Stefan Moore square the ball for Kieran Davies to fire into the roof of the net to put the outcome beyond doubt.
A 30 yard strike from Jacob saw the Saints complete the scoring, but their evening was spoiled 12 minutes from time when Stefan Moore was red carded following a tussle with Newport defender Rob Tapp.
It was too late for the visitors to capitalise on their advantage, but McShane needed to be at his best to keep out a Dykes header from a corner while Newport substitute Jordan Spruce was narrowly off target with a free-kick late on.
That defeat realistically sees the end of the Swans’ title hopes, and they no longer have the UCL League Cup as a consolation prize after losing their quarter final tie to Peterborough North Star on Saturday.
After a goalless first half the Swans took a 55th minute lead through Matt Broomes, and when he added a 70th minute second it seemed plain sailing for the 2010 runners-up.
But Karl Gibbs started the Star fightback after 80 minutes, firing home via the post. Five minutes later Jon Stead hauled them level with a well struck free-kick, and a minute from time Josh Moreman scored the winner in a dramatic finish at Willen Road.
Olney Town have slipped down to fourth place in UCL Division One, despite winning 1-0 away at Northampton ONs on Saturday.
Jordan Nash scored an 89th minute winner that earned Olney maximum points and keeps them just three points behind leaders Thrapston Town in an incredibly tight top four with Kempston and Bugbrooke also in the mix.
NEW Bradwell St Peter have had a remarkable end to last year and an even better first three months of 2011, having won 10 league games on the spin and scored a bagful of goals in the process.
Peters suffered a surprisingly poor start to their South Midlands League Division One season, but picked things up towards the end of November - their 3-1 victory at Bedford coming on the back of six defeats in eight games.
But since then Gary Flinn’s men have gone on an outstanding run, scoring no fewer than 40 goals on their way to 10 wins on the bounce.
They made it into double figures on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over near neighbours Stony Stratford, a side they also thrashed 8-0 earlier in their free-scoring run of form.
And Peters had been made to wait to reach that milestone after having the last three weeks off as games fell victim to waterlogged pitches. But it was worth the wait in the end as they saw off a Stony side themselves on the up after a nightmare first half of the season.
Peters may have failed to score three for only the second time in their sequence of wins, but it was not for the want of trying as they recorded 18 shots on target to the visitors’ three.
Stony keeper Tom Woodworths produced numerous fine saves to keep his side in the contest as the goal scoring chances continued to come and go for the hosts.
But a goal in each half eventually did the trick for Peters, although on another day Stephane Kemoagna and Danny Nicholls might have netted hat-tricks with the majority of Peters’ efforts falling to them.
James Fletcher headed a corner just wide in the 11th minute before more chances went begging. But a combination of pressure and poor Stony defending saw the deadlock broken in the 43rd minute when Nicholls headed in Chris Gunn’s free-kick.
It was one-way traffic again in the second half, but Peters had to wait until 10 minutes from time to completely wrap up their victory, Adam Castagnetti’s perfect cross falling to Kemoagna who lashed home from close range.
Also pleasing for boss Flinn will have been that Peters managed to keep their fourth clean sheet from those 10 games, conceding seven on their way to the top half of the table. Meanwhile, Stony, despite a much improved few weeks, remain rooted to the foot of the table.
But after their high of Saturday it was back down to earth for Peters on Tuesday night as they lost 2-1 at Hoddesdon, Kemoagna scoring for the visitors. And Stony’s relegation fears were worsened as they fell to another big defeat, 4-0 to Ampthill Town - that their 26th defeat of the season.
One of Stony’s relegation rivals are Cranfield United who also fell to a big defeat in midweek, 3-0 at home to Berkhamsted.
If Stony are to have any chance of beating the drop then they will need to get three points against the team directly above them in the table - Amersham Town who visit Ostlers Lane this Saturday, while Peters visit London Lions, and Cranfield host Ampthill.
In Division Two last weekend also brought yet another big defeat for bottom side MK Wanderers - 6-2 at Totternhoe as their search for a win goes on.
But there was a very important win for second bottom Bletchley Town, 3-0 at Caddington, who are now just a point and a place above them. Elsewhere Old Bradwell fell 6-1 at home to Winslow United.
North Bucks League
WOLVERTON Town are continuing to edge themselves clear of danger near the foot of the Premier Division table and recorded their fourth win of the season on Saturday.
Wolves saw off fellow strugglers Yardley Gobion 2-1 thanks to goals from Rawson and Bhasin, and now sit three points above the bottom two, but still with plenty left to do if they’re to avoid the drop.
Directly below Wolves in the table are MK Titans who were beaten 2-0 by league leaders Southcott Village. Castlethorpe are still holding up the rest but do have plenty of games in hand on their rivals.
Elsewhere in the top flight there was a heavy defeat for Potterspury - 7-2 at Stewkley - while Loughton Manor lost out 3-0 to Silverstone.
The Intermediate Division’s top two won again - MK Wanderers 4-1 against Heath Panthers and second placed Stoke Hammond 3-2 over MK Titans Res who stay one off the foot of the pile.
There was a good win for Denbigh Hall Sports 3-2 over Great Horwood, while Wicken earned an excellent point in drawing 2-2 with Syresham.
Celtic MK kept themselves in the running for promotion from Division One thanks to their 3-2 victory over Steeple Claydon. They’re now eight points behind table toppers Stoke Hammond Res who were without a game.
Third placed Hanslope went down 5-3 to struggling Old Stratford while second placed Southcott Res also lost, 2-0 to Grendon Rangers Res.
Division Two leaders City Colts remain just a point clear of Heath Panthers Res, but improved their goal difference with an 8-1 beating of Marsh Gibbon Res.
MK Sunday League
PREMIER Division leaders Stony Statford extended their lead over Boca Shenley to six points by making it 10 wins in 10 at the expense of Willen A.
Their 3-0 win came in one of only two games in the top flight - the other bringing a 4-1 success for Great Mile Ash over Open University A.
Two of the top three teams in Division One clashed, and it was probably table toppers FC Lifesearch who would have been the happier.
Their 2-2 draw with Trade 2U keeps FC Lifesearch three points better off than their rivals, but only one clear of second placed Kings Arms who beat bottom side Stoke 4-2. But with games in hand, Trade 2U will certainly fancy their chances of overtaking the two in the weeks ahead.
The biggest talking points of the weekend’s action were in Division Two where a game was abandoned and leaders Padbury were on the end of a shocking defeat.
They were beaten 10-3 by Punjab United, but stay four points clear of second placed MK Dynamos as their match against great Linford was the one which failed to finish.
That means Dynamos have three games in hand, but also still in the hunt for the title are Wolverton Town B who sealed a 4-2 win against Stantonbury Social to move level on points with Dynamos. Elsewhere Kiln Farm B beat Three Trees 6-1 and CS Athletic saw off New City Saints 5-2.