ONLY a single point separates Daventry Town from the Southern League relegation zone after Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at St.Neots coincided with North Greenford taking four points off bottom-of-the-table Marlow in the space of three days.
Meanwhile St.Neots have gone to the top of the Central Division on goal difference before next Tuesday’s return fixture at Communications Park.
Before then long-time leaders Slough Town will provide Daventry with another tough test at the weekend.
The Saints scored at the start and finish of the first-half at Kester Way but there was much to like about the way the Town players stuck to their task this week despite rarely threatening to add to the two goals scored at Uxbridge three days earlier.
Saints’ full-back Daniel Jacob broke the deadlock scoring his 12th goal of the season as early as the fourth minute.
But the killer blow came right on time with a second goal from Ben Mackey.
Mackey, who had picked up a hat-trick in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with improving Burnham, made the most of a quick breakaway from ex-Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore.
The Daventry defence cleared the ball aimlessly at times in the first-half but responded much better in the second period even though St.Neots appeared at times to operate in cruise control.
Home goalkeeper Michael Duggan did not have to make a proper save in the first 45 minutes but was properly tested in the 73rd minute when forced to parry over the bar a fierce shot from Nathan Hicks.
Seconds later Aaron Parkinson fired narrowly wide from a free-kick as the visitors applied pressure to a St.Neots side which have dropped only two points from their last 10 league matches.
By contrast the Town have taken only one point from nine games in preparation for return fixtures with Slough Town and St.Neots.
Of more significance will be whether or not Mark Kinsella’s men can beat the likes of Fleet, North Greenford and Aylesbury.
Tom Berwick, Adam Confue and Lewis Bishop were all absentees at St.Neots where Claudiu Hoban returned from niggling injuries while Alfie Taylor was recalled from a loan spell at Cogenhoe United.
Ashley Robinson also made a cameo debut as a substitute in a Daventry team which at least showed much greater resolution than had been the case during last Saurday’s 5-2 reversal at Uxbridge.