Saints leave it late

29/02 Updated: 07/03 15:45

Southam United 3 Pelsall Villa 1

SAINTS ran out comfortable winners but it needed two goals in the last ten minutes to secure the three points that took them back into second place in the Athium Midland Combination Premier Division table.

With Villa belying their lowly league position and matching their hosts from the kick-off, it took Saints until the 35th minute to get the opening goal when Simeon Smith helped a shot from the returning Simon Proctor into the net.

Smith could have scored a second five minutes later when clean through, but Villa keeper Andy Hughes saved well.

Saints maintained their slender lead up to the break, but Villa gave notice that they were not done with, being denied an equaliser by a good save from Matt Oliver in the 53rd minute.

Manager Luke Fogarty was then forced into a change when Charlie Neale went off injured, with Neil Stacey dropping back to the centre of defence and Andy Millan taking his place in attack.

Millan soon found himself in the referee’s book for a wild challenge, before Villa went close again. It was third time lucky for the visitors, however, when John Hawley capitalised on Saints failure to clear from a corner to level in the 76th minute.

But, Saints were soon back in front, as Brad Rees set up Smith whose half-hit cross-shot was turned in by Millan.

Smith sealed victory seven minutes from time by proving too strong for his marker and calmly finishing into the far corner beyond Hughes for his fifth goal in as many matches.

Villa finished with ten men after Aaron Simpson was sent off for a foul on Rees in the 86th minute.

Just four points now separate the top five clubs in what is becoming an ever-closer race for the one promotion spot.

On Saturday, Saints are away to Pilkington XXX, who won 4-0 at home to Cadbury Athletic.

Meanwhile, Saints under-8s will be holding an 80’s Night in the clubhouse on Saturday. It starts at 8pm and the entrance is £2.

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