Football
Saints suffer more setbacks

15/08 Updated: 15/08 17:23

Southam United 1 Pilkington XXX 3

SAINTS poor start to the season continued as they slumped to a third straight Athium Midland Combination Premier Division defeat at Banbury Road on Tuesday night.

There were early chances at both ends and Simeon Smith almost took advantage of a poor back pass in the fifth minute.

Pilkington were quick on the counter attack, forcing a corner in the 10th minute before former Racing Club Warwick winger Lee Thomas shot into the side netting for Saints.

Pilkington were playing fast, direct football and took the lead in the 15th minute when Reul Prescod’s low cross was fired home by Gaz Davis.

Saints hit back with James Hardie having a shot deflected wide, while Smith went close with a header.

The Saints striker then had another effort blocked before shooting wide from a good cross by Thomas.

Saints kept the pressure after the break with Luke Cole firing over from long range but the tide turned in their favour in the 49th minute as Simon Proctor was brought down in the area and Craig Watkin put the spot kick away to equalise.

Smith finally got the ball into the net from a corner, but his effort was ruled out for off-side, before turning and shooting straight at Leech 13 minutes from time.

But, all the effort counted for nothing, as Pilkington were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute for a foul by Smith and another one in added time to give the scoreline a lopsided look.

It was another blow for Saints who were also dumped out of the FA Cup following a disappointing 4-1 extra preliminary round defeat at Dudley Town on Saturday.

Saints found themselves behind inside two minutes when Niki Faux side footed in past Ollie Manuel.

A free-kick by Jonathan Watkins was then well saved by Manuel before debutant Lee Thomas shot wide.

Another fine save by Manuel kept the visitors in the tie before a 32nd minute cross from Craig Watkin was dropped by Town keeper Aaron O’Malley, but Neil Stacey failed to take advantage.

Saints went further behind in the 54th minute as they lost possession in midfield, leaving Faux with plenty of space to attack and fire an unstoppable shot across Manuel into the far corner.

Saints reduced the arrears after 67 minutes when substitute Martin Thompson flicked the ball on from a Watkin corner and Quentin Townsend turned it in.

But Dudley restored their two goal cushion in the 88th minute through Rion Francis Mills, while fellow substitute Alex Cowley made it four on the stroke of full time.

Saints entertain Coventry Copeswood at Banbury Road this Saturday (3pm) before visiting Pershore Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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