St Neots’ fate following their relegation from Step Four at the end of last season was revealed by the FA yesterday.

The club has been placed (as widely expected) back in the United Counties League Premier Division South from whence they were promoted twelve seasons ago.

The major change is that there are now 20 teams in the division as opposed to 18 last season, so there will be 38 league matches plus cup competitions – the same number as last season. From last season’s UCL South, the top two sides (Coventry Sphinx and Rugby Town) were promoted to Step Four; the bottom two sides (Rothwell Corinthians and Long Bucky) were relegated to Step Six, and Milton Keynes Irish transferred sideways. That left seven vacancies to be filled by St Neots, Yaxley and Daventry relegated from Step Four; Aylestone Park and Rugby Borough promoted from Step Six, and two sides moved sideways (Leicester Nirvana transferred from UCL North, and Racing Club Warwick transferred from Midland League Premier).

Of their nineteen opponents this season St Neots have faced all but seven since their reformation in 1994, either in league or cup competition.   The exceptions are Aylestone Park, Coventry United, Easington Sports, GNG Oadby, Histon, Lutterworth United, and Rugby Borough.    They played Leicester Nirvana under their former name Thurnby Nirvana in the FA Cup in the 2011/12 season.

The other major change to fixtures next season is that St Neots will not be playing in the FA Trophy but instead will be back in the FA Vase for the first tine since the 2010/11 season.  Their last opponents in that competition were Kings Lynn to whom they lost in the fifth round in February 2011 after beating Felixstowe, Burnham Ramblers, Epsom and Ewell and Gresley Rovers in earlier rounds.

Details of the first league fixture and date will be revealed at the United Counties Annual General Meeting at Peterborough on Saturday 24th June.

John Walker