NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Boss insists St Ives Town can be proud of performance in defeat at Stratford
PUBLISHED: 13:37 26 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:56 28 November 2017
Two games, two defeats, no goals scored and seven goals conceded – it’s safe to assume that St Ives Town have not enjoyed their travels in recent days.
A 4-0 midweek drubbing at Hereford last Tuesday was followed by more Southern League Premier Division disappointment yesterday when Ricky Marheineke’s men were brushed aside 3-0 at fellow strugglers Stratford Town.
The latter result certainly wasn’t a reflection of the game, according to Marheineke, who was happy with many aspects of his side’s showing.
They dominated for long periods in the Midlands, but were unable to turn possession and opportunities into goals.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Marheineke. “There wasn’t a lot between the two teams in the first half but we found ourselves two goals behind.
“We were excellent in the second half and I’m left scratching my head as to how we did not manage to score.
“We must have created seven chances but a bit of poor finishing, an occasional lack of composure and some good goalkeeping kept us out.
“People will look at the result on paper and think we have been battered, but that’s simply not the case.
“We actually produced a really good performance that we can all be proud about. It does not warrant this sort of scoreline and we need to take the opportunity to put it right on Tuesday.”
Saints were dealt an early blow at Stratford when midfielder Peter Clark was forced off after just five minutes with a hamstring injury. That led to debut for new signing Rogan McGeorge.
Marheineke’s side were undone twice in the space of four minutes just after the mid-point of the opening half. Ben Stephens fired Stratford ahead and it was quickly followed by a second goal for Jazz Luckie.
Saints responded well as James Hall shot wide before strike partner Dubi Ogbonna clipped the top of the crossbar. The latter player also missed the target with an excellent headed opportunity.
The same two St Ives attackers and Phil Draycott were all denied in the second half as their side attempted to claw their way back into the contest.
But any hopes of a comeback were dashed with 10 minutes to go when Stratford were awarded a penalty after Lewis Ferrell handled a Will Grocott shot. Edwin Ahenkorah made no mistake from the spot.
Third-bottom Saints host Hitchin at ProEdge Westwood Road, 7.45pm, on Tuesday.