NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Manager Ricky Marheineke in positive mood as St Ives Town turn their attention to FA Cup test

PUBLISHED: 11:43 31 August 2017

Jimmy Hartley (right) scored for St Ives Town in their defeat against King's Lynn. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

Jimmy Hartley (right) scored for St Ives Town in their defeat against King's Lynn. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

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St Ives Town boss Ricky Marheineke is in upbeat mood despite a tough start to the campaign.

His men have collected four points from their first five Southern League Premier Division fixtures.

Saints’ sole success to date arrived on the opening day at Weymouth, but they’ve found the going tough since then.

They were beaten twice over the Bank Holiday weekend with a 3-0 Saturday reverse at Slough followed by a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of high-flying King’s Lynn Town on Bank Holiday Monday.

Saints succumbed to three goals in the final 13 minutes of the latter clash when punished for some uncharacteristically poor defending after hitting the front on the hour courtesy of a classy strike from substitute Jimmy Hartley.

“I’m relatively happy with our start,” insisted Marheineke. “We’ve had a very tough run on paper and picking up four points is not a bad return.

“We’ve shown we can compete box-to-box with some of the biggest clubs in the division.

“It’s now about being better in both boxes. If we do that, we’ll start to turn losses into draws, and draws into wins.

“We certainly can’t afford to concede goals as poor as those we let in against King’s Lynn.

“We didn’t do well enough to stop crosses coming in, and then we didn’t defend them well enough once in our box.

“We seemed to hit a brick wall in the final quarter-of-an-hour and I’m sure the heat was a factor in that.

“We worked so hard out of possession and our gameplan worked for 75 minutes, but the tiredness set in and the momentum swung massively once King’s Lynn got their first goal.”

Saints switch their attention to the FA Cup on Saturday as they enter the famous competition at the first qualifying round stage.

A home clash against Northern Premier Division outfit Coalville Town awaits at ProEdge Westwood Road.

The Leicestershire side have won of their opening six league fixtures, but Marheineke expects a difficult test in a match which carries £3,000 in prize money.

He added: “We’re looking forward to the FA Cup. It’s every club’s dream to have a good cup run due to the financial gain it brings and the publicity it attracts.

“We’re no different in that respect, but we know we’re in four a tough and physical test against Coalville.

“It’s one we’ll be ready for and we’ll do all we can to progress.”

Young goalkeeper James Goff will continue between the sticks for Saints. He featured in both games last weekend after arriving on a 28-day loan from Northampton Town.

Marheineke turned to Sawtry-based Goff after previous on-loan shot-stopper, Kai McKenzie-Lyle picked up an injury.

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