NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town out to address their first-half failings ahead of a big Bank Holiday weekend
PUBLISHED: 13:19 21 August 2017
St Ives Town boss Ricky Marheineke admits his team have to start delivering 90-minute performances.
Saints only managed to collect one point from their first two Southern League Premier Division home games of the campaign in recent days.
A 1-1 Saturday deadlock against Kings Langley and a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Biggleswade Town last Tuesday both followed a similar pattern with Marheineke’s men failing to fire in the first half.
The home disappointments mean Saints have lost momentum after starting their season with a win at Weymouth – and a tough Bank Holiday weekend now lies ahead for them.
They go to Slough, who have won two of their opening three games, on Saturday, before entertaining perfect starters King’s Lynn at ProEdge Westwood Road on Monday, both 3pm.
“The first-half performance was not good enough against Biggleswade – and it was completely acceptable against Kings Langley,” said Marheineke.
“It was arrogant, it was lazy, it was lethargic, and it was everything I don’t want to see from my team.
“We cannot continue to put ourselves in the position of having to chase games in such a tough division – especially against two teams in Slough and King’s Lynn, who are flying.
“We need starting playing with more bravery and fluency on the front foot to try to get ourselves on top.”
Half-time substitute Ben Seymour-Shove’s first goal of the campaign earned a point against Kings Langley.
His 69th minute leveller restored parity before another replacement, Dubi Ogbonna, was only denied a goalscoring first appearance of the season by a terrific save.
Peter Clark saw another excellent opportunity go inches wide and Jordan Jarrold had a penalty appeal turned down.
Clark did find the net in the club’s previous game with a 70th minute equaliser against Biggleswade, who had gone ahead early on.
Saints thought they had completed a quick turnaround when Phil Draycott struck moments later only to see a raised flag cut short his celebrations.
And they were left doubly frustrated when a late goalkeeping error from Barnet loanee Kai McKenzie-Lyle gifted the visitors victory.
“We’ve got four points from the first three games, but ideally I would have liked five or six,” added Marheineke.
“We can count ourselves very fortunate to have still been in both of the home games at half-time, but we then ended up unlucky not to win both of them.
“We have to remember we are still very much a work in progress and there have been positives to take from all three matches so far.”