St Ives Town are down to bare bones after loanees return to cash-strapped Histon

11:36 17 March 2014

Jamie Alsop made a return to the team following injury problems. Picture: Louise Thompson

Jamie Alsop made a return to the team following injury problems. Picture: Louise Thompson

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St Ives Town will go into tomorrow night’s game against Uxbridge with bare bones following their slightly disappointing 1-1 draw with AFC Hayes on Saturday.

The loss of Matty Waters and Ashley White, the Histon loan players who have now returned home, meant the Saints were low on numbers at the weekend but only a goalkeeping mistake in the 85th minute denied them all three points and an 11th win of their first season at Step 4.

Joint manager Jez Hall, who watched as his co-manager Warren Everdell make a rare appearance from the substitutes’ bench, says the squad is on its knees.

“We really are down to bare bones now. We are going to need to get one or two in because we probably only have eight or nine of that side who played to really available.

“We are playing so many games so we have got to look after them and they are all playing at 80 per cent fitness. Most of them have little injuries.”

Waters and White returned to Histon because of the financial problems currently being experienced by the Conference North side. Striker Waters was especially missed having scored four goals since joining St Ives last month, while St Ives were dealt an extra blow on the eve of the match when Karl Gibbs pulled out with his wife due to give birth.

But the cobbled together squad played well against an AFC Hayes who are below them in the Southern League’s Division One Central table. Jamie Alsop, returning from a toe injury, following a knee injury, scored the Saints’ goal in the 45th minute. His in-swinging free-kick evaded both attackers and defenders and the goalkeeper was stranded as it passed him for 1-0. It was the last action of the first half.

Hall said: “I thought it was going to be an ugly 1-0 win. The trouble was we only had 13 players plus Warren, and Will Fordham and Dan Bannister have played the last 20 minutes injured. David Cobb lasted as long as he could and we did well to get an hour out of Jamie.”

Avelino Vieira had a great chance midway through the second half but the striker’s instinctive header went just over. But Hayes were hardly a threat during the second 45 and had they not been gifted their goal when goalkeeper Nick Bennion dropped the ball from a harmless cross they would have returned to London pointless.

“I thought we were going to hang in there but it was an 85th minute mistake. So it was a shame how they equalised really because it was an error. Nick has just dropped the ball which is not like him – so that was really disappointing.

“But, to be fair, I am a bit gutted for them not to have held on for the 1-0 because they really put a shift in.

“Overall I am pleased – I would rather Hayes had scored a 30-yard screamer for their equaliser but we just have to accept that unfortunately.”

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