NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Turning draws into wins is the next step in a season of progress for St Ives Town
- Credit: Archant
Manager Ricky Marheineke wants St Ives Town to start turning draws into wins.
The local club missed out on a major Southern League Premier Division Central scalp last Saturday in a 1-1 deadlock with promotion-chasing King’s Lynn Town.
Striker Jake Newman saw an 89th minute penalty saved as Saints failed to take a gift-wrapped opportunity for glory.
Instead they had to settle for a third successive draw in a game in which they led courtesy of an Ollie Snaith goal before Lynn, who had seen a 19-game unbeaten run end in midweek, levelled.
“It’s the third draw in a row and all three could easily have been wins,” admitted Marheineke.
“We got ourselves ahead with a great goal in the first half when we should also have had a penalty.
“We then failed to take a couple of good chances early in the second half and one goal is not enough to beat a side who boast the sort of quality that King’s Lynn have.
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“They got themselves level and bombarded us for 20 minutes when we were really under the cosh.
“But the boys stood up to it, defended really well and we then had glorious chances to win the game.
“You’re not going to get a better opportunity to beat a top team than having an 89th minute penalty. Jake struck it well but their keeper pulled off a good save.”
Saints saw a strong penalty appeal ignored by referee Tim Donnellan when George Bailey was shoved to the floor after a quarter-of-an-hour, but they only had to wait another four minutes to gain reward for a bright start.
Snaith broke the deadlock with a low shot which benefitted from a kiss off the inside of a post after he was picked out by a Mark Coulson pass.
The same player then came agonisingly close to doubling Saints’ advantage early in the second half. Snaith saw one effort well saved before watching in disbelief as his 30-yard lob bounced onto the roof of an empty net after a misjudged clearance from Lynn keeper Street.
The visitors levelled just after the hour as Adam Marriott tucked away a knockdown from strike partner Michael Gash and that equaliser was the cue for the Norfolk side to dominate.
Saints keeper Martin Conway saved superbly from goalscorer Marriott before the crossbar came to the hosts’ rescue to keep out a Ryan Fryatt header.
But it was Saints who then finished strongly and earned a penalty when substitute Ben Barker was sent tumbling by Street after a shot from another replacement, Ben Seymour-Shove, was spilled.
But Newman could find no way past Street from the spot as the spoils were shared.
It was a third consecutive 1-1 draw for Saints following deadlocks on the road at Halesowen the previous Saturday and at Barwell in midweek.
Marheineke added: “It was a point gained at Halesowen even though we led until deep into stoppage time, but there is no doubt in my mind that we dropped two points at Barwell and again at home to King’s Lynn.
“We’ve told the players during the past week that we are a good team, but it we want to become really good we have to turn these draws into wins.
“We have a group of players who understand their roles and responsibilities, but we need to keep striving to improve and ensure the fine margins go our way.”
A tough February lies ahead for Saints, starting with a trip to third-placed Stratford Town this Saturday, 3pm.