NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town chief upbeat despite seeing two precious points slip away in survival battle

St Ives Town striker Dylan Wilson scored in their 2-2 draw against Stratford Town. Picture: DUNCAN L

St Ives Town striker Dylan Wilson scored in their 2-2 draw against Stratford Town. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant

The positives far outweighed the negatives last Saturday for St Ives Town.

That was the message from manager Ricky Marheineke following an afternoon of mixed emotions at Westwood Road.

Saints picked up a valuable point in their Southern League Premier Division Central survival fight when drawing 2-2 with Stratford Town.

But they also squandered the chance to climb out of the drop-zone when allowing a two-goal lead to slip in the second half with the visitors' equaliser arriving with just two minutes to go.

"It's a game we should have won but it's also one we were lucky not to lose in the end," said Marheineke.

"We have to start somewhere and it's a valuable point on the board even though we know it could have been more.

"We've dropped several points in the closing stages of games and that's definitely something we need to prevent, but the way we performed overall pleased me hugely.

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"We look rejuvenated as a squad and there were far more positives than negatives to take out of it.

"I'm confident we can now go into any game with a chance of getting a result - and that's not something I've been able to say often this season."

Saints produced a sizzling start with the brilliance of Matt Foy leaving Dylan Wilson with the simple task of stroking them into an early advantage.

Namesake Jarvis Wilson was only millimetres away from a second goal when his deflected drive hit the bar.

Foy fluffed a golden chance to double the lead when firing wide in a one-on-one situation early in the second period, but he atoned within seconds by finding the net in Saints' very next attack.

That goal sparked a bold response from Stratford boss Paul Davies as he made a double-change - and one of the players introduced proved to be a key figure.

Kyle MacFarlane halved the Saints' lead midway through the half before hitting a late leveller with two minutes to go.

And the same Stratford man was only inches away from completing a match-winning hat-trick in stoppage time when just unable to reach another low cross.

That chance and the visitors' two goals were both created down their right following the loss of Saints' debutant left-back Ben Toseland to injury when they still held a two-goal lead.

Toseland, who had a loan spell with the club last season, has arrived from Peterborough Sports and was one of two new faces in their line-up along with central defender Alfie Powell, who has stepped up a level from Kempston Rovers.

Saints go to Barwell this Saturday, 3pm.