NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Satisfying success for depleted St Ives Town

St Ives Town youngsters, from the left, Tom Wakley, Karl Frans, Zac Hope, Kai Bradley and Joe Cobb,

St Ives Town youngsters, from the left, Tom Wakley, Karl Frans, Zac Hope, Kai Bradley and Joe Cobb, have all signed first-team forms. They are pictured with Lloyd Groves (back left) and Craig Adams (back right) who lead the club’s football and education programme. Picture: ST IVES TOWN FC - Credit: Archant

Ricky Marheineke reflected on one of the most satisfying results of his St Ives Town reign last Saturday.

Charlie Johnson provided the only goal as depleted Saints triumphed 1-0 at Redditch in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

Goalkeeper Finlay Iron made a series of smart saves to keep them level in the first half before Johnson made a breakthrough nine minutes into the second period.

The young defender tucked away a cross from Tom Wood, who had earlier been denied by the woodwork, at the far post.

Saints should arguably have won more emphatically with Dylan Wilson seeing an effort cleared off the line moments before they did go ahead and Jeff Woodward missing a great chance to double their lead.

But one goal was enough to end a tough few days on a high following a midweek FA Cup exit at the hands of lower-level Canvey Island.

"I could not be more proud of the players," said Marheineke.

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"It was a terrific end to a really tough week in which we had two really tough games in the FA Cup while missing so many players.

"We played with 10 men for a whole half the previous Saturday and then had to get through 120 minutes on Tuesday when our replay went to extra time.

"We also had to pick ourselves up from the disappointment of losing that game despite again having seven players missing, but we dug deep and performed like warriors.

"We've been involved in a lot of bigger games and had many better results, but this victory is one of the most satisfying."

Saints' second league win of the season came at a cost with Aaron Phillips forced off injured at half-time while Ollie Snaith and Dan Clifton both picked up knocks.

Saints host Needham Market in the first round of the League Challenge Cup tonight (Tuesday). They are back on home turf this Saturday when welcoming Nuneaton Borough to Westwood Road for a league clash, 3pm.

Marheineke may dip into the market to reinforce his squad due to the club's injury situation.

He could also draft a handful of young prospects into the first-team fold with Karl Frans, Tom Wakley, Kai Bradley, Zac Hope and Joe Cobb - who are all on the club's football and education programme - having signed forms.