NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Seymour-Shove is spot-on for St Ives Town as they earn FA Cup success
- Credit: Archant
Match-winner Ben Seymour-Shove hopes FA Cup glory can kick St Ives Town’s season into gear.
Seymour-Shove created the opener and then tucked away the decisive goal from the penalty spot as Saints beat lower-level Berkhamsted in a first qualifying round tie at Westwood Road last Saturday.
Not only did Ricky Marheineke's men collect a first win of the season (after picking up just one point from their opening six Southern League Premier Division Central outings) but they also doubled their goal tally for the campaign in the process.
"It was a positive performance again and we got the positive result to go with it, which we haven't been doing," said Seymour-Shove.
"It was all about getting that winning feeling back and we managed to do it against a good side who are flying in their league.
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"We've played some really nice stuff and created lots of chances this season, but we've been punished for not putting them away.
"Small margins had gone against us, but we needed to stay upbeat and stick with what we're trying to do.
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"We showed on Saturday we can win games and hopefully we can now go off on a good run."
There looked like being little between Saints and Berkhamsted, who are top of the Division One Central, and that was exactly the case.
Keeper Martin Conway pulled off two important early saves to keep the locals level before they began to threaten on a regular basis.
Seymour-Shove saw a terrific volley crash against the underside of the bar before providing the ammunition for them to go ahead in the 32nd minute when landing a corner, which had been ordered to be re-taken, on the head of Charlie De'Ath.
Saints, as so often this season, then shot themselves in the foot by conceding a leveller described as 'footballing suicide' by their manager just eight minutes later.
But they regained their composure to go back head 12 minutes into the second period when referee Dan Woolley spied the shirt of Tom Wood being tugged and pointed to the spot.
With regular taker Robbie Parker banned, Seymour-Shove stepped up and lashed his spot-kick past Berkhamsted keeper Xavier Leon Comas and Saints held onto that advantage relatively comfortably.
There was almost a fairytale finish as number one Conway launched a mighty kick towards the empty Berkhamsted net in the dying seconds, but referee Woolley agonisingly blew the final whistle before the ball crossed the line.
However, they had already done enough to earn a welcome and lucrative success with the Saints coffers swelled by £4,500 in prize money.
"I feared it might not be our day when I hit the bar and the ball bounced down but didn't go in," added Seymour Shove.
"We stuck with it though and it was nice to set up Charlie's goal before scoring the penalty.
"Robbie normally them for us, but he was suspended so I stepped up and thought 'why not?' - luckily it went in!
"We had a good run in the FA Cup last season - ending with the game away at York City - and hopefully we can do that again."
Saints have been handed a home tie against another Step 4 side in the second qualifying round on September 21.
They will meet the winners of a replay between Isthmian League outfits Waltham Abbey and Canvey Island, which takes place tonight (Tuesday).
The initial clash last Saturday ended in a goalless deadlock.