SATURDAY’S defeat at Peterborough Northern Star ruined St Ives Town joint manager Jez Hall’s weekend.
The promotion chasing Saints lost 2-1 with defender and captain Will Fordham sent off for the second time in three games – and, coupled with Splading United’s 2-1 win away at Quorn, that was a bit of a blow.
But a win followed on Tuesday night, in the quarter finals of the UCL League Cup, when St Ives beat Division One side Rushden & Higham 4-2 in Northamtonshire.
Hall told The Hunts Post: “I was still fuming on Sunday morning. If we had held on to that point then it would still be in our hands because we would be seven points clear of Spalding with them having two games in hand. But because we lost, they are now just six points behind us.”
Fordham’s dismissal came in the 20th minute and although Hall said his 10 men played well enough to earn a point, the referee awarded two penalties to PNS, the second in the 95th minute.
“The first one was a penalty, fair enough,” said Hall. “The second one? I don’t think so. I think the lad dived.”
David Cobb scored in the 15th minute and at that point the visitors were cruising. But Fordham’s second yellow card changed all that. His first was for a foul, his second for kicking the ball away.
Nick Conroy in the Peterborough goal made two fantastic saves to deny St Ives in the second half in between the home side’s two penalty goals.
“I thought we did enough to get our reward,” continued Hall. “I don’t mind losing but a mixture of bad decisions and Will Fordham’s foolishness cost us.
“Despite his two red cards, hopefully Will is only looking at a two-game ban – but I suspect they will hit him with a hefty fine.”
Last night the team were away at Rushden & Higham United in the UCL Cup. On Saturday they are at Yaxley and will be hoping to get their league campaign back on track. “It’ll be another hard game,” said Hall. “Yaxley are a good side.”
The return of leading goalscorer Karl Gibbs should help. The former Peterbrorough Northern Star player missed the game against his former club because he was on his brother’s stag do.
Hall gave the wider squad a run-out at Rushden with Junior McDougald getting a rare goal, David Cobb scoring twice, and Stead on target from the penalty spot.