ST IVES Town’s inability to hit the back of the net cost them dearly yet again as Sleaford shook off their run of four league defeats.

UCL Premier Division

Sleaford Town 1-0 St Ives Town

ST IVES Town's inability to hit the back of the net cost them dearly yet again as Sleaford shook off their run of four league defeats.

Co-manager Jez Hall identified Sleaford as the Saints' bogey team before kick-off, and his caution was well-placed as a defence that had shipped 13 goals in their last four league matches suddenly shut up shop.

The home team managed to claim the points against Ives - the league's joint-lowest goalscorers - with the game's only goal after 32 minutes.

Hall said afterwards that he was not despondent about the lack of goals, despite Ives failing to register in five of their seven UCL matches this season.

He and co-manager Warren Everdell still have faith that their strikers, with a little more composure, can deliver the goods.

"We have been punished for not burying chances in many of the games, but none of the players are shirking the responsibilities in front of goal," said Hall.

"The harder they seem to try in front of goal the harder they make it for themselves. Defensively we are playing well but have been punished for an odd mistake here and there. Goals up front will relieve some pressure at the back."

Saints pulled all the strings in the first half at Sleaford but failed repeatedly in front of goal, with Ricky Dear, Dan Newman, Dan Matson and James Clarke all spurning gilt-edged chances in the second half.