Manager Ricky Marheineke admitted he has run out of patience with a number of under-performing St Ives Town players.

Aaron Phillips of St Ives Town in their Southern League Premier Division Central loss at Alvechurch. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONAaron Phillips of St Ives Town in their Southern League Premier Division Central loss at Alvechurch. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

The Saints chief was left fuming by a 1-0 defeat at Alvechurch in the Southern League Premier Division Central last Saturday.

The contest was settled by a goal from Javia Roberts on the half-hour with Ben Seymour-Shove missing Saints' best chance to level when heading over in the second half.

Marheineke was critical of the displays of several members of his team and refused to use the club's catalogue of injuries as an excuse for a nosedive that saw them collect only one point from three games in the space of a week.

"We were rubbish," said Marheineke. "We didn't look like a St Ives Town team and that hurts me hugely.

"It is very rare that I have to question the work-rate, attitude and application of my players, but that was definitely the case for the first 45 minutes at Alvechurch.

"I can accept players making mistakes but I can't tolerate the fact they are not prepared to take responsibility and do their jobs.

"We were a little bit better in the second half but it would have been impossible to perform as poorly as we had done in the first 45 minutes again.

"We have a lot of players missing but those currently in the team have the opportunity to make the shirts their own, but they are simply not doing enough to do that.

"It's almost as if some of the boys are using the injury situation as an excuse for poor performances and poor results, but myself and Bully (assistant boss Craig Adams) certainly aren't doing that and many of those players will probably find themselves looking for a new football club very soon.

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"I've probably been too loyal to certain lads and I've put in a couple more approaches for possible signings. It's not an over-reaction but the culmination of a series of disappointing performances with this being the worst of them by a mile."

Saints lost 3-0 to Peterborough Sports the previous Saturday before having to settle for a 4-4 draw at rock-bottom Leiston last Tuesday.

A hat-trick from striker Matt Foy was not enough to earn victory against the basement boys who equalised deep into stoppage-time. Seymour-Shove was the other Saints scorer on a disappointing night.

Marheineke handed a debut to midfielder George Boland at Alvechurch following his arrival from Kempston Rovers, but fellow new recruit Connor Furlong has now pulled out of a switch to Saints due to a change in work commitments.

Saints now host Royston Town tonight (Tuesday) in another Premier Division Central fixture before switching their attention to the FA Trophy this Saturday.

They enter the national competition in the first qualifying round when facing fellow Cambridgeshire side Soham Town Rangers at Westwood Road, 3pm.

And while Marheineke's men play one level above their Isthmian League North Division opponents, he reckons it is the visitors who will be favourites to advance.

"We're probably the underdogs going into every game at the moment and Saturday won't be any different," added Marheineke. "Now we need to start battling, fighting and scrapping as underdogs do.

"Soham are a good side who have picked up some excellent league and cup results lately, but the FA Trophy is a competition we want to make progress in for financial reasons."

Lloyd Groves, who runs Saints' football and education programme, is likely to be in the Soham team.