Manager Ricky Marheineke reckons his team look like St Ives Town again.

The Saints chief took plenty of positives from the display his strugglers produced in a 1-0 defeat at high-flying Banbury United in the Southern League Premier Division Central last Saturday.

While it goes down in the record books as a fourth consecutive league defeat and a sixth match in succession in all competitions without a goal, the green shoots of recovery were evident in the way Marheineke's men performed in Oxfordshire.

"It was the first time in the last month that we have actually looked like a St Ives Town team," stated Marheineke.

"The boys put in a hell of a shift against one of the top teams in the division and were unlucky not to nick a point.

"We were hard-working, well organised and very discipline as we almost executed our gameplan to perfection.

"Not only that, I also saw a lot of belief and togetherness within the group which are going to be key factors as we move forward.

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"We can take so much confidence from this performance and with a little bit more luck and a couple less errors we can definitely start turning it into points."

Saints suffered another injury blow early on at Banbury as Jarvis Wilson was forced off following a clash of heads.

And they were thankful to the woodwork for keeping them level when Banbury man Giorgio Rasulo fired against the inside of a post.

But Saints' resistance was finally broken two minutes before the break when Jaanai Gordon fired the hosts ahead.

That proved to be the decisive moment of a game in which both sides hit the crossbar in the second period.

Substitute Ben Seymour-Shove was the unlucky Saints man after his shot squirmed through the gloves of keeper Jack Harding.

Saints face another set of top opponents this Saturday when third-placed Hednesford visit Westwood Road, 3pm.

Saints have been boosted by midfielder Ollie Snaith and attacking talent Jack Snelus returning to training, but Daniel Moyes, Jordan Patrick and Charlie De'Ath still face around a month out with injuries while Aaron Phillips is awaiting a scan on a hamstring problem.