St Ives Town boss Ricky Marheineke toasted an ‘excellent’ Southern League Premier Division point – despite seeing his side surrender a two-goal lead yesterday.
Saints drew 2-2 with Frome Town – a team who arrived in possession of a five-match winning streak – at ProEdge Westwood Road to extend their unbeaten league run to three games.
Marheineke’s side struck twice in the space of 11 minutes in the opening quarter of the contest, but later saw their advantage wiped out by two Frome strikes in 14 second-half minutes.
“It goes down as an excellent point as far as I’m concerned,” said Marheineke. “Frome were as good a team as we’ve played at home this season.
“It went from being a game we could have won to ensuring it was one we didn’t lose. That said we had the best chance in the closing stages and a good shout for a penalty.
“We’re unbeaten in three games in the league now and the players deserve a lot of credit for that.”
Saints hit the front in their first attack of note. Tom McGowan got the final touch after challenging for a Miles Smith cross with visiting defender Ben Morgan.
Frome skipper Sam Teale squandered a glorious chance to level before Saints doubled their advantage when Ben Seymour-Shove released James Hall to lift the ball over goalkeeper Kyle Phillips.
Another glorious Frome opportunity went begging when Jon Davies saw his penalty kept out by James Goff. The Saints number one’s smart save atoned for conceding the spot-kick with a foot-first challenge on Jake Jackson.
The visitors had to wait until the 64th minute to find the net as Jackson hooked in a Davies cross and an equaliser followed with 12 minutes to go when Marcus Mapstone forced in a rebound after Jackson headed against a post.
A power failure briefly plunged ProEdge Westwood Road into darkness and forced a 15-minute delay. It probably did Saints a favour as the visitors looked the likeliest winners after hauling themselves level.
The unexpected delay took the sting out of a terrific game. The only late chance fell to Saints substitute Dubi Ogbonna, who was denied by a smart Phillips stop.
Marheineke added: “We worked exceptionally hard in the first half to earn our two-goal advantage even though we could probably count ourselves fortunate to still hold that at half-time after the penalty save.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the same quality when in possession of the ball in the second half. When spending so long without the ball, a team tends to get deeper and become more erratic.
“That leads to panic setting in and unfortunately the crowd getting on our backs made it even more nervy.
“We were really hanging on at times, but my players were prepared to put bodies on their line around our penalty box and that is hugely important.
“Trying to manage a game when having a two-goal lead is not a position we’re used to being in this season.”
Saints remain third-bottom in the Premier Division table. They have a re-arranged trip to Hereford on Tuesday.