St Ives Town suffered a third Southern League Premier Division defeat in a row on Tuesday night.
Ricky Marheineke’s side were beaten 3-1 by Royston Town in a re-arranged clash at ProEdge Westwood Road.
Saints were undone by a hat-trick from visiting frontman Adam Marriott – a man playing at this level despite helping Lincoln City win promotion to the Football League last season.
He pounced to open the scoring midway through the first half when the Saints defence failed to cut out a poorly-struck corner.
Marheineke’s side responded well as Royston defender Dan Brathwaite almost sliced a Phil Draycott cross into his own net and Tom Knowles blasted against a post from a difficult angle before they levelled.
Knowles was involved as he robbed a dithering defender and laid the ball perfectly into the path of Ben Barker, who made no mistake to claim his second goal in as many games.
But parity proved to be short-lived as Marriott restored the Royston advantage four minutes into the second period when beating Saints goalkeeper Tim Trebes with a speculative strike from 30 yards.
Saints rarely looked live hauling themselves level a second time and their fate was sealed in stoppage time when Marriott completed his treble with a fierce shot after the ball bounced fortunately back into his path.
Marriott presumably looks forward to playing against Saints. He also scored both goals when Royston won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in October.
“It’s another tough result to take in a game that could have been very different,” said Marheineke.
“We had good chances that we couldn’t put away before falling behind from a set-piece.
“We came back well from that to get level, but conceding again early in the second half knocked the wind out of our sails.
“We spent too much of the second half feeling sorry for ourselves after going behind again.
“We huffed and puffed, but didn’t really create clear-cut chances and then got hit by a third Royston goal right at the end.
“It’s another night which shows we’re not far away from matching teams in the top half of the table, but on the other hand we’re a million miles away in terms of results.
“We’re playing well for big parts of games, but the reality is we’re losing them and we’ve got to learn to pick up results.”
Godmanchester Rovers certainly aren’t struggling to pick up results at the moment.
Ollie Drake’s side claimed a third successive Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division victory on Tuesday night – and it came complete with a third consecutive clean sheet.
They triumphed 1-0 at Stanway Rovers thanks to a first-half goal from Simon Unwin. Rovers climbed to fifth place in the standings following the midweek win.
Eynesbury Rovers are waiting to learn whether they have received a walkover to the Hinchingbrooke Cup final.
Their Tuesday semi against Yaxley was postponed after the visiting team were unable to field a team.
Eynesbury had beaten the same opponents a week earlier to reach the final of the Hunts Senior Cup for third season running.