St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke has seen his side take two important Southern League Premier Division steps forward during the festive period – now he insists it’s essential they don’t take a step back.

Saints followed up a vital pre-Christmas home success – when beating bottom side Gosport Borough 1-0 – with a terrific 1-1 draw at then table-toppers King's Lynn Town on Boxing Day.

The next challenge for Marheineke's men is a trip to Kings Langley this Saturday. The Hertfordshire side are one place and three points above Saints in the standings nd Marheineke watched them suffer a 6-0 drubbing at Hitchin last Saturday.

“The scoreline wasn't a true reflection of that game,” said Marheineke. “But it does mean Kings Langley go into our game off the back of a heavy defeat.

“On the other hand we're unbeaten in our last two games and have the opportunity to continue moving forward.

“Both teams will want to win the game and will believe they are capable of doing that. I expect it to be entertaining.

“We haven't had anywhere enough consistency in our performances this season and we have conceded far too many late goals which have led to us surrendering winning or drawing positions.

“But we have performed well for the full 90 minutes to get four points from our last two games and we need to continue to do that.

“There have been a few occasions where we felt we had turned a corner only to get bitten on the backside. We can't allow that to happen again.

“We have a relatively new group of players and the challenge for them is to show they can take the club forward during the remainder of the season. They have done it for the past two games and hopefully that can continue for the next 20.”

Marheineke is hopeful captain Charlie De'Ath will return at some stage in January. The centre-back has been out for two months with a calf problem.

Wideman Phil Draycott and striker Dubi Ogbonna are the club's other injury concerns at present.

St Ives' big New Year's Day derby clash against St Neots Town was postponed due to an unplayable ProEdge Westwood Road pitch. It has been swiftly re-arranged for Tuesday (January 9).

St Neots go into the new year in 10th position in the Southern League Premier Division. They entertain Stratford, who are a couple of points behind them, this Saturday.