An admirable display was not enough to prevent another agonising defeat for struggling St Ives Town last Saturday.

Stand-in goalkeeper Lewis Hilliard during St Ives Town's defeat against Tiverton. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONTStand-in goalkeeper Lewis Hilliard during St Ives Town's defeat against Tiverton. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT

Saints slipped to an eighth defeat in 11 Southern League Premier Division games when beaten 2-1 by Tiverton Town on an afternoon of high drama and heavy rain at ProEdge Westwood Road.

But there were many reasons for manager Ricky Marheineke to be positive on a day when his side played for almost 80 minutes with 10 men following the early dismissal of goalkeeper James Goff.

The teenage loanee raced out to attempt to head clear, but was beaten to the ball by visiting forward Jordan Rogers. The two players were involved in a sickening clash of heads with Goff red-carded and Rogers taken to hospital with serious facial injuries.

The game resumed following a 12-minute delay for Rogers to be treated with midfielder Lewis Hilliard deputising in goal for Saints.

Midfielder Tom McGowan on the ball for St Ives Town against Tiverton. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONTMidfielder Tom McGowan on the ball for St Ives Town against Tiverton. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT

The 10 men soon hit the front when little Ben Seymour-Shove rose high to head in a terrific James Hall cross.

Tiverton levelled through Rogers’ replacement, Owen Home, as the half entered a long spell of stoppage time, but it wasn’t until the 81st minute that Hilliard was beaten by Howe again as the Devon side finally managed to hit the front.

“There’s no way we deserved to lose the game, but that also applies to a lot of our other defeats this season,” said Marheineke.

“But football is a results-based industry and we haven’t picked up anywhere near enough of them.

“We all know that, but we can also see that we’re capable of performing against any team at this level.

“It was always going to be very difficult to get anything out of a game in which we played with 10 men and an outfield player in goal for almost 80 minutes.

“It’s not a sending off for me either. The referee has deemed James to have denied a goalscoring opportunity which is clearly not the case as we have two defenders covering.

“But we responded to that by producing a performance much more like those we have been used to in past seasons. The lads can be proud of that performance and it is something to build on going forward.”

Marheineke handed a debut to new defensive recruit Andrew Iwediuno. The former Hendon man operated alongside skipper Charlie De’Ath in the centre of Saints’ defence.

Goff is eligible to play when Saints travel to Royston tomorrow night (Tuesday), but then serves a one-match suspension this Saturday when they go to Redditch. He was probably fortunately not to be sent off for serious foul play – an offence which would have carried a three-match ban.

Tim Trebes will return to the Saints fold at Redditch. Trebes has been the club’s first-choice goalkeeper for almost all of the past three seasons, but has not yet played this term due to becoming a father for the second time.

Marheineke has lined up a move for Bedford Town wideman Ben Sawyer and he could arrive before the weekend.

* Tiverton striker Rogers remains in hospital today as he awaits surgery.