Manager Ricky Marheineke hailed his St Ives Town comeback kings – after they snatched Southern League Premier Division success in spectacular style yesterday.

Danny Watson launched St Ives Town's fine fightback at Tiverton. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONDanny Watson launched St Ives Town's fine fightback at Tiverton. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

Substitute Declan Rogers hit a 25-yard rocket to complete a sensational comeback as Saints recovered from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 at Tiverton.

Saints fell behind midway through the opening half and a second goal from the play-off chasing hosts doubled the deficit seconds after the break.

But a terrific turnaround was triggered by a Danny Watson penalty three minutes before the hour after loan ace Tom Knowles was brought down.

It continued when Watson turned provider to lay on a leveller for Ollie Snaith with a quarter of an hour to go – and it was completed in stunning style when Rogers slammed in a wonderful winner.

“We showed great character to recover from being two goals down,” said Marheineke. “It highlights again the improvement we have made during the last few weeks.

“We would have lost that game 4-0 or 5-0 earlier in the season, but we have a different group of players now and we’re working hard for results.

“That has been the platform for the success we’ve enjoyed lately and we’re also showing our quality. It was a brilliant goal from Dec to win the game.”

Rogers’ super strike meant Saints had plenty to celebrate following their longest trip of the season. Their 460-mile round-trip involved a 7.30am departure and a late-night return at 10.45pm.

Marheineke’s side have now collected almost as many points in their last five games (11) as they did in the first half of the season (13) – that’s an incredible turnaround in form.

They entertain another team with play-off ambitions – Royston Town – on Saturday.