St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke read his plyers the riot act after they slumped to their heaviest defeat for almost two years today.

The Saints were left languishing one place above the Southern League Premier Division relegation zone following a 5-0 slaughter by Leamington at ProEdge Westwood Road.

They conceded twice in the opening 16 minutes to Ahmed Obeng before Ryan Rowe tucked away a Leamington penalty five minutes before the break.

And the visitors then stretched their advantage thanks to a late brace from Courtney Baker-Richardson to compound Saints’ misery.

Furious Marheineke said: “I’m very angry and disappointed.

“Before the game we asked for two things from our players - to be consistent with their level of performance and to ensure we make ourselves hard to beat.

“We didn’t get either of those things and it is a case of taking two steps back after a step forward with the draw against Merthyr in midweek.

“I am getting sick and tired of talking about individual errors and the concession of preventable goals.

“We defended our 18-yard box atrociously and there is only going to be one outcome against a team of Leamington’s quality.

“I cannot make decisions for the players when they are on the pitch. That is their responsibility but they are showing some seriously poor pieces of judgement of late.

“They performed as though there are no consequences and that really frustrates me.

“We’re in a situation where either some players are choosing not to listen to me, choosing to ignore me or are simply not good enough for this level of football.

“The biggest positive to come out of this game is that we will potentially have five players back in the team against Biggleswade on Tuesday night and give some of those who performed so poorly today a kick up the backside.

Saints were without a host of important players against Leamington with attackers Josh Dawkin, Danny Kelly and Andrew Phillips all unavailable, while defender Liam McDevitt dropped out on the morning of the match due to illness.

All are set to be back on Tuesday when midfielder Buster Harradine could also be fit enough to play a full part.

Marheineke added: “Games against top sides like Leamington, Merthyr, Dunstable and Chippenham, who we have played lately, won’t define our season, but results against Biggleswade will have a much more significant impact and we need to put things right on Tuesday night.

“It is a game we need to pick up points in if we have genuine ambitions of staying in this league.”