St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke admitted his men took a backward step during a heavy Southern League Premier Division defeat last Saturday.

New St Ives Town goalkeeper Jacob Marsden playing for Leiston last season. Picture: STEVE WALLERNew St Ives Town goalkeeper Jacob Marsden playing for Leiston last season. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Third-bottom Saints were thumped 4-0 at Redditch when being beaten for the 10th time in 13 league outings so far this season.

The display was even more concerning than the scoreline for Marheineke, who had seen his side perform with plenty of encouragement in their two previous games – narrow defeats at the hands of Tiverton and Royston.

But there were no crumbs of comfort in the Midlands as Saints’ failure to follow their game-plan was a major issue.

Goalkeeping debutant Matt Hill, an emergency signing for one game, was beaten inside three minutes. The hosts doubled their lead just before half-time and two further goals in the final quarter-of-an-hour sealed Saints’ fate.

“Last Saturday was the first time in recent weeks that we allowed our standards to drop below the levels I expect – and we got a good hiding as a result of that,” admitted Marheineke.

“I can accept us being beaten when the players are sticking to the plan, but their inability to follow simple instructions cost us. I have to admit I felt down by what three or four of the lads produced.

“We’re low on confidence after only one league win all season. That’s always going to be the case in a situation like this – regardless of how many times I tell the boys I believe in them, and reiterate that we will climb the table.

“We need to focus on not getting beaten and if we manage that we will stand more of a chance of picking up victories.”

Saints return to action tomorrow night (Tuesday) when entertaining Bishop’s Stortford at ProEdge Westwood Road, 7.45pm.

They will employ a fourth different goalkeeper of the campaign after completing the signing of Jacob Marsden.

The former Ipswich Town youngster, who spent last season on loan at Step 3 level with Leiston, is the latest man to step into the number one berth.

Marsden has not played regularly this term after having a number of trials at professional clubs during the summer.

Loan ace James Goff is sidelined with concussion sustained in the incident that led to his dismissal against Tiverton nine days ago.

Midfielder Eugene Libertucci is in line for a first Saints start after appearing as a substitute at Redditch.

And Jamie Short, a defender who captain’s the club’s Under 18 side, could also make his first senior start. Short had a spell on loan at Godmanchester Rovers earlier in the season.

Marheineke is considering a change of formation with a possible shift to a five-man defensive system on the cards.