St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke hopes Southern League Premier Division defeat yesterday will serve as a timely wake-up call.
Saints were punished for a poor performance when going down 3-1 at Biggleswade Town – a team they had knocked out of the League Challenge Cup earlier in the month.
Marheineke’s men hit the front five minutes before the break thanks to Dubi Ogbonna, who flicked in a Jack Higgs free-kick that he had also earned when being bundled over by home defender Evan Key.
But their lead was wiped out three minutes into the second period by Craig Daniel and Rhys Hoenes then put The Waders ahead midway through the second half.
Saints’ best two chances to haul themselves level both fell to defenders with Liam McDevitt hitting the side-netting before Lee Chaffey saw a shot from the edge of the box brush the outside of a post.
And Chaffey was also involved in the moment that sealed St Ives’ fate as he was cautioned for bringing down Hoenes to hand Biggleswade a late penalty which was converted by former St Neots man Connor Hall.
Marheineke admitted: “I’m not disappointed with the result as there is no doubt that we deserved to lose the game, but I am unhappy with our performance.
“Despite lacking quality, we had the lead at the break. It was a slightly unfair reflection of an even first half, but we couldn’t hang onto it.
“Even though we played poorly, we had a couple of great chances to get ourselves back into the game, but we couldn’t take them.
“Picking up three points in each of our previous two games – against Kings Langley and Stratford – papered over a pair of very average performances.
“But you can’t repeatedly get away with not being at your best at this level of football and that’s something we found at Biggleswade.
“We’re conceding a few too many goals for my liking, and not quite doing well enough when we have possession of the football.
“It’s not a result that needs a big over-reaction, but it does highlight that we have things to improve on and gives us a timely wake-up call ahead of an important cup game in midweek.”
Saints go to Division One (Central) side Barton Rovers for a League Challenge Cup quarter-final on Tuesday. They are the highest-ranked team – sitting 12th in the Premier Division – left in the knockout competition.
Saints have seen youngster Morgan Penfold recalled by Peterborough. The teenager signed a two-and-a-half year professional deal with the League One club yesterday.