St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke urged his players to keep their chins up after a sixth successive Southern League Premier Division Central defeat.
Saints were beaten 2-0 at King’s Lynn Town yesterday when performing well for long periods but again failing to find the net. They’ve only managed a paltry seven goals in 14 league games – the last nine of which have yielded just two points.
Both Lynn strikes arrived early in the second half and were the result of quick counter-attacks from the hosts after Saints corners.
Marheineke said: “I told the players not to get too down about this defeat. The result disappointed us, but the performance certainly didn’t.
“It was an even game in the first half and it took a great save to stop us getting level after going behind.
“We looked good in possession at times, but we’re not generating enough chances from on it at the moment as too often our final ball lets us down or we make the wrong decision.
“But again I would find it hard to fault the players as they worked exceptionally hard and ran themselves into the ground. If we continue to play like this we will definitely start to pick up points.”
Saints handed a debut to goalkeeper Martin Conway, but the former AFC Kempston Rovers man was not required to make a save of note until the stroke of half-time when denying Spencer Blake-Tracy.
Lynn striker Adam Marriott did succeed in finding the net in the closing seconds of the first half, but his header from a Blake-Tracy cross was quickly ruled out by referee Tom Hancock for a push by fellow Lynn striker Michael Gash.
The heavens opened during the interval and just nine minutes into the second half Saints’ defence was also carved apart as Lynn broke impressively to hit the front through Craig Parker.
Saints responded well to create their best chance of the afternoon moments later, but George Bailey saw his goalbound shot kept out by the heel of Lynn goalkeeper Alex Street.
Henderson spurned a glorious opportunity to double the home side’s lead only seconds later but soon made amends by heading a Jordan Richards cross into the bottom corner just after the hour following another ruthless break from the hosts.
Fine saves from Conway to deny Hawkins and Lynn substitute Harry Limb prevented further damage while Saints sent on another debutant, new defensive recruit Ben Jackson, for a brief appearance as a substitute. Jackson is a former Northampton Town youngster who recently moved to the area and is returning to the game after a serious injury.
Marheineke added: “I thought Martin was excellent. He is an experienced goalkeeper who will be a fantastic addition for us.
“He showed what he is about with a couple of terrific saves and his distribution was also excellent, while Ben is a strong and solid lad and his sort of no-nonsense defending is what we need in our current situation.
“We’re still hoping to get more players in as well after having a couple of moves fall through late last week.
“Some unforeseen circumstances cropped up for one lad and we’re working to get those resolved, while another player chose to move to another club late on. That was frustrating, but I fully understand our place in the food chain.
“We’re working hard to bring fresh blood in – especially in attacking areas where we need a bit more quality.”
Saints, who haven’t won in the league since August, remain a point above the relegation zone.