St Ives Town have equalled their best-ever Southern League Division One (Central) points tally with 10 games to spare, but boss Ricky Marheineke still wants a lot more from his players.
Strike ace Andrew Phillips hit the only goal as Saints triumphed at Hanwell Town last Saturday to move onto the 60-point mark and strengthen their grip on the final play-off spot.
Marheineke admits he will be gutted if his side fall short of the top five after a season of considerable promise so far.
He said: “To already reach the same points tally as we had at the end of last season is a good achievement in itself.
“Improving year-on-year is key and the club is doing that, going from 14th in the first season at this level to ninth last season. Now we need to make sure we take another big step forward by picking up the six wins I feel will get us into the play-offs.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t make it because the club officials want to go up, the management team want to go up and the players want to go up.
“Taking St Ives Town to the next level is our aim.”
Marheineke praised goalkeeping debutant Brendan Brown for a match-winning second-half save at Hanwell last Saturday.
The 19 year-old local lad deputised after Tim Trebes suffered a hip injury in training. He will retain his place for a trip to Uxbridge tomorrow and a home clash against Potters Bar on Tuesday with Trebes now away.
Marheineke added: “We played as well in the first 45 minutes as any team I’ve ever managed has done. It was complete and utter domination, but I couldn’t help fearing we might pay the price for only having a one-goal lead.
“The second half was much more even and Brendan pulled off the best save I’ve ever seen live to tip over a shot that looked bound for the top corner.
“His handling was impeccable and to perform that well with little experience of senior football is a credit to him.
“All the lads are doing well as they play with the added pressure of chasing promotion. Every match is vital and we have two more tough ones coming up.
“Uxbridge held us at home while Potters Bar are much-improved and on a great run.”