Manager Ricky Marheineke admits St Ives Town have been left frustrated by a mini-slump.

Action from St Ives Town's trip to Rushall Olympic. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONAction from St Ives Town's trip to Rushall Olympic. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

Saints have fallen to four successive defeats in all competitions with an FA Cup third qualifying round exit at the hands of higher-level York City being followed by a trio of Southern League Premier Division Central losses.

The latest of those setbacks was a 4-1 drubbing at Midlands side Rushall Olympic last Saturday when Saints were undone by two goals from corners in the final three minutes of the first half.

Another goal from a dead-ball situation followed midway through the second half before Owen Wallis conceded a penalty with 10 minutes to go as the hosts struck again.

Substitute Dylan Wilson did grab a late Saints consolation, but Marheineke admitted it was ‘a day to forget’.

Action from St Ives Town's trip to Rushall Olympic. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONAction from St Ives Town's trip to Rushall Olympic. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

He said: “Any team that can’t defend set pieces at this level of football is going to struggle. It’s very disappointing to concede in that manner three times.

“It was always going to be an uphill battle after the crazy three minutes just before half-time and we never looked like getting back into the game.

“We lacked our usual energy and tempo, and the players have let themselves and each other down.

“They are frustrated about it and want to start putting things right. We need to stick together and ensure we make the improvements needed for results to start coming out way again.”

Saints were due to host Leiston in another league clash last night (Tuesday) before turning their attention to the FA Trophy this weekend.

A trip to fellow Southern League Premier Division Central side AFC Rushden & Diamonds awaits for Marheineke’s men in the first qualifying round of the national competition.

The two teams battled out a goalless league draw almost a month ago and Marheineke added: “It’s a very tough draw for us, but it’s also a game we’re looking forward to and want to win.

“A big crowd is always assured when you go to Diamond and I’m sure there will be a really good atmosphere.”

* Veteran Saints defender Daniel Moyes has joined Step 6 side March Town on a dual registration deal to get regular football.