Ricky Marheineke has played down the significance of two of the biggest matches in St Ives Town’s season.

Saints travel to Southern League Division One (Central) table-toppers Chalfont St Peter for a promotion clash this Saturday (3pm) and that is followed by another mouth-watering date much closer to home as they visit higher-level St Neots Town for a Hunts Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday (7.45pm).

But boss Marheineke refuses to hype up fixtures which could have a big bearing on Saints' challenges for glory on two fronts.

"They are exciting games and the sort of fixtures you want to be involved in," admitted Marheineke. "But they're not massive ones for me.

"The result against Chalfont St Peter won't determine whether or not we get promoted and we're not guaranteed to win the county cup if we beat St Neots.

"Yes, they are big games, but there will be more important ones to come."

St Ives have dropped out of the Southern League Division One (Central) play-off spots after a run of four games without victory although they are yet to play in 2016.

Their home game against Bedford last Saturday was postponed before Tuesday night's trip to second-placed AFC Rushden & Diamonds also fell victim to the weather.

They will be without defender Charlie De'Ath at Chalfont due to suspension after a dismissal in a Boxing Day loss at Royston, but he'll be back for the county clash against St Neots as Saints aim to avenge a 2-1 loss against their hosts in a Red Insure Cup tie earlier in the season.

Marheineke added: "Of course we can beat St Neots. In fact we were unfortunate not to do it in the previous tie.

"I wouldn't read a lot into that game though as we made a number of changes and they had a lot of players unavailable due to injury.

"All the pressure is on St Neots as the higher-level team and they haven't had great results lately.

"I'm a local lad so playing and managing in the Hunts Senior Cup means something to me. It would be great to win it."

St Ives have signed an international footballer. Local boy Ben Keating has joined on loan from League One side Peterborough. The midfielder, who can also play at full-back, has been capped by Wales at Under 16 level.

"Ben lives in the town and it is great to be able to bring him in for a month," continued Marheineke.

The Saints manager is also chasing another new defender. He has slapped in an approach for ex-Brentford centre-back Jack Uttridge, who currently plays for Histon.

Injury prevented the 20 year-old from making any impact in the pro game but he is well-known to Marheineke, who had a stint as number two at Histon a couple of years ago.

Saints striker Stuart Eason's MRI scan came back clear while fellow frontman Danny Watson hopes to put off surgery on an abdominal problem until the end of the season.