St Ives are just two points off the top of Southern League Division One (Central) following a Saturday success.

Stuart Eason, Phil Draycott and Danny Watson struck the second-half goals that earned a 3-1 success over Beaconsfield SYCOB in front of a fine attendance of 273 at ProEdge Westwood Road - almost double the next-best in the division yesterday.

It earned Saints a return to third place in the standings and left boss Ricky Marheineke delighted.

He said: "We needed to bounce back from a disappointing defeat the previous Saturday and we did that.

"We knew there was room for improvement after a goalless first half and the players delivered it.

"We got on the front foot, we got higher up the pitch, we caused them problems and scored goals."

Eason broke the deadlock five minutes after half-time before Draycott and Watson sealed victory by striking in the space of three minutes midway through the second period.

Beaconsfield hit a consolation with 17 minutes to go.

St Neots Town suffered a second successive Southern League Premier Division defeat as Welsh side Merthyr triumphed at the Premier Plus Stadium.

David Batch's men were unable to recover from conceding twice in the opening quarter-of-an-hour of a 2-1 reverse.

They received a further blow when attacking ace Ryan Hawkins was forced out of the action at half-time although his replacement, fit-again Mat Mitchel-King, did halve their arrears with 20 minutes to go.

Despite a strong finish, St Neots couldn't find a leveller. Top-scorer Tom Meechan saw a strong penalty appeal ignored before heading another opportunity wide.

St Neots handed a league debut to goalkeeper Olly Sutton after regular number one Andy Wilton went down with flu.