Manager Ricky Marheineke admits falling short of the play-offs would be ‘devastating’ for St Ives Town
- Credit: Archant
St Ives boss Ricky Marheineke admits he would be ‘devastated’ to miss out on the Southern League Division One (Central) play-offs.
Saints remain inside the top five with three matches remaining in the regular season - the first of those is their final home fixture against Barton Rovers at ProEdge Westwood Road today (3pm).
Saints could still win the title as they trail leaders Egham by seven points, but more importantly they boast a four-point buffer on the team immediately outside the play-off zone.
Marheineke said: “I don’t mind admitting I would be absolutely devastated not to make the play-offs from here.
“We’ve been inside the top five for most of the season and I feel we deserve a place in the play-offs for hard work and consistency alone.
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“We’ve lost the least amount of games in the division and conceded the fewest goals.
“We don’t have the best players in the league, but we have created an environment where we have squeezed every possible piece of effort and performance out of them.
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“I think we could still do with another five points to be absolutely sure of staying in the top five.
“I want to get them on the board as soon as possible, and that makes winning today a must – especially as some of the other teams at the top of the table face each other.
“It’s our final home game and hopefully there will be a big crowd in. The fans have been absolutely fantastic all season and we need them to stay behind us for a final push.
“Three points not only takes the pressure off us but heaps it on the sides around us.”
Defender Steven Gentle is scheduled to complete his three-match ban today while midfielder Jared Cunniff will start a three-match suspension on the final day of the regular season at North Greenford.
He will miss the semi-finals and final of the play-offs, should Saints advance that far, after being sent off in a 1-1 draw at Beaconsfield SYCOB last Saturday.
Full-back Scott Sinclair must now sit out two games – North Greenford and the play-off semi – after picking up his 10th booking of the season at Beaconsfield.