NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Shot-stopper Sam Wilson stars with penalty save to earn St Ives Town another precious Southern League point

Tom McGowan in action for St Ives Town in their goalless draw against Stourbridge. Picture: LOUISE T

Tom McGowan in action for St Ives Town in their goalless draw against Stourbridge. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

Goalkeeper Sam Wilson played a starring role as St Ives Town banked another pleasing Southern League Premier Division point last Saturday.

The on-loan number one, borrowed from League Two club Mansfield Town to fill the void left by Tim Trebes’ broken hand, pulled off a second-half penalty save in a goalless deadlock against Stourbridge at Westwood Road.

He went the right way to keep out Rob Thompson-Brown’s spot-kick on the hour before also making a terrific double-stop late on to ensure the spoils were shared in a first-ever league clash between the sides.

But manager Ricky Marheineke insisted his goalkeeper Wilson was merely one of several Saints heroes following a fine defensive showing from his young side.

He said: “Our defending was outstanding and Sam came to the party with a fantastic penalty save.

“We had seen footage of Stourbridge’s game against AFC Rushden & Diamonds when they also missed a penalty when going the same way and our homework paid off.

“We have a lot of players who lack experience in men’s football altogether, let alone at this level, but they are learning fast.

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“Stourbridge are big and strong and we knew we would have to protect our own box well.

“We stood up and produced a mature performance on a day when many teams would have buckled under the sort of pressure we had to survive during periods of the game.

“Stourbridge are one of the favourites for promotion and it’s an excellent point gained.

“We had five teenagers in the starting XI and we are only going to get better.”

Wilson was beaten midway through the first half, but Stourbridge’s celebrations after Aaron Hayden headed in a Thompson-Brown free kick were soon cut short as referee Abigail Marriott spotted a foul on the Saints goalkeeper.

Another Thompson-Brown delivery moments later led to the only other effort of note in a low-key first half, but Kaiman Anderson headed wide when well placed.

Stourbridge dominated possession in the opening period and a similar pattern continued after the break with Saints working tirelessly to limit them to few chances.

The visitors’ fluffed their golden opportunity from the spot and could find no way past Wilson in the 30 minutes that remained.

Saints are eighth in the Premier Division Central standings after collecting 11 points from their opening seven games.