NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Friendly loss no cause for concern for St Ives but injury blow to teenage talent is a big worry for Eynesbury Rovers

St Ives Town assistant manager Jack Cassidy.

St Ives Town assistant manager Jack Cassidy. - Credit: Archant

Assistant boss Jack Cassidy insists there is no need to worry after St Ives Town ended their pre-season programme with a defeat to lower-level opposition.

The Saints went down by a solitary goal against Soham Town Rangers at ProEdge Westwood Road on Saturday.

It was their first reverse in seven friendly outings this summer ahead of a first-ever campaign at Southern League Premier Division level, which gets underway this Saturday with a home clash against Stratford Town.

Cassidy said: “We weren’t at our best against Soham, but there is no need to over-react. I’ve never been a man who worries too much about pre-season results anyway.

“The lads have trained really well and put in some decent performances along the way during pre-season.

“We have two more important sessions this week and I’m confident we will give a good account of ourselves when it matters in our first game at Step 3 level.”

The only goal from Soham arrived 20 minutes into the second half when Saints defender Charlie De’Ath’s attempted pass out of defence was charged down and the ball fell kindly for Salim Relizani to finish past goalkeeper Tim Trebes.

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Trebes had earlier made a stunning save to prevent Saints falling behind in the first half while the visitors were also denied by the crossbar.

Defender Liam McDevitt squandered glorious headed chances for St Ives in both halves while frontman Sam Ives steered a low shot wide as they searched for an equaliser in vain.

Eynesbury Rovers were the only other local non-league side in action on Saturday and they shared six goals with Welwyn Garden City.

Striker Craig Smith, midfielder James Freshwater and trialist Hayden Bream were the players to find the net for a Rovers side who lost teenage frontman Rhys Thorpe to an ankle ligament injury.

“It looks like Rhys could be missing for anything between six and eight weeks,” said manager Mark Ducket. It’s a big blow for the club and for Rhys himself as he was bang in contention for a starting place.”