NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Home comforts are crucial if St Ives Town are to climb away from Southern League Premier Division danger

St Ives Town boss Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives Town boss Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

Manager Ricky Marheineke hopes St Ives Town can end their home hoodoo in a crucial Saturday clash.

Saints have only collected one point from eight previous Southern League Premier Division home games this term. That came in a 2-2 deadlock against Kings Langley.

Both of their league victories in a difficult campaign – against Weymouth on the opening day and Biggleswade Town in their last Premier Division fixture on October 24 – have been gained on the road.

Now Marheineke has called for an upturn in performance on their ProEdge Westwood Road turf when they entertain fellow strugglers Dunstable Town, 3pm.

It’s a fixture which can be classed as a six-pointer with third-bottom Saints hosting a side who sit one place and two points below them. Only one team is set to be relegated due to a re-organisation of the non-league system.

“I’ve always said our season will de defined by the results we pick up against the teams around us in the bottom half of the table,” admitted Marheineke. “It’s frustrating that we don’t have a fully fit squad to face Dunstable, but we do have players returning and I’m hopeful we can pick up three points.

“Good home form is essential at any level of football and that’s not something we’ve had this season. We desperately need a result at our place and we have to ensure we put in a performance our supporters can get behind.”

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Saints have completed the permanent signing of former Godmanchester Rovers defender Lloyd Groves. He initially joined on a dual-registration deal from lower-level side Newmarket Town.

St Ives had no game last Saturday due to intended opponents Hereford FC still being involved in the FA Cup, but they did beat lower-level Huntingdon Town in a Hunts Senior Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night.