NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: It’s a bobble job for St Ives Town as glorious chance to beat Hayes & Yeading goes begging
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town were left to curse a cruel bobble after being forced to settle for a single Southern League point on Saturday.
The ProEdge Westwood Road playing surface took the blame after a golden chance for Jared Cunniff to snatch victory against Premier Division relegation battlers Hayes & Yeading went horribly wrong.
Danny Kelly appeared to have put a glorious opportunity on a plate for his strike partner, but the ball took an unkind bounce at the wrong moment and Cunniff’s effort ended up looping off his shin before a visiting defender could clear off the line.
It meant Saints had to settle for a 1-1 draw on a day when they fell behind to stunning screamer from Hayes & Yeading man Melanius Mullarky before levelling from the penalty spot with 12 minutes to go.
Jack Higgs stepped up to do the honours from 12 yards after Jordan Jarrold had been sent tumbling. That spot-kick was awarded moments after Saints had seen another strong appeal, for a handball offence, ignored.
Marheineke said: “There is no-one I would rather that chance fell to than Jared. He has immense quality and usually deals with the conditions at our place very well.
“But the pitch has done him no favours at all. The ball should bobbled and hit him on the shin rather than him being able to strike it.
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“It’s one of those things that happen in football, but we actually moved the ball around pretty well when controlling a lot of the game. Our play wasn’t as predictable as it had been in recent weeks.
“The only thing that really let us down was our conversion rate of turning good possession in the final third into chances on goal.
“We found ourselves behind to a wonder-strike, but we knew Hayes & Yeading had let a lot of winning positions go during this season and we managed to get ourselves level.
“We should have gone on to win the game after that, but we’re another point closer to our target of 48.”
Saints have now pocketed 44 points in their debut Step3 season. They remain 12th in the Premier Division table.
Marheineke’s men switch their attention to the challenge for county honours when beginning the defence of their Hunts Senior Cup crown tomorrow night.
They have a semi-final clash at Eynesbury Rovers, which is a repeat of last season’s final which the higher-level Saints won 2-0.