NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: ‘Men against boys’ as St Ives Town are on the receiving end of an FA Trophy thumping

A drubbing at Dorchester did not make for good viewing for St Ives manager Ricky Marheineke (left) a

A drubbing at Dorchester did not make for good viewing for St Ives manager Ricky Marheineke (left) and assistant Jack Cassidy. - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke admitted it was ‘men against boys’ after seeing his depleted side dumped out of the FA Trophy.

Saints were thumped 6-0 at fellow Step 3 side Stafford Rangers in a first qualifying round tie yesterday.

Marheineke’s men went into the contest without seven regulars and their injury toll worsened when Danny Kelly – a striker already filling in as an emergency central defender for the second successive match – went off injured after a quarter of an hour.

The first of the hosts’ half-a-dozen goals arrived a couple of minutes later from Kieran Morris and a Massiah McDonald brace put them 3-0 up by the break.

The unlikely prospect of a Saints comeback was ended by Louis Briscoe six minutes into the second half and Richard Gregory struck just before the hour mark.

A sixth Rangers goal from Daniel Westwood in stoppage time applied salt into the wounds of a Saints side suffering their heaviest defeat since a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Kettering Town in the Southern League Premier Division almost a year ago.

“It was men against boys,” admitted Marheineke. “I think we can count ourselves fortunate that it was only 6-0 if I’m being brutally honest as it could have been a lot worse.

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“I’m disappointed with one or two things in our overall performance and we have addressed them with the players, but we have to be realistic at what is a very difficult time for us when we are down to the bare bones.

“We were without a goalkeeper, three central defenders, a full-back, a midfielder and a striker, but we were in the game until losing Danny to injury.

“We had so many people playing out of position and very few options on the bench. The fact we have now have a break this coming weekend with Hereford still involved in the FA Cup is definitely a good thing.”

Goalkeeper James Goff, defenders Charlie De’Ath, Lewis Ferrell and Daniel Moyes, midfielder Eugene Libertucci and forward James Hall were all out injured, while Brett Longden served a ban.

Saints are now out of action until November 7 when they entertain Huntingdon Town in the Hunts Senior Cup.