NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Seymour-Shove secures first Southern League Premier Division success for St Ives Town

Ben Seymour-Shove fired St Ives Town to their first victory in the Southern League Premier Division.

Ben Seymour-Shove fired St Ives Town to their first victory in the Southern League Premier Division. - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town collected their first-ever Southern League Premier Division victory yesterday – and it arrived courtesy of a goal from the player who clinched their promotion to this level.

Wideman Ben Seymour-Shove hit the extra-time winner as Saints beat AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the final of the Division One (Central) play-offs last term.

And he was also the man to provide the only goal as Ricky Marheineke’s side triumphed at Cinderford.

Seymour-Shove struck in the 28th minute after a long ball had been flicked into his path by Buster Harradine.

Saints failed to take other good chances in the first period before finding themselves under pressure after the break, but they emerged in possession of all three points.

“It was important to pick up our first win sooner rather than later,” said Marheineke.

“We were excellent in the first half and probably unfortunate not to have a bigger lead to show for such a pleasing performance.

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“The lads then showed determination and togetherness in the second half when we spent a long time out of possession.

“I can’t pretend it didn’t get a bit nervy at times, but we defended exceptionally well and the players deserve a lot of credit. I’m pleased for them to get the three points.”

And Marheineke heaped special praise on debutant defender Lee Chaffey.

The vastly-experienced summer capture also took the captain’s armband as he replaced injured skipper Charlie De’Ath.

Marheineke said: “We have three good central defenders at the club and Lee was a big part of a fine defensive performance.

“He has bundles of experience after playing more than 650 games in non-league football, and was a calming influence with his organisation and leadership qualities.”

Saints are back in action on Tuesday when they host local rivals St Neots in a Huntingdonshire derby clash at ProEdge Westwood Road, 7.45pm.