NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town bid to avoid being on the receiving end of another upset as they battle for a Southern League Challenge Cup final spot

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town are determined to seize their last chance to claim silverware this season.

Harry O'Malley has been released by St Ives Town.

Harry O'Malley has been released by St Ives Town. - Credit: Archant

That’s the message from manager Ricky Marheineke ahead of a Southern League Challenge Cup semi-final showdown tonight.

Saints, who sit 14th in the Premier Division, entertain an Aylesbury United side who occupy the same spot at Division One Central level.

Everything points to a smooth home success at ProEdge Westwood Road, 7.45pm, for the highest-ranked team left in the competition, but Marheineke won’t be caught counting his chickens.

He said: “We’ve got reports on them from two recent games and we know what to expect.

“Their away form is very good and they have some dangerous players who we came up against last season.

“If we don’t play well, and we aren’t up for it in a cup tie, there’s every possibility we could come unstuck.

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“We went out of a cup to a lower-level side earlier this month, and certainly don’t want that to happen again.

“This is our last opportunity to win a trophy this season and we’re determined to take it.”

Marheineke is alluding to a surprise Hunts Senior Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Eynesbury Rovers, who play two levels below Saints in the United Counties League Premier Division, a fortnight ago.

There will be a new face in the Saints’ squad tonight with midfield capture Eugene Libertucci expected to feature among the substitutes.

Libertucci has been out of the game for over a year, but he is well-known to Marheineke from their time at Histon in the National League North.

Saints have also completed the signing of St Neots Town wideman Charlie Day, but he won’t be involved tonight.

And neither will full-back Harry O’Malley, who has been released by Saints. Marheineke declined to divulge the reasons behind the exit of one of the club’s promotion-winners last season.