NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town bring up a half-century as they pass their Southern League Premier Division target with plenty to spare

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

It’s a case of mission accomplished for St Ives Town after they reached a half-century yesterday.

Ben Seymour-Shove was St Ives Town's match-winner against Dorchester. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

Ben Seymour-Shove was St Ives Town's match-winner against Dorchester. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

A solitary Ben Seymour-Shove strike was enough to earn Saints a 1-0 success against Dorchester at ProEdge Westwood Road.

The triumph moved Ricky Marheineke’s side onto 50 points in their debut Southern League Premier Division season - and ensured their long-standing target was passed with seven games to spare.

“We set the lads a 48-point target at the start of the season,” said Marheineke. “We seem to have been closing in on it for a while, so it feels great to have managed to get past it with this win.

“That guarantees our safety beyond any doubt and that was always the main objective in our first season at this level.

“I’m really pleased and we can now enjoy the rest of the season. Myself and the management team will sit down and revise the goals. “It is important we continue building momentum with a cup final to come and the beauty is that we have a group of players who want to win every game.

“We’ll aim to finish as high as we can in the league. The closer we can get to mid-table, the better as far as we’re concerned.”

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But Marheineke was quick to admit the display produced against Dorchester was not one of Saints’ finest.

He felt his men allowed their performance level to drop after Seymour-Shove struck the only goal in the 18th minute.

He finished smartly after Liam McDevitt had helped a long Jack Bradshaw throw into his path.

Seymour-Shove saw another opportunity scrambled away before a Tom McGowan penalty appeal fell on deaf ears.

Saints looked set to double their advantage in the second half only for Danny Kelly to be inadvertantly denied by a team-mate as his goalbound header struck strike-partner Dubi Ogbonna on the back and bounced to safety.

But they had to survive a serious scare in stoppage time to keep their lead intact as Dorchester man Nathan Walker missed the target from close range.

Marheineke added: “We dominated early on and managed to get the goal at a time when we were bossing the game.

“We dropped our standards later in the first half and allowed Dorchester back into it without them having to really improve on what they were doing.

“We addressed that at half-time and then defended very well in the second half before very nearly being pegged back at the end.

“Our performance lacked a bit of maturity and game-management and that’s something we’ll look to put right.

“The lads showed a real determination to see out the win against a difficult side.”