NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town draw another blank on an afternoon which won’t live long in the memory

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

Manager Ricky Marheineke is anxious for St Ives Town not to let their Southern League Premier Division campaign fizzle out.

There was a distinct end-of-season feel at ProEdge Westwood Road on Saturday as Saints slipped to a second successive home defeat.

They succumbed to a solitary strike from Basingstoke man Matt Partridge in a game short on quality and even more lacking in goalmouth incident.

The only breakthrough arrived 20 minutes into the second half with Partridge pouncing after Joe Gater had headed a Sam Deadfield free-kick against the bar.

Marheineke said: “We’re trying to keep the players motivated to finish the season on a high, but no matter what we say or do, we’re not playing very well.

“It’s not through a lack of effort, but it is very difficult to perform on our pitch at the moment.

“It’s like concrete with the ball bouncing all over the players and it’s no surprise the only goal of the came from a set piece.

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“Our delivery was very poor and we didn’t have anywhere near enough quality around the Basingstoke box.

“We certainly need more attacking presence as we can’t expect to be winning games when not scoring goals.

“It’s a case of sticking together and trying to improve while playing for places in the cup final at the end of the season.”

The latest loss may have come at a cost with striker Dubi Ogbonna limping off with knee trouble 10 minutes before the break.

The frontman was making his first start since a near two-month lay-off with an injury to the same part of his body.

Saints, who had leading scorer Josh Dawkin away, and Basingstoke were sat next to each other in mid-table at the start of play with the visitors being two points better off than their hosts. Virtually nothing separated them on the pitch either.

Saints winger Ben Seymour-Shove forced Basingstoke goalkeeper Kieran Greene into his only noteworthy save early on before home number one Tim Trebes ensured the deadlock remained with a fine stop to keep out a deflected Nana Owusu effort.

It was eventually broken by Partridge and St Ives couldn’t find a response despite throwing skipper Charlie De’Ath up front and introducing Under 18s hot-shot Matt Wright from the bench for a first taste of senior football.