NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Neots Town and St Ives Town face tricky FA Trophy tests

St Neots manager Andy Davies. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

St Neots manager Andy Davies. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

The top two teams in Huntingdonshire hit the FA Trophy trail today – and both are out to make amends for FA Cup failings.

St Ives manager Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives manager Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

St Neots Town and St Ives Town both enter the national competition at the first round qualifying stage.

The Southern League Premier Division sides both face tricky away tries against teams who play one level below them in the Evo-Stik Northern Division One (South).

And, with both sets of Saints having already gone out of the FA Cup to lower-level opponents this term, there is no room for error.

Bedworth United is the destination for St Neots Town and boss Andy Davies hopes it is a venue which marks the start of a long run in the Trophy.

He admitted: “We went out of the FA Cup to a Stamford team who play at Bedworth’s level, so that highlights the need to be at our best.

“It is a 3G pitch over there and hopefully that will suit our boys. We like to zip the ball around and that surface should work in our favour.

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“I’m really keen on a run in this competition and the players are determined to make that happen.”

While Bedworth are ninth in their division, Nottinghamshire side Carlton can be found sitting second-bottom.

They provide the opposition for St Ives, who are also keen to make up for an early FA Cup elimination with an FA Trophy run.

Manager Ricky Marheineke said: It was disappointing to go out of the FA Cup very early. I did say at the time that Westfields were far better than a Step 5 team and the fact they have gone on to reach the first round proper has proved that.

“Going away in the FA Trophy is always tough and there is no chance of us under-estimating Carlton.”

Marheineke has a shortage of attacking options, with Danny Kelly unavailable and Ogbonna cup-tied.