NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Three goals, three points and a clean sheet provide plenty of reasons for cheer for St Ives Town

Debutant Tom Knowles scores St Ives Town's second goal in their victory at Kings Langley. Picture: L

Debutant Tom Knowles scores St Ives Town's second goal in their victory at Kings Langley. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

Loan capture Tom Knowles made an instant impact as St Ives Town continued their Southern League Premier Division revival with a flurry of second-half goals yesterday.

Assistant boss Jack Cassidy (left) in the St Ives Town dugout for the final time. Picture: LOUISE TH

Assistant boss Jack Cassidy (left) in the St Ives Town dugout for the final time. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

Knowles, who has been drafted in on an initial 28-day deal from League Two club Cambridge United, scored and created goals within seven minutes of his introduction to help Saints to a 3-0 victory at Kings Langley.

Ricky Marheineke’s set were set on the way to success by another recent arrival, Ollie Snaith, as they leapfrogged their beaten hosts to rise to 20th position in the standings.

Saints also extended their unbeaten run to three matches and provided a successful farewell for assistant boss Jack Cassidy, who was in the dugout for the final time before departing to take up a similar role at hometown club Bedford Town.

“I’ve seen Tom play on numerous occasions while he was on loan at Cambridge City during the first half of the season and it is clear he is a very talented young footballer,” said Marheineke.

“He has terrific ability and he showed that with a spectacular goal from the most beautiful chip you’ll ever see, but he also has the work ethic that I always look for in a player.

“Wins have been very hard to come by this season, so three goals, three points and a clean sheet away from home are all very pleasing.

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“The final scoreline probably flattered us a little bit, but we defended well when Kings Langley put us under pressure and our goalkeeper made some superb saves.

“It’s a third successive game in which we have not conceded from open play and that improved defending is giving us a very solid base.

“There’s no doubt we are moving in the right direction and I’m sure results will continue to come if the players can maintain the hard work they have put into the last three games.

“And it was great to be able to get a win for Jack in his final game with us. We’ve become the closest of friends during our time working together and I’ll always be grateful for all of his efforts for St Ives Town.”

It certainly wasn’t a cakewalk for Saints at Kings Langley yesterday. Only the excellence of number one Tim Trebes prevented them from falling behind in the first half.

He made a terrific stop to deny Stevie West midway through the opening period and then thwarted Sam Tring twice in the space of a few seconds.

Saints offered little as an attacking force before the break, but it was a different story in the second half as three goals in the space of 13 minutes earned an ultimately emphatic victory.

They hit the front when Snaith pounced from close range after a Danny Kelly shot was saved in the 54th minute.

Latest signing Knowles then seized the limelight following his introduction from the bench on the hour.

He raced onto a fine Clark pass to exquisitely double Saints’ lead with a high-class chip before returning the compliment two minutes later when flicking a Ben Baker cross into the path of Clark for him to complete the scoring.

Two more smart Trebes saves in the closing stages ensured Saints’ fifth Premier Division success of a difficult season came complete with a clean sheet.

When the goalkeeper was beaten late on following a rash charge to clear, Eugene Libertucci was on hand to head clear a goalbound Gareth Price effort to safety.

Saints are back in action on Tuesday when they entertain St Neots Town in a re-arranged Huntingdonshire derby clash at ProEdge Westwood Road, 7.45pm.