NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town suffer first defeat of the season after their standards slip
- Credit: Archant
Manager Ricky Marheineke admitted St Ives Town allowed their standards to slip when suffering a first Southern League Premier Division Central defeat of the season.
Saints began the new campaign with back-to-back victories, but they were brought back down to earth by a 2-0 reverse at Redditch yesterday.
They saw two gilt-edged early opportunities go begging as a George Bailey shot was tipped onto a post before Sam Cartwright steered a free header over the bar from the resulting corner.
And their failure to find the net was quickly punished when one-time St Neots Town striker Stefan Moore gave the hosts a 10th minute lead.
Only a brave Tim Trebes save denied the same Redditch man a second goal within two minutes, but the hosts did succeed in doubling their lead midway through the opening period thanks to Liam Francis’ finish from a corner.
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Those goals were enough to earn Redditch the points and leave Marheineke to reflect on a day when his side’s preparation and performance weren’t what he desired.
Marheineke said: “We allowed our standards to slip today and the result is a timely reminder of what happens when we do that.
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“A couple of lads were late meeting the team coach, a couple of others forget things and I just got the sense that we weren’t quite right.
“We had two glorious opportunities in the first three minutes and it may well have been a different game if we had managed to take either of them.
“We couldn’t do that and we then lacked a bit of aggression and leadership defensively. We certainly didn’t do well enough for the two Redditch goals.
“But statistically it was our best attacking performance of the season in terms of the amount of times we entered into the final third and the opposition penalty area, and the number of shots we had on goal.
“Unfortunately the game was lost in the opening 25 minutes, but I would have gladly taken six points from our opening three points had I been offered them in advance.”
Saints did succeed in getting the ball into the net, but Declan Rogers’ effort 10 minutes before the break was ruled out for offside.
Rogers and Munashe Sundire saw other attempts saved ahead of the interval while substitute Danny Kelly fluffed their best chance of the second half soon after his introduction for the injured Sundire.
Marheineke handed a debut to summer signing Joe Hood at left-back while new loan recruit Jack O’Connor, who has arrived from fellow Premier Division Central side Kettering Town, was an unused substitute.