St Ives back on song as they sink the leaders to climb back into play-off places

Jared Cunniff scored one goal and made another for St Ives Town. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

Jared Cunniff scored one goal and made another for St Ives Town. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town ignited their Southern League Division One (Central) promotion challenge by tearing apart the table-toppers yesterday.

The Saints snapped a four-match run without victory by powering to a 4-1 success at Chalfont St Peter in their opening fixture of 2016.

They took command with two goals in the space of six minutes late in the first half. Jared Cunniff opened the scoring before turning provider for Ben Seymour-Shove to double the lead.

Recent recruit Andrew Phillips fired his first Saints goal with eight minutes to go before the hosts grabbed an almost immediate consolation.

But Peter Clark put the seal on a super St Ives showing by restoring the three-goal cushion in stoppage time and leaving boss Ricky Marheineke delighted.

The Saints chief admitted: “It goes without saying it was a very good win.

“It was one we knew we couldn’t afford to lose so we decided to approach it in a positive manner.

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“Chalfont have conceded a lot of goals for a table-topping team and we felt that is something we could expose.

“Two goals in the first half gave us the platform to win the game and we were able to protect and extend our lead in the second half.

“I’m really pleased for everyone who was involved in a great start to 2016. We’ve got players coming back from injury, things are looking up again and it is time for us to kick on.”

Saints’ success allowed them to jump back into the play-off places. They’re now fourth and six points off the summit.

They turn their attention to a big clash closer to home on Tuesday when travelling to St Neots Town for a Hunts Senior Cup semi-final (7.45pm).

Marheineke’s men were on the receiving end of a late turnaround when going down 2-1 to their higher-level hosts in a Red Insure Cup tie earlier in the season.

But they’ll go into the latest clash on a high whereas St Neots are stewing on a nine-match run without a victory.

St Neots were one of three local sides to see their scheduled fixtures postponed yesterday. A Southern League Premier Division trip to Frome was scrapped following an early-morning pitch inspection in Somerset.

In-form Eynesbury Rovers’ saw their United Counties League Premier Division home clash against Boston Town called off while bottom side Huntingdon Town’s trip to Northampton Spencer at the same level suffered the same fate.