NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Saints’ win over Redditch is first in three months
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town’s three-month wait for a home success came to an end last Saturday.
Andrew Osei-Bonsu hit the only goal as Saints beat Redditch 1-0 at Westwood Road to pass the 50-point barrier in the Southern League Premier Division Central.
The frontman struck with the aid of a deflection nine minutes into the second half to earn a victory which came complete with a debut clean sheet for rookie goalkeeper Shay Griffiths.
Morgan Penfold did have the ball in the net a few minutes later only for the celebrations to be cut short by a raised flag while the Peterborough United loanee was denied by a last-ditch tackle when having another opportunity to open his account in his second Saints spell.
But one goal proved to be enough to see off a Redditch side who had lost only one of their previous eight games.
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“It was a good result gained thanks to a good performance,” said manager Ricky Marheineke.
“The fact that we have only just picked up our fifth home win of the season in mid-April is obviously a disappointment.
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“It’s also very frustrating as we don’t play any differently at home to away, yet our results on the road have been much better.
“Every team wants to make their home ground a fortress and had we managed to do that, we would have been challenging for a play-off place rather than sitting in mid-table.”
And Marheineke was full of praise for the contribution of local lad Griffiths during his first taste of Step 3 football.
The local lad, who plays for Saints’ Under 18 team and has spent time with Cambridgeshire County League side Eaton Socon this season, received the call-up with regular number one Martin Conway away following his wedding.
“We could have gone down the route of getting an experienced goalkeeper in Tim Trebes to help us out as he did earlier in the season,” added Marheineke.
“But we felt that Shay deserved the opportunity with Martin away and he proved he is capable of playing at this level.
“He made two excellent saves in the first half and the other aspects of his game were also really impressive.
“To make his debut at Step at the age of 18 and also to keep a clean sheet are two things he can hugely proud about.”
Saints were again without defender Ben Jackson whose season is over due to a stress fracture of the foot.
Forward Danny Kelly also won’t return from a knee problem while another defender, Gav Hoyte, is out for the remainder of the campaign due to work commitments.