St Ives Town's struggles continues with heavy defeat at Banbury United

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke says his 2021-2022 squad will dictate whether a change in styl

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke saw his side lose 5-1 at Banbury United. - Credit: DUNCAN LAMONT

St Ives Town had a day to forget as they finished with 10 men and a big loss at Southern League Premier Division Central high-flyers Banbury United.

The sending-off came five minutes after half-time, Brett Solkhon picking up a second yellow card for handball, and they had already lost goalkeeper Paul White as early as the 11th minute, injured in a collision with George Wreh.

It meant by the time Nabil Shariff netted a consolation from the penalty spot three minutes into stoppage time, the hosts had picked up three points in a 5-1 win and handed Ives a seventh game without success.

The opening goal came in the incident that cost the visitors their goalkeeper.

Morgan Roberts fed Ben Acquaye down the left and as White dived in to try and claim his low, driven, cross Wreh came steaming in from the opposite direction for a 50-50 challenge.

The impact left the Ives keeper prostrate on the deck and he knew nothing as Harry Reilly immediately slammed home the loose ball.

After a lengthy period of treatment the Ives stopper was helped off to be replaced between the sticks by Ben Heath.

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The hosts' second on 36 minutes was something of a disaster for the Ives as their first corner of the game was cleared away at the near post and swiftly moved from one end of the pitch to the other before being comprehensively finished by overlapping full back Connor Roberts who fired the ball into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.

If Ives were going to find an unlikely route back into this game then an early goal was required at the start of the second period.

However, all hope of that was gone as Solkhon’s raised hand right in front of the referee ensured his early departure, his first coming in the opening 45 minutes for a pull on Connor Roberts.

It was also in the box and Wreh duly despatched the resulting spot-kick low to Heath’s right.

With Ives now in disarray the big centre forward helped himself to a second only two minutes later, side-stepping Milne before curling a shot past the outstretched hands of Heath.

Manager Ricky Marheineke quickly reacted with a brave formation change but despite the effort, it was the hosts who continued to pour forward.

Heath made an excellent block to deny Alexander Babos and then he punched away a header from Jack Westbrook.

But a fifth did come seven minutes from time, substitute Theo Rowe busting and rolling the ball under the body of the exposed Heath.

There was still time for ex Puritan Shariff to keep up his record of scoring on every return, converting a penalty after Michael Harding was upended but it was never going to be more than a late consolation.

St Ives Town: White (Heath 14), McWilliams, Flanagan, Richens, Solkhon, Milne (Agemoh-Davies 58), Cross, Parker, Shariff, Williams, Hicks (M.Harding 55).

Sub (not used): Toseland.

Goal: Shariff (pen) 90+3

Sent-off: Solkhon 50

Banbury United: J.Harding, C.Roberts, Brown, Reilly (Rowe 72), Langmead, Westbrook, Babos, Rasulo, Wreh, M.Roberts (Johnston 73), Acquaye (Rowley 73).

Subs (not used): Taylor, Sharpe.

Goals : Reilly 11, Roberts 36, Wreh (pen) 51, 53, Rowe 83

HT: Banbury United 2 St Ives Town 0

Attendance: 513