St Ives Town Ladies 0 Netherton United Ladies 2
Date: Sunday 11th December 2016
Kick Off: 2:00pm
Competition: Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership
A strong and powerful Netherton side claimed a League double over the St Ives Lionesses, but the result was claimed in controversial circumstances as the home side were denied a perfectly good opening goal only eighteen minutes in. Had the “goal” which came during a period when Ives were on top been given then things may well have turned out differently.
After an opening period when both sides were testing each other out on a heavy pitch the first really noteworthy incident was the “goal” that never was. Hannah Seymour-Shove was enjoying some success down the right in these early stages and she managed to get away from her marker before delivering a low cross into the centre to pick out her sister. Amy Seymour-Shove took an excellent touch, side stepped a defender and fired in a low shot from just inside the box. The visitor’s keeper did well to dive across and get a hand on the ball, but it rolled on over the line before rebounding into play off the block which holds the wheel in place on the mobile goal. The keeper’s reaction told you this had happened as she initially made no effort to pounce on the stationary ball two yards from her line. Ives players wheeled away to celebrate, but to everyone’s surprise the otherwise excellent referee waved play on and the keeper was first to react to dive on the loose ball. Time for video technology in the lower Leagues!
This setback seemed to rattle the Ives a little and the visitors started to come more into the game. Home keeper Kira Markwell was twice called upon to make good saves in 25th and 32nd minutes as the Netherton strikers moved the ball around well and got shots away.
As the half wore on Ives began to get on top once more, but they were unable to test the Netherton keeper with a shot again although she twice reacted quickly to come off her line and claim through balls bravely at the feet of 16 year old debutant Ives striker Chloe Smith.
The second half started evenly with both sides trying to get the ball down and play, but both defences generally coming out on top. The half was only four minutes old when Markwell was called into action again holding on well to a crisp shot from the edge of the box by Netherton’s no. 23.
Play immediately swung to the opposite end where the hard working Chloe Smith managed to find some space down the right and picked out Amy Seymour-Shove in the centre. But she was again denied the opportunity to shoot by a well timed challenge from a covering defender.
Ives won a free kick in a dangerous position on the right as Hannah Seymour-Shove was taken out clumsily by a defender as she skilfully tried to take the ball around her to get to the bye line on 56 minutes. The kick was floated into the centre by Sophie Marheineke, but yet again a taller Netherton defender headed it clear. Molly Berryman pounced on the loose ball just outside the box, but fired her first time effort a couple of yards wide.
The opening goal arrived just after the hour as Netherton’s speedy winger broke at pace down the right and delivered a low cross into the centre that picked out an unmarked team mate ghosting in at the far post. She showed composure to slot the ball past the advancing Markwell giving the keeper no chance.
The visitors almost repeated the feat in identical fashion only two minutes later as the same player broke clear and tried to slot the ball past Markwell in identical fashion. But the Ives keeper was wise to it this time and spread herself to make an excellent block.
By this stage of the game Netherton were well on top as the home side seemed to be tiring on the heavy pitch. Markwell made another excellent save to keep them in the game on 70 minutes as she dived full length to her left to tip a low drive from Netherton’s no. 14 onto the post. She also reacted quickly to bravely pounce on the loose ball ahead of closing attackers.
In spite of her heroic efforts to keep her side in the game keeper Markwell was eventually beaten for a second time twelve minutes from time as the powerful visitor’s no. 7 out muscled Mollie Flack on the right and delivered a cross that was turned past the valiant keeper from close range. Flack’s complaints to the referee that she was fouled fell on deaf ears and eventually ended up earning her a yellow card.
The their credit Ives kept battling to the end and skipper Sasha Smith did create one opportunity for Hannah Seymour-Shove to get a shot in ten minutes from time. But again the very good Netherton keeper held onto the well struck effort comfortably at her near post.
Overall verdict that this was a good entertaining game and the outcome may have been different if the Ives early “goal” had stood. But on overall play the visitors just about edged it. Promotion in their first season has propelled the Ives into a very competitive Premiership Division where they are beginning to find their feet and picking up some very good results. To put things into context today’s opponents are enjoying their third season at this level and the Lionesses matched them for long periods, but just could not find that crucial goal.
St Ives team : Markwell, Ransome, Webb, Stowe, Berryman, Flack, Hannah Seymour-Shove, Liddiard, Sasha Smith (capt), Chloe Smith, Amy Seymour-Shove.
Subs : all used roll on/roll off : Marheineke, Stefanelli, Astley, Rebane
Goal : none
Player of the match : Chloe Smith
Attendance : approx 30