Category: Match Previews

First Team Preview (H) Kings Langley

St Ives Town vs Kings Langley

Date: Saturday 19th August 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: The Oliver Cromwell

Members of the MAGPAS Air Ambulance charity will be in attendance for this match with charity collection buckets.  Please give generously

 

First Team Result St Ives Town 1 Biggleswade Town 2

St Ives Town vs Biggleswade Town

Date: Tuesday 15th August 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: Dave Hook

It is impossible to say that a team are your bogey side after you have only played them four times. But in all three League meetings with the Waders Ives have played well, but just failed to get that little bit of luck needed to take the three points. That was particularly true in this fixture as having fallen behind to an early goal they fought their way back into the fixture and looked the only likely winners having grabbed an equaliser with twenty minutes to go. But fate threw them a nasty curve ball as teenage loanee keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle misjudged a hanging free kick delivered into the box from ten yards inside the Ives half and only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net five minutes from time.

Manager Ricky Marheineke made two enforced changes from the opening day win at Weymouth as Brett Longden had failed to recover from his groin injury and was replaced in the back four by Lee Chaffey with Lewis Ferrell moving across to right back. Jimmy Hartley was also still suffering from a knock and he was replaced by Danny Kelly who went in alongside James Hall up front.

Still on a high from their success at Weymouth the Ives started very positively and won a corner inside the first two minutes. But this came to nothing and it was the Waders who got in the first strike at goal in their first raid on four minutes as a long throw from the right fell to the feet of Connor Hall inside the box. He turned and shot in one motion and only just failed to hit the target as his effort ruffled the side netting.

The visitors silenced the home fans as they went in front in simple fashion only three minutes later. Graeme Montgomery delivered a free kick from wide right into the Ives box where Shane Hill rose unchallenged to power in a header from ten yards that beat McKenzie-Lyle and flew into the roof of the net.

This took the wind out of the host’s sails a little and the Waders enjoyed a good period without really creating a lot. They did manage to create a shooting opportunity in 22nd minute as Hall and Jack Bowen combined on the left with the latter being played into space on the edge of the box, but his driven effort was straight at McKenzie-Lyle who held on well.

Ives were beginning to get back into the game, but were unable to find a way through the solid Waders back line with the evergreen Gavin Hoyte still marshalling affairs as well as ever and keeper Liam Gooch very quick off his line to clear up anything over the top. Hall, Phil Draycott and Kelly combined well down the left on 36 minutes, but Kelly’s well hit shot from inside the box was bravely blocked by covering defender Tyler Walker.

The Waders twice came close to increasing their advantage as the half drew to a close. On 42 minutes skipper Craig Daniel delivered a pinpoint free kick to the near post from a wide right position. Hall got across his marker and deflected an effort on target that pulled a very good reaction save out of McKenzie-Lyle.

The big Guyanese keeper did even better in the last action of the first period. He raced off his line to hack away a ball over the top just ahead of the fast closing Bowen. But the ball deflected off the Waders striker and ricocheted to Montgomery 40 yards from goal. He took a touch and clipped an effort over the top of the out of position keeper. But McKenzie-Lyle is 6’ 7” tall and he needed every millimetre of that as he frantically back peddled and flung himself full length to miraculously finger tip the ball over the top.

Ives came out at the start of the second half determined to find a way back into the game. They won two corners in quick succession in 53rd minute, but both were well defended by the Waders. Hill picked up a yellow card three minutes later as he cynically brought down Lewis Hilliard as the tricky midfielder broke through the centre of the Waders line at pace having been played into space by Tom McGowan.

Manager Marheineke went for an early change to try and liven things up as Ben Seymour-Shove replaced Kelly in the 57th minute. Seymour-Shove went in on the right moving Hilliard up alongside Hall. This almost had the desired effect only four minutes later as Seymour-Shove threaded a ball through that played Hilliard into the box. The silky striker tried his luck first time from a narrow angle and almost caught out keeper Gooch who reacted well to tip the effort onto his crossbar.

The Waders crossbar was rattled again only two minutes later as Draycott and Hilliard combined on the left with the latter delivering an inviting cross that Clark challenged Reece Fielding for in the centre. The ball deflected off the head of defender Fielding and looped over the outstretched arms of the desperately diving Gooch, but hit the metalwork and bounced out with the keeper well beaten.

Hilliard was again involved in the equaliser when it finally came in 70th minute. Jordan Jarrold took a quick throw into the feet of Hilliard on the edge of the box. He unselfishly slid it sideways into the run of Clark who hit a crisp side footed effort from eighteen yards that flew past the grasping fingers of Gooch and into the top corner of the net.

The Waders reacted well to this setback and played their way into Ives box only two minutes later. Montgomery and Daniel interchanged passes before the latter played in substitute Tony Burnett cutting in from the left. Keeper McKenzie-Lyle did well plunging to his left to push Burnett’s low driven effort away.

But the most likely winners at this point were the Ives who were now well on top and pushing for another goal. They went agonisingly close ten minutes from time as Clark and Hilliard, who look a very creative combination, combined down the right in a move that ended with a cross that proved too deep for everyone in the centre. But Draycott kept it alive and delivered a ball back into the box that the Waders struggled to clear. The ball just would not drop for Seymour-Shove, or McGowan, to get shot away from inside the box. But it did come down for Clark on the edge of the D. He took a touch to create some space and fired in a low drive that Gooch did very well to tip around diving full length to his left.

Ives thought they had won it three minutes later as Hilliard was again involved in feeding the ball out to Hall on the left. His low cross was expertly turned home at the near post by Draycott to spark wild celebrations amongst players and fans alike. But the elation was cut short as the eagle-eyed assistant on the far side had noticed that Draycott had drifted marginally offside as he got ahead of his man.

To add insult to injury the Waders very fortunate winner arrived only ninety seconds later. The ever-willing Hall chasing back inside his own half was judged to have clipped Daniel fully forty yards from goal. Montgomery lifted his free kick high into the box and McKenzie-Lyle in his eagerness to claim the ball took one step to many and simply got to far under the ball. His valiant attempts to claim it only saw him succeed in knocking it down into his own net. The disbelieving Montgomery claimed the credit, but unfortunately it must go down as an own goal.

In the melee, it seems that the young keeper had also managed to clatter his own skipped as Charlie De’ath was down in a heap bleeding from a head wound. This sparked frantic work for physio James Smith who managed to get Vaseline and a bandage over the wound in record time, even if it did look like a very poorly fitted turban. This allowed De’ath to get back into the fray for the remaining few minutes to allow manager Marheineke to throw him up front and go three at the back.

Much to the chagrin of the Waders bench referee Alistair Wilson added a total of six minutes for the many stoppages in the second period. But in spite of the battered De’ath winning a number of headers in the opposition box, including heading a Ferrell cross over the top under heavy pressure from Hoyte, the Waders held on for an unlikely victory.

Although the game ended in defeat Ives can take much from this game as they ruled it for long periods of the second half and certainly did not deserve to lose. Goal keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle must also take the positives from this game his save just before half time was amazing. All young goalkeepers make mistakes and he is with us to gain experience and learn. He must continue to work on these things and take that split second longer to time his movement when claiming high balls.

Man of the match went to Lewis Hilliard who was involved in everything once he moved inside alongside James Hall. He and Peter Clark make a mouth watering combination in the middle. Ricky Marheineke has some difficult decisions to make, but they are ones I am sure that he will take on with relish.

Final Score : St Ives Town  1 Biggleswade Town  2

Goals : Clark 70

Supporters man of the match : Lewis Hilliard

St Ives team : McKenzie-Lyle, Ferrell, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey,  McGowan (Hartley 86), Hilliard, Clark, Hall, Kelly (Seymour-Shove 57), Draycott

Unused substitutes : Moyes, Dias

Attendance  :  184

First Team Result Weymouth FC 0 St Ives Town 1

Weymouth FC 0 St Ives Town 1

Date: Saturday 12th August 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier
Ground Address: Bob Lucas Stadium,, Radipole Lane, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XJ

If there was ever an example of how pre-season results mean nothing when it comes to the crunch and the competitive action begins this was it. The Terras had marched through pre-season in unbeaten style to lift the expectations of their large fan base. In contrast Ives had stuttered through their build up which was seriously interrupted with injuries and absence.

However when it came to the crux it was the visiting Ives who made the long journey back from the South coast with the three points in their back pockets following a dominant display which silenced the locals long before the end.

The goal, when it came, may have been a little fortunate as Lewis Hilliard’s in-swinging corner found its way through the crowded goalmouth directly into the back of the net seven minutes from time. But prior to the goal Ives had created a number of good chances and already rattled the host’s crossbar late in the first half. They also twice had the ball in the net after the goal with one effort disallowed for a slight infringement on a defender and the other for a very border line offside decision.

Whilst all this action was going on at the other end Ives imposing debutant Guyanese international goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle was very quietly and confidently dealing with the sporadic Terras raids.

The host’s youthful side made the first probing raid of the game after only three minutes. But McKenzie-Lyle made a comfortable save low to his right to keep out a header from Brandon Goodship who had got on the end of a deep Callum Buckley cross at the far post.

McKenzie-Lyle was forced into a better save in 23rd minute as a long free kick was headed down by Charlie Davis and Goodship fired in a snap shot from 25 yards that the athletic keeper finger tipped over the top.

Ives first meaningful attack arrived only two minutes later as Tom McGowan won the ball deep in Ives territory and played it into the feet of Peter Clark. His delicate clip over the top picked out the perfectly timed run of James Hall, but his shot from 20 yards was blocked by a covering defender and Jimmy Hartley following up dragged his effort from 25 yards well wide of the post.

McKenzie-Lyle made two more comfortable saves in the next three minutes first comfortably gathering a powerful drive from 25 yards by Goodship and then taking a Jake McCarthey free kick from a similar distance into his midriff a few minutes later.

From this point the game began to swing the way of the Ives as they started to pressurise their opponents into mistakes with home keeper Nick Thomas looking particularly vulnerable. Three minutes before the break he came for a hanging Draycott free kick deep into his box. But instead of claiming a comfortable catch he elected to punch under very little pressure and was very fortunate to get away with a poor punch that went straight up in the air. He just managed to redeem himself by clawing the dropping ball off of the head of Hall.

Another error from Thomas almost lead to the visitors going in front right on the half time whistle. He chose to roll the ball out to Buckley only just outside the box, seemingly he had taken no notice of Hilliard who was stalking the defender and pounced the instant he received the ball robbing him and forcing the Terras man to pull him back to prevent him breaking away. This action brought the young defender a yellow card and almost cost his team a goal. Phil Draycott spotted up the free kick and curled the ball over the wall beating Thomas’s despairing dive, but unluckily rebounding back into play off the underside of the crossbar. Clark pounced on the loose ball, but failed to hit the target as he was closed by a number of defenders.

Having taken control in the latter period of the first half Ives came out even more determined at the start of the second period and started to press their opposition even further up the pitch. Hall closed and robbed Tiago Sa on 48 minutes, he fed the ball into the feet of Hartley on the edge of the box and as Hartley’s shot was blocked he followed up and curled his effort from the right hand corner of the box just wide of the far post.

The host’s final meaningful attack of the afternoon arrived after only 52 minutes as Ben Thompson took on Lewis Ferrell on the outside and delivered a dangerous cross that Jarrold miscued at the back post. Goodship pounced on the loose ball and burst into the box only to go down under a strong challenge from McGowan and Ferrell. But referee Iain Parsons was right on the spot and waved away the Terras claims for a penalty.

Thomas continued to look edgy and he put one of his defenders under pressure again after 54 minutes as he took a quick goal kick to Ashley Wells on the edge of his own box. But again the keeper seemed to not see Hartley who was only feet away and instantly pounced to rob Wells who did well to recover and block the speedy striker’s effort.

Ives pressure continued to mount and Draycott was bundled over by Calvin Brooks just outside the host’s box in 64th minute. Hartley fired the free kick into the wall, but the ricocheted out to Hilliard on the right  and his low cross picked out Draycott who should probably have done better as he failed to hit the target with his side footed effort from 15 yards.

Clark went close again fifteen minutes from time as he picked up the ball on the left and ran at the home defence getting past two before unleashing a low drive that deflected inches wide of keeper Thomas’s left hand upright as the nervous custodian scrambled across his goal.

The persistence of Hall finally led to the only goal as he chased a long ball out of defence nine minutes from time. His presence forced Wells to misdirect his attempted header back to his keeper thus conceding a corner. This flag kick was delivered from the right by Draycott and tipped over his own crossbar at full stretch by Thomas. The next corner from the opposite side by Hilliard was also in-swinging and as goalkeeper and defenders all hesitated it was allowed to bounce inside the six yard box and travelled on into the back of the net by the far post without friend, or foe, getting a touch.

Two minutes later substitute Danny Kelly thought he had made it two as fellow sub Ben Seymour-Shove got down the left and delivered a low cross to the near post where Kelly out muscled Wells to toe poke the ball home through the legs of Thomas. However referee Parsons deemed that Kelly’s use of strength to outmanoeuvre Wells had involved the unfair use of an elbow.

Ives continued to control the game winding the clock down very effectively by preventing the Terras from getting the ball out of their own half. Seymour-Shove was again involved three minutes later as he threaded a pass through the home defence to put Kelly clear. But again the big striker was denied as he rifled the ball home, this time by the raised flag of an assistant.

The final opportunity of the game, deep in added time, also came the way of the visitors as McGowan cut out an intended pass out of defence and fed the ball into the feet of Hall on the edge of the box. His clever flick put Hilliard in, the skilful midfield man had time to pick his spot, but unselfishly tried to square the ball to Seymour-Shove arriving late in the centre. This just gave Buckley the opportunity to get a toe in and knock the ball out for a corner allowing the Ives to kill the last few seconds of the game and claim this highly impressive three points.

Overall an excellent start to the season after a difficult five hour coach journey on roads packed with holiday makers and more than their fair share of caravans. The performance was excellent and everyone played their part. How good this result really is will only show as the season unfolds, but the Terras, although a good footballing side did look a little lightweight and they were out fought, out thought, and out played by a good looking Ives side.

Man of the match was a tough one with everyone putting in a real shift. There were two men that truly personified that never say die attitude Tom McGowan winning tackles and distributing the ball in the centre of the park and the man who won the vote on this occasion for his constant harrying of the hosts back line, James Hall. Bring on the Waders for what looks like another tough game on Tuesday night.

Final Score : Weymouth  0 St Ives Town  1

Goals : Hilliard 83

Supporters man of the match : James Hall

St Ives team : McKenzie-Lyle, Longden (Chaffey 87), Jarrold, Ferrell, De’ath (capt), McGowan, Hilliard, Clark, Hall, Hartley (Kelly 67), Draycott (Seymour-Shove 77)

Unused substitutes : none

Attendance  :  665

Match Report by Nigel Howlett

First Team Friendly Result St Ives Town 1 Cambridge City 3

St Ives Town 1 Cambridge City 3

Date: Saturday 5th August 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT

An eight minute second half hat trick from Tom Knowles ensured that the tenants came out on top against their landlords and ensured that the Ives somewhat disjointed pre-season finished on a low as far as the result was concerned. But before people get to disheartened the statistics show that the hosts were on top for most of this game and sixteen shots from the Ives to the Lillywhites seven is a better reflection of the pattern of the game. But the old saying is that goals win games and to score those you must hit the target so a greater worry is that City hit the target with four out of seven, Ives only worked the keeper with three out of their sixteen.

Another big positive for manager Ricky Marheineke from this game is that Peter Clark and Dubi Ogbonna both returned to full fitness and they plus a number of the others recently missing managed to clock up some valuable pitch time.

The game started badly for trialist Ives keeper Conor Barton as he calamitously misjudged a long punt down the middle from Harry Norman after only four minutes. He miss timed his run from his line to gather the ball and allowed it to bounce over his head. Knowles was onto the loose ball in a flash, but fortunately for the red faced keeper the angle was just to narrow and the City wide man only succeeded in screwing his effort into the side netting.

Having survived that huge scare the hosts came within inches of taking the lead only five minutes later. Brett Longden pinged a cross field ball to pick out his fellow full back Jordan Jarrold wide on the left. Jarrold jinked past his marker and drove in a low cross which was deflected out for a corner.

Lewis Hilliard delivered the resulting flag kick from the left and it was knocked down to Lee Chaffey by the near post. His low driven effort was skilfully deflected onto the upright by Jimmy Hartley. The ball rebounded back into the centre of goal where it was knocked back into the feet of Hartley by Danny Kelly. Hartley spun on it in a flash and fired in another effort which rattled the crossbar. Again Hartley was first to react to the loose ball to knock it home only to be denied by an assistant’s flag as he had strayed offside before receiving Kelly’s knock through.

After this lightning start the game settled down with both sides moving the ball around well without creating any clear opportunities. Ives had a decent shout for a penalty waved away in 25th minute as Hartley bustled his way into the box and was clipped by Adam Capel just as he shaped to shoot. But referee Brian O’Sullivan was quick to wave away the appeals.

The hosts were hugely unlucky not to go in front only sixty seconds later as Longden delivered a hanging free kick into the box. It looked a routine catch for ex Ives keeper Niall Conroy in the Lillywhites goal. But he spilled the ball under very little pressure. The all action Hartley was again first to react to the loose ball and hooked it goal wards only for the effort to be deflected unwittingly over the top off the back of the head of team mate Danny Kelly.

City’s only other effort at goal in the first period came on the half hour as Longden was adjudged to have fouled Ollie Snaith 25 yards from goal in a central position. Another ex Ives man Salim Relizani curled the free kick around the wall, but a couple of yards wide of Barton’s right hand post.

A speculative effort from Phil Draycott almost caught out Conroy nine minutes before the break. The hard working winger picked up the ball fully thirty five yards from goal strode forward into space and unleashed a low drive which skipped off the wet turf and thudded into the boards inches to the left of the City keeper’s goal with the beaten custodian still struggling to get across.

The second half was only four minutes old when Longden put in Hilliard down the right and the silky midfielder worked his way into the box before driving in a low effort which rebounded to safety off the legs of keeper Conroy.

But three minutes later Ives had to thank their keeper for preventing them falling behind as substitute Richard Platt delivered an inviting cross from the right that Snaith attacked with his head ten yards from goal. Barton made an amazing reaction save sticking up his left hand to deflect the effort over as he was diving the other way.

However City did not have to wait much longer to go in front as the resulting corner was knocked out to Norman 25 yards from goal and he was clattered into by an Ives defender to win the visitors a free kick. Knowles lined the ball up and rifled a right footed effort into the wall. But as the ball rebounded to him he took a touch and fired in a low drive with his “weaker foot” that beat Barton low to his left and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

The same player doubled the Lillywhites advantage in 59th minute as he chased a ball into the left hand corner and tried to win a flag kick off covering defender Longden, but was fortunate to get a ricochet off the defenders legs to put him clear into the box. He fired in a powerful effort from a narrow angle that Barton will probably be disappointed that he did not keep out as he got both hands to the ball which eventually entered the net off both posts.

Only three minutes later Knowles completed his hat trick as he latched onto a loose ball which Ives were struggling to clear and smashed in a dipping volley from 25 yards which swerved past Barton’s outstretched right hand and billowed the roof of the net.

The scoring was completed in 65th minute as Ives pulled one back. The battling Hartley robbed Norman deep inside his own half and drove into the City back line. As the ball was knocked off his toe substitute Ben Seymour-Shove, who had only been on the pitch two minutes, followed up and rapped the loose ball home through the legs of the exposed Conroy.

The hosts huffed and puffed to try and blow City’s house down in the remaining 25 minutes, but their clear chances were few and far between. The best came on 70 minutes as Seymour-Shove got on the end of a long ball over the top and just beat keeper Conroy to the ball, but only succeeded in clipping his effort against the body of the onrushing stopper.

The only other efforts worthy of note are a couple of excellent probing runs from Clark. On 72 minutes he was played through the middle following a slick interchange of passes between Kelly and Hilliard, but Capel read the move well and came across with a perfectly time covering tackle.  Six minutes from time Clark again scampered through the middle and fed the ball out wide to substitute Matt Wright who picked out Seymour-Shove in space in the centre, but his free header from ten yards flew well wide.

So a disappointing end to a very average pre-season for the Ives. There are two good training sessions to come ahead of the very tough looking Evo-Stik Premier League opener at Weymouth next Saturday. Yours truly is in absolutely no doubt that we have a much better squad than last season with some real quality players and lots more creativity in the side. Manager Marheineke’s challenge is to get them all fit and firing ready for that curtain raiser and the exciting season to come.

Final Score : St Ives Town  1  Cambridge City  3

Goals : Seymour-Shove 65

St Ives team : Barton, Longden (De’ath 68), Jarrold (Ogbonna 68), Chaffey, Ferrell (capt) (Moyes 79), McGowan, Hilliard, Clark, Kelly (Wright 79), Draycott (Seymour-Shove 63)

Attendance  :  130 approx

First Team Friendly Result St Ives Town 2 Eynesbury Rovers 2

St Ives Town vs Eynesbury Rovers

Date: Tuesday 01st August 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT

Ives manager Ricky Marheineke must be hopeful that his luck will change for the season proper as once again he found himself short of at least five players from his likely first choice line up as again injuries and unavailability made his job difficult..

Eugene Libertucci also earned himself the title of unluckiest player around. Injured in the first pre-season training session he had just worked his way back to close to full fitness and was named in the starting line up for his seasonal debut only to break down in the warm up with a recurrence of his injury to give 17 year old Tiago Dias a start.

The many changes in the line ups for these friendly fixtures has meant that Ives have suffered a very disjointed pre-season and for the third game in a row they found themselves two goals down at the break to lower level opposition.

The start could have been explosive for the hosts when after only three minutes Danny Kelly skilfully brought down a long ball on the edge of Rovers box and turned inside giving himself a sight of goal. Unselfishly he fed the ball into the path of James Hall who chose to take a touch only to be crowded out by a pack of recovering Rovers defenders.

Having let this opportunity slip by the game settled down with the Rovers defence well marshalled by ex Ives promotion hero Steve Gentle looking fairly comfortable as Ives either played across the front of them, or delivered long balls which were always going to be gobbled up by a wise old 6’ 5” centre half and his colleagues.

The visiting Rovers sparked the game to life by grabbing the lead half way through the first period. Dom Lawless and Craig Smith combined well down the right working their way into the host’s box before Smith unleashed a rasping drive from a narrow angle that flashed past Conor Barton and entered the net via the far upright.

Ives tried to react to falling behind and Phil Draycott wriggled his way into the left hand side of Rovers box on 29 minutes. Although he managed to get his shot on target it lacked power and provided visitors keeper Dan George with a comfortable save. Shots from distance by Dias and Brett Longden which rattled the boards either side of the goal were the hosts only other efforts worthy of note in an uninspiring first half.

Rovers continued to look dangerous on the break and went close to a second five minutes before the interval. Declan Rogers threaded a careful through ball that pierced the Ives back line and put Lawless clear. His powerful effort from the edge of the box was well blocked by the legs of Barton. The keeper had to do even better to deny the same player only seconds later as Tom Coles kept the ball alive to tee up Lawless for a second effort that Barton had to dive full length to his right to palm around the post.

The second goal arrived in very simple fashion from the resulting corner as Rogers lofted the ball to the centre of the box where Gentle rose majestically above the crowd and powered his header into the top corner of the net.

The hosts had their keeper to thank again seconds before the break as he tipped over an effort from just outside the box by Smith after he had been played into space following good work from Lawless and another ex Ives man Jack Warwick.

Ives continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession in the early stages of the second half, but still struggled to create any real opportunities. Their closest efforts were a shot from Tom McGowan that flew inches wide of George’s near post on 52 minutes. The chance had been carved out by the combined efforts of Dias and Kelly. Jordan Jarrold  then ended an overlapping run with a shot that similarly thudded the boards on 66 minutes.

As in the first half Rovers looked incisive every time they broke away and Barton was called into action to keep the hosts in the game in 70th minute. A break through the centre saw Rogers feed the ball into the feet of Lawless who cut inside Dan Moyes from the left and fired in a shot from the edge of the box that Barton did well to tip away diving full length to his left.

With time ticking away and only 14 minutes left on the clock most of us were beginning to resign ourselves to a second 2-0 defeat in four days, but up stepped the ebullient Jimmy Hartley to lift our spirits. Draycott tried to jink his way past Eynesbury’s substitute right back and was brought down just outside the box. Hartley carefully placed the ball and curled it precisely over the wall to beat keeper George low down at his right hand post.

The goal lifted the Ives and captain Lewis Ferrell set off on a storming run through the middle only seconds later which ended in a corner being won off a Rovers defender. Draycott hung up the flag kick and Hall timed his leap to perfection at the far post, but unfortunately he failed to hit the target from eight yards.

However an equaliser did arrive from an unexpected source ten minutes from time. Ives won another corner this time on the right and in what looked like a pre-rehearsed move Draycott delivered it low to the near post where McGowan flicked it on and substitute David Femiola cheekily back heeled it home past the unsighted George from close range.

Neither side created a decent chance to win the game in the remaining time with the only noteworthy event being a visitor’s shout for a penalty two minutes from time as Rogers went down under challenge from Femiola inside the box. But referee Brian O’Sullivan was right on the spot and waved away the hopeful claims.

Hartley limped out of the game four minutes from time and we must hope that the knock is only minor as he was one of the few bright sparks from this game. But we must hope that the return to fitness of the injured and the return from sunny climes of those on holiday will lift the whole camp to a better performance in our final friendly against Cambridge City to give us a little momentum to take into the season proper. Eynesbury are widely tipped to challenge for the UCL title this season and on the evidence of this they will certainly not be far away.

Final Score : St Ives Town  2  Eynesbury Rovers  2

Goals : Hartley 76, Femiola 80

St Ives team : Barton, Longden, Jarrold (Wright 73), Chaffey (Femiola 73), Ferrell (capt), McGowan, Hartley (Torkornoo 86), Dias (Moyes 55), Hall, Kelly, Draycott (Robins 87)

Attendance  :  70 approx

First Team Friendly Result Peterborough Sports 2 St Ives Town 0

Peterborough Sports 2 St Ives Town 0

Date: Saturday 29th July 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: 651 Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 3HA

A very lacklustre Ives ended their unbeaten pre-season run as they stumbled to a toothless defeat against a Turbines side managed by ex Ives legend Jimmy Dean and containing ten ex Ives men in their squad.

With probably five of the first choice starting line up missing manager Ricky Marheineke took the opportunity to try a few things, although this offers little excuse for the lack of energy and spark in the squad on the day.

The hosts showed they were very much up for this one taking the game to their visitors right from the off. A quick free kick after only four minutes by Dan Lawlor in the centre circle picked out Josh Moreman wide on the left. As Brett Longden tied to close on the skilful winger he showed his ability by touching the ball past the Ives full back who was forced to bring him down. Lawlor delivered the in-swinging free kick to the back post where trialist centre back David Femiola managed to get up highest and power the ball away.

Ives first, and only on target, attempt of the first half came on seven minutes James Hall fired in a low drive from 25 yards that home keeper Lewis Moat got down to save comfortably. The chance had been created by good work on the left from Phil Draycott.

The Turbines were pinging the ball out to Moreman at every opportunity and he was sticking close to the left touchline giving himself space to bring the ball down before facing up to his marker. He received another inch perfect ball from Lewis Webb on 14 minutes and again Longden was sucked in and forced to clumsily bring down the winger as he pushed the ball past him. Longden received the Ives first yellow card of the season and worst still followed as Lawlor delivered another in-swinger to the far post where Mark Jones found enough space to power in an effort that keeper Conor Barton got a hand to, but could not keep out.

Falling behind did not lift Ives from their slumbers and they were almost two down ten minutes later. Ex Ives striker Avi Viera got past Dan Moyes on the right and delivered a cross into the centre that picked out Jones again at the far post, but this time he was stretching and only succeeded in directing his header from ten yards over the top.

Another Viera cross from the right pulled the best out of Ives keeper Conor Barton. Jones got a flick in the centre and the ball fell to Moreman coming in at the far post. He hit the ball on the volley and Barton reacted instantly to push the screamer away high to his left. Lawlor drove across the resulting corner in a pre-rehearsed move that saw Josh Sanders get across his marker at the near post and rattle the crossbar with his powerful header.

A second Turbines goal had looked on the cards for some time and it duly arrived three minutes before the break. When it came it was simply executed and smartly taken. Jones cleverly pulled his marker Lewis Ferrell forward as he received a ball in from Webb. He flicked it on to Lawlor and turned off the shoulder of Ferrell into space where his fellow defenders had failed to cover. Lawlor fed a precise ball into his run and Jones did the rest slamming a low shot into the far corner past the diving Barton.

For the second time in as many games Ives found themselves two down at the break, but this time they would be up against a full contingent of opposition players in the second half. On Tuesday night manager Marheineke had managed to lift his charges with some wise words in the interval and we were hoping for a repeat performance. However it was not to be and it took sixteen minutes of the second period before home keeper Moat was called into meaningful action as he had to gather a Draycott free kick from twenty yards low to his right.

Barton was called upon to make a much better save to keep the score line respectable two minutes later plunging to his left to push a Jones drive from 25 yards around the post as the big striker went in search of his hat trick.

Manager Marheineke rung the changes bringing on Jordan Jarrold, Lee Chaffey, and Gordon Torkornoo and the introduction of these three around the hour did liven things up for the Ives although they were still struggling to make inroads into the Turbines defence well marshalled by ex Ives centre forward Stuart Eason.

To many attempts to drift the ball over the home defence to get Hall away were either being gobbled up by the centre backs, or simply ran through to the alert Moat. The only time that one of these came close to success was twelve minutes from time as Hall was only just beaten to the ball by Moat and his attempted clearance was deflected to Hartley, but his effort from the edge of the box was blocked by a covering home defender.

The closest Ives came to a goal was only sixty seconds later as Hall drifted to the left where he found a little space and managed to get to the bye line before hanging up a cross to the far post where Hartley bravely attacked the ball and was unlucky to see his powerful, close range, header instinctively pushed away by Moat.

Seventeen year old Matt Wright was also introduced for the tiring Draycott 15 minutes from time and his pace and persistence created an opportunity with three minutes to go as he harried and robbed Jamie Graham before driving into the box and laying the ball into the feet of Hall who in turn teed up Hartley. The young winger struck his low drive well and it was heading for the bottom corner until the foot of Sanders deflected it wide.

One final Ives effort at a consolation came as the game entered added time. Substitute Grant Robins got down the left and delivered a cross to the near post where Hall got in front of the tiring Eason, but could only direct his header from eight yards over the top.

Overall verdict on the day was a disappointing Ives performance and probably one to get out of their systems. Hopefully a few of those missing from this game will be fit and available for the next couple of games and a return to the previously seen flowing football will be very welcome to build towards competitive action starting in 14 days time. The Turbines on the other hand look like they will be capable of holding their own in the very tough Northern Premier League Southern Division where they find themselves for the coming season, we wish them well.

Final Score : Peterborough Sports 2 St Ives Town 0

Goals : none

St Ives team : Barton, Longden, Moyes (Jarrold 59), Femiola (Chaffey 56), Ferrell(capt), McGowan (Robins 81), Hartley, Hilliard, Hall, Kelly (Torkornoo 65), Draycott (Wright 74)

Attendance  :  120 approx

First Team Friendly Result AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 St Ives Town 2

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 St Ives Town 2

Date: Saturday 22nd July 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, NN10 0HX

Ives excellent pre-season form continued as they met, and conquered, their toughest opposition yet as they visited Hayden Road to play the powerful Diamonds. The hosts had showed their form only four days earlier as the turned over a very strong Northampton Town side 2-0. But well taken goals by Jimmy Hartley and Peter Clark ensure that the visitors made the short trek back into Cambridgeshire with a well deserved victory.

On paper this always looked like a very tough test for the Ives and manager Ricky Marheineke must have been hoping to get a full side out for the game. Unfortunately injury and unavailability combined to ensure that he was short of five players a number of who would have probably featured in the starting eleven. But the new look Ives have strength in depth and a belief throughout the entire squad this season.

Each side went close around the ten minute mark first the livewire Hartley robbed Richard Bunting inside his own half and strode forward before releasing a well timed pass into the path of James Hall cutting in from the left. Hall took the shot on first time, but his effort from 20 yards was always rising and just cleared home keeper Matt Finlay’s crossbar.

Almost directly from the goal kick Diamonds worked their way down the left and although Brett Longden prevented Ollie Brown-Hill getting in a cross the ball was laid back to full back Sam Brown who picked out Nabil Shariff in the centre of the Ives box. Shariff should probably have done better, but only succeeded in directing his header from eight yards just over the top.

The visitors had a let off two minutes later as the Diamonds thought they had gone in front. Shariff worked his way down the right and delivered a cross to the back post where Brown-Hill had found some space. His shot from close range was scrambled away off his line by young goalkeeper Conor Barton with Diamonds players claiming the ball had crossed the line. Fortunately goal line technology was not required as the assistant on the clubhouse side of the ground had spotted that Brown-Hill had wandered into an offside position when the cross was delivered.

Shariff pulled another save out of Barton on 15 minutes as he was allowed to run at the Ives defence before unleashing a low skimming drive across the wet turf from 25 yards. But young Barton was equal to the effort plunging low to his left to smother the shot.

Prior to this point Ives had been looking to absorb the hosts pressure and break quickly at every opportunity. But by half way through the first half they were beginning to get on top and seizing their opportunities to harry the opposition all over the park. Tom McGowan won the ball in the middle of the park on 25 minutes and set loose a fast flowing move down the left which saw James Hall and Phil Draycott exchange passes before the latter laid the ball back into the path of McGowan just outside the box. He curled his effort inches over the top.

Hall and Draycott combined again down the left two minutes later and this time the latter’s effort from 25 yards was deflected forcing a very good save low to his right from keeper Finlay. The resulting corner came to nothing, but Ives took a deserved lead only seconds later, thanks to the persistence of Hall. He hassled and robbed Blaze Punter (who should have probably gone for the type of clearance his name suggested) deep inside his own half. The Ives front man unselfishly fed the ball into the feet of strike partner Hartley on the edge of the Diamonds box. The skilful Hartley took a touch before lashing the ball high into the roof of the net past the exposed Finlay.

The visitors continued to play impressive football for the remainder of the first period moving the ball around at pace with everyone looking comfortable on the ball and the pace, and movement of Hartley and Hall giving the Diamonds centre backs a very tough time. In spite of their domination during this period they failed to carve out any further clear cut chances before the break.

Clear evidence of how seriously manager Marheineke was taking this game came at the break as in previous games wholesale substitutions have arrived at this point. But on this occasion the second half resumed with the same eleven on the pitch. The hosts did change their keeper and two outfield players and it was they who pushed forward early in the second half, but an attempted cross shot from Shariff was bravely headed away at full stretch by the impressive Lewis Ferrell.

A comedy of errors in the Diamonds defence presented Clark with a tap in to double Ives lead on 51 minutes. Draycott went down the left and delivered a low cross which Adam Pyke should have dealt with at the near post, but his touch completely deceived two of his colleagues who completely missed the ball as it rolled along the six yard line before arriving at the far post where Clark executed the coup de grass by side footing it home giving substitute keeper Ben Heath no chance.

The hosts immediately made two further changes in a desperate attempt to force their way back into the game. Ives also made their first change five minutes later replacing young Barton with regular first choice keeper Tim Trebes. Two of these substitutes were involved just after the hour as Diamonds had a shout for penalty turned down. Rushden sub Joel Gyasi battled his way into Ives box before colliding with the combined might of Trebes and skipper Charlie De’ath. But the excellent referee Matt Law was right on the spot to wave away the hosts claims for a spot kick which really only came from their supporters.

Three minutes later Ives came close to killing the game off as another flowing move almost put Hartley in. The ball was scrambled away from him as he tried to get a shot away inside the box. But it was only half cleared to Hall on the right corner of the box. His curled left foot effort was heading for the far corner of the net before it was spectacularly pushed away by a full stretch Heath.

The direct running style of Gyasi was the only thing causing Ives back line any real concerns and he went close again on 73 minutes as he picked up ball in central midfield before running at the Ives back line and unleashing a rising drive from 25 yards that Trebes was pleased to see clear his crossbar.

Fifteen minutes from time the expected mass change came as Ives made five substitutions. However even with this large number of changes to the personnel Ives still looked fairly comfortable and it was something of a surprise when Gyasi grabbed a consolation goal three minutes from time. Again he picked up the ball deep and drove at the defence, but this time his effort from 25 yards crept past an unsighted Trebes and found its way into the bottom corner of the net.

As we all expected this game was played in a competitive fashion from the off and was a very good pre-season test for both sides. It was good to see that a less than full strength Ives side were still able to play their new quick passing, high tempo, game under more pressure from a quality opposition. The optimism for the new season remains high and the new playing style will undoubtedly attract new supporters along to the Pro-Edge

Final Score : AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 St Ives Town 2

Goals : Hartley 28, Clark 51

St Ives team : Barton (Trebes 56), Longden (Short 75), De’ath (capt), Femiola (Chaffey 72), Ferrell, McGowan (Torkornoo 75), Seymour-Shove (Robins 75), Clark, Hall (Wright 75), Hartley, Draycott (Seymour-Shove rolled on 80)

Attendance  :  300 approx

Match Report by Nigel Howlett

Youth Team Result St Neots Town U18’s 2 St Ives Town Youth Team 1

St Neots Town U18’s 2 St Ives Town Youth Team 1

Date: Tuesday 2nd May 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League Play-Offs
Ground Address: St Neots Town Football Club, Kester Way, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 6SN

Three weeks ago the young Ives succumbed to a late Saints winner in the County Cup Final. History repeated itself in the Divisional winners play off at the Premier Plus Stadium and this time the hosts left it even later before grabbing their clincher two minutes into added time to break the hearts and shatter the dogged resistance from their visitors.

Having previously knocked their hosts out of the prestigious FA Youth Cup early in the season the County Cup Final win had levelled up the score between the best two Under 18 sides in the County so this game was the showdown.

Ives came out of the traps hard and fast rattling their visitors early on with some slick movement in their front line. Sam Davidson attacked the first corner of the game after only two minutes and was unlucky to get a little bit to much on the ball turning his near post flick into the side netting.

A little bit of magic on the left from Annoncio Anemou created the opening goal only three minutes later. The speedy winger tricked his way past two Saints defenders to get to the bye line and the pulled the ball back picking out the run of Tiago Dias at the near post. His well struck first time effort from ten yards crept under the body of Saints keeper Evan Jeckells to find the back of the net.

Ives were on top during this early period, but struggled to create any more clear cut chances against the rugged Saints back line well marshalled by Zak Rudman. The direction of the game changed after only sixteen minutes as Ives lost their midfield powerhouse Patrik Polhos to an injury. Kyrie Foster came on to replace him with Charlie McManus dropping back into central midfield.

Whilst the visitors were settling into their new arrangements the Saints began to wrestle control of the game from their visitors. Only four minutes later it took an excellent tackle from debutant left back Aaron Makeham to block a crossing opportunity for the dangerous Jack Eldridge on the St Neots right. Tom Smith in Ives goal made an excellent catch to Sam Piesse’s driven corner just ahead of Rudman arriving at the back post.

Smith was called into action again to deny Rudman in 25th minute. Ben Southwood took a quick free kick 35 yards from Ives goal and fed the ball into the feet of Erham Nurettin who hung up an inviting cross that Rudman attacked ten yards from goal. Fortunately his powerful header was straight at Smith who held on well.

Saints pressure continued to mount and Ives continued to concede free kicks around their box. Another Nurettin free kick from 35 yards out on 34 minutes was curled invitingly into the gap between keeper Smith and the charging Saints hoard. Fortunately no one got a touch and the ball skipped inches wide of the far post.

Two minutes later Rudman missed Saints best chance of an equaliser in the first period. Piesse delivered another corner from the right and with lots of movement in the Ives box Rudman managed to lose his marker to get himself a free header two yards from goal. But somehow he failed to score when it looked easier to do so. His powerful header thumped the crossbar with Smith beaten and rebounded to safety.

Having survived this huge scare Ives began to look a little more comfortable in their defensive duties and seven minutes before the interval they carved out a golden opportunity to double their advantage. Sam Davidson battled to win the ball on the right and fed it into the feet of the skilful Foster who cleverly back heeled it into space to put Matt Wright away. As keeper Jackells came to face him the usually deadly striker took his shot on early from the edge of the box, but the Saints custodian had positioned himself well and blocked the effort with his feet.

The Saints lost their captain Shae Humphrey to injury at the break, but this made little difference as they came out fired up and set off in search of the equaliser straight from the off . Nurettin repeated his free kick from the first half with exactly the same result as the in-swinger flashed past the far post on 49 minutes.

Rudman was proving a huge handful from corners and free kicks into the box. Two minutes later he again rose highest to get on the end of a Piesse corner from the right. But his header was deflected off Callum Sheppeard and over the top.

Sheppeard was put under more pressure on 54 minutes as substitute Luke Taylor fed Piesse in down the left. His low driven cross from the left was sliced over his own crossbar by the Ives skipper under pressure from Southwood. The resulting corner was delivered from the left by Eldridge and again Rudman managed to find space at the back post to power in a free header that gave Smith no chance from six yards.

Having got level Saints did not ease off, but smelling blood they went in search of a winner. Nurettin delivered another clever free kick into the box three minutes later. This time picking out Southwood at the near post. He found space to turn and flash a low cross along the six yards line that just evaded everyone in the middle.

Harry Clark spurned an excellent opportunity to put the hosts in front on 65 minutes. A slick passing move down the right involving Eldridge and Mason Collins saw the ball fed into the feet of Southwood who cut into the box and drove in a low cross that arrived at the feet of the inrushing Clark by the back post. But with the goal at his mercy the Saints winger only succeeded in knocking the ball back in the direction it had come from.

With the clock ticking down and Ives began to create little sorties into home territory. The hard working Anemou almost managed to get Wright clear down the middle on 74 minutes. But keeper Jeckells was alert to the danger and raced from his line to knock the ball clear. McManus knocked it down to the feet of Dias fully 45 yards from goal. He tried his luck with an attempted chip over the keeper, but Jeckells was quickly back into position to make a comfortable save.

Even though Ives were enjoying a bit more possession and venturing into Saints territory a little more the hosts were still looking very dangerous coming forward. Substitute Kieran Waites spurned another golden opportunity to put them in front just one minute later. The direct running of Southwood again created the chance as he drove into the box on the right and played in a low cross that picked out the unmarked Waites inside the six yard box. Smith looked beaten but could not believe his luck as the Saints striker got the ball stuck between his feet giving the Ives keeper chance to tip it away from him before he could prod it home.

Southwood created an almost identical opportunity with seven minutes to go as he powered away from Sheppeard down the right and delivered an inviting low cross that Taylor arriving at the back post somehow managed to miss completely.

Ives did create one late chance of their own two minutes later as Ewan Smith threaded a ball down the right that Wright was onto in a flash. He drove on into the box, but the excellent Rudman ensured he was kept wide and when his shot came the angle was just to narrow and it flashed across the face of the goal to safety.

Just like in the County Cup Final when it looked like the game was going to end level and we could all enjoy/endure the delights of a penalty shoot out Saints stepped up and grabbed a late winner from a corner. Piesse played it back along the touchline to Nurettin who had hung back. He delivered the ball to the near post where Waites powered in a close range header that Smith did fantastically well to keep out. Unfortunately for him the first man to react to the loose ball was Southwood who rammed it home from close range to spark wild celebrations in the home camp.

With four more added minutes still to go Ives threw caution to the wind and committed more men forward. But this just gave Saints chance to break and Waites squandered a good opportunity to put the icing on the cake as he fired over from a good position having been put in by Piesse.

The final whistle on Ives season sounded seconds later. Sadly this is also the final game for the lads that were the first ever intake to the scholarship programme at St Ives Town. They are a good bunch of lads who have lifted the standard of Under 18 football at the Club to a whole different level. This is shown by the Western Division title coming to the Pro-Edge and a best ever run in the FA Youth Cup. It is a shame that they could not add the overall Thurlow Nunn title and the County Cup. But it has been a fantastic season and I hope the boys have all enjoyed their time at the Ives. Well done to Jack, Ben, and you all. We wish you well in your future careers, be they inside, or outside, football.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Ewan Smith, Makeham, Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Polhos (Foster 16), Davidson (Delgado Vaz 81), Dias, Wright, McManus, Anemou,

Further substitution roll on/roll off : Davidson for Foster 88

Unused subs : Kwiatowski, King, Bond

Goals : Dias 5,

Attendance :  75

First Team Result St Ives Town 1 (2) Hayes and Yeading 1 (4)

St Ives Town 1 (2) Hayes and Yeading 1 (4)

Date: Saturday 29th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Challenge Cup Final
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

Ives excellent first season at step 3 of the non-league football pyramid just failed to produce them a piece of silverware as they lost out in a shootout to fellow first time finalists Hayes & Yeading United.

For the first time in living memory the League had decided that the final should not be a two leg affair, but simply be one single game played at the venue of one of the finalists. Ives won the toss of a coin to bring the match to the Pro-Edge Stadium and hence start the game as favourites against the already relegated Handy United.

However to balance that up the hosts were without leading scorer Josh Dawkin and much as the whole Club wanted to win the trophy for him his creativity was going to be sorely missed and worst still the psychological effects of the serious injury suffered by Dawkin at Chippenham last week were going to still be lodged in the minds of some of the players.

In the early exchanges the psychological sway seemed to be with the Ives as they set off at a cracking pace taking the game to their visitors. Danny Kelly forced an early save from United keeper Danny Boness in only 5th minute as he rose highest to Charlie Day’s corner from the right and powered in a header which keeper Boness did well to parry away.

The host’s early pressure continued and they took a deserved lead only ten minutes later. Another corner was delivered from the left by Ben Seymour-Shove, Kelly again rose highest at the back post to power in a header that this time beat Boness and rattled the upright. The ball rebounded into the six yard box where skipper Charlie De’ath reacted first to ram home a close range header.

But falling behind seemed to spark the Handy United into action and they suddenly seemed to wrestle control of the centre of the park from their hosts. Three chances of an equaliser were carved out in the next four minutes. On 17 minutes Anthony Edgar was allowed space on the right to cut inside and unleash a fierce dipping drive from 25 yards that bounced just in front of keeper Tim Trebes forcing him into an unorthodox save with his knees. The resulting corner was delivered to the back post by Ritchie Whittingham where Mitchell Weiss rose highest and powered a header towards the top corner that Trebes did very well to palm away.

Quick thinking by Whittingham two minutes later saw him spot a free kick in the centre of the park and play the ball through a large gap in a disorganised Ives back line to put Sahr Kabba completely clear. Trebes was quickly off his line to close down the striker blocking his first effort. But the ball rebounded to Kabba who unselfishly teed up Whittingham on the edge of the box, the tricky winger seemed to pick his spot, but only succeeded in curling the ball wide with only a covering De’ath to beat on the line.

Trebes was called into action again on 23 minutes as he hurled himself full length to his right to turn away a powerful drive from 25 yards by Josh Chamberlain. However the pressure was building on the Ives who were struggling to keep the mobile Handy United front line at bay. An equaliser was beginning to look likely and it arrived only two minutes later. Kabba picked up a ball just outside the box and took on Jordan Jarrold on his outside forcing the Ives full back into a rash challenge that forced the flying winger to the ground giving referee Paul Johnson little option but to point to the spot. Edgar placed the ball and calmly sent Trebes the wrong way to level up the score.

Ives raised their game briefly to try and get back in front and only ninety seconds  later Tom McGowan picked out the fired up Dubi Ogbonna wide on the left. The speedy striker outpaced Frankie Jones and got to the bye line before pulling back a ball that dissected three Ives players coming into the box and ran to safety.

However that Ives raid was sporadic as the visitors continued to dominate and twice went close to going in front before the break. The lively Edgar was involved in both moves. On 34 minutes he fed a ball from the right into the feet of Kabba who hit a first time effort from 20 yards that flew inches past Trebes right hand post. Eight minutes before the interval Weiss managed to get in front of his marker to get on the end of a corner from the right by Edgar, but he failed to hit the target with his first time effort from ten yards.

It was hoped that manager Ricky Marheineke may manage to get a little more from his tired charges with a rousing half time team talk. But in spite of his best efforts the flow of play continued in the same vein at the start of the second period. The half was only three minutes old when Edgar again managed to get past Jarrold on the right. This time he drove on into the box before unleashing a powerful low drive that Trebes did well to tip around.

The closest Ives came to regaining the lead was on 51 minutes as Day picked out Seymour-Shove to perfection with a clip into the box. The skilful winger took the ball down well and unleashed a left foot effort from just inside the box that required an excellent diving stop from Boness high to his right.

The hosts almost gifted their visitors the lead on the hour as a square pass by McGowan in the centre circle was cut out by Chamberlain who went on to get past Liam McDevitt, but fortunately De’ath was alert to the danger and sprinted across to hack the ball away just ahead of the United man.

Even without any help from their opponents Handy United continued to create, and squander opportunities. Two minutes later an Edgar corner from the left was knocked down to the feet of skipper Tom Broadbent. But he was slow to react and only succeeded in prodding the ball wide from close range as he was closed down.

Hayes last good effort on goal of the afternoon arrived 20 minutes from time as Chamberlain strode onto a bouncing ball in the centre of the park and unleashed a wickedly dipping effort from fully 30 yards that required a push over the top by the ever alert Trebes.

As often happens in these games the pendulum slowly begins to swing and having survived a long period of the game with their opposition looking the better side Ives slowly began to get a foothold back into the game and started to enjoy some better possession in good areas of the park. They won a corner on 73 minutes that Seymour-Shove delivered from the left. The ball was cleared straight back to him by a United defender giving him time and space to set up a shot on goal from a narrow angle that he curled millimetres wide.

Ives should have picked up a free kick just inches outside the box on 75 minutes as Kelly was brought down by a clumsy challenge as he tried to put Seymour-Shove clear on the left. But referee Johnson deemed that challenging defender Broadbent won the ball cleanly and he waved away the Ives protests.

The final opportunity to decide the game before the dreaded shootout fell to a centre back eight minutes from time as McDevitt flicked on a Bradshaw long throw. Ogbonna got a foot to the ball inside the box, but it would not come down for him. He cleverly tried teeing up the turning McDevitt and the big defender managed to get a dipping volley away that flew well over the top of keeper Boness’s goal.

There was little more action in the ninety minutes and so, under the rules of the competition the game moved straight to a penalty shoot out. Hayes won the toss of the coin and chose to take the kicks at the Green Leys end.

Danny Kelly stepped up first for the hosts and placed his kick to the left of keeper Boness, but the ball was not struck with real conviction and was at a nice saving height. Boness guessed right and pushed the ball away. Kabba was first for the visitors and emphatically beat Trebes with a well placed spot kick low to his right as the keeper went left.

McDevitt was next for the Ives and powerfully fired the ball past Boness high to his left giving the keeper no chance. Leo Donnellan took an identical penalty to Kabba with exactly the same result to put Handy United 2-1 in front.

Full back Bradshaw levelled things up firing his effort high to the right of keeper Boness who did well to get a hand to it, but could not keep the ball out. Substitute Dylan Kearney brought on five minutes from time with just this moment in mind kept his cool to send Trebes the wrong way and put United back in front at 3-2.

The pressure was now on Day as he stepped up. His left footed effort was well struck, but again at a nice saving height and Boness did well to keep it out diving to his left to push the ball away. So the chance to finish things off fell to Edgar and he took the cup back to Hayes with a calm finish in identical fashion to his spot kick in the first half as he sent Trebes the wrong way and found the opposite bottom corner of the net.

Overall a disappointing finish to an very successful season. But just missing out after going so close to adding the name of St Ives Town onto this magnificent historical trophy was gutting. However looking at the bigger picture consolidation at step three was the stated aim at the start of the season and this was achieved with a few weeks of the season still to go. The Cup run was a bonus it could so easily have ended in the first round when we scraped past King’s Lynn in a shoot out.

Our aim next season must be to continue to push on and look to move up the Southern League Premier Division with a top half finish a laudable goal. A bucket collection for the unfortunate Josh Dawkin held at the game raised a fantastic £ 528 and we all wish him a speedy return to full fitness as he starts on the long road to recovery from his horrific injury.

However we must end by congratulating the deserved victors on the day. Well done to Hayes & Yeading, we wish you a speedy return to the Premier Division.

St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, McGowan (Libertucci 65), Seymour-Shove, Clark, Kelly, Ogbonna, Day

Unused subs : Chaffey, Short, Dias, Wright

Goals :  De’ath 15,

Supporters Man of the Match : Liam McDevitt

Final Score :  St Ives Town 1 Hayes & Yeading United 1 (Hayes & Yeading won 4-2 on penalties)

Attendance  :  385

 

First Team Preview (H) Hayes and Yeading

St Ives Town vs Hayes and Yeading

Date: Saturday 29th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Challenge Cup Final
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

Saturday see the Saints face Hayes and Yeading in the Southern Legue Challenge Cup Final.

Season tickets are not valid for this match so prices are as folows: Adults £10, Concessions £6, U16’s £2.

There will be forms handed out to vote for the Supporters player of the year, so make sure you vote for your favourite.

There will also be donation buckets for anyone who would like to add to the money raised for Josh Dawkin.