Category: Match Previews

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.

First Team Result Chippenham Town 2 First Team 0

Chippenham Town 2 St Ives Town 0

Date: Saturday 22th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Hardenhuish Park, Bristol Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 6LR

The Ives came to the home of League Champions Chippenham for their final League game of the season with two aims in mind. Firstly to be the fly in the ointment at the Bluebirds championship party and second to keep a clean bill of health ahead of next week’s cup final.

Sadly they failed on both counts falling behind to an early David Pratt strike and then conceding a second on 25 minutes. But both goals and unfortunately the entire occasion was completely overshadowed in the worst possible sense by a horrendous injury to Josh Dawkin three minutes before half time. The double leg fracture received by Dawkin occurred in a reckless challenge from Chippenham’s skipper Greg Tinkle that the referee somehow did not even deem a foul.

Ives medical team of Liam Peaks and Gemma Smith, ably assisted by Marina Howlett and Jack Bradshaw made things as comfortable as possible for the unfortunate Dawkin during the 50 minute wait for an appropriate ambulance to arrive. When the game eventually restarted the heart had gone out of both sides and the remaining 48 minutes were little more than a training game with a number of players understandably looking like they did not want to be on the pitch.

The day had started on a much more upbeat note as the Ives formed a guard of honour for their hosts to acknowledge their status as champions. The home side then set off at a high tempo in their quest to achieve a record points haul for the Division. Pratt was quick to close down an attempted clearance from keeper Tim Trebes after only three minutes and the rebound off the speedy Bluebirds striker went only inches wide of the post with a much relieved Trebes looking on.

However the lively Pratt was not to be denied for long and he scored a spectacular opener only five minutes later as a Jake Andrews long throw was flicked on at the near post and acrobatically knocked past Trebes by Pratt’s overhead kick.

To their credit Ives responded well taking the game to their lofty opponents. An in-swinging Ben Seymour-Shove free kick on 12 minutes caused concern as it curled across the host’s goalmouth. But unfortunately the ball evaded all three Ives players arriving at the back post and floated to safety.

Home keeper Darren Chitty was called into his first action of the day four minutes later. Danny Kelly was clattered by Will Richards 25 yards from goal. The big striker picked himself up and fired the free kick over the wall. But Chitty was alive to the effort and held the stinging drive at the second attempt.

The Bluebirds are the divisions leading scorers and a lot of their goals have come from good dead ball delivery into the opposition box. Ives were undone for the second time in the afternoon in just such a fashion on 25 minutes. Ives defence failed to deal with a long free kick from just inside the home half. The ball fell on the edge of the box. Matt Smith was onto it in a flash worked himself a little space and fired a low left foot drive into the bottom corner of the net past an unsighted Trebes.

Once again Ives tried to find a route back into the game and a slip on the half way line by Richards allowed Kelly to rob him and get clear with Peter Clark alongside him. Unfortunately the final ball to try and put Kelly in for a shot on goal was a little too heavy and keeper Chitty was smartly off his line to claim the ball.

Kelly was proving a handful for Richards and the Bluebirds defender again bundled him over to concede a free kick 35 yards from goal ten minutes before the break. Bradshaw carefully lined up the free kick, but only succeeded in blasting it into the host’s four man wall.

The home side had a shout for a penalty on 40 minutes as Smith robbed Jordan Jarrold in the middle of the park and sprayed the ball out to Pratt who had drifted into space on the right. Andrews was attacking his low driven cross into the box when he appeared to run into Charlie De’ath by the penalty spot and the pair went down in a heap with the Bluebirds fans screaming foul. The ball ran on to James Guthrie who fired well over the top from a good position.

Two minutes later the unfortunate injury to Dawkin occurred as he tried to wriggle his way into the home box in a central position. The challenge was heavy and it was instantly clear from the reaction of players close to the incident that the injury was serious. The medical team’s reaction was brilliant with all three physios present on the scene in seconds and Bradshaw equally quick to comfort his colleague. Senior medical cover Howlett was also very quickly present and an ambulance summoned within minutes.

Unfortunately the ambulance service reaction was not as good and it was an hour before the unfortunate player was transferred to hospital and the game resumed. We then had the very odd situation of playing three minutes before the half time whistle.

However this break did give both sides a little longer to reflect on what had occurred and although both sets of players returned to the field for the second half it was clear that the game had understandably almost become a non contact sport.

Ives were not really switched on at the restart and had an assistant’s flag to thank for saving them from conceding a penalty only thirty seconds after the kick off. Andrews went down under a tackle from De’ath and referee Simon Wales blew for the spot kick before realising that his assistant had his flag up against the Bluebird’s striker.

As previously stated there was little incident in the entire second half with only few items worthy of note. The first was an Andrews strike from 25 yards on the hour that deflected off Bradshaw and needed a good catch high to his left from Trebes.

Ives responded with a break down the right eight minutes later that saw Seymour-Shove deliver a teasing cross into the box which was only half cleared to Jarrold who hit a rasping drive from just outside the box that was unfortunately straight at Chitty who held on well.

Trebes had to pull off another save to keep out a low drive from Pratt on 75 minutes.

Substitute Jamie Short did very well to bravely put in a blocking tackle on Pratt as he got on the end of a low Smith cross from the right nine minutes from time.

Charlie Day went close to grabbing a late consolation goal as the game entered added time. He picked up the ball in the centre of the park and sprayed a well weighted pass out to Seymour-Shove on the right. His cross into the centre was knocked down by young Tiago Dias and Day who had continued his run got in a snap shot which was blocked by Jon Beeden.

The Bluebirds went on to collect the impressive League Champions trophy on the pitch after the final whistle. But I am afraid that none of the Ives contingent felt like celebrating with them as our thoughts were very much with Dawkin in his hospital bed. News came through during the return journey that the break may be even worse than was hoped and will require pinning and plating. Josh is looking forward to a long period on the sidelines and the Club will I am sure be looking to put on a number of events to help him out. Watch out for these and please give generously.

St Ives team: Trebes, Bradshaw (Short 78), Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, McGowan, Seymour-Shove, Day, Kelly (Dias 65), Clark, Dawkin (Ogbonna 42),

Unused subs: none

Goals:  none

Supporters Man of the Match: Whole team for just getting through the day

Final Score:  Chippenham Town 2 St Ives Town 0

Attendance:  711

 

First Team Preview (A) Chippenham Town

Chippenham Town vs St Ives Town

Date: Saturday 22th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Hardenhuish Park, Bristol Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 6LR

This is our last league game of the season.  The club would like to thank fans for all their support throughout the season.

Forms will be available to vote for the Supporters Player of the Season both at this match and the League Cup Final next Saturday.

There is a coach running for this match.  It will be leaving Westwood Road at 9:30.  Please contact Gareth Chapman or Gary Clarke to book your place.

First Team Result St Ives Town 2 Kings Lynn Town 0

St Ives Town 2 Kings Lynn Town 0

Date: Monday 17th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

A commanding second half performance saw the Ives conclude their first ever home League campaign at step three in the non league football pyramid with a two nil victory against opponents they last beat in ninety minutes in 2013 UCL Cup Final two tiers lower down.

In spite of the Ives domination it took goals from two players who had not scored since before Christmas to decide the issue. Liam McDevitt finding space in the visitor’s box to take a number of touches before tucking away the opener on 67 minutes and Danny Kelly sealing the win with a classical diving header to give him a hugely deserved goal ten minutes from time.

Prior to Ives lifting their game the first forty five minutes had been fairly much end of season fair with each side only producing one decent chance to test the opposition keeper. The home side’s opportunity arrived early as with the game only nine minutes old Kelly got completely clear as Linnet’s defender Sam Cartwright misjudged a long ball out of defence. Kelly ran on to the edge of the box and then took on his shot early as keeper Alex Street came to meet him. He hit the target with his well placed shot low to the keeper’s right and was unlucky to be denied by the outstretched boot of the Linnets custodian.

The visitor’s best chance of the first period came eight minutes later as McDevitt and keeper Tim Trebes combined to make a hash of a quick throw and gift their opponents a corner. Linnet’s skipper Michael Clunan delivered his flag kick to the back post where Ryan Harnwell had somehow managed to lose his marker. But the Linnet’s striker fortunately failed to hit the target with his free header from the back of the six yard box.

The only other noteworthy moments of the subdued first period were a dangerous low cross from the right by Harnwell which was spilled by Trebes after only five minutes. Fortunately for the Ives custodian his captain Charlie De’ath was first to react to the loose ball and hacked it clear.

Fifteen minutes before the break Josh Dawkin skilfully brought down a long ball out of defence by Jack Bradshaw deep in Linnets territory. His pass inside almost put Peter Clark clear only for the ball to be taken off his toe just as he entered the box by covering defender Sam Gaughran.

The final mention before the break goes to a twenty five yard effort from Sam Warburton that thudded the boards just to the right of Trebes goal. This snap shot arrived after he had picked up Jordan Jarrold’s header clear from Kegan Everington’s dangerous ball into the box from the left.

The Ives faithful were in good Bank Holiday voice and spurring on their heroes from the off. The sound level was raised for the start of the second period and the players responded moving the ball around well and taking the game to their visitors.

The first strike on goal arrived only six minutes after the re-start as Kelly expertly took in a ball from Tom McGowan and turned his man before pinging a ball across the park to pick out Ben Seymour-Shove beyond the far post. Ives winger took a touch before almost surprising Street by going for goal from a narrow angle. The Linnet’s stopper got down to block the shot, but only at the expense of a corner.

The resulting corner came to nothing. But only two minutes later another Seymour-Shove corner from the left was spilled under heavy pressure by keeper Street. The ball was smuggled out to the right where Bradshaw did well to keep it alive before delivering a cross to the near post that allowed Dawkin to tee up Charlie Day for a powerful strike that was spectacularly palmed away by a recovered Street.

The Linnets sorties into home territory were sporadic. But they did pick up a free kick 25 yards from goal on the hour. Ryan Hawkins carefully lined up the kick, and curled his effort over the four man wall, but inches wide of Trebes right hand post as the static keeper looked on.

The flow towards the visitor’s goal soon resumed and Kelly was extremely unlucky not to put the home side in front on 63 minutes. A flowing move through midfield involving Clark, Kelly and Dawkin put Jarrold clear down the left. He delivered the perfect inviting low cross just in front of the inrushing Ives striker who met the ball well ten yards from goal. His powerful strike hit the body of keeper Street rather than him saving it, and rebounded to safety.

The visitor’s had clearly worked hard on a number of corner routines on the training ground and one of these almost brought reward in 66th minute as Clunan and Warburton worked a short routine that saw the latter loop around to get a run on goal from the corner of the box. Jarrold did well to block his goal bound effort. But the ball fell to Chris Ward who hammered it just wide from 20 yards.

Having survived that scare the hosts went straight down the other end to open the scoring less than sixty seconds later. Bradshaw delivered a long throw into the box from the right. McDevitt jumped above the defence to flick the ball on and it arrived at the feet of Kelly just outside the six yard box. He held the ball up and laid it back into the path of McDevitt as the big centre back turned in the box. He amazingly found space and time to take a couple of touches before screwing the ball just inside the post past the diving left hand of keeper Street.

Ives continued to push forward looking for the all important second goal but in spite of enjoying good spells of possession did not trouble keeper Street again until ten minutes from time when Kelly grabbed his much deserved first goal since Christmas. The move started with a long punt out of defence by Trebes that Kelly brought down expertly. He sprayed the ball out to Seymour-Shove on the right who saw his attempted cross blocked by Ward. But Bradshaw was following up and Kelly had continued his run into the box. Bradshaw curled in the perfect inviting cross that the big Ives striker hurled himself at making powerful contact with his head ten yards from goal. His precise header beat Street low to his left sparking wild celebrations in spectators and players alike.

The hosts now had their tails up and continued to push forward in search of another. Dawkin cut out a poor cross field pass from Ward and should have put Kelly clear only two minutes later. Unfortunately his pass into the space behind the Linnet’s back line was just to heavy and the ball ran through to Street.

Dawkin was enjoying himself now and he teased his way past Jacek Zielonka on the left turning the full back inside and out on 84 minutes. But having worked the space for his cross well he over hit his attempt to pick out a team mate in the centre and the ball sailed to safety.

With time ticking down the visitors did manage to create a couple of half chances, but failed to trouble Trebes with either of them. Two minutes from time a quick free kick by Warburton picked out Zielonka on the right. His inviting cross into the box picked out Hawkins at the far post. But having risen above his marker he failed to hit the target from eight yards.

The final chance for a Linnet’s consolation goal arrived deep in added time. But substitute Tom Ward did no better than his team mate blazing high and wide from a good position after Clunan’s free kick had arrived at his feet at the back of the box.

Overall a good performance and a good result to end the regular League season at home. This display should give the side confidence going into their final League appearance at champions Chippenham next week and then onward into the Cup Final at the Pro-Edge seven days later. A hand in both goals won Jack Bradshaw the man of the match accolade just edging out Danny Kelly and an ebullient Charlie Day who seemed to relish his unusual role in the centre of the park giving manager Ricky Marheineke good food for thought when picking his cup final side.

St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, McGowan (Higgs 64), Seymour-Shove, Day, Kelly, Clark (Dias 90), Dawkin,

Unused subs : Chaffey, Moyes, Short

Goals :  McDevitt 67, Kelly 80

Supporters Man of the Match : Jack Bradshaw

Final Score :  St Ives Town  2  King’s Lynn Town  0

Attendance  :  265

First Team Result Merthyr Town 2 St Ives Town 0

Merthyr TOwn 2 St Ives Town 0

Date: Saturday 15th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Merthyr Town Football Club, Penydarren Park, Park Terrace, CF47 8RF

A threadbare Ives side decimated by injuries, suspension and unavailability made the long trip to South Wales and not unsurprisingly came away with nothing from a tough game against the play-off chasing Martyrs.

But that bare statistic belies the level of commitment and effort put in by the gallant thirteen man squad that made the trip. The side arrived with a game plan to contain and frustrate their illustrious hosts and executed this plan to perfection until they were undone by a slip up by Club legend Dan Moyes which lead to the hosts being awarded a somewhat soft penalty in the 52nd minute. From that point on it was going to be tougher than climbing one of those very steep Welsh hillsides for Ives to get back into the game and they were killed off by a second 17 minutes later. But to their credit the thin orange line did not capitulate, but continued to battle all the way to the end.

With Jack Bradshaw suspended, Lee Chaffey, Jack Higgs, Danny Kelly and Matt Wright all unavailable and Kasey Douglas still injured manager Ricky Marheineke was forced into a last minute recall for veteran Moyes from his loan spell at Eynesbury and had only scholars Jamie Short and Tiago Dias to form a substitutes bench with an average age below seventeen. This lead to an unusual five, four, one formation with a far from fully fit Dubi Ogbonna leading the line on his own.

Ives set up was so effective in annulling the Martyr’s attack in the first half that keeper Tim Trebes did not have a single shot to save from the divisions second highest scorers who have averaged above two goals a game all season at home. The only items of note in the first period are recorded below.

In the tenth minute overlapping full back Scott Barrow got down the left and clipped in a cross directed at man mountain centre forward Ryan Prosser. But Liam McDevitt was equal to the task just cutting the ball out as Prosser rose to head home.

Thirteen minutes later the Martyrs had a shout for handball right on the edge of the box against Moyes turned down as the ball bounced up off the 3G surface and appeared to hit his arm. Fortunately both the referee and his assistant had their view obscured by the many players around the edge of the Ives box and that small scare was survived.

The tricky Corey Jenkins was causing a few problems down the left and two minutes later he got past stand in right back Charlie Day and delivered a low cross to the near post that McDevitt again did well to deflect away from the late arriving Keyon Reffell.

The home side’s first menacing strike at goal took until 32nd minute to arrive when Elliot Richards struck a 25 yard drive that deflected wide off Tom McGowan as the Ives man closed him down. Again the corner was well defended with McDevitt once more getting above the menacing figure of Prosser.

The Martyrs tried to build up the pressure as half time approached and Trebes was called into his first real action of the afternoon as he dived full length to spectacularly punch away a cross from the right by Reffell on 42 minutes and did very well to get through the crowded goalmouth to punch a corner away from the head of Prosser a minute later.

Martyr’s captain Ashley Evans was dropping deep to find space in centre of midfield and his pin point pass picked out Adam Davies overlapping down the right just seconds before the half time whistle. Once again the evergreen Moyes was in the right spot to stretch and head away Davies’s near post cross.

So stage one of Marheineke’s plan had been achieved as Ives had arrived at the break with a clean sheet and not only had they prevented the home side getting on the score sheet they had been so effective in their tactics that their hosts had not managed to build up a head of steam and the big home crowd on a sunny Easter Saturday had been kept quiet.

Stage two of the plan was to keep things just as quiet for the first twenty minutes of the second period to ensure that the pressure built up on the hosts who needed nothing less than a win to ensure their place in the end of season promotion play offs. Unfortunately this plan came unstuck only seven minutes into the second period as Moyes was robbed by Reffell inside the box before he could complete a clearance and in a desperate bid to get the ball back he stuck out a leg that the Martyr’s striker fell over. Referee Ollie Williams was right on the spot and his instant decision was penalty. Prosser took the responsibility and although keeper Trebes went the right way he was beaten by the power of the big man’s strike low to his right.

Falling behind suddenly sparked a response from the visitors and less than sixty seconds later a flowing move through the middle of the park involving McGowan and Josh Dawkin saw Peter Clark thread a pass out to Ben Seymour-Shove on the right. His low cross to the near post was won by Jarrad Wright. But the centre back’s attempted clearance cannoned off Ogbonna and rebounded just past the post.

The hosts should have gone two in front on the hour as substitute Kyle McLaggon combined well with Richards down the right before the latter got to the bye line and teed up a golden opportunity for Prosser who with the home fans already rising to celebrate a well worked goal, inexplicably blazed wide from ten yards with the goal at his mercy.

However the home faithful did not have to wait long to celebrate their second goal which effectively killed the game. The overlapping Barrow had been a thorn in Ives side throughout the afternoon with his direct running down the left. On this occasion he got past Day and cut in on goal before cleverly looking up and clipping a perfect cross between the Ives three central defenders to pick out Prosser who had the simple task of directing his header from eight yards past the exposed Trebes. To his credit Ives keeper reacted well and got a good right hand to the goal bound effort, but unfortunately for him the deflection did not stop the ball finishing up in the bottom corner of the net.

Even though the game was now effectively over as a contest Ives continued to probe for a consolation goal and Ogbonna did well to twist in the air to try and direct a Seymour-Shove cross from the right on target thirteen minutes from time. But with the ball just behind him the chance was never easy and the effort failed to trouble home keeper Oliver Davies.

As the clock ticked down Ives took the opportunity to give pitch time to both of the young lads on the bench and 17 year old debutant Jamie Short showed his promise by sticking with his man and putting in a noteworthy block to prevent Reffell putting the icing on the Martyrs cake two minutes from time after Jenkins had got down the right and set him up.

The final item of note in the game was Jordan Jarrold winning Ives first corner of the game three minutes into added time. Charlie De’ath won the flag kick in the air, but still could not force keeper Davies into a save as the ball flew wide of his left hand post for the final action of the day.

This was definitely a game for the tactical connoisseurs of football rather than a performance of passion. It was good to see the whole Ives squad give their all for the cause and battle all of the way to the finish. Club captain Charlie De’ath won the man of the match vote from the group of travelling faithful consulted and I would not disagree with that. His closest challengers were probably Tom McGowan who ran his heart out in the centre of the park and Liam McDevitt who, as ever, gave a heart on the sleeve performance.

Best of luck to the Martyrs in their quest for the play offs. Ives must refocus for the next two games and try and build some momentum into the impending League Cup Final.

St Ives team : Trebes, Day, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, Moyes, Seymour-Shove, McGowan (Short 86), Ogbonna (Dias 84), Clark, Dawkin

Unused subs : none

Goals :  none

Supporters Man of the Match : Charlie De’ath

Final Score :  Merthyr Town 2 St Ives Town 0

Attendance  :  608

 

First Team Result St Ives Town 1 Weymouth FC 2

St Ives Town vs Weymouth FC

Date: Saturday 8th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: TM Roofing Ltd

For 75 minutes of this game Ives, boosted by an early Ben Seymour-Shove special, looked the only likely winners. But the game was turned on its head by a brace from the unlikely source of Terras skipper Stephane Zubar and the dismissal of Jack Bradshaw for a second bookable offence. Ultimately the hosts ended up with nothing from a game where their performance deserved full reward.

Manager Ricky Marheineke made two enforced changes to the side which had performed so well at Redditch the previous week with Club captain Charlie De’ath coming in for the unavailable Lee Chaffey and Seymour-Shove returning to replace Dubi Ogbonna who is again struggling with recurrent knee problems. This change also meant Peter Clark was moved inside to play off Danny Kelly in a 4-4-2 formation similar to the one that finished the game so strongly at Redditch.

The early exchanges saw the two sides testing each other out without either looking likely to penetrate. But the game was sparked into life on twelve minutes as Seymour-Shove received a ball in midfield jinked inside his marker and unleashed a dipping strike from fully 30 yards that caught Terras player/manager keeper Jason Matthews off guard and despite his scrambling efforts and desperate late dive he was well beaten as the ball flashed past him into the net.

Ives continued to push forward to look for a second goal and only four minutes later Jordan Jarrold picked out Seymour-Shove wide on the right with an excellent cross field ball that the Ives winger volleyed first time into the middle only inches ahead of the fast arriving Jack Higgs.

The visitor’s first attempt on goal arrived on 24 minutes as Stuart Fleetwood took a ball into his feet 25 yards from goal and turned his man well before feeding the ball into the run of Billy Lowes. Lowes continued his direct run to the edge of the box before firing inches wide of Tim Trebes right hand post as he was closed down.

Clark was enjoying his role playing off the big man Kelly and the two combined well to create an excellent chance just after the half hour. Kelly knocking a ball through which Clark ran onto and clipped past the advancing Matthews only to see the ball bounce inches the wrong side of the post with the keeper well beaten.

The Terras were still looking dangerous from dead ball situations and went close from a corner on 33 minutes as Tiago Sa’s in-swinger from the left was bravely won by Jake Wannell in spite of the attempted punch of keeper Trebes. But the presence of Trebes was enough to ensure the big centre back could only direct his header wide.

The Ives continued to press forward in search of the all important second goal, but the only items worthy of note in the remaining time before the break were two unnecessary yellow cards for Ives players both picked up deep in Terras territory. De’ath was first to go in referee Andrew Humphries notebook for tangling with Wannell inside the visitors box while the pair waited for a corner to be delivered. Bradshaw quickly followed him for kicking the ball away after having been caught yards offside as he overlapped down the right.

The ever reliable Liam McDevitt almost gifted the visitors a way back into the game just six minutes after the break as he inexplicably let a long ball from Zubar go thinking it would continue on to Trebes, but Fleetwood was onto the loose ball in a flash and should have done better as he failed to hit the target from well inside the box with only the keeper to beat.

After surviving this scare the hosts resumed their quest for the all important second goal. Only two minutes later Kelly again held the ball up well before playing it left to Josh Dawkin who in turn played an excellent back heel to put Seymour-Shove into space down the line. Unfortunately his low driven cross evaded everyone in the centre.

Ives should have got that second goal on 61 minutes as Higgs played the ball into Kelly on the edge of the D and he cleverly flicked the ball on to put Clark in with a great chance. It looked like the skilful Ives striker had done everything right as he clipped the ball past the exposed Matthews, but again it drifted just the wrong side of the upright.

The home side were gifted a corner on 64 minutes as a long ball out of defence by Bradshaw was headed back by Ashley Wells, but his effort was poorly directed and despite Matthews scrambling attempts to keep it in the linesman awarded a flag kick. The resulting corner was knocked out to McDevitt at the back post. He did well to turn on the ball, but failed to keep his shot from the edge of the box down and the ball sailed well over the top.

As Ives chances continued to go begging the Terras were beginning to think that it might just be their day and they were pushing more and more men forward in search of the equaliser. Wannell found himself wide on the left as he picked up the ball in 69th minute. He belied his centre back status as he cut in past Seymour-Shove and picked out Fleetwood with a low cross. Fleetwood’s effort from close range was blocked on the line by De’ath and Ben Thomson following up hammered the loose ball high and wide.

Ives final, and probably best, chance for the goal to kill the game came 15 minutes from time and again Kelly was the provider as he clipped the ball into the run of Dawkin cutting in from the left. Ives leading scorer took on the bouncing ball and tried to lob the exposed Matthews. But the keeper did well leaping to parry the initial shot and pouncing on the loose ball.

From that point the game changed as three minutes later Calvin Brooks got past Jarrold down the right and delivered a low cross into the centre. The initial effort was blocked, but the ball rebounded into the air and was acrobatically lashed home from close range by Zubar.

Bradshaw was made to regret his needless booking in the first half as only one minute later he was beaten by Terras substitute Charlie Davis on the left and was forced into a rash tackle which took out the Weymouth man and earned him a cast iron second yellow to take Ives down to ten. Clark was quickly sacrificed to bring on Charlie Day at left back with Jarrold moving across to the right, but Ives chances of winning this game were very seriously diminished.

The visitors, who to their credit had battled on throughout, could not believe their luck and they poured forward in search of the winner. McDevitt was almost caught out two minutes later as his attempted clearance only went straight to Fleetwood deep in Ives territory. The Terras centre forward picked out substitute Aaron Rodriguez in the centre who looked like he only had to hit the target to score, but he inexplicably side footed wide from eight yards.

Skipper De’ath came to Ives rescue with six minutes to go as he cleared a Brooks header off the line after the visitors midfielder got on the end of a deep cross from the left by Davis. Ives did manage to push a few men forward for a free kick on 86 minutes, but this nearly cost them as the visitors broke at pace with Dominic Panesar-Dower and Thomson exchanging passes. Before the former teed up the latter for a shot from the edge of the box which he hit inches wide.

A winner for the Terras was looking inevitable and it arrived two minutes from the end of the ninety. Jarrold fouled Panesar-Dower just outside the box on the left. Keeper Matthews in his last away game in charge came up for the kick showing that the visitors were certainly going for win, or bust. Brooks drove the free kick low into the box and it somehow evaded everyone before arriving at the feet of Zubar who had the simple task of side footing it home at the far post.

The ten men Ives were unable to rally themselves to create anything in the remaining time with the only item of note being Fleetwood rattling the crossbar from the edge of the box having been put through into a good position by Brooks deep in added time.

This was a tough defeat to take as Ives followed up their excellent performance at Redditch with another impressive display. Unfortunately as we have found out on a few occasions this season. If you do not take your chances at this level you will get punished and so it proved to be. Danny Kelly picked up the supporter’s man of the match award for yet another selfless display and he was involved in everything Ives created in the final third of the pitch. If only one, or two, more of the chances he created could have been taken it would have been a different story.

 

St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, McGowan, Seymour-Shove, Higgs, Kelly, Clark (Day 82), Dawkin

Unused subs : Wright, Ogbonna

Goals :  Seymour-Shove 12

Supporters Man of the Match : Danny Kelly

Final Score :  St Ives Town 1 Weymouth 2

Attendance  :  224

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

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

Date: Friday 7th April 2017
Kick Off: 7:30pm
Competition: Hunts County U18 Cup Final
Ground Address: Eynesbury Rovers, Alfred Hall Memorial Ground, Hall Road, Eynesbury, St Neots, PE19 2SF

The young Ives fully played their part in a tight and pulsating County Cup Final and were perhaps a little unfortunate to fall to a late Saints winner having battled their way back to get level with ten minutes to go.

These two sides had met earlier in the season in the FA Youth Cup when Ives had prevailed in a similarly tight affair so this was a chance for revenge for the Saints. Both sides came into the game on a high Ives having already won their divisional title with the Saints needing two points from their final game to similarly clinch their division so this was the clash of champions versus champions elect.

As had been the case in their previous meeting the Saints took the game to the Ives and enjoyed a lot of early possession. Ben Southwood was looking a handful with his pace and movement and his clever back heel almost put Jack Eldridge through after only nine minutes. Eldridge got to the bye line, but his attempted pull back was knocked away by an Ives defender. Erhan Nerettin following up fired in his first time effort from 25 yards that deflected just wide of the Ives goal. The resulting corner from the left by Nerettin was won cleanly eight yards out by Shae Humphrey who beat the ground in frustration as he failed to hit the target with his free header.

Ives best opportunity of the first period came fifteen minutes in as the all action Patrik Polhos won a ball in the centre of the park and clipped a ball through the channel. Matt Wright outpaced the Saints defence and keeper Evan Jeckells hesitated giving Wright chance to get to the ball first. But Jeckells redeemed himself by make a brave block at point blank range.

The closest the Saints came to an opener in the first period was in the 20th minute. An in-swinging near post corner from the right by Sam Piesse was flicked on only for a well positioned Sam Davidson to block the effort on the line. His clearance was fed back out to Piesse who fed the ball inside to Nerettin who strode on into the box before unleashing a low drive that beat Tom Smith at his near post, but rebounded to safety off the foot of the upright.

The first half continued with Saints still holding the upper hand. But the hard working Ives were restricting their opportunities and it took until two minutes before the break for the Saints to go close again from another dead ball situation. Owen Bevan delivered a hanging free kick to the back post where Isaac Clarke rose highest. But like his fellow centre back earlier in the proceedings he failed to hit the target with his header from a good position.

The second half continued in a similar vain to the first with Ives back line well marshalled by Jamie Short and Callum Sheppeard keeping the Saints at bay. The tricky Andre Williams was causing a few problems down the right for the Saints and he delivered a well placed cross to the back post on 52 minutes. Eldridge knocked the ball down into the feet of Nerettin, but he snatched his shot over the top from just inside the box.

Eldridge was the provider for the opening goal on the hour as he found space on the left and did very well to keep the ball in play before getting his head up and picking out the run of Southwood into the box. The Saints centre forward took a touch before firing a low drive into the far corner of the net past the unsighted Smith.

This sparked an almost instant reaction from the Ives and only two minutes later Polhos won yet another tackle 25 yards from the Saints goal before sliding the ball into the feet of Dias cutting in from the left. He worked his way into the box before firing in a low shot that beat the dive of Jeckells, but rebounded back into play off the foot of the same upright that denied Nerettin in the first half.

Ives were almost caught out by a short corner in 73rd minute. Bevan’s low drive cross was blocked at the near post by Polhos, but the ball rebounded to Southwood who fired narrowly wide from just inside the crowded box.

The Ives were battling away, but creating little and looking unlikely to find a route back into the game. However there is always hope when Wright is in the side and ten minutes from time they grabbed an equaliser in true route one fashion. Keeper Smith launched a massive punt down the big Eynesbury pitch. The ball cleared the Saints back line and Wright was onto in a flash in a desperate attempt to stop him centre back Humphrey hauled him back deep inside the box. Referee Robert Cusick had little choice but to award the spot kick. Tiago Dias confidently stepped up and sent Jeckells the wrong way from the spot.

Having got back level Ives were undone again only four minutes later as a ball into the box was knocked down to Nerettin who smashed in a first time drive that Smith did fantastically well to react to and parry, but Bevan pounced on the loose ball just ahead of the keeper to hammer it home from close range. In his frustration at not getting onto the loose ball first Smith continued his dive into the feet of Bevan and grabbed the legs of the Saints striker who reacted badly kicking out at the Ives keeper to rightly earn himself a red card from referee Cusick.

Saints going down to ten men looked to give Ives a route back into the game in the remaining six minutes. But the players had already given their all and had little energy to muster a late charge. In the remaining time and the added four minutes it was only Saints who could manage further efforts on goal as Southwood twice fired over from good positions.

Overall this was a pulsating game between two contrasting styles in which Ives clearly played their part, although Saints were worthy winners on the night Ives can still hold their heads high as they go into the Thurlow Nunn end of season play-offs where they may get chance of a further tilt at their local rivals.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Ewan Smith, Zoric, Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Polhos, Davidson (Saunders 55), Lloyd (capt) (McDaid 65), Wright, Dias, Anemou,

Unused subs : Kwiatowski, Delgado Vaz, McFarlane

Goals : Dias 80 (pen)

Attendance :  194

Youth Team Preview (A) St Neots Town U18’s

St Neots Town U18’s vs St Ives Town Youth Team

Date: Friday 7th April 2017
Kick Off: 7:30pm
Competition: Hunts County U18 Cup Final
Ground Address: Eynesbury Rovers, Alfred Hall Memorial Ground, Hall Road, Eynesbury, St Neots, PE19 2SF

Please note this game is taking place at Eynesbury Rovers

First Team Preview (H) Weymouth FC

St Ives Town vs Weymouth FC

Date: Saturday 8th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: TM Roofing Ltd

First Team Result Redditch United 0 St Ives Town 2

Redditch United 0 St Ives Town 2

Date: Saturday 1st April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: The Trico Stadium, Bromsgrove Road, Redditch, B97 4RN

Not so long ago the prospect of a 200 mile round trip to the West Midlands to play on a 3G surface would have filled St Ives with dread. But the visitors made light work of the alien surface as they duly completed their third League double of the season against the out of form Reds.

Manager Ricky Marheineke was pleased to welcome leading scorer Josh Dawkin and Jack Higgs back into the starting line up with a view to lifting the Ives after their lacklustre performance in their disappointing previous home defeat to Basingstoke.

However it was the home side who came out of the traps well taking the game to their visitors. The game was only two minutes old when an attempted clearing header by Lee Chaffey rebounded off Luke Keen and the Reds striker seized on the loose ball to fire in the games first shot that only just cleared the crossbar from 25 yards out.

An excellent advantage by referee James Oldham presented the home side with a golden opportunity to draw first blood only eight minutes later. Dior Angus played a ball into the feet of Keen who was clattered from behind by Chaffey but still managed to knock the ball back into the run of Angus cutting in from the left. The speedy striker side stepped inside Jack Bradshaw to get in one on one with keeper Tim Trebes. But the Ives stopper bravely spread himself to keep out Angus’s effort at close range.

Trebes was by far the busier keeper in this early period and he did well to gather a low cross from the right by Angus just ahead of the inrushing Keen on 13 minutes. Keen went close again four minutes later as Donnell Benjamin picked him out with a ball into feet and he cleverly turned his marker before firing a shot across the face of Trebes goal and just wide of the far post.

Having weathered the home side’s early pressure the Ives began to slowly work their way back into the game and were enjoying some good periods in possession, but struggling to penetrate the Reds back line. Dawkin did get an opportunity to run at debutant full back Jack Coates on 28 minutes. But the young defender stuck to his task well and managed to block the Ives wingers attempted cross out for the games first corner.

Keeper Trebes was again Ives saviour on the half hour as Jhai Dhillon pushing forward from full back played a ball into the feet of Benjamin 35 yards from goal. The Reds wide man struck his first time effort well, but the shot was blocked by Liam McDevitt and the ball looped up in the air dropping perfectly into the feet of Max Loveridge who had continued his run into the box. Loveridge looked like he must score, but again Trebes bravely spread himself and blocked the attempted flick over his body with an up-stretched arm. Jack Bradshaw hammered away the loose ball and the chance was gone.

With half time approaching both sides continued to probe for the all important opening goal. A Jack Higgs free kick from the left four minutes from the interval was flicked on at the near post by Danny Kelly, Tom McGowan arriving at the back post leapt highest to win the header, but could not keep the ball down under pressure from Dhillon.

Play swung to the other end and two minutes later a long ball out of defence by Jordan Brown picked out Angus perfectly as he got between Chaffey and Jordan Jarrold. Angus skilfully took the ball down and fired in a left foot effort from the edge of the box that was carefully watched into the side netting by Trebes.

Ives best effort of the first half came right on the break as Trebes delivered a long free kick deep into Reds territory. Dubi Ogbonna and Kelly both challenged for the ball just outside the home sides box. As the ball was knocked down it fell to Kelly who hit a first time dipping volley that beat home keeper Bradley Catlow, but scraped millimetres outside his left hand upright.

The visitors lifted the pace at the start of the second half bringing an urgency and desire to their game that saw them enjoy a good spell where they exerted pressure on the home back line for the first time. The half was only three minutes old when Dawkin forced the first save of the day out of Catlow. Bradshaw fired a ball into the box that Kelly did well to bring under control and play into the path of Dawkin who fired his effort from the left hand side of the box straight into the arms of the well positioned home keeper.

Dawkin was again involved on 57 minutes as he combined well down the left with Ogbonna before eventually getting through to the bye line. Unfortunately his clip into the centre evaded everyone and ran to safety.

The end to end nature of the game resumed as the Reds carved out their first opportunity of the second half only one minute later. Loveridge played in the ever willing Keen down the right and his pin point cross picked out Angus who had got between the Ives centre backs. But the home striker failed to trouble Trebes with his free header as he only succeeded in directing it over the top.

Jarrold proved Ives saviour only sixty seconds later as Benjamin picked out his run cutting in from the right with a perfectly weighted ball from the centre circle. Fortunately Jarrold is very quick and he recovered his position in an instant completing the recovery with a perfectly timed tackle to dispossess the Reds man just has he was about to shoot.

Kelly is desperate for goal having not scored since December and he went within inches of grabbing one for the second time in this game on 63 minutes. Peter Clark danced across the face of the Reds back line before playing the ball onto Jarrold who picked out Dawkin on the edge of the home box. He in turn flicked the ball onto his strike partner who turned and fired in a rising shot that again beat the scrambling Catlow but scraped the crossbar on the way to safety.

Ives won a throw deep in Reds territory in 66th minute. The throw was delayed to permit Ben Seymour-Shove to come on to replace Ogbonna to allow Clark to move in alongside Kelly. Jarrold took the throw into the feet of Dawkin who held the ball up before playing it back into the overlapping run of Jarrold. The Ives full back delivered an inviting cross to the back post where Seymour-Shove rose above Dhillon to direct his header beyond the despairing dive of Catlow and put the visitors in front with his first touch of the game less than 15 seconds after entering the fray.

The home side instantly made a change of their own bringing on Zaqib Hussain to replace Banjamin and he almost served up an equaliser for the Reds with fifteen minutes to go. He combined well with Dhillon down the left before bursting past Bradshaw into the box. He had the presence of mind to look up and pick out Angus in space at the back post. His delivery over the Ives defenders was perfect and Angus looked like he only had to direct his header into the net. But Trebes had other ideas and sprinted across his goal before hurling himself across the striker’s downward header to pull off an amazing save to preserve the Ives lead and leave the disbelieving Reds man with his head in his hands.

Having survived that huge scare Ives were then gifted a second goal by a comedy of errors in the Reds defence four minutes later. Brown inexplicably tried to go around Seymour-Shove inside his own box and although he managed to work himself enough space to attempt a clearance he did not hit the ball cleanly and it travelled straight to the feet of Dawkin 30 yards from goal. The Ives striker sidestepped inside Duane Courtney before firing in a low bobbling effort from 20 yards that looked like a comfortable save for Catlow, but the keeper went down to early and allowed the ball to bobble off his outstretched hands and on into the bottom of the net.

This knocked the stuffing out of the Reds and the Ives comfortably managed to repel any attempts the home side made to attack them in the remaining eleven minutes. The only items of note in the remaining time were a booking for Brown to complete his miserable day as he brought down Ives substitute Charlie De’ath just outside the box. Higgs failed to hit the target with the free kick. Finally a flowing injury time move involving Higgs and Clark that would have put Seymour-Shove clear but for a last ditch intervention by Courtney.

Overall another excellent three points on the road for the Ives which moves them up one place in the table to 14th with five games to go. The supporters vote for man of the match went to Josh Dawkin who always looked threatening every time he was in possession and caused the Reds defence plenty of problems. But Tim Trebes pushed him very close with his three outstanding saves which all came at vital moments of the game.

St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, McGowan, Clark, Higgs, Kelly (De’ath 84), Ogbonna (Seymour-Shove 65), Dawkin (Day 82)

Unused subs : Wright

Goals :  Seymour-Shove 66, Dawkin 79

Supporters Man of the Match : Josh Dawkin

Final Score :  Redditch United 0 St Ives Town 2

Attendance  :  234

Youth Team Crowned League Champions

St Ives Town Youth Team 3 Wisbech St Mary U18’s 0

Date: Monday 27th March 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Thurlow Nunn West Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

The most successful period in St Ives Town’s history saw another first achieved at the Pro-Edge Stadium on Monday night as the young Ives deservedly claimed the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division title for the first time in the Club’s history with a hard fought victory in their must win final League game against the Saints.

On paper this was always going to be a tough game against opponents with the best defensive record in the division who had already beaten the Ives at their Beechings Close Ground in December. But since that fateful evening the Ives scholars have moved forward and gelled as a team and had, following success in their last two games, brought it all down to a one off must win fixture which had been transferred from the scholar’s usual home of Jubilee Park in Huntingdon to the Pro-Edge Stadium.

With the importance of the game and the opportunity for some of the locals to see these much heralded youngsters for the first time in St Ives the supporters turned out in such numbers that the official attendance figure matched that for the first team’s recent League Cup Semi-Final.

Those that came along quickly began to see the ability of these lads, but with the visitors very quick to get numbers behind the ball and sporting a very capable keeper in Ash Hicks it was clear that patience was going to be the order of the day. The first shot at goal came from the Saints after seven minutes, but Danny Setchell’s effort from 25 yards did not trouble Tom Smith in the Ives goal as it thudded the boards well wide of his right hand post.

Although Ives were enjoying a lot of early possession they were struggling to find a way through the resolute Saints back line. Their first half chance did not arrive until 20th minute when the speedy Annonicio Anemou tried to get outside Ethan Gooale wide on the left only to be brought down by the full back. Skipper Mark Lloyd delivered an in-swinging free kick that was knocked back to centre back Callum Sheppeard on the edge of the box. But he snatched at the chance and fired well over the top.

Up to this point Hicks in the visitors goal had dealt confidently with everything that came his way, but he did survive an edgy moment on 22 minutes. Matt Wright took a quick throw in to Liam Zoric deep into the visitors half. Zoric tried to deliver a cross into the box, but the ball arced off the outside of his foot and swung in on goal. Hicks let the ball go thinking it was drifting to safety and was probably the most relieved man in the ground when it struck the outside of his near post and bounced behind.

The flow towards the Saints goal continued and on 26 minutes Wright clipped in a good cross from the left that Lloyd cushioned down to Tiago Dias inside the Saints box. He skilfully turned his marker, but fired his low shot inches past Hicks right hand post with the keeper beaten. Four minutes later Martin Saunders delivered an inviting corner from the right that Sheppeard leapt highest to, but he only succeeded in powering his header from eight yards straight into the grateful arms of Hicks.

Patrik Polhos was having an eye catching game in the centre of the park with his all action style breaking up a lot of Saints moves in front of the Ives back four. He was also finding time to get forward at every opportunity. He robbed ex Ives man Sam Bedwell-Byatt on 31 minutes and then drove on into the visitor’s box before unleashing a shot that deflected just wide with Hicks again beaten.

It was not entirely one way traffic and Setchell found space 30 yards from Ives goal only seconds later. He seized the opportunity to get a shot away which kicked up wickedly off the hard ground, but Smith dealt confidently with the fast rising ball holding it well. The Saints best chance of the game arrived on 35 minutes as Luke Foster ran onto a long ball down the right. He cut inside past two Ives defenders and carried on into the box, but as Smith came to meet him he snatched at his opportunity which flew well wide of the post much to the chagrin of his manager.

Hicks continued to keep Ives at bay for the remainder of the first period claiming a Saunders cross well under pressure from Wright. Hanging on well to a fierce drive from the edge of the box by Wright and best of all bravely blocking a close range effort from Jamie Short after a corner had been knocked down to him seconds before the break.

A rousing half time talk from manager Jack Cassidy saw the Ives come out determine to tear into their opposition straight from the off and the early high pressing game brought reward as Wright robbed Gooale on the left, turned back inside and delivered a teasing cross into the centre that Dias looked certain to get on the end of, but Saints centre back Roberts Briede hurled himself in to try and cut out the ball. Unfortunately for him he only succeeded in powering his attempted clearance past his own keeper from close range.

The home side were now well on top and continued to pile on the pressure. Short went close from a corner two minutes later. The all important second goal arrived just before the hour as Dias out muscled Keen Hall on the right and then had the composure to selflessly pick out the unmarked Wright in the centre giving him the simplest of tasks to tuck the ball past the exposed Hicks from just inside the box.

To their credit the visitors did not crumble, but instead kept to their game plan and did have one half chance to find a route back into the game on 64 minutes as Bedwell-Byatt got down the left and pulled the ball back to Foster. But his shot from fifteen yards, that looked to be heading just inside the far post, was blocked and hacked away by Sheppeard.

With this chance gone the Ives began to look comfortable and as both sides rolled on their substitutes the next twenty minutes was predominantly played out in the centre of the park. But as the clock began to tick down the Ives began to enjoy themselves and started to knock the ball around well. The midfield dynamo Polhos was still going strong and with six minutes to go he won yet another tackle and fed the ball out to substitute Sam Davidson on the right. Davidson exchanged passes with Dias before curling an effort from the corner of the box just over the top.

Dias and Davidson combined well again two minutes later with the former playing the latter in for a run on goal, that looked certain to bring reward. But with Davidson bearing down on goal the ball took a bobble and he sliced his effort wide from an excellent position. However the Ives faithfully did not have to wait long for the icing on the cake as Davidson this time turned provider for the goal of the game. He played the ball into the feet of Dias 25 yards from goal and the Ives striker showed his class as he drifted past Hall before unleashing an unstoppable drive from the edge of the D that flew past the despairing dive of Hicks to send players and fans alike into wild celebrations.

Seconds later the referees whistle brought the contest to a conclusion to allow the real celebrations to begin as the eleven players on the pitch were joined by all of their colleagues in the scholarship programme to show the camaraderie that these lads have built up during their time together.

This success shows just how far Jack, Ben, and the back room staff have taken these players. It has been a pleasure to watch them grow as footballers and men. The team still has two more opportunities to claim silverware this season with the County Cup Final against old rivals St Neots Town to come at Eynesbury on Friday 7th April 7.30pm kick off and the Thurlow Nunn League play-offs where the winners of each division play each other to decide who will take the overall trophy. These games will take place in early May watch out for details to follow.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Ewan Smith (Parmenter 65), Zoric (McManus 35), Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Polhos, Saunders (McFarlane 86), Lloyd (capt), Wright, Dias, Anemou (Davidson 65)

Unused subs : Kwiatowski

Goals : Breide (own goal) 48, Wright 59, Dias 90

Attendance :  117

Youth Team Preview (H) Wisbech St Mary U18’s

St Ives Town Youth Team vs Wisbech St Mary U18’s

Date: Monday 27th March 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Thurlow Nunn West Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

This is the Youth Team’s final league match of the season.  A win will see them crowned Champions of the Thurlow Nunn Youth Division

First Team Result St Ives Town 0 Basingstoke Town 1

St Ives Town 0 Basingstoke Town 1

Date: Saturday 25th March 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: Laser SOS Group
Match Ball Sponsor: Miracle Clinic

This was a true end of the season game between two middle of the table teams played out on a hard pitch with a strong breeze blowing to make it difficult to play much flowing football. The game in which both goalkeepers between them only had one save to make from open play was always likely to be decided by a dead ball situation and so it proved as Matt Partridge reacted quickest to stab home the loose ball after Joe Gater had headed Sam Deadfield’s free kick onto the crossbar after 65 minutes.

With leading scorer Josh Dawkin away Ives manager Ricky Marheineke was pleased to welcome back a hopefully fit again Dubi Ogbonna. Unfortunately the talisman striker played little part in the action as his knee injury recurred on the hard ground. He was limping after fifteen minutes, but continued for a further twenty minutes before being replaced by Jack Higgs.

Although only one place separated the two sides in the table prior to this fixture the visiting Dragons started off with the motivation of a side in a much more perilous position and took the game to their hosts from the outset. But as has been so often the case this season Ives back line held firm and goalkeeper Tim Trebes was only called upon to collect three high balls into the box during a first ten minutes dominated by the visitors.

Ives first real sortie into Dragons territory came after ten minutes as Ogbonna and Tom McGowan exchanged passes with the latter bursting into the box only to try and pick out a team mate in the centre rather than taking on the shooting opportunity. The intended square ball was cut out by Dragon’s skipper David Ray and the chance was gone.

Ives skipper Charlie De’ath almost caught out his opposite number three minutes later as he took a long throw that drifted over Day’s head to give Ben Seymour-Shove chance to get a run on goal. He took the opportunity to go for goal, but his rising drive from a narrow angle was held by a well positioned visitor’s keeper Kieran Greene.

In spite of Ives forays into the Dragon’s box it was the visitors who continued to look more threatening with Sam Deadfield the man pulling the strings in the centre of the park and delivering some dangerous dead ball kicks into the home box. His 15th minute in-swinging free kick from the left was flicked on by Aaron Jarvis and only just evaded team mates arriving at the back post.

Deadfield also delivered an in-swinging corner on 21 minutes that deflected off Jordan Jarrold at the near post and presented a chance for Gater who made good contact inside the six yard box, but only succeeded in clearing the crossbar with his header.

Home keeper Tim Trebes was his side’s saviour two minutes later as he stayed big and bravely blocked a fierce drive from Jarvis who had capitalised on a slip by Lee Chaffey who had allowed a high ball down the centre of the park to bounce over his head leaving the Dragon’s centre forward a run into the Ives box.

Ives were still struggling to create much from open play, but did create a half chance from a free kick in 26th minute. Seymour-Shove delivered the kick deep beyond the far post where Liam McDevitt kept the ball alive. He side stepped Marcus Johnson-Shuster to get in a cross that keeper Greene acrobatically pushed away. Seymour-Shove picked up the loose ball and clipped it back to the far post where the ball rebounded off a defender and fell at the feet of McDevitt. But the big centre back snatched at his chance and fired high and wide.

Trebes was again forced into action to preserve the parity in the score line six minutes from the break. Nana Owusu tried to go past McDevitt just outside the box forcing the Ives defender into a rash challenge that brought the offender a yellow card and gave the visitors a free kick in a very dangerous position. Owusu picked himself up and went for goal with the kick. The ball took a big deflection off the wall and looked to be heading for the top corner only for Ives stopper to hurl himself full length to his left to finger tip it to safety.

Ives started the second period with a strengthening breeze at their backs. This breeze almost created an opportunity for the home side only three minutes in as a long Trebes punt slid off the head of a fast retreating Gater and just bounced wide of Greene’s left hand post with the keeper scrambling to cover the ball. The resulting corner was headed clear to Jack Bradshaw 25 yards from goal and he hit a crisp goal bound effort that was bravely blocked by a Dragon’s defender.

The home side enjoyed probably their best period of the game for the next twenty minutes as they built up some pressure on the visitor’s goal, but were still unable to force Greene into a real save. The Dragon’s stopper put some pressure on himself as he struck a poor goal kick straight to Danny Kelly 35 yards from goal on 56 minutes. Kelly cleverly picked out a run from Jarrold cutting in from the left. The speedy wide man struck a shot from 20 yards that was deflected for a corner. This was the first of three Ives corners in quick succession, all delivered into the danger zone, but all kept out by the resolute Day and his colleagues.

Just as Ives were looking capable of building up a head of steam they fell behind on 65 minutes. A free kick was needlessly conceded deep in Ives territory wide on the left. Deadfield seized the opportunity to deliver a dangerous cross into the Ives box which somehow evaded everyone and arrived on the head of an unmarked Gater at the far post. He beat Trebes with his header back across goal, but the ball bounced down off the crossbar. Time, and the Ives defence, all seemed to freeze as Matt Partridge reacted first to slam home the loose ball from close range.

Manager Marheineke shuffled his cards to try and find a route back into the game quickly sacrificing the hard working Tom McGowan for the pace of Kasey Douglas, moving Charlie De’ath forward to join the attack and going three at the back. But even with extra players forward Ives were still struggling to create any real opportunities.

The nearest to another goal in the following period came at the other end on 74 minutes as Owusu got away on the left and delivered a low cross to the near post where Jarvis arriving at pace made good contact, but side footed his close range effort inches wide.

Marheineke’s final throw of the dice came with twelve minutes to go as he threw on scholars leading scorer Matt Wright for the tiring Kelly and Ives best chance in the remaining time fell to the young striker as De’ath challenged Day for a corner from the left and the ball fell at the feet of Wright on the six yard line. But he is lacking game time at this level and his reaction to the loose ball was a split second slower than the Dragons defenders and the chance was gone.

The final play worthy of note on the day was a decent shout for a penalty from the Dragons as tricky substitute Aaron Redford managed to wriggle his way past Jarrold cutting in from the right only to be hauled down by the young Ives defender as he entered the box. Referee Darren Knox was right on the spot and waved away the strikers claims.

The visitors played out the remaining time without further scares to claim some revenge for a defeat at Ark Cancer Charity Stadium in December. Manager Marheineke now has the seemingly tough task of motivating his players as the season begins to wind down. But they must remember that there is a Cup Final to be played at the end of April and places for the side must still be fought for. Jack Bradshaw won the supporters man of the match accolade for showing the required fighting spirit throughout this encounter. The other contenders were his three fellow defenders, goalkeeper Tim Trebes and Tom McGowan all of whom showed similar character.

St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, McDevitt, McGowan (Douglas 69), Seymour-Shove, Clark, Kelly (Wright 78), Ogbonna (Higgs 36), Jarrold

Unused subs : Short

Goals :  None

Supporters Man of the Match : Jack Bradshaw

Final Score :  St Ives Town 0 Basingstoke Town 3

Attendance  :  248

Youth Team Result Kings Lynn Town U18’s 0 St Ives Town Youth Team 2

Kings Lynn Town U18’s 0 St Ives Town Youth Team 2

Date: Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Ground Address: The Walks Stadium, Tennyson Rd, King’s Lynn PE30 5PB
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

A cracking all round performance saw the young Ives bounce back from last week’s dismal cup defeat to very much keep alive their hopes of claiming the Western Division title.

The impressive Walks Stadium, some very positive training sessions and the presence of manager Jack Cassidy and assistant Ben Seymour-Shove seemed to have the desired effect of lifting the boys as with only three changes this looked like a completely different side from last week.

One of the returnees was goalkeeper Tom Smith and he had to show his alertness in only the sixth minute as Kieron Wingfield threaded a ball through the Ives back line that looked like it had put Jack Minister clear, but Smith was quickly off his line to bravely snuff out the threat.

The home side continued to press in these early stages as Ives were taking a while to settle and the best chance of these early exchanges fell to Minister in the 12th minute. Connor Young got away down the right and drove a low cross into the box that evaded everyone in the middle and arrived at the feet of Minister by the far post eight yards out. But as he was closed by Smith and his defenders he took his eye off the ball and failed to make clean contact. The ball was eventually smuggled back to Jacob White on the edge of the box, but he hit a crisp drive a couple of feet wide of Smith’s left hand post.

The home side were moving the ball around well, but struggling to penetrate the visitor’s rigid formation. Young delivered a dangerous corner into Ives box on 25 minutes and Patrik Polhos under pressure conceded a free kick just outside the box as he pulled back White. Minister curled the free kick around Ives four man wall, but straight into the grateful hands of a well positioned Smith.

Ives were slowly working their way into the game and as the half wore on they began to look the stronger team with the pace, movement and work rate of the front pair causing the Linnets some problems. The visitors first half chance arrived in 26th minute as skipper Mark Lloyd delivered a dangerous in-swinging free kick from the left that was flicked on at the near post, by Tiago Dias, but the pace of the ball just beat Jamie Short and Callum Sheppeard arriving at the back post.

Having created one chance, more quickly followed. Only sixty seconds later Matt Wright unselfishly put his strike partner Dias through one on one with Linnets centre back Dan Harvey. Dias got the better of his man but was denied by a brave block from keeper Charlie Congreve.

Congreve had to do even better just after the half hour as good distribution from Smith picked out Martin Saunders in space he in turn picked out a perfectly timed run from Dias that saw the striker get completely clear. Congreve came to meet him and Dias chose to go round the Linnets stopper, but the keeper came out best as he plunged in to take the ball off Dias’s toe.

St Ives pressure continued to build with the pace and trickery of Annoncio Anemou and Martin Saunders adding to the problems the Linnets back line were already having. Saunders robbed Taylor King on 33 minutes and cut inside before unleashing a rising drive from the corner of the box that crept just over the angle of crossbar and post.

A goal for Ives was beginning to look inevitable and it arrived on 38 minutes as Polhos won the ball well in midfield and played it through the right channel which put Wright in a foot race with Callum South. The Linnets centre back just about managed to keep pace with him, but Wright found just enough space to clip his shot past the advancing Congreve and into the net from just inside the box.

Having got in front Ives continued to press home their advantage Anemou found space to break at pace from inside his own half and having pulled defenders to him he cleverly moved the ball inside to Dias who again played Wright in against South. This time the Linnet’s back man came out on top sliding in with a perfectly timed tackle to knock the ball away just as Wright shaped to shoot.

There were a number of lengthy stoppages in the first period, including one that saw Sam Davidson leave the field to be replaced by Saunders. Ives took advantage of the added time to double their lead. A corner from the right by Saunders was played back to him by Lloyd and this time Saunders found space to curl in an in-swinging cross that an unmarked Short deftly flicked past Congreve and in off the crossbar.

Having got their two goal cushion Ives were in no mood to give their hosts a sniff of getting back into the game. The rigid defensive lines that were prevalent in the early stages had re-appeared and although the Linnets enjoyed a lot of possession all of their passing was in front of the Ives as they could not find a way through the lines.

When they did get a sniff they found Smith in imperious form. He did very well to claim a hanging cross from King under heavy pressure from Nathan Davies on the hour. A long ball down the centre almost caused a problem as it skidded off Sheppeard’s head to put Davies clear, but he was quickly closed down by Smith and fired his hurried effort from the edge of the box high and wide.

Jack Noble and substitute Aiden Doughty combined well on the right to deliver a low cross which got through the crowded area to arrive at the feet of Foster Howlett deep in the Ives box, but he did no better than Davies failing to hit the target with a tame effort.

Having weathered the pressure from the home side with very few scares Ives began to venture out again as the half wore on. A swift break initiated by Anemou on 73 minutes should have lead to a third goal for the visitors. Anemou won another tackle in the centre of the park and fed the ball into Lloyd who played a perfectly weighted pass out to the right to pick out substitute Adam Parmenter roaming forward. He hung up an inviting cross that picked out Dias unmarked in the centre. Unfortunately the ball was millimetres to high and the stretching Dias could only direct his free header over the top from eight yards.

The final action of the evening saw Lloyd, Anemou and Dias all combine well down the left to set up a shooting opportunity for Wright that the speedy striker hit well from just inside the box and was unlucky to see it deflected just wide of Congreve’s left hand post.

The boys deserved their round of applause for a job well done at the end, but this is only half a job, so let us get as many people along as possible to cheer them on in their must win last League game which has been moved to the Pro-Edge on Monday 27th March 7.45pm kick off.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Ewan Smith, Zoric, Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Polhos (McFarlane 68), Davidson (Saunders 22, Parmenter 66), Lloyd (capt), Wright, Dias, Anemou

Unused subs : Kwiatowski

Goals : Wright 38, Short 45+3

Attendance :  32