Category: Match Reports

Ives denied by Poppies late leveller

Monday 28 August 2023: Kettering Town 1 v St Ives Town 1   

Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central 

Nigel Howlett Reports from Latimer Park

Ives may feel hard done by to have two points snatched away from them by the last kick of the game but they only have themselves to blame for not taking their chances in a game that they dominated for long periods with the pace and trickery of Dan Barton, Brandon Njoku and Tiago Nassunculo cutting swathes through the struggling Poppies defence at times particularly in a period late in the first half where five good chances came and went.  

With the second game in 48 hours manager Ricky Marheineke wisely rang the changes to freshen up his side. Aaron Smith, Michael Richens, Dan Barton, Luke Harris and Tiago Nassunculo all came into the side in place of Johnny Herd, Fernando Bell-Toxtle, Tyrone Baker, Kellan Hickinson and Enoch Andoh all of whom dropped to the bench. Poppies manager Andy Leese, perhaps with less at his disposal only made a single change with Tyrone Lewthwaite replacing Sam Bennett up front. 

There was an early blow for the hosts as skipper Gary Stohrer, perhaps feeling the effects of a knock picked up on Saturday, limped out of the action holding his knee to be replaced by the hosts new signing Josiah Bridgeman. 

The game’s first chance went the way of the visitors when an 18th minute Richens free kick from the right deflected off a defender and dropped to the feet of Charlie Johnson deep inside the box. But the Ives centre back snatched at the chance and stabbed his shot wide from an excellent position. The host’s first shot on goal arrived three minutes later when a long ball to the edge of Ives box by Lewis White was flicked on by Lewthwaite and fell to Bridgeman who unleashed a fierce effort from just inside the box that a well positioned Eddie Brearey parried away. 

But from that point Ives began to take control of the game with Richens, Ed Hottor and Luke Harris buzzing around the midfield. A poor ball out of defence by Rhys Sharpe in 23rd minute was seized on by Hottor who fed in Brandon Njoku through the right channel, but the young striker rather rushed his effort and fired well over from just inside the box. It took an excellent recovery tackle from White to prevent Nassunculo getting a shot away as he bustled through cutting in from the left ten minutes later. 

But then came the cluster of Ives chances in the run up to the break. In 38th minute a deep Barton corner found Johnson beyond the far post, his header back into the mix was met on the volley by Smith by the penalty spot and it took and excellent reaction save from Will Johnson leaping to his left to push the effort away. Five minutes later Barton and Njoku combined brilliantly down the right to get Barton to the bye line. Paddy Casey met his low cross at the near post but failed to make clean contact from six yards. That was almost immediately followed by Njoku teeing up Barton for a shot from the edge of the box that the young winger struck well and was unlucky to see deflect wide off ex Ives defender Ben Toseland. Njoku met the resulting Barton corner at the near post but had his on target effort blocked at close range by a defender. The final opportunity came in added time and again involved the two Cambridge United loanees as Barton fed in Njoku for a shot from just inside the box. But the young striker fired well over as the ball bobbled just as he went to hit it. 

It was a very relieved Poppies that trudged in at the break no doubt amazed to still be on level terms. The second half started with Ives still very much in the ascendency but unable to find a route through. Richens fired a 30 yard free kick inches over in 50th minute and ten minutes later the hosts were no doubt pleased to see the departure of their arch tormentor as Barton completed a very effective 60 minutes after his return from a pre-season injury and was replaced by Tyrone Baker. 

The next Ives chance also turned into an opportunity at both ends in 65th minute. Initially keeper Johnson came for a Richens free kick from wide right but failed to make any contact with the ball that ricocheted around the Poppies box with no one able to force it home before the eventual clearance set Jarvis away. As Ives covering defenders closed in the hosts wide man unleashed a left footed effort from 25 yards that flew wide of Brearey’s left hand post. 

Ives finally got their reward for all of their endeavour in 71st minute when Richens picked up a ball wide on the right that he clipped into the box over the out of position Johnson and with the keeper fast back peddling but not able to get to it the ball looked like it was floating in but Nassunculo made sure as he forced it home at the back post. 

Falling behind sparked a reaction from the hosts and in their desperation they forced Ives back for a while. In 74th minute Bridgeman went down inside the box under pressure from Smith but claims for a penalty were waved away by Referee Daniel Smith and Jarvis picked himself up a card for taking his protests a little to far. 

But it was an Ives player who needlessly picked up a yellow card in 87th minute as Smith, put under pressure by a poor pass from Baker was forced to handle the ball. But he did not pick up the card for the handball instead he got it for foolishly kicking the ball away after the whistle had blown. Even worse for the Ives left back he had picked up an earlier yellow for a foul ten minutes before the break so found himself taking an early bath. The resulting free kick was delivered dangerously into the box by Jarvis but fortunately Lewthwaite was adjudged to have fouled Harris in the ensuing scramble. 

Even though they were now down to ten men Ives should have killed the game in first minute of added time as Baker was bundled over by Johnson inside the box. Referee Smith pointed to the spot, but Njoku dragged his kick wide of the post to lift the Poppies to a final crescendo in the hope, rather than expectation, of getting something from the game. 

The keeper went up for a 94th minute free kick that led to something of a scramble in Ives box but Will Mellors-Blair hooked his effort wide. Lewthwaite then fired over from 25 yards moments later before the undeserved equaliser finally came in the sixth added minute as Ives struggled to clear another ball into the box from Jarvis with it eventually being forced home by Lewthwaite. There was just time for a despondent Ives to get the ball back to the centre spot before the final whistle blew. 

The final result was gut wrenching but looking back in the cold light of day Ives management team, players and supporters can take an awful lot more from this game than the struggling Poppies who look like a team in trouble. The visitors on the other hand played some cracking football at times and must build on this performance far more than the result. 

Final Score:  Kettering Town  1  St Ives Town  1 


KETTERING: Lewthwaite 90+6 

ST IVES: Nassunculo 71 

Team Line Ups: 

KETTERING: Johnson, Cochrane, Toseland (Reilly 69), Sharpe, Langmead, White (Okito 61), Dawson, Stohrer (capt) (Bridgeman 14), Lewthwaite, Mellors-Blair, Jarvis, Unused subs: Purse, Barker 

ST IVES: Brearey, Casey, Smith, Richens (capt), Williams, Johnson, Barton (Baker 61), Hottor (Bell-Toxtle 78), Njoku, Harris, Nassunculo (Herd 90), Unused subs: Hickinson, Andoh  

Cards: Red: ST IVES: Smith (2 x yellow) (35) & (87) 

            Yellow:  KETTERING: Jarvis (74), Johnson (90+1)        ST IVES: Williams (27), Richens (73) 


Attendance: 871  

Around the club – 1st/2nd April

Below are the results and reports from matches around the club including the mens, ladies and youth teams.


St Ives Town 1 – 3 Coalville

Watch the highlights here

Histon Reserves 0 – 3 St Ives Town Reserves


St Ives Ladies Firsts – No game

Swavesey Spartans Ladies 3 – 4 St Ives Town Ladies Seconds



No game


Stamford AFC U12 Yellows 1 – 3 Ives U12

A really positive start by St Ives who put lots of pressure on Stamford initially who held off well before settling themselves into the match. The first half was fairly even ending at 0-0.

At the start of the second half we immediately pressurised from the off and after a quality cross from Rico Venditti ended on the head of Aiden Bonner we scored our first goal.  This was followed shortly after with a left foot chip over the keeper from Ollie Munns, who grabbed a second a few minutes later with his right.

A late goal from Stamford and some tenacious defending from St Ives sealed the win.

Overall a great team performance.


No game


No game


Bottisham 4 – 1 Ives

U14 White took a depleted squad to table toppers Bottisham.

A terrible pitch made for a scrappy game which Town dominated for large parts of the first half.

However, tiredness and a lack of options from the bench made for a difficult second half.

Town rallied in the last 10 minutes and got one back but a 4-1 loss was not an unfair result.

Players Player of the Match – Micah Ali

Managers Player of the Match – Charlie Lewis


No game


No game

Around the club – 25th/26th March

There was reason to celebrate this weekend with the Ives reserves winning their cup final on Friday night against Melbourn FC in their first season. Meanwhile, the Ives ladies firsts also progressed to the semi final of the cup as well after winning on penalties against Wodson Park.

Below are the results and reports from matches around the club including the ladies, reserves and youth teams.


St Ives Reserves 3 – 0 Melbourn FC

Watch the highlights here:


St Ives Ladies Firsts 2 – 2 (5-3 penalties) Wodson Park

Watch the highlights here:

St Ives Ladies Seconds 1 – 6 Park Ladies



A really tough game today against a physically strong team and high winds made the conditions not ideal. With only 5 players the team really did battle hard and all of them looked very tired after a full 40 minutes each. Man of the match went out to Henry for not only playing well on the pitch but also making some great saves playing in goal for 2 quarters. McDonald’s on the way home for the whole team was a well deserved treat.


Ives 1 – 4 Peterborough RTC Blue

A disappointing result in what was actually a closely fought contest against the top of the table team. For much of the match we played the better football and the result once again was not reflective of the team performance.

First half finished 1-1 and we were firmly on the front foot. Unfortunately two very early goals conceded in the 2nd half knocked the wind out of our sails and we were then up against it. The boys battled to the end and showed great character in horrible playing conditions.


Ives 6 – 1 St Neots Town

Ives 3 – 2 Leigh Ramblers

St Ives Town U13 ran out comprehensive winners versus St Neots Town in the Hunts FA County Cup U13 semi final. Goals from Darius (x2), Olly, Filip, James and Tom secured a 6-1 win. Player of the match was Freddie. A great team performance.

Semi-final number two of the weekend for the U13s and the team secure another cup final place, this time in the EJA U13 League Cup. In a hard fought match in horrible conditions away at Leigh Ramblers, the lads had to dig deep especially after having played a tough County Cup Semi final the previous day. After going a goal down playing uphill on a boggy pitch, Whitehead latched on to a Windsor cross and drove the ball into the top of the net for the equaliser just before HT.  The boys started the second half strong and Kajfasz added a second after the restart slotting home after a Hollebon slide pass. Mustill added a third with a thunderous strike from outside the area. Leigh pulled a goal back to set up a nervy finish but the boys dug deep to secure the victory and their second final place of the weekend. The first time a St Ives Town team have made an Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA) cup final!


Ives 1 – 2 Walthamstow

St Ives Town U14 Black travelled to Walthamstow for the EJA cup quarter final tie.

St Ives started brightly and created several chances throughout the first half, however conceded a late goal to make it 1-0 at HT.

After the break St Ives equalised when Oscar Quickenden slotted home, St Ives continued to create chances but failed to take advantage. FT 1-1

Extra time, St Ives again continued to create the better chances however conceded from a free kick to make it 2-1 to Walthamstow.

With the game end to end, St Ives pushed for an equaliser and had opportunities in the closing minutes. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts St Ives missed the chance to progress to the semis. A big shout out to the lads today who with a depleted squad gave it their all, we go again!


Ives 3 – 2 Sawston

A hard fought match in difficult windy conditions.

Town showed great character to come from behind to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Wibberley and Windsor (x2).

Players Player of the Match – Sammy Windsor.

Managers Player of the Match – Sidney Reeve.


Ives 1 – 5 Arlesey Town


Ives 2 – 1 Stanway Rovers