Category: Match Reports

Match Report – Dorchester Town 6 St Ives Town 0

Dorchester Town 6 St Ives Town 0

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 16/12/17

There have been some unlucky defeats and some gallant battling defeats in Ives season of toil to date, unfortunately this was neither of those as a very poor display saw them taken apart by a Magpies side that worryingly sit only two places above them in the table. It could not even be said that their hosts are on a great run of form either as they went into this game with only one win in their last six.

Perhaps the preparation was not perfect with a four hour journey through Christmas traffic meaning that at least four players arrived later than the intended 1.30 arrival time. But I fear that is simply clutching at straws.

The early part of the game gave no indication of the one way traffic that was to follow. Tim Trebes was the first keeper called into action as he had to make a smart diving save to his left to keep out a well struck effort from the left corner of the box by Antonio Diaz in 9th minute.

Trebes opposite number Chris Weale was called upon to make what proved to be his most difficult save of the afternoon ten minutes later. A flowing Ives move down the left involving Eugene Libertucci, Jordan Jarrold and Danny Watson saw Phil Draycott get to the bye line and Weale did very well to plunge in at the feet of Ollie Snaith to claim Draycott’s low cross just ahead of the Ives striker.

Play swiftly moved to the other end where Jarrold got a back header to his keeper all wrong and needlessly conceded a corner. He redeemed himself somewhat by getting the resulting in-swinging flag kick away at the near post. But the clearance only got to the edge of the box where Luke Winsper struck a fierce first time effort that deflected inches wide. Ed Bastick’s corner from the opposite side fell to Ross Carmichael on the six yard line Trebes did remarkably well to somehow block his effort at point blank range and was mightily relieve when the flag went up before Phil Ormrod could force home the loose ball.

The pressure from the hosts was slowly starting to build and they went close again in 23rd minute. Neil Martin delivered a long free kick into the box from the left. Carmichael challenged Trebes for the ball in the air and succeeded in knocking the ball down into the goalmouth where Ormrod prodded it goal wards only to be denied by Miles Smith’s block and clearance off the line.

It was beginning to look like Ives might keep on level terms until the break, but that hope was soon expelled in 37th minute. Ormrod pinged a wonderful cross field ball to pick out Mohammad Baghdadi in space just outside the right corner of the box. The Bristol Rovers loanee showed that extra little bit of class that can make a difference as he took in the ball, dropped his shoulder, cut inside Draycott and rifled in a low left foot drive that flashed past the diving Trebes and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

The hosts carved out one more good opportunity just before the break as Bastick got to the bye line on the left and delivered a dangerous cross into the box that Trebes did well to tip away from Ormrod. But Diaz was arriving at the back post, fortunately Jarrold did just enough to hassle him into knocking the ball wide.

We went into the half time break hopeful that Ives could find a way back into this game and they started the second half quite brightly. Watson was within inches of finding debutant Ben Baker in space inside the hosts box.

However it all started to unravel in 51st minute as Magpies full back Kyle Egan was inexplicably allowed to run fully sixty yards unchallenged down the right deep into Ives box before unselfishly turning the ball inside to Billy Lowes who gratefully accepted the gift and slotted home past the exposed Trebes from ten yards.

Ives had an appeal for a penalty turned away two minutes later. Draycott drilled a free kick from 25 yards into the Magpies wall and as the ball rebounded to him he rifled it back into the mix in the box. The ball ricochet off a defender and appeared to hit the arm of Martin before it was hacked clear. But the referee quickly waved away the appeals.

After this it quickly started become the Baghdadi show as the 21 year old German winger and full back Egan started to enjoy themselves down the right. The two combined in 55th minute with Egan providing the telling pass that put Diaz into space on the edge of the box. Trebes did well to parry his fierce drive, and Ormrod following up fired the loose ball well over.

Egan and Baghdadi seemed to be mesmerising the left side of Ives defence and they carved their way through again three minutes later. Baghdadi again picked up the pass from Egan on the right hand corner of the visitors box. This time he drifted inside Jarrold and the attempted cover of Draycott before firing into the bottom corner of the net to grab his second and the Magpies third.

Manager Ricky Marheineke instantly made a double substitution replacing Jarrold and the strangely ineffective Rogan McGeorge with Tom McGowan and Peter Clark. But the damage was done and as any remaining confidence ebbed out of the Ives, the hosts were now in ebullient mood and the next goal followed in 64th minute. Ormrod rose highest to a corner from the left and Trebes did very well to block his near post header. Unfortunately for him, although perhaps not surprisingly on the day, Baghdadi was the first man to react to the loose ball and fired it home through the crowd to claim his hat trick.

Things went from bad to worse for the Ives as the young winger claimed his fourth in 75th minute. This time it was Martin who was allowed to roam deep into Ives territory unchallenged. He fed the ball into the feet of Baghdadi just outside the box and a smart one, two, with substitute David Jerrard saw the winger clean through with only Trebes to beat and a clever finish under the body of the spreading keeper did the rest.

The final nail in Ives coffin on this dismal day in the South West arrived deep in added time and unsurprisingly Baghdadi was at the heart of it again as he returned the compliment to Jerrard sliding a ball through the right channel to put the substitute clear and he in turn slotted the ball past the exposed Trebes to conclude the proceedings.

The only good news on the day was that Chesham’s FA Trophy tie had been called off and re-scheduled for Tuesday hence we do not now have to visit them until the end of January. At least that gives manager Marheineke an opportunity to get two training sessions in before what has now become a massive fixture against fellow strugglers Gosport Borough next Saturday. The principles of basic defending look like they need to be on the menu.

The final word however must be a well done to young Baghdadi who left the ground with a big smile on his face and the match ball under his arm. Today he looked like a real potential star of the future, but without stealing his thunder a little I have to say that we just did not learn against him giving him way to much space and allowing him to come inside onto his left foot every time. If he has not gone on up the football pyramid by the time the Magpies visit us in April I shall be amazed, but if he is still with them we must learn from today.

Score : Dorchester Town  6  St Ives Town  0

Goals : none

St Ives team : Trebes, Smith, Jarrold (Clark 59), Ferrell, Kelly (capt), McGeorge (Mc Gowan 59), Baker, Libertucci, Watson (Rogers 78), Snaith, Draycott

Unused subs : Groves, Warner-Eley

Supporters man of the match : Danny Watson

Attendance  :  360

Report by Nigel Howlett

Match Report – Downham Town U18 1 St Ives Town U18 3

Downham Town U18  1 St Ives Town U18  3  

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division – 14/12/17

The young Ives side took another step in their education as they needed to come from behind to take the three points from battling opponents on a bitterly cold evening in the fens.

This fixture was previously set for a much more balmy evening in the middle of September when the Ives raced into a three goal lead inside the first twenty minutes before the fixture was abandoned due to a serious injury to one of the Downham players. However on their return visit the Ives were met by a much more resilient hosts who looked the more positive from the off and it was no real surprise when they went in front after only twelve minutes as Josh Ford and Dan Murphy combined on the right and Jessie Tierney got across Jamie Short at the near post to knock home the latter’s low cross.

Ives were playing against a strengthening breeze in this first period and keeper Tom Smith was cleverly keeping his kicks low into the teeth of the wind. Two minutes later Jordan Locke flicked on a Smith goal kick in the centre circle. Harry Sargent instantly brought the ball under control and fed it through into the run of Martin Saunders cutting in from the left. But Saunders well struck effort from the edge of the box was deflected inches wide. Locke climbed highest to the resulting corner, but could not keep his header down.

The pitch was cutting up following the recent rain and the combination of a bumpy pitch and strong wind was making good football difficult, it was definitely a night for the hard workers on the park, not one for the connoisseurs. Cobi Thomas showed the work ethic well in 36th minute as he chased back on the right hand side to win back a ball after it looked like Sam Gosling was going to get away. Having won the ball back he fed it inside to Owen King who slotted a ball through the right hand channel for the ever willing Sargent to chase. Home keeper Ryan Brown looked the favourite to win the race, but Sargent was braver and stronger winning the challenge to earn himself the opportunity to roll the ball into the empty net for Ives equaliser.

The hosts should have gone back in front on the stroke of half time as Murphy bravely battled his way deep into Ives territory on the left. His driven cross was expertly flicked on by Fraser McManus and Josh Ford arrived all on his own in acres of space at the back post. He had time to take a touch, but instinctively stabbed at the ball and rolled his effort inches wide of the post with the goal at his mercy.

After ten minutes in the pleasant warmth of the changing rooms no one was to keen to come out for the second half. But with the strengthening, and even more biting, Northerly wind now at their backs Ives began to take control of the game. Sargent used the wind to his advantage to put the visitors in front in 56th minute. With keeper Brown struggling to get distance on his goal kicks he handed duties to one of his defenders. But Jamie Bowler did little better with his effort which fell to the feet of Sargent 25 yards from goal. The big centre forward to a touch and then rifled an effort on the breeze over Brown and into the roof of the net giving the keeper no chance.

Almost straight from the kick off the silky Emre Tursucu threaded a ball through to put Tierney clear into the box. But Smith was equal to his effort from 15 yards plunging to his left to turn the shot round the post. The resulting corner lead to a scramble in the visitor’s box but the ball was eventually hacked away to safety.

With Saunders still recovering from an injury and only capable of playing the first 60 minutes and Thomas already limped out of the action at half time Ives were forced into an unusual formation for them on the hour as Matt Harvey came on to replace Saunders and went into a back three with Mitchell Pillin and Jamie Short moving up into a midfield four and Louis Bald joining Sam Bond and Sargent in a front three.

Although manager Jack Cassidy was somewhat forced into this formation it worked very effectively with the solidity and strength of Short and Pillin very quickly preventing the hosts building anything through the centre of the park. Short was involved in creating a golden opportunity for Bond to increase the Ives lead in 72nd minute. Smith cleverly picked out Short by the half way line and he combined with Bond down the right before having his low drive palmed around the post by Brown. The resulting corner was kept alive at the back post by Short who laid it back to Bald just inside the box. His low ball into the centre found Bond completely unmarked six yards out in the centre of goal. He got his shot on target, but Brown somehow managed to keep it out with his legs.

Short continued to be at the heart of everything that Ives were doing going forward and his powerful run down the centre set up an opportunity for Sargent to claim his hat trick four minutes from time. But big striker skied his effort well over the top from just inside the box.

The third goal did finally arrive one minute later as King found his corner from the left knocked back to him and he hammered back a rasping drive from a narrow angle that Brown deflected up into the air. But the ball dropped to the back post where Harvey was first to react to ram the it home from point blank range to claim his opening Ives goal.

Everyone was pleased to hear the final whistle and grab the opportunity to return to the warmth a few minutes later. The journey back across the bleak fen was made all the better with three more points in the bag from another good, solid performance.

St Ives Team : Smith, Kwiatkowski, Pillin, Short (capt), Locke, Cawte, Thomas (Bald 45), King, Sargent, Bond, Saunders (Harvey 61)

Unused subs : none

Goals : Sargent 36, 56, Harvey 87

Attendance :  approx. 20

Report by Nigel Howlett

Match Report – Kettering Town 4 St Ives Town 1

Kettering Town 4 St Ives Town 1

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 05/12/17

A visit to Kettering is usually going to mean an uncomfortable evening and it is usually somewhere we venture to more with hope than expectation of a result. But in the very open first half of this game Ives matched their illustrious opponents for long periods and troubled them a number of times. They were perhaps a little unfortunate to go into the break a goal behind. However the second half was a completely different story as they found themselves completely blow away by a Poppies whirlwind as the promotion chasing hosts raised their game and tore open the visitor’s struggling back line almost at will and, but for a heroic display from keeper Tim Trebes the mauling could have been even worse.

In a very rare event in a disrupted season much troubled by injuries and unavailability there was the unusual site of an unchanged starting eleven for Ives following Saturday’s excellent point against Banbury. The confidence that the visitors had taken from that fixture could so easily have been lifted further in sixth minute as Ollie Snaith’s clip to the back post drifted over Liam Bateman and dropped to the feet of Phil Draycott ten yards out. He hit his shot well and had it been inches either side of keeper Paul White it would have gone in, but unfortunately it was straight at the Poppies stopper and rebounded to safety off his feet.

The hosts lifted themselves after that lucky escape and only two minutes later it took an excellent last ditch block from Miles Smith to prevent Lindon Meikle lashing home Ben Milne’s through ball.

Failure to effectively clear a free kick into their box cost the Ives dear as the Poppies went ahead in 17th minute. The ball was fed back into the box by Ben Toseland and Brett Solkhon cleverly laid it through into the run of Aaron O’Connor who hit a crisp right footed shot past the exposed Trebes from ten yards.

Ives were still very much in the game as it swung from end to end and they went close again from the second of two corners in quick succession in 22nd minute. The ball was fed back to Ben Seymour-Shove wide on the left and he returned an in-swinging cross back into the danger zone. Keeper White came to claim, but was deceived as the ball held up in the breeze and completely missed it. Fortunately for the red faced custodian Gary Mulligan had read the situation and was on hand to hack the ball off the line.

Play swung back to the other end and on the half hour O’Connor caused confusion as he ran at the defence from the left side before sliding the ball inside to tee up Gary Stohrer whose shot was blocked by Lewis Ferrell. But the ball fell to Milnes who carefully curled his shot inches wide of Trebes left hand post from the edge of the box.

Only seconds later a mix up between Smith and Draycott allowed Toselan to get away down the left. His driven cross was palmed away by Trebes at his near post. Rene Howe was first to the loose ball, but Lloyd Groves was on had to prevent him forcing it over the line.

There was a strong cross wind blowing across the ground and this was causing keeper White some real problems. Eight minutes before the break he again misjudged a curling cross into the box. This time it was Seymour-Shove’s free kick from the left. He dropped the ball into the pack of legs just outside the six yard box. But again he got lucky as Mulligan came to his rescue stabbing the ball away before an Ives leg could prod it home.

So the visitors went in for their cup of tea perhaps feeling the more contented of the two sides and thinking there were real possibilities that they could get something from this game. The hosts on the other hand, although in front probably got a roasting from their manager as they came out for the second half fully charged up and tore into the Ives from the off.

Straight from the kick off Howe put Stohrer away and although his initial shot was blocked O’Connor curled the loose ball inches over the top from just outside the box.

In what proved to be a rare venture into Poppies territory in the second period Seymour-Shove was played into a good shooting position only moments later following a flowing move involving Kelly and Snaith. But the speedy winger snatched at his effort and fired high and wide and the chance to rattle the hosts was gone.

The one way traffic then began, only four minutes later Miekle sped down the left flank before laying the ball back to Toseland who had roamed forward to support his attack. The young full back’s rising drive from 20 yards was excellently tipped over by the leaping Trebes.

But the stay of execution was only delayed, and the hosts doubled their advantage in the next attack in 54th minute as Stohrer and O’Connor combined well on the right before the latter’s cross was deflected into the path of Howe who swept the ball home from close range giving Trebes no chance.

Ives were not completely finished and reminded their hosts that they were still in the game two minutes later. An excellent cross field ball from Kelly picked out Seymour-Shove in space cutting in from the left. He got past Bateman before unleashing a powerful effort from a narrow angle which beat White at his near post, but cannoned away off the upright.

The visitors could so easily have fallen three behind in 59th minute. Smith picked up a yellow card for hauling down Meikle just outside the box on the left. Toseland fired the free kick over the wall forcing Trebes into a diving save to his left. The loose ball was fed back into the box and fell to substitute Matty Stevens who had only entered the fray a couple of minutes earlier. He looked like he only had to pick his spot, but somehow managed to hit the post with the goal at his mercy. It was beginning to look a little like a shooting gallery in and around the Ives box, but the defenders continued to bravely put their bodies on the line to try and keep the rampant Poppies at bay. In 65th minute shots from Milnes and Stevens were blocked by Ferrell and Groves respectively and Bateman following up blazed the loose ball high over the bar from a good position.

Full back Toseland again got forward to help out his attack in 73rd minute and his venture forward created the third Poppies goal as he got clear down the left and cut in on goal. Trebes blocked his initial shot at his near post, but the ball was fed back into the centre where Howe moved it on to Milnes who found just enough space to turn and slot it into the net off the inside of the keeper’s left hand post.

Trebes was again in action in 78th minute leaping high to his right to fingertip away a fierce drive from Ben Baker as he cut in from the right.

The gallant keeper was beaten for a fourth time in 82nd minute Stevens was put clean through one on one with the keeper. Trebes stayed big and blocked the striker’s initial effort with his legs. But none of his defenders could come to his aid as Rhys Hoenes was first to the loose ball and swept it into the empty net.

Ives grabbed a consolation goal in bizarre fashion three minutes from time. Michael Richens would have disappointed his manager as he picked up a completely needless yellow card for hauling down Ives substitute Eugene Libertucci 30 yards from goal. Draycott fired the resulting free kick high up into the breeze aiming for the far post. Keeper White watched it go up in the air and arc around, but seemed convinced it was going out. Much to his disgust it arced over his head and went in off the back post to ruin any clean sheet bonus that may have been heading the way of he and his defenders.

There was still time for Trebes to make yet another save as he held on well to Howe’s flicked header from Milnes free kick. White also had chance to redeem himself a little as he did well to tip away a rasping drive from Rogan McGeorge deep in added time.

Score : Kettering Town  4  St Ives Town  1

Goals : Draycott 87

St Ives team : Trebes, Smith, Jarrold, Ferrell, Groves, McGeorge, Seymour-Shove (Watson 62), McGowan (capt) (Libertucci 45), Kelly (Sawyer 79), Snaith, Draycott

Unused subs : Short

Sponsors man of the match : Tim Trebes

Attendance  :  499

Report by Nigel Howlett

Match Report – St Ives Town U18 2 Peterborough Northern Star U 18 0

St Ives Town U18  2  Peterborough Northern Star U18  0

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division – 04/12/17

A goal in each half capped off a thoroughly professional performance from the developing young Ives side as they controlled this game throughout and but for a few missed chances could have won by a better margin. The side again contained predominantly first years but the experience was still there in the back line which was well marshalled throughout by captain Jamie Short, and performed well enough to ensure that keeper Tom Smith only had one real save to make in the entire 90 minutes. The young central midfield pairing of Owen King and George Cawte in spite of being out numbered in the middle of the park constantly took the game to their opposition. With the now experienced Billy Mobbs on one flank and the exciting prospect Louis Bald making his first start on the opposite side there was plenty of pace and trickery in the wide positions. All feeding a front two of Sam Bond and the ever willing Harry Sargent.

Considering that it was only the second Thurlow Nunn game that most of these players had started together Ives began the game well and were immediately in the ascendency. They went close in only 7th minute as a George Cawte free kick from just inside the Star half was only half cleared to Sargent 25 yards from goal. He took on the dropping ball and hit a dipping volley that pulled an excellent save from Star keeper Fabio D’Agnano who leapt high to his left to tip the ball onto the crossbar. Mobbs was following up and latched onto the loose ball, but hammered his effort well wide with the goal at his mercy.

The hosts continued to press forward and Mobbs went close again seven minutes later as he got onto the end of a ball threaded through the right channel by Owen King. Rather than go for power Mobbs decided to go for precision this time and tried lobbing D’Agnano from just inside the box, but his effort crept inches over the crossbar.

It continued to be all Ives, but they were struggling to find away through the resilient Star back line. Jordan Locke ventured up field for the next free kick delivered into the visitor’s box in 29th minute. He got on the end of a ball which was knocked down to him, but miskicked his effort allowing a Star defender to hack the ball away. But Bald was onto the loose ball in a flash and teed himself up for a volley from 25 yards that skimmed the crossbar with D’Agnano beaten.

The goal which had been threatening finally arrived seven minutes before the break from yet another Cawte free kick delivered into the danger zone. Two defenders got in each others way and only succeeded in knocking the ball down to the lurking Locke six yards from goal and this time he made no mistake slamming home the loose ball past the exposed keeper.

Star’s only threatening effort in the first period came three minutes later as Joe Carr curled a free kick from 30 yards just over the top. But Smith watched the effort confident in the knowledge that if needed he had it covered.

Ives should have doubled their advantage right on the break as Cawte slid a ball through into the perfectly timed run of Bond to put him through one on one with the keeper. But a slightly heavy first touch from the striker allowed D’Agnano to bravely slide in and block Bond’s effort with his body at point blank range.

Smith’s only real save of the night came in 58th minute as Segun Okunrinboye curled a 25 yard free kick around the Ives wall forcing Smith to plunge full length to his left and turn the effort around the post.

But the previous flow of the game soon resumed as Sargent got free on the right and tested D’Agnano again with a first time effort from the corner of the box that forced the keeper into another save low to his left.

Sargent was denied on that occasion, but his persistence paid off seven minutes later as he harried Ban Gale into a mistake robbing the defender just outside his own box. Sargent cut across the edge of the face of goal and as other defenders came to close him down he unleashed a low left foot drive that beat D’Agnano low to his right and went in the bottom corner of the net.

Sargent was giving Gale a tough time and again he robbed him in 71st minute and looked like he was clean through on goal. But to his credit the Star defender recovered on this occasion and came in with a perfectly timed tackle to take the ball off the Ives striker’s toe just as he shaped to shoot.

Ives continued to dominate and yet another Cawte free kick set up an opportunity in 75th minute. This time Short got on the end of it at the near post and got the perfect flick to the back post where the ball just evaded the late arriving Sargent.

Keeper Smith did get a bit more action twelve minutes from time as he sprinted from his line to just beat Star debutant Mamsaliu Cande to a ball over the top well outside his box. But he mishit his attempted clearance straight at Harry Catanach fully 30 yards from goal. Left with the dilemma of trying to retreat, or keeping going Smith went for the positive and was proved right as he successfully blocked Catanach’s effort with his body a long way from goal and his team mates came to his aid by hacking the loose ball to safety.

The referee had handed out some odd yellow cards during the evening, Liam Harper for Star, and Cawte for Ives, were both unfortunate recipients. However Adam Kelly earned himself an unlikely accolade as he picked up a deserved caution before he had even kicked a ball as he came on to replace the tiring Bald in 79th minute and picked up his card for clattering Catanach less than 30 seconds later.

Not surprisingly the final chance of the evening fell to the Ives with ten minutes to go as yet another Cawte free kick was flicked on by King and fell to the feet of Short at the back post. He struck his effort from eight yards well, but was denied by the legs of the well positioned D’Agnano.

Overall a good three points, but more importantly more game time together for these lads as the quest to build for next season continues by blooding more of the youngsters. Next up for the lads is a County Cup Quarter Final at St Neots and the way that these lads have performed will make it a very difficult decision for manager Jack Cassidy deciding the team that he puts out.

St Ives Team : Smith, Kwiatkowski, Pillin, Short (capt), Locke, King, Bald (Kelly 79), Cawte, Bond, Mobbs, Sargent

Unused subs : Oldale, Harvey

Goals : Locke 38, Sargent 67

Attendance :  27

Report by Nigel Howlett

Ladies & Colts Round Up & Match Reports – 3 Dec

2 wins for the Ladies. A loss and a draw for the Colts

St Ives Ladies continued their recent good form with an outstanding performance and 8-0 win over March Town in the League Cup quarter final on Sunday. Georgia Stancombe was one of the stars in an all round team performance, and got the game of to a good start for the hosts when she opened the scoring after beating her marker and slotting calmly past the March keeper. Not content with that, she went on to score her third hat trick of the season before half time, with a fantastic run and finish from Hannah Seymour-Shove in between those goals. March were no pushovers, and came out from half time with the desire to press the Saints quickly, but no matter what they tried the home side rose to the occasion and played around their opponents. Inevitably, St Ives continued to push forwards and added further goals in the second half from Georgia Stancombe, Hannah Seymour-Shove and Katherine Speed to end the game with a 8-0 victory and put themselves into the hat for the semi-finals. Such was the performance from every player, that the whole team was awarded Player of the Match to reflect the complete nature of the performance.

Darren Marjoram said

“This was a fantastic performance from the whole team, not just in terms of their skill and ability but also importantly in their work rate and approach to the game. The entire Ladies squad that we have at St Ives is an amazing group who really are like one big family, and I think that is reflected in the performances both teams have been putting in recently. Paul Swannell, who is the Club goalkeeping coach, has been working hard with our keepers over the last few weeks, and that has also seen us improve further. Probably most importantly of all, adding Lisa Trigg to the coaching staff has been a huge positive for us this season, and the future of St Ives Ladies looks very good indeed. “

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 10 Dec – Newmarket Town Ladies (H) – Cambs Women’s Premiership
  • Sun 17 Dec – Peterborough ICA Sports (A) – Cambs Women’s Premiership

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Lisa Trigg’s St Ives Town’s Development side also recorded a cup victory with their hard fought 1-0 win at Cambridge Rangers in the Division 1 cup. The game was a tight affair, as the score line suggests, but the sides were separated by another goal for St Ives captain Georgia Rebane. The Saints managed to see off the Cambridge Rangers attacks through the game with some determined defending to record their third clean sheet of the season and maintain their excellent start to the campaign. The result means they extend their record to only 1 defeat in 7 games across all competitions. Georgina Astley was awarded the Player of the Match for her flawless performance at the back.

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 10 Dec – Isleham United Ladies (H) – Cambs Women’s Championship South

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The U15’s had a tough day losing 4-0 at Histon in the EJA Yellow Division.

Manager Paul Everest had the following to say –

Tough game for under 15’s v Histon in the EJA Leaguetoday. Lost to the better team, but we can learn from our errors and mistakes and regroup after a tough run of games. Next week we make the short trip to Leiston in the Presidents Cup.

Eastern Junior Alliance Yellow Division – Table up to & including 3/12/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 10 Dec – Leiston (A) – Presidents Cup 2nd Round

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The U14’s didn’t have a game and resume next week in the County Cup.

  • Sun 10 Dec – Godmanchester Rovers (A) – U14 Hunts County Cup Quarter Final
  • Sun 17 Dec – Stotfold (A) – League Challenge Cup Quarter Final

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The U13’s played out an exciting 4-4 draw at Mildenhall.

The Ives goals came from Damien Boakye, Harvey Donaldson, Luke Dunn & Daniel Legg

The U13 management had the following to say via Twitter –

A brilliant game, great football played by both teams. Our attitude and desire was outstanding today. Man of the match – Daniel Legg, his attitude and desire shone through. Topped of with a goal.

Cambridge & District Colts League U13A Division – Table up to & including 3/12/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 10 Dec – Saffron Walden Community Youth Blues (A) – League Challenge Cup
  • Sun 17 Dec – Exning United (H) – Cambs & District Colts League U13A Division

Match Report – St Ives Town 2 Banbury United 2

St Ives Town 2 Banbury United 2

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 02/12/17

The Puritans came to the Pro-Edge Stadium boasting an away record bettered only by League leaders King’s Lynn with an impressive six wins on the road already under their belts and were probably expecting another full points return from their second from bottom hosts. They certainly did not expect the early battering which they received that saw them two behind in 25 minutes. All in the ground except referee Paul Forrester would have also awarded a penalty to the hosts for a blatant handball during this early pressure. 

With James Goff returning to Northampton Town Ives supporters were pleased to welcome a familiar face back between the sticks as fans favourite Tim Trebes made his seasonal debut. Another debutant who looks likely to quickly become a fans favourite is Ollie Snaith who has made the short move across from tenants Cambridge City.

Snaith was instantly in the action as the game was only in the second minute when he closed down an under hit back pass to Jack Harding forcing the visitor’s keeper into a hurried clearance that went straight to Rogan McGeorge inside the centre circle. McGeorge’s first time effort turned into a goal as good as the one we have all seen recently by Wayne Rooney on television as the ball sailed over the stranded Harding and into the gaping net.

McGeorge was at the heart of the action again only four minutes later as he ran onto a Phil Draycott pass on the left edge of the box. His attempted clip into the danger zone to pick out Danny Kelly was cut out by the raised arm of defender Jack Self. All present on both occasions would suggest a much more blatant handball than Dan Moyes which gave Hitchin a route back into last Tuesdays game. But referee Forrester was right on the spot and deemed the contact accidental.

The resulting corner was almost turned home for an own goal at the near post by Tom Bradbury as he struggled to stop Phil Draycott getting in front of him. Ben Seymour-Shove’s follow up corner was then pawed away at full stretch by Harding as Ives continued to pile on the pressure.

The Puritans first opportunity in this pulsating early period arrived in 10th minute as the tricky Tom Winters found some space on the left and delivered a low cross which veteran striker Jefferson Louis got on the end of, but only succeeded in deflecting his effort wide from a good position.

Ives doubled their advantage in 25th minute as Seymour-Shove robbed a dallying Ricky Johnson just inside the visitor’s half. He broke away down the right with the ball and delivered a cross which was only half cleared to McGeorge just outside the box. His well struck shot was blocked, but the ball ricocheted back to Seymour-Shove who hung up a teasing cross that Snaith attacked in the centre. He did not get clean contact, but his close range header still deceived the efforts of two defenders and keeper Harding and crept over the line.

Ives were now purring and a flowing move down the left involving Seymour-Shove, Snaith and Kelly ended with the latter firing his effort straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.

Having enjoyed the lion’s share of the first period, and been good value for their two goal advantage, Ives were perhaps a little unlucky to see that lead halved nine minutes before the break. Self picked out Winters on the left with an excellent cross field ball. The winger delivered a cross that looked a little to deep but Louis did well to keep the ball alive. He got past Jordan Jarrold before delivering a powerful cross shot that Trebes did well to stop, but could not hold. Self had continued his run and was first to react firing home the loose ball.

The hosts came out at the start of the second half determined to restore their two goal cushion. The period was only 45 second old when a flowing move involving Snaith and Draycott saw the former roll the ball into the run of Seymour-Shove on the right hand edge of the box. But his rising drive did not trouble Harding as it flew high and wide.

Seven minutes later Tom McGowan fed Kelly who in turn slid a ball into the feet of Snaith. His first time effort from the edge of the box took a deflection off Johnson to make it a comfortable save for Harding.

The Puritans enjoyed a good spell around the hour with Winters continuing to be at the centre of most of their good work going forward. It took an excellent bloc at the back post to keep out a Louis drive as he got on the end of a deflected driven cross from the tricky winger that had got through the crowd in the centre of goal. Winters also fired a free kick from just outside the box inches wide in 62nd minute. The winger again teed up Louis two minutes later and this time the big striker’s powerful effort from the edge of the box was turned around the post by a diving Trebes.

But it was not all one way traffic and the battling McGeorge forced his way through the centre before rolling the ball into Snaith just inside the box in 67th minute. But the busy striker was denied the chance by an assistant’ flag.

Snaith had another shot on goal three minutes later after Kelly had held the ball up well and played it into him 25 yards out. He struck the shot cleanly, but straight at keeper Harding who held on well. The big chance for Ives to kill the game off arrived ten minutes from the end of the ninety. Seymour-Shove threaded a perfect ball into the well timed run of Snaith to put him clear into the box. But the young striker’s first touch was just a little bit heavy which gave Harding the chance to plunge in at his feet and bravely block his effort at point blank range.

By this stage in the game the Ives were beginning to tire as the fitness on some of the players who have recently returned from injury began to tell. But they were still willing to put their bodies on the line to preserve their slender advantage. Both Lewis Ferrell and Lloyd Groves did well to block efforts from Conor McDonagh and Louis respectively as the clock ticked down.

In spite of their gallant efforts, as has happened so often this season, Ives conceded late on in the simplest fashion. Louis won a long ball down the middle in the air and a tiring Jarrold failed to go with his man allowing substitute McDonagh to run onto the ball unchallenged and slot it past the exposed Trebes to grab a point for his side.

It could have got worse for the Ives as Louis skilfully turned inside his man deep into the fifth minute of added time and curled an effort from 20 yards that beat Trebes and rattled his left hand post. Fortunately Jarrold found enough energy to just beat McDonagh to the loose ball to preserve the valuable point.

Overall an excellent point given the visitor’s away form which we would have probably taken before the start. But having lead for so long it felt like two points dropped at the end. However it is beginning to look like manager Ricky Marheineke’s rebuilding plans are starting to bear fruit as the lads coming in are all battlers. After going close to getting the honour on Tuesday night Rogan McGeorge won his first man of the match award something his all action style is going to put him in the frame for every week. His closest challengers were also newcomers as Lloyd Groves and particularly the livewire Ollie Snaith were also well in contention. A big challenge awaits at Kettering on Tuesday evening, but anything is possible.

Final Score : St Ives Town  2  Banbury United  2

Goals : McGeorge 2, Snaith 25

St Ives team : Trebes, Smith, Jarrold, Ferrell, Groves, McGeorge, Seymour-Shove (Sawyer 84), McGowan (capt), Kelly (Libertucci 72), Snaith, Draycott

Unused subs : Short

Sponsors man of the match : Rogan McGeorge

Attendance  :  201

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson

Many thanks to match day sponsor Mayiclaim and match ball sponsor R.Costings

Match Report – St Ives Town 1 Hitchin Town 3

St Ives Town 1 Hitchin Town 3 

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 28/11/17

This was another in the long line of heartbreakers this year for the Ives as two late goals saw them deprived of the least they deserved from the game of a point. The hosts more than matched the Canaries for long periods of the first half and were in front at the interval courtesy of a James Hall penalty.

But the game ultimately hinged a moment of huge controversy in the 53rd minute. Keeper James Goff fluffed an attempted clearance against Jonny McNamara who ran onto the loose ball, but stumbled as he hit it at goal. Veteran defender Dan Moyes had got around behind his keeper and blocked the bobbling effort. Unfortunately the match officials deemed that the ball had struck his arm awarding the visitors a spot kick to even things up and even more dramatically waving a red card to Moyes dismissing this gentleman of the game for the first time in his long and illustrious career.

In spite of being down to ten men Ives still continued to go in search of another goal going close on a number of occasions before falling behind to a poorly defended corner in the 89th minute then having insult added to injury as the Canaries killed them off with a break-away goal deep in added time to compound their misery.

Much earlier on the chilly late November evening the game had started in a workman like style as both sides probed the others defence’s without really creating much, although Ives probably edged this opening period in terms of possession. The game lived up just before the half hour as Phil Draycott managed to cut in past his marker and slide an inviting pass in behind the visitor’s back line. Dubi Ogbonna bravely went in with keeper Michael Johnson and just managed to win the race gleaning a corner off the body of the Canary’s custodian as he spread himself to keep the ball out.

Ben Seymour-Shove swung in the resulting flag kick from the left to the back post where the late arriving Tom McGowan looked like he was going to get a free header from eight yards. But as he leapt for the ball he was wrestled down by Lewis Rolfe. Referee Robert Evans was right on the spot and had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Hall did the rest sending keeper Herbert the wrong way with his well struck effort.

Ives pressed forward in search of a second and Draycott and McGowan combined well down the left in 35th minute with the former playing in the latter to run along the bye line. His driven cross could have gone anywhere off friend, or foe, but it ricocheted to safety off Rolfe.

With half time approaching the hosts took their foot of the gas a little and the visitor’s created a couple of chances in quick succession. In 39th minute with Ives struggling to clear their lines Elliot Bailey fed a ball into the feet of Trey Charles and he found just enough space on the corner of the box to curl in an effort that went just inches wide of the far post.

Goff was Ives saviour one minute later as he plunged low to his right to fingertip away a well struck effort from just inside the box by Bailey after he had cleverly run into space to receive a Rolfe free kick in a pre-rehearsed move that almost caught the hosts napping.

The final effort on goal of the first period came in similar pre-rehearsed fashion for the Ives as Draycott got ahead of his marker to get on the end of Seymour-Shove’s in-swinging free kick from the left. He got to the ball first, but did not quite get enough contact and the ball flew across the face of goal to safety.

Ives could so easily have doubled their lead only three minutes after the re-start as Draycott again found space on the left and picked out Hall at the near post with his cross. Hall struck his effort well on the volley and had the shot been inches to the left, or right, of keeper Johnson it would have gone in. Amazingly it was straight at him and the ball cannoned off his body and out for a corner with the custodian admitting “he did not see it”.Having come with millimetres of increasing their lead the hosts were then hit with the double hammer blow of conceding the penalty and going down to ten men only five minutes later. Lucas Kirkpatrick despatched his spot kick in the same emphatic style as Hall to level up the scores.

Ogbonna was the unlikely choice to fill in at centre back for the unfortunate Moyes, but Ives still had ideas of winning this game and continued to push forward at every opportunity. They should have gone back in front only two minutes later as another Seymour-Shove corner resulted in a scramble in the visitor’s goalmouth. The ball fell to Draycott ten yards out and he hit his shot well, but somehow managed to hit Hall with the goal bound effort and the ball rebounded away.In spite of regular centre back Lewis Ferrell coming on to replace the sacrificed Ogbonna and Ives players running their socks off for the cause the extra player began to tell and the Canaries slowly took control of the game. Goff had to be very quick off his line to bravely plunge in and take the ball off the toes of Bailey after he had been put through by Connor Vincent in 76th minute.

The Canaries thought they had gone in front only ninety seconds later as Charlie Smith rattled in a shot from just inside the box that Goff did remarkably well to turn onto the post. But Vincent was lurking to knock home the loose ball only to have his celebration cut short by the assistant’s flag as he had strayed into an offside position.

With time running out we were just hoping against hope that Ives would manage to find a way to hold on for a point. But this has not been a season when we have achieved that well and the cynics amongst us were expecting the worst as Josh Bickerstaff and Charles combined to win a corner with two minutes of the ninety remaining. That initial corner was repelled, but only at the expense of another. This one was delivered from the right by Smith and somehow Bickerstaff found space to rise unchallenged six yards out at the back post his downward header delivered the decisive blow.To their credit the gallant ten men squeezed one last gasp of energy from their tired bodies and drove forward in search of an equaliser. But it was like the charge of the gallant few into the enemy fire as Hitchin caught them on the break and a swift move down the middle was finished from just inside the box by Bailey to delivery the coupe de grace on the sadly wounded Ives.

So many gave so much to the cause it was hard to pick the man of the match award. Home debutant Rogan McGeorge was in the running until picking up a senseless booking for tangling with Johnson twenty minutes from time. The man who won the award was the man who stood out throughout the game and covered every blade of grass, more than once, leading from the front skipper Tom McGowan.

Final Score : St Ives Town  1  Hitchin Town  3

Goals : Hall 29 (pen)

St Ives team : Goff, Smith, Jarrold, Moyes, Goves, McGeorge, Seymour-Shove (Kelly 68), McGowan (capt), Hall, Ogbonna (Ferrell 64), Draycott (Wright 78)

Unused subs : none

Supporters man of the match : Tom McGowan

Attendance  :  175

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson

Match Report – St Ives Town U18 1 King’s Lynn Town U18 1

St Ives Town U18  1  King’s Lynn Town U18  1          

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division – 27/11/17

A very young Ives squad containing nine first years in the fourteen were perhaps a little fortunate to take a point from a game where they struggled to create many clear cut chances. But to their credit every one of them battled all the way and an equaliser three minutes from time by George Cawte gleaned them a hard earned point against the young Linnets who had lead from mid-way through the first half thanks to a well taken goal by Charlie Rudland.

With so many changes to the line up it was always going to take Ives a while to get into their stride and it was the Linnets who were creating the early chances. Rudland combined well with Josh Walker on the left after six minutes. The move finishing with Walker playing in Rudland on the left hand side of the box. The skilful wide man took a touch, but fired over from a good position.

Less than a minute later the visitors were probing the Ives back line again, this time Jack Cropley and Connor Young exchanged passes before the latter fired in an effort from the edge of the box that was fortunately straight at Tom Smith who held on well.

Ives first opportunity arrived in 15th minute as a pass went astray in the Linnets back line. Tiago Dias pounced on the loose ball 25 yards from goal. He took a touch before curling in a well directed effort that forced Lewis Herbert in the visitor’s goal into a diving save low to his left. Billy Mobbs was following up and kept the ball alive, but was unable to pick out Harry Sargent with his ball back into the middle.

In spite of this escape it was still the visitors on top and they went close again in 20th minute as Rudland delivered a long free kick into the box that arrived at the feet of Callum South at the back post. Fortunately Smith was down quickly to keep out his prodded effort by his right hand post.

Ives had a massive escape three minutes later as a Rudland corner from the right was met powerfully in the air by Young eight yards out. His header beat Smith comprehensively, but rattled the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down into the goalmouth. Smith made two remarkable saves to keep the ball out in the ensuing scramble. The second of these certainly looked like he had pulled the ball back from behind the goal line, but the well positioned assistant referee waved play on and the ball was eventually hacked clear.

Having got away with that one Ives were probably looking for time to settle. But it was not forthcoming as the skilful Walker played a peach of a ball over their back line to pick out a perfectly timed run from Rudland. He took the ball in his stride and went around the exposed Smith before netting well from a narrow angle to put the Linnets in front in 24th minute.

Ives had an instant chance to respond as straight from the restart Dias went down the left and delivered a teasing ball into the middle that dropped onto the foot of Mobbs arriving at the back post. Unfortunately the young striker snatched at his chance and volleyed well over the top.

The game evened out for the remainder of the first period with most of the exchanges in midfield and neither side able to create a real opportunity.

The second period started in similar fashion to that which the first ended with both sides struggling to wrestle control in the centre of the park. The first chance of the second half arrived in the 54th minute in unexpected style as the classy Walker made probably his only mistake of the evening misplacing a pass by the half way line that Mobbs pounced on. He slotted a through ball into the channel for Sargent to run onto and the striker out muscled South as he ran onto the ball. However he was pulled back by the referee’s whistle as he bore down on goal with the match official deciding that he had fouled the big Linnets centre back as they tussled for the ball.

Nine minutes later referee Laurie Parnham played an excellent advantage as Mitchell Pillin brought down Cropley by the half way line. The ball was taken on by Young who played a one two with Walker before blazing over from a good position.

Ives substitute Louis Bald was looking very lively and he had the confidence to go for goal from 40 yards in 71st minute as a hurried clearance from keeper Herbert arrived at his feet. Although he got the direction right the attempted lob just lacked sufficient power to clear the fast retreating keeper who made a good catch.

As the game wore on Ives came more and more into it and continued to push forward in search of an equaliser. But it looked like the Linnets defence well marshalled by skipper South was going to hold them at bay. Until three minutes from time when Freddie Collison was deemed to have fouled Mobbs by the left hand corner flag. Mobbs delivered the resulting free kick to the back post where Cawte had crept in undetected and was able to steer his free header between Herbert and the post to level things up.

With their tails now up the hosts went in pursuit of a very unlikely winner. But even though they managed to win a corner deep in added time which gave them chance to crowd the box, including throwing keeper Smith forward for the third game in a row this time a second goal did not arrive and it finished with honours even on an entertaining game.

St Ives Team : Smith, Kwiatkowski, Pillin, Short (capt), Locke (Harvey 81), Cawte, King (Bald 57), Sargent (Oldale 75), Mobbs, Dias

Unused subs : none

Goals : Cawte 87

Attendance :  32

Report by Nigel Howlett

Ladies & Colts Round Up – 26 Nov

A Win and a draw for the Ladies. Disappointment for the Colts

The Ladies first team met Cambridge University Women’s again after handing them a heavy 15-0 defeat last week. To the University’s credit they gave the Ladies a much tougher test this time around which resulted in a 2-0 win for the Ives.
Amy Seymour-Shove & Georgia Stancombe got the goals. Ellie Brown & Mollie Flack were jointly awarded ‘Player of the Match’
They currently sit in 2nd position, 6 points behind Netherton, but with 2 games in hand
S-Tech Women’s Premiership. Table up to & including 26/11/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 3 Dec – March Town United Ladies (H) – Women’s League Cup Quarter Final
  • Sun 10 Dec – Newmarket Town Ladies (H) – Cambs Women’s Premiership
  • Sun 17 Dec – Peterborough ICA Sports (A) – Cambs Women’s Premiership

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The Ladies Development played out 2-2 draw with current leaders Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds.

Molly Berryman & Connie Liddiard got the Ives goals. Leah Culpin was awarded ‘Player of the Match’

They are handily placed in 3rd spot, 3 points behind, but with 1 & 2 games in hand respectively over 2nd & 1st.

S-Tech Cambs Women’s Championship South – Table up to & including 26/11/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 3 Dec – Cambridge Rangers (A) – Women’s First Division Cup
  • Sun 10 Dec – Isleham United Ladies (H) – Cambs Women’s Championship South

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The U15’s visited local rivals Godmanchester Town narrowly losing 2-1 in the Eastern Junior Alliance.

Manager Paul Everest described the game as “Great tough game today…. Some really good football from both teams.”

They are still very handily placed in the league with over two thirds of the season still to play.

Eastern Junior Alliance Yellow Division – Table up to & including 26/11/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 3 Dec – Histon (A) – EJA U15 Yellow Division
  • Sun 10 Dec – Leiston (A) – Presidents Cup 2nd Round

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The U14’s suffered a 4-0 reverse at leaders AFC Sudbury in the Eastern Junior Alliance, leaving them in 3rd place in the Green Division.

The U14 Twitter feed said of the performance “played poorly and gave our hosts too much time and respect…”

U14 Eastern Junior Alliance Green Division – Table up to & including 26/11/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 10 Dec – Godmanchester Rovers (A) – U14 Hunts County Cup Quarter Final
  • Sun 17 Dec – Stotfold (A) – League Challenge Cup Quarter Final

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The U13’s met Waterbeach Colts for the 3rd time this season. Having won the previous encounters 14-4 & 3-0, the Ives were looking for a hat-trick. It was Waterbeach however, who landed the spoils on this occasion with a 4-1 victory.

The U13 Twitter feed said of the Ives display “An under whelming performance, beaten by a side who were more up for the game today.”

Cambridge & District Colts League U13A Division – Table up to & including 26/11/17

Upcoming fixtures

  • Sun 3 Dec – Mildenhall Town (A) – Cambs & District Colts League U13A Division
  • Sun 10 Dec – Saffron Walden Community Youth Blues (A) – League Challenge Cup
  • Sun 17 Dec – Exning United (H) – Cambs & District Colts League U13A Division

Match Report – Stratford Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Stratford Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 25/11/17

After Tuesday nights demolition at Hereford this looked a more winnable game with the Town sitting only four places above the Ives in the table. To balance against the hosts position in the table their record at the strangely named MoodChimp Stadium is impressive as they still remain unbeaten in the League at home this season so getting a result was never going to be easy.

However those that watched the game will be acutely aware that Ives performance on the day was worthy of getting a point particularly in the second half when they ran the game for long periods. Unfortunately football is all about what happens in the two penalty areas and on a day when the hosts managed to score three from their seven efforts at goal Ives failed to register a single goal from thirteen attempts. The days of the rock-solid Ives defence appear to be a distant memory and defensive errors at one end are presently being compounded by an attack which seems to lack confidence to find the net at the other.

Ives have been badly hampered by injuries to key players throughout this season and the injury hoodoo struck again after only five minutes as the influential Peter Clark pulled his hamstring and limped out of the action to give new signing Rogan McGeorge an earlier than anticipated debut.

The early exchanges were fairly even and the first real effort on goal did not arrive until 18th minute when Lee Thomas combined well with Will Grocott on the left before the latter teed up Justin Marsden 20 yards out. His first-time effort struck an Ives defender and ricocheted away. Loud appeals for handball were swiftly turned down by the well positioned referee Robbie Dadley.

Ives went close at the other end only seconds later as Phil Draycott combined with James Hall down the left. Draycott’s return ball allowing Hall to get the bye line. His low cross to the near post was wildly sliced away off the outside of defender James Fry’s boot. The Town skipper was very fortunate that the ball flew just wide of the far post and out for a corner.

Town went close to going in front in their next attack in 23rd minute as Ben Stephens got on the end of a flick over the top of the Ives back line. As the ball dropped Stephens tried to cleverly lift it over keeper James Goff on the volley. He got the lift over Goff perfectly, but slightly overhit the effort and the ball dropped onto the roof of the net.

The tricky Town winger was not to be denied for long though as he was the man that put the hosts in front less than a minute later. Yet another move on the left hand side saw Thomas and Marsden exchange passes before the latter played the ball into the run of Stephens who was allowed to roam forward with the ball and unleashed a powerful drive from 25 yards that beat the diving Goff and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

Going behind seemed to knock the wind out of the visitor’s sails and the hosts enjoyed a purple patch for the next few minutes. Goff had to be very sharp off his line to bravely take the ball off the toes of Jazz Luckie after the big centre forward had been put clear by Stephens in 26th minute.

Town doubled their advantage in 29th minute with a goal that will disappoint the Ives management team. Jordan Jarrold lost possession deep in home territory. Loyiso Recci delivered a long ball down the centre of the park which seemed to catch Lewis Ferrell off balance and the ball drifted over his head. Luckie lived up to his name as he was left completely free to run onto the loose ball and hammer it left footed past the exposed Goff.

To their credit Ives responded instantly and straight from the kick off Draycott drove down the left and worked his way to the bye line past Daniel Summerfield. He looked up and pulled the ball back to the far post where both Hall and Ben Seymour-Shove were waiting. But with Seymour-Shove calling for the ball, the stretching Hall took it away from him, but only succeeded in prodding his effort wide and the chance was gone.

Ives went even closer six minutes before the break as Seymour-Shove worked his way down the left and picked out Ogbonna at the near post. The Ives striker took the ball down brilliantly and hit a fierce effort on the turn that beat home keeper Louis Connor but clipped the top of the crossbar and went over.

The final opportunity of the first period in added time also fell to the busy Ogbonna as he found space at the back post to get on the end of Draycott’s corner from the right. But he was left beating the ground in frustration as he failed to hit the target with his free header.

The second half opened at break neck pace with both sides going close in the first two minutes. Seymour-Shove and Ogbonna combined to feed in Tom McGowan cutting in from the right. His low drive from just inside the box deflected off Fry and curled inches over the top with keeper Connor beaten. The resulting corner was cleared and Marsden fed through for a clear run on goal. He got his body shape all right and clipped the ball past the advancing Goff, but just past the far post much to Ives relief.

With McGeorge and McGowan snapping away in the centre of the park Ives began to win the midfield battle and push their opponents back as they went in search of a route back into the game. They went close again in 62nd minute as Seymour-Shove curled a free kick into the Town box. The ball was headed up into the air by a stretching James Hancocks. Ogbonna bravely won the challenge to get to the dropping ball and knocked it goalwards, but it was blocked and scrambled away.

Four minutes later a deep Seymour-Shove corner was headed back into the mix by Miles Smith. The ball fell to Draycott inside the box and his shot was turned towards goal by Hall. But keeper Connor was equal to the effort plunging to his right to turn the effort around the post.

The Ives onslaught continued as they went close twice in two minutes with twenty minutes to go. Seymour-Shove got on the end of Draycott’s in-swinging free kick from the right. But his contact was clean when he needed a skimming header, and the ball thudded the boards to the left of Connor’s upright. Two minutes later Ogbonna skilfully brought down a long ball out of defence and fed the ball into the run of Draycott cutting in from the right. Again the athletic Connor was equal to the effort diving to his right to fingertip the shot away.

The keeper was again in action in 78th minute as he palmed a fierce McGowan cross shot up into the air. Hall got onto the dropping ball, but his effort from twelve yards was blocked by Fry and scrambled away from danger.

Having gone close on so many occasions in the second half and failing to find the vital goal that would have rocked the hosts, Ives were finally killed off by another Town break away ten minutes from time. Thomas broke at pace down the left and got past Smith before feeding the ball into Grocott arriving at pace his first-time effort from the edge of the box struck the arm of Ferrell. Referee Dadley instantly pointed to the spot and the token protests from Ives players suggests his decision was correct. Substitute Edwin Ahenkorah fired home the penalty emphatically off the underside of the crossbar.

In the remaining few minutes there was still time for McGeorge to fire an effort wide. Smith to pull a comfortable save from Connor with a header and young substitute Matt Wright to come within inches of opening his Ives account. Fellow sub Danny Kelly took down a long ball and fed it into the path of Wright through the left channel. He outpaced Charlie Evans and fired in a left foot effort that needed another full length dive and fingertip save from the Town keeper low to his left. Even more gallingly the rolling ball just evaded Hall who was following up to deny Ives the least they deserved, a consolation goal.

In conclusion it looks like another heavy defeat on the road. However only the few that made the trip will know how well Ives played for long periods of this game and how unfortunate they were to come away with nothing again. But if’s, but’s and maybe’s do not win games, they can only be won by eliminating the mistakes at one end of the pitch and taking our chances at the other. Peter Clark’s likely absence for a while is a big blow. But the positives we can take from this game are that a few of the injury returnees look like they are beginning to return to form. Phil Draycott looked close to his best and took the supporters man of the match award. Dubi Ogbonna pushed him close with one of his best displays in a while that just lacked a goal. Rogan McGeorge also made a very promising debut in the centre of the park and looks like a good capture. The games continue to come thick and fast and a visit from Hitchin on Tuesday evening will give Ives another opportunity to get their season back on track.

Final Score : Stratford Town  3  St Ives Town  0

Goals : none

St Ives team : Goff, Smith, Jarrold, Ferrell, Groves, McGowan (capt), Seymour-Shove (Kelly 73), Clark (McGeorge 5), Hall, Ogbonna (Wright 85), Draycott

Unused subs : Moyes

Supporters man of the match : Phil Draycott

Attendance  :  201

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Granty – Stratford Town FC

Match Report – Hereford 4 St Ives Town 0

Hereford 4 St Ives Town 0

Evo-Stik League Southern – Premier Division 21/11/17

Make no mistake getting anything out of this game was always going to be a huge ask for Ives as they visited the historic, and if somewhat crumbling, still impressive home of one of the League’s big boys who also just happen to be on a cracking run of form. Things were made even more difficult as defenders Lloyd Groves and Jordan Jarrold were both unavailable to make the Tuesday night trip due to work commitments. With Eugene Libertucci and Danny Kelly also missing injured it meant a change of formation to a back five with Club captain Charlie De’ath returning from injury into that back line that also included the evergreen Dan Moyes for a very tough first start of the season and Phil Draycott also just back from injury filling in at left wingback.

Add to the problems above a four hour coach journey following delays behind an accident on the M42. All of this was not the ideal preparation to face on of the most potent strike forces in the League and it was no surprise that Ives were a little slow out of the blocks. The Bulls first effort on goal came in only fourth minute as an early corner was channelled back to Garyn Preen who fired in a first time effort from the right corner of the box that keeper James Goff held well at his near post.

The hosts were moving the ball around at pace with Preen at the heart of a lot of their moves. Jimmy Oates fed Preen down the right in 12th minute and his cross field ball picked out Keyon Reffell in space at the far post. But Reffell snatched at his shot and screwed his effort wide.

Preen had changed flanks only a minute later and cleverly fed in overlapping Bristol City loanee full back Cameron Pring who hung up a teasing cross to the edge of the six yard box that De’ath did remarkably well to head away from between John Mills and Reffell.

But the unrelenting early Bulls pressure continued and Ives cracked in 17th minute as another loanee from a Championship club Tyrone Duffus, from Cardiff City, was allowed a free run inside the box to get on the end of Preen’s corner from the right and he made no mistake powering his header home from eight yards.

Stand in full back Draycott was having a tough time against the pacey Lance Smith and in 25th minute Smith outstripped him before picking out Pring at the far post. The marauding full back had time to take a touch and turn inside the covering Lewis Ferrell, but then fired his shot wide from a good position.

Another flowing move down the Bulls left flank lead to the second goal in 33rd minute as again Preen and Pring combined. This time the latter laid the ball into Mills inside the box. The powerful striker looked like he had got the ball stuck in his feet, but he managed to release it just in time to fire a left foot shot across keeper Goff and inside the far post.

To their credit Ives to a man continued to battle, but they were chasing shadows as the hosts harried them mercilessly forcing mistakes and then moving the ball around at pace to build up pressure on the embattled back line. Jimmy Hartley had a lucky escape in 36th minute as he misplaced a pass into the feet of Reffell in midfield, he in turn released Mills through the left channel. As moments earlier the big striker beat keeper Goff with a low drive from just inside the box. But this time he was unlucky as the ball cannoned off the inside of the post to safety.

But the respite was only brief as two minutes later a poor clearance fell to Oates 25 yards out. He unleashed a powerful snap shot that Goff managed to parry low to his right. But the ever alert Mills was onto the loose ball in a flash and gleefully smashed the home from ten yards to finish the game as a contest before the break.

The final opportunity before the break also fell to the hosts as Duffus showed his undoubted ability in expertly taking down a long ball out of defence before turning inside Draycott and teeing up Preen who fired a rising drive over the top from 20 yards.

The half time whistle must have been a relief to the beleaguered visitors as all had put in a massive shift to just try and stay with their visitors. To the credit of Ives they came out for the second period and matched their visitors well in the early stages so much so that a number of the home fans seemed to forget the score line and amazingly started to get on the backs of their own players.

However Ives were almost caught out in 63rd minute by a quick free kick as Rob Purdie tapped the ball sideways to Preen who seized the opportunity to run at the heart of the visitor’s defence before unleashing a low drive from 30 yards that beat Goff low to his right and cannoned off the post before hitting the back of the prone Goff and dropping in the six yard box. Fortunately Moyes was on hand to hack the ball away just ahead of Mills.

The big centre forward went close again two minutes later as he got on the end of a Preen free kick at the near post. But his flicked effort evaded everyone as it flashed across the face of goal to safety.

With fifteen minutes to go the Bulls replaced the classy Duffus with the much more powerful Mike Symons and it did not take long before he to got in on the action as he chased a long ball down the park in the company of Moyes. Unfortunately for the Ives man he simply could not lever the big man off the ball and found himself out muscled as Symons powered on and lashed the ball past the exposed Goff to finally kill off any lingering hopes that Ives had of finding a slither of hope of getting back into the game.

Once more to their huge credit the Ives players all continued to battle to the end. In the centre of the park Peter Clark and Tom McGowan between them must have run half marathons each, and both were still going strong at the end. Miles Smith and Ben Seymour-Shove similarly got through a tremendous amount of work in a losing cause. Some of the others, particularly those recently returning from injury were almost running on empty some time before the end but all kept going and earnt their applause from the 20, or so, travelling supporters who had made the long journey to the Welsh border.

To put the whole occasion into some context the Bulls committee were disappointed with their attendance of 1705, a figure which exceeds Ives record crowd. It was inspiring to visit a Club and a ground with the history of Hereford. Those of us that are old enough to remember that famous Ronnie Radford goal which knocked mighty Newcastle out of the 1972 FA Cup have to perhaps pinch ourselves to think that tiny St Ives who in those days were playing in 3rd Division of Peterborough League are now on a level playing field with these guys.

We get chance of a second tilt at them to as the Bulls visit Cambridgeshire for the last game of the season. An opportunity when we can hopefully exceed that record crowd and put out a fully fit team to push them much closer than today.

Final Score : Hereford  4  St Ives Town  0

Goals : none

St Ives team : Goff, Smith, Draycott, Ferrell, De’ath (capt) (Sawyer 79), Moyes, Seymour-Shove (Wright 83), McGowan, Hall (Ogbonna 79), Clark, Hartley

Unused subs : none

Supporters man of the match : Peter Clark

Attendance  :  1705

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo – www.herefordfc.co.uk

Ladies & Colts Match Reports & Round Up – 19 Nov

A penalty shoot out away from a clean sweep

Above photo – Katie Stancombe. Main photo – 4 goal hero Katherine Speed

St Ives Town Ladies 1st team recorded their biggest ever win on Sunday when blowing away Cambridge University by a record 15-0 scoreline. It wasn’t so much the score that impressed those watching, it was the performance that every player contributed to. The scoring started early with Georgia Stancombe neatly slotting past the home keeper after just 2 minutes to get Ives off to a great start, and this was followed quickly by goals from Katherine Speed, Amy Seymour-Shove and Katie Stancombe, as well as Georgia completing her hat-trick before half time to contribute to a 7-0 half time advantage to the saints. Although the goal scorers rightly get plaudits for their efforts, the midfield and defensive lines were equally as impressive, with Anna Hicks and Ellie Brown particularly deserving of praise.

 

Georgia Stancombe. Photos by Angela Chapman.

The second half saw Sasha Smith and Megan Stow introduced to the action, and they also added to the goals tally along with further goals for Amy Seymour-Shove and Katie Stancombe to also complete their hat-tricks, plus Katherine Speed who ended the day with a total of 4 goals to complete the 15-0 score at the final whistle.

“This was by far the best performance we have seen from the Ladies team since we started, and on this form I don’t think anyone will want to play us! I can honestly say that every player played to an exceptional level today, and that is a reflection of the hard work they all put into training every week. I can not praise the players enough for their performance, and for their work rate and determination.
Report by Ladies Manager Darren Marjoram
S-Tech Womens Premiership. Table up to & including 19/11/17

Next game – Sun 26 Nov – Cambridge University Women (H) – Cambs Women’s Premiership

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The Ladies Development kept up their 100% league record with a 3-0 win at Cambridge Rangers.

Development Manager Lisa Trigg has provided the below report –

St Ives development squad make their league run 3 wins in 3 after defeating Cambridge Rangers today 3-0. After playing the same opponents in the previous week and striving to improve on the 2-1 win they went into this fixture with the mind set of working as a team to get the result. The first half was tough and the game at that stage could have gone either way. One of St Ives’ best chances was Connie Liddiard having a near miss after pulling the ball just wide of the goal. Sophie Marjoram managed to get her fingers to a fantastic 20 yard free kick from the Rangers striker , tipping it into the path of right back Megan Webb who managed to then comfortably clear the ball away from danger. Sophie also became under pressure shortly after but this impressive 16 year old committed to shutting down the opponents attack not once but twice after the Rangers player slipped a ball to an open player on the edge of the box. Fantastic reactions again for the second match in a row for a keeper with youth on her side, and brilliantly supported by her centre back pairing, Georgie Astley covering a runner into the box and Molly Berryman covering the goal line. New recruit Ebony Smith did a wonderful job at holding midfield to not only win the ball back out of possession but played beautiful through balls to her teammates finding feet and making plays in our favour. Down our right hand side play was diminished as the work rate of right back Megan and Right wing 16 year old Jess Stancombe was outstanding, shutting down any opportunities Rangers brought upon us with their pace.

Second half is where St Ives Town dug in and showed what they were made of. Creating the majority of the chances on display. Chances coming from Captain Georgia Rebane, Olivia Baker, Jade Carpenter, Charlene Martin and Kelly Holliday. However Connie was the first to find the back of the net making up for her near miss in the first half, beating several Rangers players before sending the ball across the box and the face of the keeper to hit the opposite top corner.
Not long after Georgia Rebane hit a cracking shot but found the woodwork before Emilee Steel was able to finish making this two goals in two games for the new 18 year old St Ives Town signing.
The Captain who had worked hard all match not only with her work rate but keeping moral high within her squad bagged her first goal this season. Receiving the ball on the outside of the box with her back to goal, she volleyed it on the turn into the top left corner. It was so perfectly placed the keeper could do nothing but watch.
These superb attacking scenes were matched by the defensive display the squad had put on throughout to ensure the ladies kept a clean sheet. Chloe Fagen Webb and Kaitlyn Petch new signings this season effected the second half of this game with fresh legs closing down players at any opportunity to ensure the lead was retained. As well as a tactical move of Jade to deeper in the field later on in the match saw her wipe out players with the desire to retain possession and secure the win.
Two players were named as player of the match this week. Chloe Stefanelli for her consistently affective defending, getting her job done, playing simple football and making it look easy as left back. Kelly Holliday also got the recognition she deserved playing out of position today with determination, desire and pace. Not forgetting her phenomenal free kicks that unfortunately on this occasion we could not get on the end of, and her well timed tackles throughout the match one of which cleared the ball out of the path of an unmarked Rangers player who had found the ball at her feet in our box.
Great performance all round from this new squad, long may in continue #uptheives
S-Tech Championship South. Table up to & including 19/11/17

Next game – Sun 26 Nov – Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds (A) – Cambs Women’s Championship South

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The U15’s bowed out in the Quarter Final of the U15 Hunts County Cup at Park Farm Pumas. it was 1-1 after 90 minutes and the Pumas went through 3-1 in a penalty shoot out

Next game – Sun 26 Nov – Godmanchester Town (A) – EJA U15 – Yellow Division

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The U14’s progressed in the League Challenge Cup with a 3-1 win at Redbridge

Next game – Sun 26 Nov – AFC Sudbury (A) – EJA U14 – Green Division

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The U13’s won at home 3-1 against Ely City Crusaders.

The below is from the U13 Twitter feed –

Goals – Keates 6mins, Baker 10mins, Suttie 40mins

A good comfortable win today! All played a part in today’s win. Jay, Ross and Steve want to thank all players for there hard work up to this point!

Men of the Match Oliver Coatsworth & Harvey Donaldson

Cambridge & District Colts League – U13A Division. Table up to & including 19/11/17

Next game – Sun 26 Nov – Waterbeach Colts (A) – U13A Cambridge & District Colts League

Match Report – St Ives Town 2 Frome Town 2

St Ives Town 2 Frome Town 2 

Evo-Stik League Southern – Premier Division – 18/11/17

These two teams must be a pools punter’s dream as they have now met three times and everyone has been a score draw. However I think that there is little doubt that Ives manager Ricky Marheineke would have taken the point had it been on offer before the game started as the play-off chasing Robins came to the Pro-Edge Stadium on a five game winning run and sitting seventh in the table.

What the visitors may not have taken into account is that although the Ives only sit two places above rock bottom Gosport they are just beginning to get the majority of their squad fit for the first time this season. Manager Marheineke had the almost unheard of luxury of being able to name an unchanged starting eleven and the additional fillip of four players returning from injury to take their places on a strong looking bench.

It may have been complacency in the visitors ranks, or just a slow start but the Robins found themselves behind from Ives first attack after only seven minutes. Peter Clark picked out Miles Smith in space on the right hand side and the full back delivered a teasing ball into the near post where Tom McGowan attacked it at the same moment as Ben Morgan attempted to clear. The ball ricocheted off the pair and rolled across the face of goal and into the net off the far post with keeper Kyle Phillips rooted to the spot.

This early goal woke up Frome and they tore at the Ives back line in search of a swift equaliser. Five minutes later overlapping full back Krissy Miller got down the right and managed to get past the covering Jimmy Hartley. He picked out Jake Jackson at the near post and Jackson turned and shot in one motion, but his marker Lloyd Groves was wise to the move and blocked the effort. Jordan Jarrold did equally well to bravely block the follow up from Mitchell Page.

The Robins should have levelled in 14th minute as skipper Sam Teale combined stylishly with Ollie Knight down the left. The move finished with the latter playing a perfect ball into the run of the former to put him clean through on goal. Teale opened his body well and looked certain to slot the ball past the fast advancing James Goff. He did beat Goff with the shot but also inexplicably put it well over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Ives were almost punished for not playing to the whistle only seconds later as the classy Jon Davies was allowed to run on deep into the hosts half as players stopped on a shout of handball as the ball appeared to hit his arm as he brought it under control. Fortunately Goff remained alert and did very well to plunge to his left and hang onto Davies’s well struck shot from 25 yards.

The pressure for the equaliser continued to build and Goff was again called into action in 17th minute as once more he had to go down low to his left to keep out a low drive from just outside the box by Joe Raynes.

To this point Robins keeper Phillips had touched the ball just once to pick it out the back of his net after the first goal. In 18th minute his second touch of the afternoon became a repeat performance. Ben Seymour-Shove picked up the ball well inside his own half and spotted James Hall making a run into opposition territory. Seymour-Shove curled the perfect ball over the visitors back line where Hall out muscled the unfortunate Morgan and finished well lifting the ball over the exposed Phillips from the edge of the box to double Ives advantage.

Going two behind rattled the Robins confidence and Ives came within inches of adding a third six minutes later. Hartley outpaced his marker on the left and delivered his cross into the feet of Clark at the near post. His shot on the turn was blocked by Marcus Mapstone. But the rebound fell to Eugene Libertucci 30 yards from goal. He hit a low drive that thudded into the boards inches the wrong side of keeper Phillips left hand post with the custodian looking on.

Having survive that scare the Robins went down the other end and should have got themselves back into the game. The silky Davies threaded a ball into the run of Jackson to put him clear into the box. Goff tried to knock the ball away from him with his feet, but referee Stephen Bates decreed the young keeper had fouled Jackson in his attempt to get the ball. However Goff redeemed himself instantly as he guessed the right way and hung onto Davies’s spot kick low to his right.

The half continued with Robins getting the lion’s share of possession and moving the ball around well and to their credit Ives side as a unit were all working like Trojans to preserve their two goal advantage. Davies went close in 41st minute as his effort from 20 yards was deflected inches wide. The same player thought he had scored two minutes later as his snap shot from 25 yards beat the diving Goff. But much to the chagrin of the visitor’s referee Bates had already blown the whistle to award them a free kick for a foul in the build up.

The Robins were always going to come out with a head of steam and go at the Ives right from the off in the second half. But to their great credit Ives matched their illustrious visitors for energy and effort straight from the off and although they created little going forward they managed to keep the rampant visitors front line at bay.

The first Robins opportunity did not arrive until 63rd minute when Jackson just managed to beat Goff to a flick over the top. Fortunately Jarrold was covering behind his keeper and managed to hack the ball away. But the respite was only very short lived as only sixty seconds later Miller and Davies combined well on the right and Jackson met Davies’s cross perfectly at the near post spectacularly hooking the ball home past the diving Goff.

Would the flood gates open?, the Robins continued to press. Page fired wide from a good position after a Teale free kick had been knocked down to him. Goff saved well from Davies and the pressure continued to build. The Ives box almost resembled a shooting gallery in 77th minute as Groves, Ferrell and Jarrold all blocked shots in quick succession before the ball was scrambled away.

The equaliser finally arrived twelve minutes from time. A tiring Seymour-Shove conceded a needless free kick 35 yards from goal. The ball was delivered to the back post where Jackson rose highest and powered his header against the post. The ball dropped into the six yard box where Mapstone bravely flung himself in to force it over the line from close range.

Frome now looked the most likely winners and Page went close again three minutes later. Seconds after that the lights went out as a local dip in power tripped them out. After a fifteen minute delay light was restored and play resumed with eight minutes plus an added two to play. But the brief interlude had the effect of taking the sting out of the game and the only opportunity to grab a winner in that remaining time came Ives way as Hall and substitute Dubi Ogbonna broke at pace into the Robins half. Hall’s final ball back into the run of Ogbonna was met on the stretch by the Ives striker. But his toe poked effort from twelve yards was brilliantly blocked by keeper Phillips to ensure that the game ended in a score draw.

Again there were a plethora of contenders for Ives man of the match including Goff, Smith, Groves, McGowan, Hall and Clark. The latter grabbed the accolade as much for his battling back as anything he did going forward. But this was a day very much for battlers with the reward a well earned point.

Final Score : St Ives Town  2  Frome Town  2

Goals : McGowan 7, Hall 18

St Ives team : Goff, Smith, Jarrold, Ferrell, Goves, Libertucci (Draycott 38, Ogbonna 69), Seymour-Shove, McGowan (capt), Hall, Clark, Hartley (De’ath 69)

Unused subs : Sawyer, Wright

Supporters man of the match : Peter Clark

Attendance  :  145

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson

Many thanks to match-day sponsor ProEdge Construction Ltd

Match Report – Holbeach United U18 3 St Ives Town U18 2

Holbeach United U18  3  St Ives Town U18  2          

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division – 16/11/17

The young Ives slim chance of retaining their Western Division title was all but extinguished as they were dealt a taste of their own medicine by a workmanlike, but effective, Tigers side on a crisp Fenland evening.

Having taken four points off runaway League leaders Peterborough Sports in their last two League games with late goals the visitors fell to a sucker punch breakaway goal for the hosts deep into added time to exit Carters Park with no reward from a curate’s egg performance.

A brief precis of the game says that they were second best in the early stages and had goalkeeper Sam Carter to thank for keeping the scorers level. Very good for twenty minutes up to the break when they took the lead and should have added at least one more. Very slow out of the blocks after half time where they fell behind. Grabbed an equaliser on a breakaway twenty minutes from time and then looked the only likely winner, but wasted glorious opportunities to go in front before falling to the last ditch break by the Tigers.

With Tom Smith missing injured keeper Carter made his seasonal debut in the competition and he had to be alert to bravely claim a through ball off the toe of Harry Collishaw after the Tigers wide man had been put clear by an excellent diagonal ball from Ben Lawrence. Two minutes later Carter again saved his side blocking a point blank effort at the far post whilst his colleagues looked on as the Tigers first corner was knocked down to Joseph Fowler on the back edge of the six yard box.

Carter was also called upon to make a couple more routine saves as the hosts ruled the early stages with Ives taking a long time to get any rhythm going. But as the half wore on they began to press their opponents a little more and come more into the game. The Tigers had been very happy to pass the ball around their back line bringing goalkeeper Will Ingleby into the action quite happily. For most of the first half Ives had allowed this to happen unhindered. But on the half hour Ash Morris closed down one such back pass forcing Ingleby into a hurried attempt to move the ball out to the left. Tiago Dias was onto his intended pass in a flash and rattled the ball back past the red faced keeper from just inside the box to put the visitors in front.

The lead should have been doubled four minutes later as Vitor Vaz picked out the run of Martin Saunders on the left allowing Saunders to get past his man to the bye line. He picked out Morris eight yards from goal with his pull back. But the all action midfielder almost struck his shot to well and somehow fired the effort wide of the near post when a miskick would probably have bounced in.

Ives continued to rule the remainder of the first half without really troubling Ingleby further as Dias and Saunders both fired efforts wide from just outside the box following good build up play involving George Cawte, Billy Mobbs and Morris.

Having finished the first half so strongly the small contingent of Ives supporters were hoping that the side would continue in the same vein at the start of the second period and grab a second to really take control. How wrong we were as the visitors started the second half even more sluggishly than the first. Carter was called on to make another save only ninety seconds after the restart as substitute Jordan Olive fired in a vicious drive from 25 yards that stung the hands of the big keeper, but he was quick to react and pounce on the loose ball ahead of Ryan Cook.

Ives did not learn their lesson from this and two minutes later the scores were level. Lawrence tricked Dawid Kwiatowski into bringing him down 30 yards from goal. Alex Richardson floated in the free kick to the back post where two Holbeach players contested the flick. The final touch appeared to come from Cook and the ball crept in the corner past Carter’s despairing dive.

The Tigers continued to push forward and seven minutes later they got themselves in front. The tricky Lawrence combined well with Harry Burchinall down the left and was taken down from behind by Vaz inches outside the box. Richardson fired in the free kick which took a wicked deflection off Dias in the wall and rolled into the net past an unsighted Carter.

It should have been 3 – 1 Tigers and game dead and buried on the hour as Richardson managed to release Cook clear into the box with only Carter to beat. But the striker went for power rather than finesse from ten yards and only succeeded in hammering his effort inches wide when a little more composure was needed.

Having somehow survived that fright Ives suddenly began to wake up again and in 63rd minute that should have got back level. Cawte was taken out by a scything tackle from behind inside the centre circle that should have led to a card for Richardson. Cawte limped out of the game to be replaced by Patrik Polhos. Mitchell Pillin delivered the resulting free kick to the back post where the ball fell to Saunders. He side stepped his way past a posse of defenders before squaring the ball along the six yard line to Jamie Short in space at the back post. But Short misdirected his effort at goal and only hit a team mate inside the goalmouth. The ball rebounded to him, but by now keeper Ingleby had time to recover his position and bravely threw himself in to block the shot at point blank range.

This near miss lifted the Ives and they began to take control of the game again. Saunders was looking more like his old self down the left and five minutes later he again outpaced his full back before laying the ball back to Polhos on the edge of the box. His low drive was parried away by Ingleby who did even better to block away the follow up effort from Dias.

Dias showed a flash of his undoubted brilliance in 70th minute as he curled a ball from the centre circle perfectly into the well timed run of Sam Bond. Bond outpaced his marker and gave Ingleby no chance beating him low to his right with a well struck drive to level up the scores again.

Now Ives started to go for the kill, Short picked out Saunders run perfectly with another ball over the top in 73rd minute. But this time Ingleby stayed solid and blocked the powerful effort with his legs at the near post.

The visitors continued to press, but the resilient Holbeach back line continued to hold firm. We thought that the winner was coming in 89th minute as Vaz won the ball well in the centre circle and fed it on to Polhos who picked out the run of Dias arriving in the box at the back post. But the man we though most likely to score in such circumstances was denied by the legs of Ingleby. A series of Ives corners followed as they continued to search out the vital winner. But with most of their side in the opposition penalty area Ives were caught cold as the last flag kick deep in added time was cleared to Cook on the half way line. But he had Pillin desperately trying to get back. However he showed his composure waiting for Richardson who was busting a gut to join him. Pillin made it to close Cook, but Richardson slid home his ball into the centre just ahead of the diving Carter to send Tigers players and supporters alike into raptures and break Ives hearts.

Ives frustrations had really started to boil over as time ticked away and their inability to finish, topped off by the late winner swilled in with some baiting from victorious Tigers players lead to needless yellow cards for Vaz, Bond, Pillin and Carter all for pointless “handbag” offences.

These boys have already proved that they can beat the best. Unfortunately they must learn that you cannot simply turn up at places like Holbeach and expect to win. You must earn that victory by all working hard for ninety minutes and maintain your work rate throughout. They have also got to learn to keep their discipline and let their football do the talking in these type of niggly games. A ruthless streak is required.

St Ives Team : Carter, Kwiatowski, Makeham, Short (capt), Pillin, Cawte (Polhos 64), Vaz, Morris, Mobbs (Bond 45), Dias, Saunders

Unused subs : Locke, Foster

Goals : Dias 30, Bond 70

Attendance :  45 approx

Report by Nigel Howlett

Match Report – St Ives Town U18 4 Peterborough ICA Sports U18 1

St Ives Town U18  4  Peterborough ICA Sports U18  1            

Huntingdonshire Under 18 County Cup 2nd Round – 12/11/17

A well taken Sam Bond hat trick and a goal from Billy Mobbs saw Ives overcome stubborn resistance from Peterborough Sunday League side ICA on a bright, but cold morning on a windswept distant pitch at Jubilee Park.

The visitors came looking determined to get at Ives early on and it took an alert save from Sam Carter to prevent Guiseppe Spataro putting them ahead in only 2nd minute. However Ives did not heed this warning and when the hosts back line allowed Tyler Munns space to run across the edge of the box he punished them by firing a well struck left footed effort into the top corner of the net past the despairing dive of Carter in 13th minute.

The early Sunday morning start was perhaps a little much for some of Ives boys, but falling behind sparked a reaction and three minutes later Cobi Thomas cut in from the left past his marker and unleashed a rising drive that flashed past keeper Matt Wilshire and rattled the upright before rebounding away.

There were only three more minutes on the clock when Ives equalised. Sam Bond’s persistence saw him rob a dallying defender and battle to the edge of the box before squaring the ball inside to Mobbs who struck a low shot that crept underneath the body of Wilshire as he was a little slow to get down to his left.

ICA continued to battle hard and worry their illustrious hosts. In 27th minute Alesio Hoxha chased a hopeful ball down the middle and got between Matt Harvey and Jordan Locke then bravely beat Carter to the ball and was unlucky to see his toe poked effort hit the post and rebound to safety.

Ives went in front in 35th minute as a Bond effort was blocked by Ciaran Millen. The ball rebounded to Mobbs who showed great technique to hammered in a powerful volley that Wilshire did well to parry up into the air. He did even better to recover and punch the dropping ball off the head of Thomas inside the six yard box. But the ball was not cleared and it arrived back with Bond who struck a low drive through the crowd that beat Wilshire low to his left in almost identical fashion to Mobbs opener.

With half time approaching Ives were enjoying a period of good possession, but their visitors restricted them to just one more good opportunity before the break as Ash Morris battled through the centre of the park before sliding a pass through the left channel that put Bond in one against one with Wilshire. The keeper did well making himself big and although Bond slid the ball past him he also put it wide of the keepers left hand post.

Although now playing against a strengthening breeze Ives continued in the ascendency for the early part of the second half and Bond grabbed his second and the hosts third with a crisp rising drive from the edge of the box having been set up by an excellent run past two defenders and pull back from Mobbs down the left.

To their credit ICA heads did not go down and as Ives eased off the visitors came more back into the game. Munns tested Carter’s positioning and footwork with a dipping volley from fully 35 yards in 66th minute. But the big keeper was alert to the effort and made the save look easy.

James Ware should probably have reduced the arrears twenty minutes from time as he somehow found space eight yards out to get on the end of a corner from the right. But he directed his free header just wide of the upright with the goal at his mercy.

Rather than kill the game Ives went in search of more goals and should probably have added another in 76th minute. Morris put Bond clear through the right channel, but rather than go for his hat trick the Ives centre forward unselfishly tried to roll the ball square to give Mobbs a tap in, but overhit the pass.

Four minutes later a corner from the right was cleared to Jamie Short at the back of the area. He delivered a teasing ball into the box which fell to the feet of Locke at the back post. But the centre half snatched at his opportunity and hammered the ball well over the top from an excellent position.

ICA were still well in the game and could have set up a grandstand finish with seven minutes to go as a speculative effort from Spataro beat the diving Carter, but rattled the crossbar and rebounded to safety.

Skipper Short was playing in an unfamiliar midfield role and it took him a while to find his feet in the position, but as the second half wore on he was becoming more influential and enjoying getting forward more. He went close to grabbing a goal in 88th minute as Mobbs once more danced his way down the left before picking out Short on the edge of the box with his pull back. The skipper’s well struck effort was pushed away by Wilshire diving to his left.

The referee had been hot on pushes throughout the game and it was no real surprise when he spotted one inside the box in 90th minute to award ICA a penalty. Fortunately for Ives Hoxha failed to hit the target with his powerfully struck spot kick to deny ICA an even closer score line.

There was still just time for Bond to put a gloss on the final score and complete his hat trick with a clinical finish from just inside the box having been set up by an excellent run and cross from the right by substitute Adam Kelly.

Although their performance dropped well below the level of recent League games. Ives did all that was asked of them to march through to the Quarter Finals, but ICA can hold their heads high having match the hosts for long periods of this game and perhaps been a little unlucky not to add to their solitary goal.

St Ives Team : Carter, Oldale, Pillin, Harvey, Locke, Short, Thomas (Kelly 45), Morris, Bond, Jakes, Mobbs

Unused subs : Foster, Dias

Goals : Mobbs 19, Bond 35, 58, 90+1

Attendance :  25 approx

Report by Nigel Howlett

Match Report – St Ives Town 2 Dunstable Town 1

St Ives Town 2 Dunstable Town 1

Evo-Stik League Southern – Premier Division – 11/11/17

It is surely to early in the season to be talking about relegation six pointers, but on paper this fixture looked like it and the tension was certainly there from the first whistle. Fortunately Ives were pleased to welcome back Lewis Ferrell, James Hall and Jimmy Hartley from injury after they all came through vital minutes in the County Cup tie in midweek. Miles Smith was also back from suspension to further strengthen the back line.

With the two teams only separated by two points in the bottom three of the table and boasting only three wins between them all season one might well have expected this to be something of a war of attrition from the off. Ives did show some early nerves and keeper James Goff failed to hold onto a low driven cross from the right by Andrew Osei-Bonsu, but centre back Lloyd Groves was on hand to clear the danger.

Groves, making his first League start for the Ives, went close to opening his account four minutes later as he got on the end of Jordan Jarrold’s in-swinging corner from the right and was unlucky to see his goal bound header blocked in the six yard box by Jonathan Barnett.

The game was surprisingly open in these early exchanges and the Blues went close to going in front in 16th minute as Osei-Bonsu ran at the defence before sliding the ball into the run of Arel Amu. His shot from the edge of the box was bravely blocked by Ferrell, but the ball ran back to Osei-Bonsu who side stepped Smith before firing in a well struck effort that Goff did well to parry and Groves was again on hand to complete the clearance.

The opening goal arrived in 19th minute thanks to what seems like the first real stroke of luck Ives have had in the opposition box all season. Combative skipper Tom McGowan won the ball well in the centre circle and fed the ball out to Jimmy Hartley who sped down the right before delivering a cross into the box. Peter Kioso looked like he only had to make a routine clearance at the back post, but he got it all wrong. The ball struck his standing leg and dropped invitingly for Hall eight yards out. The Ives in-form striker did not spurn the opportunity gleefully slamming home past Nick Hayes in the Blues goal to claim his third goal in two games.

Hall looked certain to add another to his tally only four minutes later as he got away down the middle to get on the end of a long ball over the top. He outpaced the Blues defence and went around keeper Hayes only to be denied by a remarkable covering tackle from John Sonuga just as he was about to slot the ball home.

However Blues relief was only very short lived as the resulting corner was delivered to the near post by Jarrold where Groves flicked it on. The ball fell to McGowan in the centre of the box. His shot was blocked on the line by Barnett, but Peter Clark was following up and slammed home the loose ball to double the hosts advantage.

At this stage the Ives were looking good value for their lead with the pace and sheer work rate of Hall and Hartley pulling the Blues defence around. With Eugene Libertucci, Clark, and McGowan also winning the midfield battle more goals looked on the cards. Hall, McGowan and Ben Seymour-Shove all fired in efforts from around the box that failed to hit the target.

Clark did hit the target in 36th minute following a flowing move down the right involving Libertucci, Hartley and McGowan. McGowan’s final ball into the feet of Clark on the edge of the box allowed the tricky midfielder to side step his marker before firing in a low shot that keeper Hayes failed to hang onto, but no Ives player was able to beat the recovering keeper to the loose ball.

In spite of a mini Blues revival in the closing stages of the first half Ives saw out the game to the break without any real scares. However they were slow out of the blocks in the second half and gifted their visitors a route back into the game only ninety seconds after the re-start. Blues substitute Lanre Lapido tried to turn Groves just outside the box. The big centre back was caught off balance and forced to pull back the attacker. Arel Amu curled the free kick over the wall and it looked like a routine catch for Goff, but he chose to palm the ball down and catch it as it bounced up. Unfortunately the ball hit a bobble and got away from him. Blues skipper Sonuga was first to react and forced home the loose ball.

This gave the visitors heart and they started to enjoy a lot more possession and force the Ives back. They went close to an equaliser in 57th minute as the home side struggled to clear a corner. The ball was fed back the feet of Arel Amu as he found space inside the box. He cleverly clipped his shot past the advancing Goff, but Groves was again in the right position to get the ball away from the goal line.

Ives best chance to kill the game off came five minutes later as Hartley worked his way past two defenders on the right before delivering a cross into the centre where McGowan had ghosted into the Blues box completely unmarked. Unfortunately he failed to hit the target with his effort from twelve yards. However this did not save the visitors defenders from a barrage from their management team for failing to pick up McGowan’s run.

The hosts were perhaps a little fortunate to stay in front in 68th minute. Jordan Jarrold brought down Osei-Bonsu inches outside the box on the right as the tricky striker tried to get around him. Erin Amu delivered the free kick to the centre where Blues substitute Scott Betts somehow managed to get free of his marker and power in a header from eight yards the rattled the inside of the post and bounced down into the six yard box. A scramble ensued in which Arel Amu had an effort blocked and much to Ives relief Daniel Triff’s follow up header drifted over all on the line, but landed on the roof of the net.

The hard working Ives continued to maintain their discipline and their shape and with centre back Jamie Short replacing wide man Ben Seymour-Shove they contained their visitors well. The Blues only created one more half chance and that came fourteen minutes from time as the dangerous Osei-Bonsu again tricked his way down the right before delivering a cross that Arel Amu flung himself at in the middle. But the close attendance of Ferrell was enough to make sure the Blues number nine only succeeded in firing his header well wide.

The hosts were very successful in frustrating the Blues and ran down time very effectively. The visitors frustration bubbled over a little to much for Kioso as he completed his miserable day with an early bath for picking up a second yellow card as he scythed down Jarrold as the game entered added time.

The final whistle was greeted with cheers from the Ives faithful as the team claimed their third win in four games to put a little more daylight between themselves and the one relegation spot and also close up on the teams above them. Supporters man of the match was a close vote with a number of players picking up nominations. The never say die James Hall won the vote just ahead of Tom McGowan, Lloyd Groves, Jimmy Hartley and Eugene Libertucci.

Final Score : St Ives Town  2  Dunstable Town  1

Goals : Hall 19, Clark 24

St Ives team : Goff, Smith, Jarrold, Ferrell, Goves, Libertucci, Seymour-Shove (Short 77), McGowan (capt), Hall, Clark, Hartley (Sawyer 81)

Unused subs : Draycott, Moyes

Supporters man of the match : James Hall

Attendance  :  185

Match report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson

Many thanks to match sponsor S E Hase Transport Ltd

Match mascots – St Ives Rangers Colts U8 White Sox

Evo-Stik South Premier – Table up to & including 11/11/17

Match Report – St Ives Town 4 Huntingdon Town 2

St Ives Town 4 Huntingdon Town 2 

Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup – Quarter Final – 07/11/17

Ives made the expected progress to the semi-finals of the County Senior Cup, but their opponents from three levels lower in the football pyramid can be hugely proud of their efforts on the night as they pushed their illustrious opposition very hard for 75 minutes before running out of steam. They even had the audacity to take the lead just after the hour with only their second meaningful shot of the game.

After a weekend off Ives were pleased to welcome back a few of their previous absentees with Lewis Ferrell making the starting line up and James Hall and the evergreen Dan Moyes named on the bench. The game also fell just right to allow Brett Longden and Miles Smith to complete suspensions ahead of Saturday’s vital League clash with Dunstable.

It was no surprise that the visitors set up with a 5-4-1 formation and invited the Ives to break them down. This, and the remarkable work rate put in by the Town players, ensured that Ives, although enjoying 80% of the possession, were completely unable to threaten keeper Quincy Shorunmu’s goal throughout the entire first period.

The only noteworthy effort of that completely forgetful 45 minutes of football came two minutes before the break when Lloyd Groves making his home debut for the Ives, allowed the ball to bobble over his foot by the half way line. Town’s ever willing lone striker Corey Kingston was onto it in a flash and strode forward before unleashing a stinging drive from 35 yards that warmed the hands of home keeper James Goff and remarkably proved the only save made by either keeper before the break.

The second half started in similar fashion with Ives going close only four minutes in as Groves timed his run to get on the end of Ben Seymour-Shove’s corner to perfection. Unfortunately he powered his near post header inches wide from a good position.

All of Town’s hard work earned them an unexpected reward just after the hour as Kingston outpaced the Ives defence to get on the end of a long ball down the centre and finished clinically past Goff low to his right from the edge of the box to put the visitors in front.

Ives, ex Town, manager Ricky Marheineke was already making changes to give game time to more of his returning players and also preserve others for Saturdays vital clash. In 69th minute he replaced defensive midfield man Eugene Libertucci with striker James Hall. This instantly gave the hosts an extra willing runner in the front line and heaped pressure on the tiring Town defence.

The equaliser came three minutes after Hall’s arrival. Seymour-Shove got around the outside of his marker Callum Walter on the left. As he had done on a number of occasions already in the game wide man Chris Down got back to cover. But his challenge on Seymour-Shove inches inside the box was a tired, and probably unnecessary, one with the winger looking more likely to go out of play than cut in on goal. Either way the challenge was clumsy and took away the legs of the Ives man giving referee Shaun Gregory no option but to award the penalty. Hall stepped up and powerfully beat Shorunmu low to his left from the spot.

This was the point where the gallant Town began to really run out of steam and Ives front players started to take over moving the ball at pace and cutting through the blue ranks at ease. Chances, which had been at a premium all evening, suddenly started to arrive like buses. Ogbonna headed over from a good position three minutes later as he rose highest to get on the end of Ives ninth corner of the evening.

Seymour-Shove should have probably done better in 76th minute as Hall and Jimmy Hartley combined well on the right. Hartley’s cross picked out Seymour-Shove in space at the back post, he took a touch, but hammered his effort over the top from ten yards.

Ives pressure told again as they took the lead two minutes later. Hall strode through the tiring defence to get on the end of a long ball down the centre. Shorunmu was off his line quickly and bravely blocked the effort at point blank range. But Ogbonna was following up and gleefully slotted the loose ball home from six yards.

The one way traffic continued as Peter Clark squandered another golden opportunity in 80th minute. Ogbonna was the provider this time as he tricked his way past three Town defenders on the edge of the box before unselfishly teeing up Clark. The busy midfielder tried to pick his spot but only succeeded in curling the ball into the grateful arms of Shorunmu.

The third Ives goal arrived two minutes before the end of the ninety as Hall got on the end of Seymour-Shove’s clip into the box from the left. His flicked effort was well saved by Shorunmu, but the ball was channelled back out to Hartley on the corner of the box and he cleverly flighted a lob over the out of position keeper that found the top corner of the net in spite of the efforts of two covering defenders to keep it out.

The final two goals of the night both arrived in added time. Hall doubled his tally for the evening as he gratefully accepted a poor clearance from Shorunmu and fired past him into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The final goal just seconds from time was a well taken second for the visitors that no one will begrudge them for their efforts on the evening. Christian Lee battled his way through the centre of the park before sliding a perfectly weighted ball into the run of substitute Ben Page and he finished low past Goff with a well struck first time effort from the edge of the box.

Ives march on into the semi-finals where they will host St Neots Town early in the New Year. But their biggest hope is that everyone got through this game unscathed to give manager Marheineke a few headaches over team selection for Saturday’s vital game. Town can leave this game with huge credit and their heads held high, after some very dark days at the club it is good to see that they have now got a group of people together that both on and off the pitch that are all pulling in the right direction and willing to battle for the cause we wish them every success for the rest of the season.

Final Score : St Ives Town  4  Huntingdon Town  2

Goals : Hall 72 (pen), 90+1 Ogbonna 78, Hartley 88

St Ives team : Goff, Sawyer, Jarrold, Libertucci (Hall 69), Goves, Ferrell (Moyes 60), Seymour-Shove, McGowan (capt), Ogbonna, Clark, Wright (Hartley 45)

Unused sub : Short

Supporters man of the match : Ben Seymour-Shove

Attendance  :  106

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson

Match Report – St Ives Town U18 1 Peterborough Sports U18 1

St Ives Town U18  1  Peterborough Sports U18  1            

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division – 06/11/17

Patrik Polhos was the goal scoring hero as Ives grabbed a late, late, equaliser deep into added time to claim a deserved point and keep themselves in the hunt for the Western division title.

These two teams had met only four days earlier in Peterborough where a display of flowing football had seen Ives inflict the first defeat of the season on the table topping Sports. With that in mind it was to be guaranteed that this game would be a frantic affair with the visitors keen to exact revenge on their rivals and Ives equally eager to further display their own title credentials.

Match winner in the original fixture Martin Saunders had tormented Sports on that evening and the visitors management team were eager to ensure that there was no repeat in this game as they rearranged their squad to ensure that Saunders was always going to be given no space. However this plan was almost unravelled in the first ten seconds of the game as the kick off was laid back to Polhos and he curved a perfect ball over the Sports back line catching them napping. Saunders was away, but Sports were saved by some brave and alert goalkeeping from Viktors Jansons as he sprinted from his line and plunged in to take the ball off the Ives man’s toes just inside the box.

After this very early scare for Sports the game settled into an even contest predominantly played out in midfield. The next keeper in action was Tom Smith in 11th minute as he sped from his line to hack away a ball over the top ahead of Sports lone striker Jack Eldridge. His clearance fell to Jamie Scott fully 40 yards from goal, but the Sports play maker was confident enough to go for goal. Fortunately for Ives Smith recovered his position well to make a comfortable catch of the on-target effort.

The hard working Eldridge was the next to threaten in 18th minute as he fought his way through a couple of Ives tackles on his way to the edge of the box. But having worked himself into a good position he snatched at the effort and sliced his effort well wide from a good position.

Play swung to the opposite end and only two minutes later Saunders managed to work himself some space on the left getting past both of his markers before delivering a low driven cross to the far post where a stretching Vitor Vaz only succeeded in hammering his close range effort against the underside of the crossbar. The ball was scrambled away before Tiago Dias could force it home.

Smith was alert to keep the scores level in 28th minute as Scott cleverly flicked on a good delivery into the box by Henry Nkobi and Eldridge pounced on the loose ball to fire in a well struck effort from just inside the box that Smith did well to palm away low to his left.

Jansons pulled off a similar save to deny Dias after Foster had been held the ball up well on the edge of Sports box before teeing up Ives silky midfield man who took a touch before firing in a low drive that the keeper kept out diving low to his right in 31st minute.

Ives continued to enjoy the majority of possession as the game headed towards the break, but they were unable to find a way through the uncompromising Sports back line. On a number of occasions the final ball was just not quite good enough to find the man trying to run into the gap and the pulsating game went into half time goalless.

Jansons made another good save six minutes after the break as he got down well to his right to hold onto a Dias free kick from 30 yards that bounced awkwardly just in front of him. Ash Morris was on hand should he have spilt it.

The solid display from Sports earned them an extra reward on 56 minutes as the ever willing Eldridge got on the end of a long ball down the park from Nkobi and skilfully took down the ball before bursting into the box and firing past Smith low to his right to put the visitors in front.

Ives responded well to this set back and Gordan Torkornoo pushing forward from left back drew another excellent save from Jansons only three minutes later as he got on the end of a Saunders free kick and fired in a powerful drive from 15 yards that the keeper did very well to parry one handed. He did even better to scramble the loose ball away from the feet of Morris who again the man following up.

Sports came close to grabbing a second to kill the game in 63rd minute as the hard working Scott found space down the left and cut in before firing in an effort from the edge of the box that took a deflection and looked like it was heading into the bottom corner until Smith’s outstretched left hand blocked it. Torkornoo was on hand to hack the loose ball away just ahead of Eldridge.

The game continued at break neck pace and as the players began to tire a few more gaps began to appear. Saunders exploited one of these in 75th minute when he got down the left and delivered a cross to the near post where Morris rose highest, but failed to hit the target with his flicked header that flashed across the face of goal to safety.

Sports last chance to sew the game up came three minutes later as Scott robbed Polhos on the half way line and bore down on goal with the Ives back line in his wake. A slightly heavy touch gave Smith chance to close him bravely and when the shot came the keeper had effectively got right on top of him and blocked the effort with his body to keep Ives in the contest.

That save was to prove crucial as Ives began to push more and more men forward in search of the vital equaliser. Sports defenders were putting their bodies on the line to block everything that their hosts could throw at them, but a number of them were struggling badly with cramp and with only one man on the bench their management team had little option but to leave them out there. Ives were unable to take advantage of one situation where two defenders were off the pitch having received treatment as the game entered added time.

It looked like time was going to run out as substitute Sam Bond was denied by keeper Jansons at the expense of a corner in the fourth of four added minutes. But thanks to a bit of time wasting by Sports in added time the referee found enough time for the corner to be taken and with all 22 players in the Sports box. The late run into the box by keeper Smith seemed to cause some panic in the visitors back line and as he pulled defenders to the front post Saunders hung up his corner by the back stick where Polhos somehow managed to get between two other Ives players to squeeze his header between the man on the line and the post he was holding. The entire Ives squad erupted from the dugout to join in the celebrations, two of them picking up bizarre bookings for their actions.

There was literally just time for the game to kick off before the final whistle which saw more celebrations on what felt like a win for the young Ives and must have felt like a defeat for the deflated Sports who had hung on for so long. The result opens up the League with both tonight’s protagonists and Deeping Rangers in the shake up. Sports are probably still favourites with points in the bag and either of the others needing to win all of their five games in hand to pass them.

St Ives Team : Smith, Kwiatowski, Torkornoo, Short (capt), Pillin, Polhos, Vaz, Morris (Bond 76), Mobbs (Foster 29), Dias, Saunders

Unused subs : Locke, Cawte, Thomas

Goals : Polhos 90+5

Attendance :  31

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo Louise by Louise Thompson

Match Report – Stafford Rangers 6 St Ives Town 0

Stafford Rangers 6 St Ives Town 0 

Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round 28/10/17

Men against boys was how manager Ricky Marheineke described this very one sided cup tie in his post-match interview. As is usually the case in such a contest the powerful men used their strength and nous to sweep aside the skilful, but physically weaker, youngsters and that was exactly how it proved to be as the Rangers showed no mercy to their understrength visitors.

With seven players already missing through injury and suspension Ives once again put together a makeshift back line that for the first fifteen minutes held their once illustrious opponents relatively comfortably. Unfortunately for the visitor’s things started to go downhill for them at that point when centre forward come centre half Danny Kelly, who had been the stand out player in Tuesday night’s victory at Biggleswade, pulled up with a groin injury.

With only forwards on the bench manager Marheineke was forced into wholesale changes which ended up with the previously makeshift back line now looking vulnerable to the power and strength of the Rangers strike force. The hosts took full advantage whilst this catchweight defence was still trying to bed in. A corner from the right was half cleared to Josh Craddock who delivered the ball back into the box. Ives defence were slow to come out leaving Keiran Morris clear. Keeper Jacob Marsden raced from his line, but was beaten to the bouncing ball by Morris and covering defender Miles Smith was unable to prevent his lob over the keeper from crossing the line.

Rangers doubled their lead five minutes later as Alex Fletcher broke away down the left past Jordan Jarrold and delivered a low cross into the centre where Smith was just beaten to it by Rangers debutant Massiah McDonald who opened his account from close range.

The one way traffic continued with Fletcher at the heart of everything going forward for the hosts. In 28th minute he found space on the right getting past makeshift left back Phil Draycott and driving in a powerful shot at the near post that Marsden parried, but could not hold. Smith was on hand to tidy up just ahead of McDonald.

It was McDonald’s strike partner Richard Gregory who went close ten minutes later as over lapping full back Sam Griffiths got down the right and picked out the unmarked Gregory ten yards out in the centre of goal. Fortunately for Ives he slipped at the vital moment and fired his effort well wide.

Seventeen year old Jamie Short was having a tough time against the wily Rangers strikers and he was caught out for the second goal as Gregory cleverly turned him just outside the box and slid the ball inside into the run of McDonald putting the big man in with a clear run on goal. He made no mistake crisply firing into the far corner of the net past the exposed Marsden.

There was still time before the break for Rangers to squander a golden opportunity to make it four as Ives back line failed to deal with a free kick delivered into their box by Louis Briscoe. The ball was channelled out to Kieren Westwood on the left and his deep cross picked out a completely unmarked Morris who went for power with his free header from eight yards, and failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.

There was little hope of a revival after the break and it was now just an exercise in trying to keep things respectable. Rangers continued to press forward and Marsden pulled off an excellent save to deny Westwood after he had been played in by Fletcher in 48th minute. That was only a brief respite though as Briscoe punished the Ives for failing to clear another ball delivered into their box by Fletcher. He pounced on the loose ball just inside the box and rifled home giving Marsden no chance from 15 yards.

McDonald should have completed his hat trick in 55th minute as Short was left to deal with him in a one on one situation and was outmuscled by the big striker. He showed piece of mind to not bring the striker down as he strode on into the box and was proved right as McDonald spurned his opportunity side footing past the advancing Marsden, but wide of the post.

The fifth goal did arrive only three minutes later as Smith got the wrong side of McDonald and was forced to pull him back just outside the box to earn himself yet another booking. Gregory powered his free kick up and over the Ives four man wall and into the top corner past Marsden’s despairing dive. The same player missed a golden opportunity to bring up the half dozen as he fired wide from a good position having been put clean through by McDonald in 66th minute.

Ives best chance of a consolation came from a rare corner with 20 minutes to go. Ben Seymour-Shove swung it in from the right and it beat everyone at the near post. Short was arriving at the back post and met the ball almost on the line, but it was just millimetres to high and the contact was off the top of his head and over the bar.

That was a very rare Ives venture into Rangers territory and only seconds later Marsden was back in action at the other end as he denied Daniel Westwood at close range and recovered well to bravely pounce on the loose ball just ahead of the home substitute.

Rangers continued to search for the sixth and Marsden again did well six minutes from time plunging to his left to keep out a Mathew Bailey header after the big centre back had got on the end of a corner from the left by Fletcher. Draycott scrambled the loose ball away.

The final action of the afternoon and one might say the coup de grass was delivered by Daniel Westwood who turned Jarrold inside the Ives box before rifling home across the exposed Marsden into the far corner of the net with just seconds to go.

It was a long trek home for the sad Ives few after such a defeat. The showing, although poor, really highlights the desperate need to get the missing men back fully fit ahead of the vital run of League games Ives now have looming before Christmas. To aide that cause they now have a fourteen day break ahead of their vital six pointer with Dunstable with only a County Cup tie interspersed in that period to hopefully give some of those lads a run out.

Final Score : Stafford Rangers  6  St Ives Town  0

Goals : none

Supporters man of the match : Tom McGowan

St Ives team : Marsden, Short, Jarrold, Smith, Kelly (Sawyer 15), Draycott, Clark, McGowan (capt), Ogbonna, Seymour-Shove (Wright 72), Hartley (Dias 78)

Unused substitutes : none

Attendance  :  495

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson

Match Report – Biggleswade Town 0 St Ives Town 2

Biggleswade Town 0 St Ives Town 2 

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division – 24/10/17

At last all of the hard work, effort, concentration and commitment brought Ives the reward they have fought so bravely for since the opening day of the season in the sunshine at Weymouth, another three point return from a League fixture. Make no mistake this was a well deserved first ever victory at Langford Road as the visitors played most of the football in this game, carved out the better chances and were excellent value for the two goal margin.

With manager Ricky Marheineke enjoying a well deserved family break in France his assistant Jack Cassidy took up the reins and he found that the news pre-match was far from positive as yet again injuries and suspension dug deep into the Ives squad with James Hall and club captain Charlie De’ath joining those on the treatment table and Brett Longden serving the first match of his three game ban following his dismissal against Bishop’s Stortford. All of this meant the burgeoning five men back line had to revert to a flat back four with Danny Kelly continuing in his emergency role at centre back alongside Miles Smith, seventeen year old Jamie Short moving from his pivot role in the back five to right back and Jordan Jarrold continuing his rejuvenation at left back. With Eugene Libertucci now anchoring the midfield Tom McGowan continued in his more forward role and picked up the armband. The enigmatic Dubi Ogbonna returned at centre forward to replace Hall.

It was always going to take a little while for the Ives to settle into this game and it was the hosts that carved out the first opportunity in 9th minute as Lucas Perry delivered a long ball to the back post which Robbie Parker won in the air, knocking the ball down into the feet of Jack Bowen. But Bowen snatched at the chance and fired well over the top from a good position.

Ives responded by going straight down the other end in a flowing move down the left which saw Ogbonna and Ben Seymour-Shove combine well before setting up a shooting opportunity for Jimmy Hartley cutting in from the left. Hartley struck his effort well from the edge of the box and was unlucky to see it deflect inches wide off Tyler Walker. The resulting corner was cleared, but Ives continued to press forward in search of that vital opener.

Hartley again troubled the Waders defence two minutes later as he again cut in from the left outpacing Walker before being brought down just outside the box by Reece Fielding. Kelly carefully lined up the free kick and struck it well. The ball deflected off the wall and dipped wicked inches over the crossbar with home keeper Liam Gooch struggling to get across to cover it.

The visitors continued to press forward at every opportunity and grabbed the opener in 21st minute. Short delivered an inviting cross from the right that held up in the breeze. Ogbonna attacked it getting between Gavin Hoyte and keeper Gooch forcing Gooch into a poor punch. The ball fell to Peter Clark on the edge of the box where the all action midfielder took a touch and cleverly fired the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net away from the fast retreating Gooch.

The lead was so nearly doubled five minutes later as Hartley continued to torment Walker, this time going around him on the outside and getting to the bye line before picking out Ogbonna at the near post. Ogbonna’s first time effort beat Gooch at his near post, but clattered the upright and rebounded to safety.

As the half wore on Ives dropped their pace a little allowing the Waders to come back into the game. But they continued to go long ball at every opportunity and most of the long balls into the box were being well dealt with by Kelly and his comrades in the visitors back line. Kelly was also very effectively picking up the main Waders threat from dead ball situations Hoyte. He only lost the big man once in the game in 34th minute, as Hoyte rose above all in the centre of the Ives box to meet a corner from the right. Fortunately for the visitors he powered his header inches wide.

As the half wore on Waders continued to deliver their long diagonal balls into the box and they did carve out a couple of half chances from them. In 38th minute Hoyte delivered the ball Walker roaming forward won the header at the back post and George Bailey got on the end of the knock down but fired over the top.

In 42nd minute Walker delivered from the right and Bailey threaded the ball through the channel into the run of Bowen, but keeper Jacob Marsden was alert to the threat and raced from his line to bravely claim the ball at the feet of the striker as he entered the box.

The second half was only five minutes old when Jarrold came within inches of embarrassing keeper Gooch. Ives won a free kick inside the centre circle fully 45 yards from goal. Kelly was lining up to deliver it to the back post and Gooch took his position anticipating the cross. But the quick thinking Jarrold darted past Kelly and struck a rising shot that had Gooch scrambling to make up his ground and just paw it away for a corner.

Ives continued to search for the second to kill the game and they went close again in 54th minute as skipper McGowan closed down Fielding and blocked his attempted clearance the ball spun back into the feet of McGowan who got to the bye line before picking out Seymour-Shove with his pull back. But Ives leading scorer was leaning back and fired his effort well over the top.

As the game wore on the Waders became more desperate in their search of an equaliser, but with Short and Jarrold ably assisted by Seymour-Shove and Hartley snuffing out any danger from their wide men this just meant they continued to pump long hopeful balls into the box that was simply food and drink to the immense Kelly and Smith. With 20 minutes to go full back Walker was sacrificed to bring on an additional front man in Graeme Montgomery, but this made little difference to the flow of the game as the hard working Ives continued to restrict the Waders to long range efforts which failed to trouble Marsden.

It was only in the last ten minutes that the nerves started to jangle a bit. Skipper Craig Daniel had a shout for a penalty turned down in 85th minute as he went down inside the box under challenge from Jarrold as he tried to get onto a header down from Nathan Hicks. Referee Andy Loe turned down the Waders claims and Montgomery following up fired the loose ball over the top.

By 86th minute it was bodies on the line time as Jordan Patrick teed up Parker on the edge of the box, but Ives bodies flung themselves across the line to block Parker’s effort and again the follow up was fired over.

The pressure was eased and our fingernails saved by a very simple route one second goal three minutes from time. Marsden’s punt down the centre cleared the Waders back line and as the ball drifted out to the left on a strengthen breeze Hartley found that extra bit of energy to run onto it. Rather than wait for his recovering defenders to close down Hartley keeper Gooch committed himself to try and come to get the ball just outside his box. Hartley got the touch to knock it by him and then had the composure to set himself on the left corner of the box and curl the ball into the top corner of the net giving the recovering Hoyte no chance to keep it out. The relief was palpable as the entire team, substitutes, and bench crew joined in the celebration.

Fortunately the players all managed to keep their concentration to see out the remaining time including surviving a real scramble inside their box as Parker headed a Patrick free kick back into the mix inside added time.

At the final whistle the relief at finally claiming another three points was massive. The celebrations between the players, bench crew and supporters would almost suggest we had won a trophy, not just picked up a second League win of the season. But those of us that have been there all the way through this tough time will know just hard these guys have worked to get out of this dip. Now we need to push on from here and start to move towards the position in the table that our football suggests that we should be.

The supporters almost unanimously voted the rock at the heart of the back line Danny Kelly the man of the match, although once again everyone in the side put in 100% plus and all earned this all important result.

Final Score : Biggleswade Town  0  St Ives Town  2

Goals : Clark 21, Hartley 87

Supporters man of the match : Danny Kelly

St Ives team : Marsden, Short, Jarrold, Smith, Kelly, Libertucci, Clark (Draycott 81), McGowan (capt), Ogbonna (Sawyer 75), Seymour-Shove, Hartley (Groves 90)

Unused substitutes : Dias, Wright

Attendance  :  172

Report by Nigel Howlett. Photo by Louise Thompson