Category: Match Reports

First Team Result Dunstable Town 4 First Team 1

Dunstable Town 4 St Ives Town 1

Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division

Manager Ricky Marheineke must have been a little nervous about how much the unbelievable come back by Chippenham only four days earlier had knocked the confidence of his side.

In the early stages of this game he would not have worried at all as the Ives took the game to their third placed rivals with debutant Danny Kelly very much to the fore. The presence of Kelly alongside him also seemed to rejuvenate Andrew Phillips and the movement and strength of the pair certainly unsettled the Blues defence.

It came as no surprise that the visitors went in front from their third corner on 15 minutes. Jack Higgs swung the kick deep to the far post where Lee Chaffey rose highest to head the ball down into the six yard box. Phillips reacted first just beating home keeper Jack Smith to the ball and laying it back for Kelly to hammer home from eight yards. The corner had been won by the hard work of Phillips in chasing what looked like a lost cause into the corner flag and forcing Jhai Dhillon into an error.

Kelly came within millimetres of adding a second only two minutes later as Phillips and Dawkin again put pressure on the home defence and the loose ball rolled into the feet of Kelly just outside the box. He tried an instant snap shot which came through the legs of a defender and beat the unsighted Smith. The keeper was mighty relieved to see the ball cannon back into play off his left hand upright.

The home side’s first meaningful attack came only sixty seconds later as Zak Reynolds and Jack Hutchinson combined on the right before the latter fired in a low driven cross that Danny Talbot flung himself at and was unlucky to see his deflection fly past Tim Trebes right hand post.

The ebb and flow of this very open game continued and it was Ives turn to go close again on 22 minutes as a flowing move involving Phillips, Kelly and Tom McGowan saw the latter play in Phillips on the right. Rather than go for goal from a narrow angle Phillips tried to pull the ball back for his strike partner on the six yard line, but this gave the covering Dhillon chance to intercept the ball and knock it out for a corner.

Again play swung to the other end and the home side had a strong shout for a penalty turned down four minutes later. Adam Pepero did well to keep in a deep corner from the left by David Keenleyside. The big centre back swung in another very deep cross that cleared all and arrived back at the feet of the corner taker. Keenleyside cut inside Harry O’Malley and fired in a shot from the corner of the 18 yard box which appeared to strike the arm of Jack Higgs as he made a brave attempt to block. Fortunately referee Nicholson deemed any contact unintentional.

The Blues began to build up a head of steam as the game moved towards half time and they grabbed an equaliser ten minutes before the interval. The lively Hutchinson seemed to be finding a lot of space on the right hand side and he delivered a dangerous cross that was flicked on into the middle. The ball fell to the feet of Blues leading scorer Alex Cathline who muscled his way through a couple of attempted challenges before firing past the exposed Trebes for twelve yards.

Hutchinson was again the protagonist as the home side went in front five minutes later. He again tried to cut inside Charlie De’ath only to be brought down on the edge of the box by the covering Higgs. Talbot carefully spotted the free kick before firing the ball over the wall and into Trebes top left hand corner.

Having fallen behind the Ives needed to start the second half well if they were to get back into this game, the other imperative was that they did not concede again. The first objective was at least partially achieved as the visitors took the game to the Blues in the first few minutes and Smith was forced into a routine save from Phillips after 50 minutes.

Unfortunately the second objective was blown out of the water only four minutes later as Ives fell 3-1 behind in spectacular fashion. The ball fell to the feet of Shane Bush fully 35 yards from goal. He was allowed to take a couple of paces forward with it and then tried his luck with a powerful effort that most of us thought was going over the top, but the ball dipped late over Trebes and billowed the roof of the net.

This setback again seemed to knock the fragile confidence of the Ives and Cathline had a golden opportunity to make it four on the hour. Hutchinson was again the provider as he again got past De’ath down the right and delivered the perfect inviting cross to the back post. Cathline rose unchallenged, but somehow manager to direct his header from eight yards over the top.

The ever willing Phillips was still battling away at the other end of the park and his persistence created a chance for Ives to pull one back and perhaps set up a barnstorming finish with 15 minutes to go. He chased a long ball down the left and robbed Reynolds before setting up Ben Seymour-Shove in space. The winger looked up and picked out Dawkin with a pull back. His first time effort rattled the fence inches the wrong side of Smith’s right hand post with the keeper looking on.

Any lingering hopes of a comeback were dashed four minutes later as the visitors again showed a lapse in concentration that cost them dear. Talbot was fouled in the middle of the park and rather than someone stand on the ball whilst everyone else instantly got into position a number of Ives players decided to dispute the officials decision. Whilst they were arguing Talbot got up and quickly took the free kick into the path of substitute Jack Green who took advantage of the freedom of the park he had been offered to cut inside and fire the ball low past Trebes despairing right hand.

Once again the Ives matched a top six team for long periods of the game and were unfortunate to come away with what looks like a hiding. The statistics indicate that this was not the case Dunstable had eight shots and scored four. Ives had eight shots and scored one, corner count was 6 – 4 in favour of the visitors. We are not that far away and whilst the players and management team spent some time after the game trying to work out what has gone wrong.

I will give my humble opinion here in that not much is wrong we have a squad to compete at this level, but we have been caught out by small lapses in concentration and small individual errors. Things we would have got away with at step 4 are now punished at step 3, the final goal in this game was a perfect example of this.

We must all continue to pull together in the same direction and the results will come. Keep the faith, come on you Ives!

St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (Carden 79),  McGowan, Phillips, Kelly (Leavers 65), Dawkin

Unused subs : Sinclair, Jarrold, Harradine

Goals : Kelly 15

Supporters Man of the Match : Andrew Phillips

Final Score :  Dunstable Town 4 St Ives Town 1

Attendance  :  171


Result First Team 2 Chippenham Town 3

St Ives Town 2 Chippenham town 3

Date: Saturday 10th September 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: ProEdge
Ground Address: Instant Pot

St Ives Town 2 Chippenham Town 3    

Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division  10/09/16

The Ives deserved some reward from this gut wrenching defeat against the League leaders. After going in front with two first half goals they battled heroically repelling the John Beck style aerial bombardment of the Bluebirds for 85 minutes only to be undone by three soft goals in a three minute spell just before the end.

The opening exchanges were fairly tame with each side probing the others defence without any real chances being created. This all changed as the Ives went in front on 15 minutes. Ben Seymour-Shove delivered a cross from the right that Michael Pook had chance to head clear at the back post. But his free header lacked power and was brought down by Josh Dawkin 20 yards from goal. He played the ball square into the feet of Tom McGowan who poked a tame shot at goal that somehow deceived keeper Kent Kauppinen and crept in the corner as the keeper seemed to be ushering the ball past the post.

The Bluebirds manager took little time to make a change replacing the unfortunate Pook with Mark Preece only five minutes later. The big, strong, visitors were already employing long ball tactics and they almost got an equaliser on 23 minutes as the dangerous Alex Sandell got a flick on a high ball to put Dave Pratt clear. The experienced striker lifted the ball over the advancing Tim Trebes. But covering defender Harry O’Malley saved the Ives by acrobatically hacking the ball off the line.

O’Malley played an equally decisive part in the action at the other end of the park ten minutes later as he doubled Ives advantage. McGowan was brought down on the left by Chris Allen and Seymour-Shove delivered the perfect inviting free kick to the far post where O’Malley rose high above his marker to guide a looping header over keeper Kauppinen and into the net.

The Bluebirds bombardment quickly resumed with Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt particularly to the fore winning headers and clearing their box at every opportunity. Chaffey made a vital interception on 38 minutes as he slid in to turn a low cross from Matt Jones over his own crossbar just ahead of Pratt.

The visitor’s manager was again ruthless in his changes as he removed Nunos Felix to replace him with Alan Griffin and go three at the back in only the 39th minute. Ives continued to battle and created one half chance of their own just before the break as Jack Higgs curled in a free kick from the right that flashed across goal with no one able to apply the finishing touch.

After the predicted roasting from their manager the Bluebirds came out fired up for the second half and went close three times in the first seven minutes. Preece flicked a well delivered Jones free kick just over from a good position on 47 minutes. Griffin had a header from a corner cleared off the line by McGowan three minutes later and keeper Trebes had to be alert to turn over a Preece flick from a Sandell long throw on 52 minutes.

The storm continued, but Ives were beginning to weather it and created two good chances of their own to sew up the points in a two minute spell. Andrew Phillips had a header from a Seymour-Shove cross deflected wide on 69 minutes. Charlie De’ath rose highest to the resulting corner and put in a well directed header on goal that Will Richards did well to hack off the line with his keeper beaten.

Two minutes later keeper Kauppinen dropped a Seymour-Shove cross from the right under no pressure. Phillips reacted quickest to the loose ball, but the keeper was equally quick to react to atone for his error by blocking the close range shot.

With the points slipping away from him Chippenham manager Mark Collier played his final card on 76 minutes bringing on James Guthrie for Matt Smith. This change did not make any variation to the direct tactics which continued as the corner count for the visitors rattled up into double figures and the long throws from Sandell continued to rain in. Ives had set up expecting just these tactics and continued to repel the assault.

This was until the 84th minute when the hard working Sandell delivered yet another ball into the box from the right. Ives previously immaculate rearguard got themselves in a tangle and failed to deal with the ball which dropped in the box. Alex Ferguson was first to react to turn the ball home from close range.

The visitors seemed to sense that Ives were rocking and followed up with an equaliser less than sixty seconds later as Sandell fed a ball through the left hand channel to put Pratt clear and he made no mistake sliding the ball home past the advancing Trebes.

The knockout blow for the home side came only two minutes later as Jones delivered a deep free kick into the box that the shell shocked Ives defence again failed to deal with and substitute Griffin gleefully knocked in the loose ball from close range.

To their credit the home side did not capitulate, but rallied and came close to a deserved equaliser deep in added time as Dawkin fired in a powerful low drive that keeper Kauppinen failed to hang onto, substitute Joe Carden pounced on the rebound by missed his kick with the goal at his mercy.

This was a hard defeat to take, but pulling the positives from it, the Ives matched, and came very close to inflicting the first defeat of the season on the League leaders. If the three points had been claimed they would have moved up to sixth place. We must continue to take this fighting spirit into the upcoming run of tough fixtures and ensure that we concentrate and battle for every ball for the entire 90 minutes in every game.

First Team Result Westfields FC 4 St Ives Town 0

Westfields 4 St Ives Town 0

Date: Saturday 3rd September 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: The Emirates FA Cup  First Qualifying Round
Ground Address: allpay.park, Widemarsh Common, Hereford, HR4 9NA

Ten man Ives suffered an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the first hurdle as they were outplayed by step 5 Westfields who deservedly marched on to the next round and despatched their lacklustre visitors to a long, subdued, coach journey home from Hereford.

Ives lost Jordan Jarrold to two unfortunate yellow cards just before the hour, but even with a full compliment on the pitch they were still looking second best as the hosts ran the show and in Sirdic Grant had the best player on the park by some distance. The question for the Ives players to ask themselves must be why the hosts were allowed the time and space to put on such a show for their bumper crowd of 190.

Grant showed Jarrold that he was going to be in for a tough afternoon as early as the 7th minute as he jinked his way past the young full back who was forced to bring him down. The resulting free kick by Craig Jones was powerfully headed away by Lee Chaffey.

It was not only one wide man who was causing Ives defence nervous moments, but two and the man on the left got in on the act on 18 minutes as Aidan Thomas ran onto a Richard Greaves flick and got past the out of position Scott Sinclair to the bye line. His pull back into the middle was met six yards out in the centre of goal by Jamie Molyneaux who looked like his must score, but keeper Tim Trebes somehow blocked the initial effort with his body and managed to cling onto the follow up attempt by the same striker.

Ives first half chance came from a very route one attempt seven minutes later as Joe Carden almost got clear onto a long Trebes punt which was misjudged in the air by Kane Kahaki. Fortunately for the centre back keeper Matt Gwynne was on his toes and rushed off his line to hack the ball away just ahead of the striker.

The visitors were enjoying their best period of the match and carved out their best opportunity twelve minutes before the break as Jarrold played an excellent ball through the left hand channel to put Josh Dawkin clear. Gwynne was again very quick off his line and managed to block Dawkin’s attempted flick at close range with his body.

The final noteworthy action of the first period came seven minutes before the break as Jarrold picked up his first yellow card as he just clipped the heels of Grant as the speedy winger picked up a cross field pass from Greaves, cut inside him and homed in on the penalty area. Jones fired the free kick through the wall, but just wide of Trebes right hand post.

Having not really got going in the first half the visiting faithful enjoyed their half time cuppa in the knowledge that at least we are still level and hopefully we will come out and lift the pace and take the game to them in the second period. But their hopes were dashed as early as the 49th minute as Molyneaux and Thomas combined well to work their way through the left side of the Ives defence and the move finished with the former slotting the ball through to the latter inside the box and he calmly slid the ball home under the body of keeper Trebes from 12 yards.

Ives did come up with an almost instant response as only two minutes later Jarrold slid the ball into the feet of Ben Seymour-Shove who found space to turn in the box and fired in a well struck shot that keeper Gwynne blocked with his legs at his near post.

Having come close to snatching an equaliser and failed Ives found themselves punished again at the other end only three minutes later as the home side broke quickly and Greaves managed to step inside Sinclair and try his luck from 20 yards. The shot was not particularly well struck, but Trebes seemed to go down and little early and only succeeded in parrying the ball back into play. Grant arriving in the box at pace was first to react and gleefully hammered the loose ball home.

It was going to be an uphill battle for Ives to get back into this game with a full compliment of players on the pitch. That hill became a mountain two minutes later as Jarrold mistimed a challenge on Jones in midfield and instantly knew he was in trouble. The referee deemed the challenge worthy of a second yellow and he was on his way.

The strangely ineffective Joe Carden was quickly sacrificed to be replaced by Harry O’Malley to shore up the defence, but the one way traffic continued as Trebes was forced into saves from Jones and Thomas in the next ten minutes and Greaves flicked a header just wide as he got on the end of a Thomas cross.

With the game seemingly settled both sides made changes as Westfields rested Grant and Molyneaux replacing them with James Baldwin and Dan Polan respectively. Ives also made an important change as 17 year old Matt Wright came on for his first team debut replacing Seymour-Shove. He was quickly followed by the introduction of a second scholar making his debut as the highly promising 16 year old Tiago Dias replaced the tiring Andrew Phillips.

Sadly these changes did not affect the flow of the game and Westfields went further in front on 76 minutes as Baldwin proved he to could be a handful on the right as he got past two Ives defenders before cutting in along the bye line and driving in a low cross that the unfortunate Charlie De’ath turned past his own keeper at the near post.

The game drifted along towards its conclusion with Wright showing touches of his pace, but no one able to read his runs and feed him the pass he needed slid through the channel. There was a final burst of activity as the game entered added time. Right on 90 minutes Polan barrelled his way through a couple of ineffective Ives tackled and burst into the box only to be denied by an excellent block from Trebes. However, he was not to be denied for long as Thomas again drifted down the left two minutes later and delivered a low cross into the box that Polan was able to turn home at close range.

The final action of the day almost brought an historic moment for the Ives as Dias found a little space before clipping a delightful ball into the channel for Wright to run onto his first time effort looked to be heading for the far corner of the net only to be kept out by an excellent diving stop from the underworked Gwynne.

The Ives players rightly marched off with their heads bowed and left the stage to the better team on the day. Westfields celebrated with their fans and we can only wish them every success in the competition as they deservedly go into the hat for the next round.

Only positive for the day were the two promising cameos from youngsters Wright and Dias who have earned these debuts from their development within the scholarship programme. If they continue along that path these lads and others like them are potentially the future of the Club. The only shame was that their debuts had to come on a day when the team just failed to perform to the necessary level to match their excellent opponents.

St Ives team : Trebes, Sinclair, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, Higgs, Carden (O’Malley 58),  McGowan, Phillips (Dias 72), Dawkin, Seymour-Shove (Wright 62)

Unused subs : Mailancol, Harradine

Goals : none

Supporters Man of the Match : Josh Dawkin

Final Score :  Westfields 4 St Ives Town 0

Attendance  :  190


First Team Result Cambridge City 1 St Ives Town 2

Cambridge City 1 St Ives Town 2

Date: Monday 29th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT

It is always good to win away from home and an excellent first half display ensured that Ives won the Pro-Edge derby against their tenants Cambridge City. It was an odd day for all concerned as Ives players were consigned to the away changing room and the management team got a new view of the ground from the away dug out.

Manager Ricky Marheineke made two changes to the starting eleven following the mauling at Slough with fit again club captain Charlie De’ath and all action Buster Harradine replacing Harry O’Malley and Josh Dawkin. The formation was also tweaked with Jordan Jarrold moving to right back to allow De’ath to come in on the left side. With Harradine supporting front man Andrew Phillips, Scott Sinclair was allowed to return to his more familiar role on the right with Ben Seymour-Shove on the left.

De’ath needed to be alert as early as the third minute as Erkan Okay went past Jarrold on the left and delivered a telling cross to the back post where the skipper only just managed to divert the ball away from the lurking Sam Alderson.

Having survived the early scare the Ives should have gone in front four minutes later as Phillips was gifted a free run on goal as Jack Utteridge misjudged a long ball out of defence that bounced on into the path of Phillips. He had time to draw keeper Enol Ordonez to him and pick his spot. He did the first bit right, but inexplicably slid his shot past the keepers left hand, but the wrong side of the upright.

The Ives next opportunity came from a Jarrold long throw on 13 minutes which was flicked on at the near post. The ball fell to the feet of Phillips in the crowded goalmouth. He unselfishly tried to tee up Seymour-Shove, but the ball was scrambled away from goal. The Ives winger battled on to win back the ball and delivered a cross that was headed clear to Lee Chaffey on his way back from the initial throw. He hit a powerful drive first time on the volley from 35 yards that flew straight into the hands of Ordonez.

The Ives were now enjoying a lot of possession and building up a head of steam. The goal that had been threatening arrived in spectacular fashion on 25 minutes. Jack Higgs sprayed a ball out wide left to Seymour-Shove. He feinted to go outside and then turned inside covering defender David Femiola before delivering the perfect in-swinging cross to the back post where Sinclair had completely lost his marker and rose majestically to power a header past the exposed Ordonez.

The Lilywhites tried to respond to Ives going in front and put together a flowing move on the half hour which saw Okay play in the overlapping Charlie Day down the left. He laid the ball back to Harry Norman on the edge of the box and rather than shooting he played one more pass on to Paul Cooper on the right, his ball through the channel almost fed in Charlie Woolfe, but ex City stalwart Chaffey was on hand to block the effort.

Whilst they were looking quite dangerous going forward the City defence was looking somewhat shaky at the back and they gifted Ives a second on 32 minutes as keeper Ordonez failed to control a heavy back pass and Seymour-Shove nipped in to rob him. In a panicked attempt to clear the keeper lunged in at the speedy striker who was going away from goal and sent him tumbling right on the edge of the box. After a moment considering the exact location of the offence the referee pointed to the spot. Higgs marched up and comprehensively beat the ex Ives keeper with a well struck penalty.

Having got two in front and looking comfortable the Ives needlessly allow City to get back in the game only five minutes later. The usually reliable Chaffy inexplicably tried to run a ball out of defence and slightly over ran it forcing him to dive in on Jon Kaye conceding a free kick 35 yards from goal and earning himself a yellow card. Norman tried his luck with the free kick, but the ball deflected off the wall and ran through to Femiola who forced it home from close range.

That was the final noteworthy action of a first half in which the Ives had ten efforts on goal to the Lilywhites three. But we were all thinking that their slender one goal lead may not be enough. The visitors were forced into a change at half time as Harradine again succumbed to his recurring injury and was replaced by Joe Carden with Sinclair returning to a more central role.

As was expected City came out for the second period fired up after a roasting from their manager at the break. The half was only three minutes old when Cooper and Woolfe combined on the right to set up a shooting opportunity for the latter that Liam McDevitt did well to block.

Ollie Sutton in the Ives goal had generally been well protected by his defenders up to this point. But he was almost caught out on 55 minutes. Day robbed Jarrold wide on the left and drove inside before unleashing a dipping drive from 30 yards that bounced just in front of the young keeper who did well to keep his body behind the ball and reacted quickly enough to smother the danger before Tunde Adewunmi could pounce.

Ives raids in the second period were sporadic, but they did create an opportunity from one of these on 63 minutes as Higgs picked out Tom McGowan with a slide rule pass into space on the right edge of the box. McGowan delivered the ball into the centre where City sub Alex Serrano struggled to clear. His attempted clearance fell to Seymour-Shove who was brought down by a desperate lunging challenged from the struggling City man just outside the box. Seymour-Shove picked himself up and struck to free kick over the wall, but also over the cross bar.

This proved to be the visitor’s last opportunity to increase their lead and the remainder of the game was played out mainly in the Ives half of the pitch as they dropped deeper and deeper trying to preserve their lead. Sutton did well to claim a deep free kick in a crowded goalmouth on 73 minutes and also held on well as a free kick got through the defensive wall four minutes later.

McDevitt saved the day on 83 minutes as Chaffy and De’ath collided going for a high ball and looked to have let Adewunmi and Serrano through on goal, but somehow the pair messed it up between them and McDevitt managed to cut out the ball and clear the danger.

City had two golden chances to grab what would probably have been a deserved equaliser right at the death. There was only one minute of normal time left when Day got past Jarrold down the left and picked out the somehow unmarked Adewunmi eight yards out in the centre of goal. He only had to hit the target with his free header, but luck was on Ives side as he carefully placed his header over the crossbar.

Then three minutes into added time Adewunmi turned provider as Cooper played the ball into his feet in the box and he back heeled the ball into the path of Femiola whose shot from ten yards was deflected onto the crossbar and time stood still for a second as everyone thought the ball which had ballooned up into the air was going over the top. But it dropped inside the six yard box fortunately Sutton was first to react and bravely dropped on the loose ball.

There was one final finger nail chewing moment for the Ives fans as with the ball safely in Sutton’s hands the referee decided to take offence to McDevitt offering him advice on a possible handball by a City player moments earlier. The Ives centre back picked up a yellow card and City had an indirect free kick 35 yards from goal. Fortunately it came to nothing and Ives were able to celebrate another important three points.

Jack Higgs got the supporters man of the match for an excellent all round performance spraying passes when he had the opportunity and in the second half particularly playing that vital role breaking up City attacks just in front of the back four.

St Ives team : Sutton, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, McDevitt, Higgs, Sinclair (O’Malley 90),  McGowan, Phillips, Harradine (Carden 45), Seymour-Shove (Dawkin 70)

Unused subs : Trebes

Goals : Sinclair 25, Higgs 33 (pen)

Supporters Man of the Match : Jack Higgs

Final Score :  Cambridge City 1 St Ives Town 2

Attendance  :  429

First Team Result Slough Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Slough Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Date: Saturday 20th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Holloways Park, Windsor Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks, HP9 2SE

Following hot on the heels of two excellent results this performance was a big disappointment as the Rebels bossed this game from start to finish and but for some rugged defending by Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt and some smart saves from Ollie Sutton this result could have been even worse.

In spite of enjoying the lion’s share of possession in the early stages it took until 16th minute before the home side could carve out their first opportunity. Nathan Webb fed the ball out to Lewis Putman on the left and he drew in Harry O’Malley before playing the ball into the feet of Lee Barney on the edge of the box. Barney somehow found space to turn, but fired his effort over the top from a good position.

Keeper Sutton made the first of his excellent saves to keep Ives level seven minutes later as a long throw from Guy Hollis was allowed to bounce in the box and arrived with an unmarked Barney in the centre of goal. He powered in a header that Sutton somehow managed to block at point blank range.

A scramble in the visitor’s goalmouth followed on 26 minutes as Ives defenders had to put their bodies on the line to keep the ball out. McDevitt flung himself in to block an initial effort from Barney and had to repeat the feat with help from O’Malley to keep out the follow up from Putman.

The goal which had looked inevitable for some time finally arrived on 35 minutes as Putman delivered a deep free kick from the right which Ives defenders struggled to deal with and the ball dropped in the box where Hollis was first to react to slam the loose ball home from ten yards.

Ives enjoyed their only brief period of the game in the ascendency in the remaining minutes of the half and went close to grabbing an unlikely equaliser. On 39 minutes a Jack Higgs free kick from the right was won cleanly in the air by McDevitt at the back post. His header down found O’Malley in a good position, but his effort from ten yards was blocked away by Paul Stonehouse. The resulting corner was half cleared to Ben Seymour-Shove on the left and he delivered a teasing cross back into the box which O’Malley directed on goal from eight yards out. The ball looked to be creeping just inside the left hand post only to be kept out by a full length diving save from home keeper Mark Scott.

Higgs delivered the resulting corner deep beyond the far post where Chaffey had found space. The big centre back delivered his header back into the goalmouth where it went over the head of Scott, but bounced to safety off the top of the cross bar.

So in spite of taking a battering for most of the first half the positive finish gave us hope that the Ives could fight their way back into this game if they could keep things tight for the early part of the second period. This hope was immediately quashed as the Rebels doubled their advantage with a soft goal only sixty seconds later. A smart move down the left involving Putman and the overlapping Stonehouse saw the full back find space and deliver the ball into the feet of Charlie Moone on the edge of the box. The big striker had his back to goal and looked to present little danger, but he was allowed to turn and fire in a shot low past the exposed Sutton from just inside the box.

Ives had one more opportunity to get back into the game only four minutes later as Chaffey delivered an excellent arcing ball down the touchline which Higgs managed to pick up deep inside the Rebels half. He played the ball into Andrew Phillips who teed up Seymour-Shove by the penalty spot. His low drive looked to be heading in the bottom corner, but again Scott kept the ball out with his legs.

From this point on it was almost entirely one way traffic as the home side started to move the ball around at pace on the excellent surface sharpened up by a shower of rain. It should have been 3-0 on fifty minutes as Warren Harris and Barney combined well down the right. With Harris final ball playing Barney through into the box. It looked like he only had to pick his spot, but he steered the ball past the advancing Sutton and past the far post.

Harris had an even better chance five minutes later as everyone stopped as the ball was clipped over the top with Barney standing in an offside position. The centre forward made no effort to move to the ball and the assistant correctly kept his flag down to give the late arriving Harris a free run on goal. Jordan Jarrold made a late dash to try and recover the situation and did just enough to force Harris to rush his shot and this allowed Sutton to block his effort at close range.

The third goal did arrive on 65 minutes as Harris and Moone combined well on the right to work their way through the struggling Ives defence, before feeding the ball into Barney in acres of space in centre of the penalty area and he made no mistake slotting the ball home low to Sutton’s left giving the keeper no chance.

The one way traffic continued as two minutes later Stonehouse played a one two with Rebels substitute Gavin James before curling in a shot from 20 yards that Sutton did well to tip around diving at full stretch to his left.

With the result already decided the pace of the game began to drop, but there was still only one side likely to add to their tally and it took an excellent covering challenge from Chaffey to prevent James increasing the lead on 71 minutes. The final action of note was yet another excellent save from Sutton as he plunged to his left to push away a stinging drive from home skipper Sean Fraser four minutes from time.

Manager Ricky Marheineke expressed his displeasure at the Ives display in his post match interview, particularly with the lack of effort from some during the second half battering. At times it looked like the visitors were chasing shadows as the home side whipped the passes around on the slick surface. But this side has built it’s reputation on maintaining shape under pressure and keeping up the work rate on all occasions and that is what we must remember. Slough are a very good side who will cause problems for a lot of sides, but we can play a lot better than we did today.

I received three nominations from supporters for man of the match on this tough day, skipper Lee Chaffey, the tireless Andrew Phillips and keeper Ollie Sutton. Sutton won the vote as no blame could be laid at his door for any of the goals and his handful of excellent saves prevented a much more embarrassing score line.

St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (Clayton 78), McGowan, Phillips, Sinclair (Carden 45), Dawkin (De’ath 72)

Unused subs : Owen,

Goals : none

Supporters Man of the Match : Ollie Sutton

Final Score :  Slough Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Attendance  :  349


Youth Team Result: Eynesbury Rovers U18’s 1 St Ives Town Youth 3

Eynesbury Rovers U18’s 1 St Ives Town Youth Team 3

Date: Thursday 18th August 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Ground Address: Alfred Hall Memorial Ground, Hall Road, Eynesbury, PE19 2SF
Competition: Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Goals from Jaiden Richardson, Matt Wright and an early contender for goal of the season from Reuben Eyles saw Ives scholars off to an opening day victory at Thurlow Nunn new boys Eynesbury Rovers.

The side put out for this opening game was a good mix of first and second year scholars and make no mistake this was a good win against an opposing club who have dominated the Northants Senior Youth League finishing first, or second, in each of the last three seasons prior to their move to the Thurlow Nunn. They are also holders of the County Youth Cup having beaten Ives in last year’s semi-final. Overall this was an excellent victory on the immaculate surface of the Alfred Hall Memorial Ground.

The first half of the game was almost a non-event as far as goalmouth action was concerned as both sides cancelled each other out. All this changed in the final minute before the break as Ives almost went in front from the best move of the game up to that point. Adam Parmenter, Sam Davidson and Richardson all combined down the right with the final pass from Davidson putting Joe McDaid clear. His left foot effort from just inside the box was well saved by the home keeper low to his left. But the Rovers made the mistake of trying to play the ball out from the back and lost it just outside their own box. The ball arrived at the feet of Richardson 25 yards from goal and he spotted the keeper of his line and calmly floated the ball over his head and into the net.

That was Richardson’s last action of the evening as he and Sam Bedwell-Byatt were replaced by the speedy duo of Matt Wright and Ammoncio Anemou at half time. With pace to burn now up front Ives started to get well on top and create chances. Wright almost doubled Ives advantage on 54 minutes as he seized an opportunity to run at the heart of the Rovers defence and forced his way through with a burst of acceleration that almost put him clear. But a lunging tackle just prevented him getting a clean shot away and the Eynesbury keeper did well to block the effort with his legs.

Wright then combined well with Anemou on the left ten minutes later before delivering an inviting low cross that just eluded Davidson as he tried to force it home from just outside the six yard box.

Quick thinking by skipper Mark Lloyd created another opportunity on 62 minutes as received a quick free kick from Jamie Short and then combined with Davidson and Parr before setting up a shooting chance for the young full back that he fired inches wide of the Eynesbury keeper’s left hand post.

Just when we were beginning to worry that a second goal was not going to arrive it appeared out of nothing on 73 minutes as the battling Eyles won a challenge in midfield and strode forward before unleashing a thunderbolt from fully 30 yards that flew into the top corner past the keeper’s despairing dive.

To their credit the Rovers continued to try to press forward to get back into the game with their speedy right winger causing a few problems. But the Ives defence was well marshalled by Callum Sheppeard and anything that did get through was dealt with comfortably by the solid looking keeper Tom Smith. His accurate distribution and long kicks were also an effective weapon for the Ives.

One of his kicks was excellently brought down by Anemou on 77 minutes. The young wide man instantly sped past his marker and was unceremoniously brought down by a covering defender. Lloyd again took a clever free kick laying the ball square into the path of Eyles who again hammered in an effort from 25 yards that was blocked by a defender. The ball rebounded to Lloyd who curled his effort inches wide of the far post from just inside the box.

The all action Wright was still terrorising the home defence and robbed a dallying defender on 80 minutes before running in on goal. Only to again be denied by the battling home keeper who stayed solid and blocked the effort with his legs.

The goal that Wright deserved finally arrived in added time as Eyles won yet another challenge in midfield and knocked the ball down to him just outside the D. Wright side stepped his marker and strode into the box before finally slotting the ball under the body of the diving keeper.

There was still time for Ives to learn a lesson on the night as they switched off and allowed Eynesbury to grab a consolation with the last kick of the game to deny Smith his deserved clean sheet. The speedy right winger finally got away and delivered a ball to the far post where an Eynesbury striker forced himself between two defenders to rifle the ball over the line.

This was a good overall performance at a place where others will struggle to get a result. Everyone played their part and it bodes well for the season in what looks like a very competitive division. Lesson for the evening though concentration right up to the final whistle!.

St Ives Team : Tom Smith, Parmenter, Ewan Smith (Parr 89), Jamie Short, Sheppeard, Eyles, Davidson, Bedwell-Byatt (Anemou 45), Richardson (Wright 45), McDaid, Lloyd (capt),

Sub not used : Kwiatowski

Goals : Richardson 45, Eyles 73, Wright 90+2

Attendance :  43

First Team Result: St Ives Town 2 St Neots Town 1

St Ives Town 2 St Neots Town 1

Date: Tuesday 16th August 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT

Josh Dawkin was the goal scoring hero as Ives came from behind to claim the early season bragging rights in a pulsating Huntingdonshire derby in front of a bumper crowd of 528 on Tuesday evening.

The last time these two sides met in a League fixture was over five years ago and two steps lower in the football pyramid. In the intervening period St Neots have established themselves at step three whilst the Ives have only arrived at the elevated level this season and this performance and result will certainly announce to others in this division that they have arrived.

For the second game in a row injury forced manager Ricky Marheineke into a change in the starting line up. Buster Harradine failing t recover from a knee injury sustained during his excellent performance at Cinderford meant an opportunity for the all action Scott Sinclair to make his debut in the hole just behind front man Andrew Phillips.

Both sides were testing each other out in the early stages of this game and few opportunities were created early on. Ives had the first attempt on goal after five minutes as ex St Neots man Josh Dawkin found a little space on the edge of the box to take down and turn on a clip in from Jack Higgs. But he failed to hit the target with his low bobbling effort.

The next noteworthy effort came on 16 minutes when a St Neots corner was cleared to Phillips inside his own half. He turned and ran at the Saints defence before laying the ball out to Ben Seymour-Shove who managed to cut inside covering defender Dom Mason, but failed to hit the target with his rising drive from the left corner of the box.

The opening goal when it arrived on 28 minutes was somewhat against the run of play a cross was delivered from the right by the hard working James Hall and home keeper Ollie Sutton was put under heavy pressure by Jordan Brown forcing him to miscue his attempted punch. Peter Clark pounced on the loose ball in an instant and rifled it home from just inside the box.

The opener gave the visitors a lift and they enjoyed a good period of possession for the next ten minutes with Sutton forced into a good save low to his right to deny Clark a second from 25 yards in the 33rd minute.

What may have been the turning point of the game arrived three minutes from the break as the influential Clark sustained a head injury in an aerial challenge with Jack Higgs in the centre of the park. In spite of the physio’s attempts to stem the flow of blood it was clear it was a serious wound and the diminutive midfielder was forced off to hospital for stitches and was replaced by Micky Hyem.

From this point the Ives began to wrestle control of the game. They managed to create two good opportunities in the remaining few minutes before the break. The best of these fell to Harry O’Malley. Dawkin took a short corner to Seymour-Shove which he delivered perfectly to the back post where O’Malley had somehow found space. But the full back made the cardinal sin of failing to hit the target with his free header from inside the six yard box.

The final opportunity of the half fell to Sinclair as he got on the end of a flowing move involving Tom McGowan, Phillips, and Dawkin. The former rolling a pass into the path of Sinclair 20 yards from goal, but the shot again failed to trouble Alex Archer in the visitor’s goal as it thudded the boards wide of his right hand post.

The Ives started the second period as they ended the first by creating another good opportunity only four minutes in. Seymour-Shove tried to sprint clear down the left only to be hauled back by the struggling Mason. Seymour-Shove picked himself up and floated in the free kick which was half cleared to the edge of the box. Higgs looked likely to latch onto the loose ball only to have it taken off his toe by McGowan. But just when it looked like the chance had gone McGowan delivered the perfect hanging clip into the box to pick out O’Malley ten yards from goal. This time the powerful full back hit the target with his header, but unfortunately it was straight at the well positioned Archer.

The traffic continued to be almost exclusively one way with Seymour-Shove again denied a clear run on goal by a very well timed tackle from Mason on 57 minutes. Phillips just failed to get on the end of a well delivered Higgs free kick from the right two minutes later and McGowan volleyed over from a good position after Phillips had headed down another Higgs free kick to him inside the box on 69 minutes.

It was beginning to look like it was not going to be Ives night as Archer was forced into his first real save of the evening one minute later plunging to his left to finger tip a curling effort from Phillips around the post. The resulting corner was won in the air by Phillips, but his goal bound effort struck team mate Liam McDevitt and was scramble clear.

Manager Marheineke decided to really go for it with 20 minutes to go throwing on speedy winger Joe Carden in place of full back O’Malley and the new introduction was hugely influential in the equaliser which came on 73 minutes, although it did need a big slice of luck.

Carden sped past tiring Saints full back Jonny Hall on the right and delivered a teasing cross that evaded everyone in the centre and arrived at the feet of Seymour-Shove beyond the far post. He fired the ball back into the centre first time where Saints skipper Tom Wood panicked and took a swing at the ball which was arrowing wide. He only succeeded in slicing it high off his right boot into the roof of his own net.

The goal sparked the visitors into a mini revival and Declan Rogers went close to restoring their lead twice in the next seven minutes. James Hall played him in on the right on 76 minutes, but his well struck shot from the edge of the box failed to trouble Sutton as it thudded the boards by his near post. Rogers also got between defenders to get on the end of a cross from the left by Jonny Hall with ten minutes to go, but only succeeded in heading over the top from a good position.

Ives thought they had won the game with four minutes to go as Carden again got away down the right and picked out Phillips in the box. He skilfully drove on to the bye line and pulled the ball back to McGowan by the penalty spot. He looked certain to score and struck his effort well only to be denied by an excellent flying stop from keeper Archer.

The Saints custodian must have thought he had won his side a point, but there was to be one more twist in the tale as Carden and Sinclair combined on the right to feed the ball into the feet of Dawkin who looked no danger as he was surrounded by Saints defenders on the edge of the box. He somehow found space to control the ball, jink to his right, and fire in a low bobbling effort back across the goal that deceived Archer and found its way into the far corner of the net to spark delirious celebrations amongst the Ives fans and finally silence the Saints drummer.

The home side managed to play out the remaining few minutes without further scare to claim a hard fought, but deserved, victory that moved them above their local rivals in the embryonic league table and even more importantly earned them a further three points in their quest for consolidation at this level.

Sponsors man of the match award went to Ben Seymour-Shove for his all action display up and down the left side. His main contenders were again to many to mention as everyone once more played their part. Two I will give note to though were the pacey Joe Carden who was only on the park for 20 minutes, but turned the game during that period and somewhat unsung hero Tom McGowan who was everywhere in the middle of the park and still managed to get on the end of a couple of good opportunities.

St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley (Carden 69), Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (De’ath 89), McGowan, Phillips, Sinclair, Dawkin

Unused subs : Clayton, Harradine,

Goals : Wood (own goal) 73, Dawkin 88

Sponsors Man of the Match : Ben Seymour-Shove

Final Score :  St Ives Town 2 St Neots Town 1

Attendance  :  528


First Team Result Cinderford Town 0 St Ives Town 1

Cinderford Town vs St Ives Town

Date: Saturday 13th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: The Causeway, Edge Hills Road, Cinderford, Gloucestershire, GL14 2QH

An excellent all round performance saw the Ives return from their long trip to the Forest of Dean with a deserved three points as they claimed their first victory at step three.

Cinderford Town’s ground gave the impression of a team on hard times with crumbling brickwork, leaking roofs and unkempt grass banks. But the Foresters went into this game as joint leading scorers in the Southern League Premier Division. It looked like a tough ask for the Ives to come away with anything, however a thoroughly professional performance saw the visitors return to their modus operandi of last season by claiming the lead when they were well on top and then absorbing all that the home side could throw at them in the second period to take a well deserved 1-0 away victory.

Manager Ricky Marheineke was forced into one change from the side beaten comfortably by Chesham on Tuesday evening as the experienced Lee Chaffey made his first competitive start for the Ives in place of the injured Charlie De’ath. Chaffey also took the arm band and lead from the front along with fellow centre back Liam McDevitt as the pair repelled all that the home side could throw at them particularly in the second period.

After their slow start cost them dear at Chesham it was imperative that the Ives started this game on the front foot and they did just that taking the game to the home side from the off. It took until 17th minute before they could create the first opportunity that their quick passing and movement looked likely to produce. Buster Harradine combined well with Ben Seymour-Shove to win the first corner. Jack Higgs delivered the corner from the right and McDevitt rose highest to power in a header from ten yards out, but he failed to keep the ball down.

Harradine was having his best game for the Ives to date and he went very close to giving them the lead only sixty seconds later. A ball dropped to him in midfield and he seemed to know where keeper Ben Fletcher was position and simply hit the ball first time from fully forty yards. The dipping effort beat the fast back peddling custodian, but unfortunately went a couple of feet the wrong side of his left hand post.

Harradine went close again on 20 minutes as he again found space in the centre of the park and this time chose to run at the home defence before turning back inside and driving in a low effort that keeper Fletcher was forced to push around the post diving to his right. Chaffey got on the end of Seymour-Shove’s corner and beat the ground in frustration as he failed to hit the target with a free header from a good position eight yards out.

The Foresters produced their first meaningful attack on 24 minutes as Blake Waugh delivered a dangerous cross from the right that Gethin Hill looked likely to get on the end of until Chaffey bravely dived in to take the ball of his toe and pick up a free kick for his pains.

Andrew Phillips got in on the act for the Ives on 27 minutes as he picked up a long ball out of defence on the left corner of the box and cut inside Lee Hartshorn before firing in a shot from the edge of the box that beat the diving Fletcher, but flashed inches past his right hand post.

The all important goal arrived sixty seconds later as another long ball out of defence was expertly flicked back into the box over a defender by Harradine to put Seymour-Shove in acres of space by the penalty spot. The speedy winger made no mistake slotting the ball through the legs of the exposed Fletcher from ten yards.

It could, and probably should, have been 2-0 five minutes later as an excellent ball chipped in by Tom McGowan found it’s way over the head of Hartshorn and was skilfully taken down by Phillips who looked to be through on goal. But he delayed his shot for a slit second allowing the recovering Hartshorn to slide in and deflect his effort away.

The final effort of the half came from the home side as they broke up an Ives attack and with Harry O’Malley caught out of position the tricky Jachob Morgan took an opportunity to come inside from his left wing position and fire over the top from 20 yards.

We were all expecting an onslaught from the home side early in the second period as they were surely better than they showed in the first. But the Ives should have sewn the game up with the first opportunity of the second period only four minutes in. Phillips flicked on a long ball into the path of Josh Dawkin who skilfully took the ball past the last defender and toe poked it under the body of the diving Fletcher, but the ball rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

From that point the home side slowly but surely began to come more into the game. They created a good opportunity to equalise on 55 minutes as the dangerous Waugh got away down the right and delivered a hanging cross to the far post when Morgan arriving late failed to hit the target with his powerful header under pressure from O’Malley.

The Ives lost the influential Harradine just before the hour as he limped off with a worrying recurrence of a knee injury. He was replaced by Lewis Clayton making his competitive debut for the visitors. Clayton almost made an instant impact as only two minutes later he seized on a poor headed clearance and sent in a low drive from 25 yards that Fletcher was forced to push away low to his right.

The home side were enjoying a lot more possession from this point, but the Ives defence were holding firm with Chaffey and McDevitt winning everything delivered into the box. This meant that the Foresters were being restricted to long range efforts. Skipper Josh Nelmes fired in the most dangerous of these from 30 yards on 67 minutes. The powerfully struck shot dipped and swerved and Oli Sutton in the Ives goal was forced to parry the ball back into play. But he reacted instantly to bravely plunge in and block the follow up effort from Hill at point blank range.

The Ives defence was so effective that the next noteworthy effort on goal did not arrive until 81st minute and that was another long range effort from substitute Lewis Feley that required a routine diving save to his left from Sutton who held on well.

As the Foresters pushed more men forward in search of an equaliser they were leaving themselves a little exposed at the back and the pace of Ives substitute Joe Carden almost caught them out with six minutes to go as he ran onto a long ball out of defence and hit a first time dipping effort from 20 yards that Fletcher was forced to tip over the bar.

The home side felt they had got very little out of the referee throughout this game and his decision in the first minute of added time provoked an incensed reaction from some of their players as the excellent full back Sam Hunt managed to rob Seymour-Shove wide on the right. The Ives winger made an effort to bring him down, but Hunt managed to get away and run on between two Ives defenders and was closing in on goal when the match official blew his whistle to haul back play for the original foul by Seymour-Shove. The free kick was headed away by Jarrold and Ives were able to play out the remaining two additional minutes to claim their first maximum return of the season.

There were a few contenders for Ives man of the match with Buster Harradine well in the frame until his time on the pitch was cut short by injury. Tom McGowan had another excellent game in the centre of the park. But the main two contenders had to be our excellent centre back pairing of Liam McDevitt and Lee Chaffey. Stand in skipper Chaffey certainly lead from the front and he just won the supporters vote as his experience was so vital in seeing us over the line particularly in the second half.

St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove, McGowan, Phillips, Harradine (Clayton 58), Dawkin (Carden 69)

Unused subs : Sinclair,

Goals : Seymour-Shove 28

Supporters Man of the Match : Lee Chaffey

Final Score :  Cinderford Town  0  St Ives Town 1

Attendance  :  163

First Team Result Chesham United 2 St Ives Town 0

Chesham United vs St Ives Town

Date: Tuesday 9th August 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: The Meadow, Amy Lane, Chesham, HP5 1NE

The Ives first road trip at step three proved very much a learning experience for the newcomers as they met a Generals side who have been at this level for six years and looked very much a club and a team that every new boy at this level can hope to aspire to.

The visitors started slowly and were punished after only eight minutes as a high cross from the right by Brett Longden was spilled under pressure by Oli Sutton. The ball was scrambled out to the left, but was instantly delivered back into the middle by Dave Pearce. The dangerous Ryan Blake had found a little space and that was all he needed as he powered home a well directed header from eight yards giving Sutton no chance to redeem his error.

Prior to this point the home side had been looking very sharp and moving the ball around quickly using the full width of the pitch with Pearce and captain Bruce Wilson both sticking to their respective touch lines. They provided a guaranteed out ball for the Generals every time. But despite this pressure the Ives back line looked like weathering the early storm until the unfortunate mistake.

Strangely enough conceding the goal seemed to settle the Ives a little and they began to come more into the game as the half progressed. Josh Dawkin was looking dangerous on the left and on 18 minutes he tricked his way past Longden only to be pulled back by the struggling defender. Ben Seymour-Shove delivered a curling free kick to the far post where Harry O’Malley rose highest, but failed to direct his header on target under pressure from Darren Purse.

Ives came closest to an equaliser only three minutes later as a clip forward by O’Malley was skilfully chested down into the path of Tom McGowan by Buster Harradine. McGowan’s first time crack from 25 yards arrowed inches past Ashlee Jones left hand post with the tall custodian looking on.

Having enjoyed a good period through the middle of the first half the visitors suddenly found themselves under pressure again for the last six minutes of the period as the Generals camped around the Ives box and clocked up four corners in quick succession. The first corner on 39 minutes was scrambled away at the expense of a second. The second was well met at the near post by Jordan Jarrold, but his headed clearance fell to the feet of Wilson 25 yards from goal. The tricky winger sidestepped the attempt to close him down a rattled the boards with a well struck drive just outside Sutton’s left hand post.

The Generals went even closer to increasing their advantage from the next corner only one minute later. Charlie De’ath’s headed clearance fell to Benji Crilley just outside the box. Crilley steered a low drive through the crowded goalmouth that was heading just inside an unguarded post and was only just turned around by the outstretched fingertips of Sutton who had seen it late and plunged to his left to produce an excellent save.

The final corner of the half only one minute from the break produced another shaky moment for Sutton as he again spilled the ball under heavy pressure. Once again his defence rallied around and hacked the ball clear as far as Pearce who hit a rising drive from 25 yards that Sutton was pleased to see clear his crossbar.

The second half started in almost identical fashion to the first with Ives conceding a second in needless fashion only four minutes in. O’Malley pulled back Drew Roberts just outside the box on the left to concede an unnecessary free kick with Liam McDevitt covering. Pearce delivered the perfect hanging free kick beyond the far post where Sam Youngs arrived at pace to power home a header past the helpless Sutton.

Ives manager Ricky Marheineke made a double change on the hour with Sam Ives coming on as a straight replacement for the somewhat lacklustre Andrew Phillips who had not looked match fit after his lay off. The second part of the change was a little bolder as centre back Lee Chaffey replaced wide man Seymour-Shove. This allowed the visitors to go three at the back pushing forward full backs O’Malley and Jarrold.

This had the instant effect of nullifying the Generals wide men who now had to cover back to help out their defenders. The Ives now began to enjoy better possession in the home half of the pitch with Jarrold and Dawkin particularly combining well on the left to cause the home side a few worries. Dawkin was brought down 30 yards from goal on the left on 66 minutes and picked himself up to curl in the free kick. McDevitt won the ball in the air at the far post, but his header was blocked. Ives latched onto the loose ball and fired in a goal bound effort from just inside the box that was similarly blocked away.

Dawkin was again involved three minutes later as he linked up with O’Malley on the right before delivering another teasing cross that the towering Purse won in the air, but this time Jarrold latched onto the loose ball on the edge of the box. However the young full back snatched at the effort and fired over from a good position.

Jarrold and Dawkin continued to probe on the left and in another bold move Marheineke replaced the tiring O’Malley with winger Joe Carden. But despite huffing and puffing the visitors never looked like blowing down the General’s house in the remaining 20 minutes. Their closest effort was a curled shot over the top from De’ath after a corner had been headed out to him.

Verdict on the first away trip and first defeat of the season was that we ran into a very well organised, powerful, side who had a game plan and executed it well. Two pacey wide men who were always available as an out ball. If they fail to pick up the ball a throw in was equally acceptable as they had a thrower who could deliver to the six yard box. This was topped off by a quick and powerful centre forward who will be a handful for anyone. A very simple, but effective, style of football.

On the positive side the Ives coped well with the majority of what was thrown at them and looked pretty solid at the back. If Tom McGowan’s strike had flown in mid way through the first half it may have been a different story. But sadly on the evening we failed to force the keeper into a single save. A little more composure around the opposition box looks essential.

Josh Dawkin claimed the supporter’s man of the match award as he was constantly involved and looked the most likely threat throughout.

St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley (Carden 79), Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (Chaffey 61), McGowan, Phillips (Ives 61), Harradine, Dawkin

Unused subs : Sinclair, Clayton

Goals : none

Man of the Match : Josh Dawkin

Final Score :  Chesham United  2  St Ives Town 0

Attendance  :  302

First Team Result: St Ives Town 1 Stratford Town 1

St Ives Town vs Stratford Town

Date: Saturday 6th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor:  R Costings Ltd

Ives will be a little disappointed that their debut in step three football only delivered one point as they produced some excellent football and overall deserved to take all three. But the difference at this level is that if you do not take your chances others will punish you.

The visiting Town who are in their second season at this level started the brighter side and created a very good opportunity in only the second minute. Trey Braithwaite played an excellent flick on a ball into his feet and put Jamie Sheldon clear. 20 year old keeper Oli Sutton who was making his debut for the home side replacing the injured Tim Trebes quickly closed down the speedy winger. Sheldon chose to square the ball just giving covering defender Liam McDevitt time to nip in and take the ball off Will Grocott’s toe.

Having survived this early scare Ives began to settle into their stride playing some flowing football. Buster Harradine expertly took down a long ball out of defence on eight minutes and fed the ball left to Ben Seymour-Shove. His driven cross along the six yard line skimmed through without anyone getting the vital touch.

Three minutes later Seymour-Shove who seems to have more licence to roam these days found himself wide right where he tried to slip past Guy Clark who unceremoniously upended him 30 yards from goal. Jack Higgs delivered an in-swinging free kick which Sam Ives deftly flicked on at the near post, but Charlie De’ath just failed to get a firm touch at the far post.

Young Sutton was called into action again on 20 minutes as he made an excellent stop low to his right to deny Richard Gregory. Gregory had pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box after a low cross from Sheldon was only half cleared by De’ath. Sutton distinguished himself again cleanly catching the resulting corner and picking out Seymour-Shove in space by the half way line with a swift throw. The young winger instantly set off on a direct run towards the visitor’s goal and was only halted by a lunging tackle from behind by Simeon Tulloch 25 yards from goal. The Town man picked up a yellow card, but Josh Dawkin failed to hit the target with the resulting free kick.

The pace began to drop as the heat started to take its toll in the latter stages of the period. But just as the half looked like it was going to end goalless Ives grabbed an opener that needed the dubious goals panel to decide who had scored it.

The home side picked up a free kick wide on the right fully 35 yards from goal. Higgs delivered an in-swinging ball into the box which O’Malley attacked in front of the keeper. The presence of the Ives full back caused keeper Niall Cooper to take his eye off the ball which was allowed to bounce on into the net.

The goal just before the break seemed to inspire the home side who started the second half well on top and should have sewn up the points in the first few minutes. The half was only 30 seconds old when Ives pounced on a poor back pass by Jordan Cullinane-Liburd. But the young striker just delayed his shot and allowed Emmitt Delfounesco to catch him and just deflect his effort past the post.

The resulting corner was tipped away by keeper Copper for a second flag kick. This one was delivered to the near post by Dawkin where Ives got in front of his man, but failed to get enough on his close range header which flashed across goal. The ball was kept alive beyond the far post by Seymour-Shove who delivered another dangerous ball into the middle where Ives again reacted first, but glanced his header wide.

Josh Dawkin robbed a dallying Cullinane-Liburd in the 53rd minute and combined well with Higgs to put Seymour-Shove away down the left. His driven cross from a good position again failed to pick out a home striker in the box.

Having failed to settle the issue with a second goal whilst they were on top Ives suddenly found themselves pegged back as the visitor’s grabbed an equaliser from their first attack of the second half. Town substitute Edwin Ahenkorah found space on the left and tried to deliver a cross which deflected into the air off O’Malley and floated over the head of De’ath. Mike Taylor pounced on the loose ball and rattled home a rising shot from close range which went in off the underside of the crossbar.

The pace of the game again began to slow as the heat took it’s toll in the second period. Chances were very much at a premium in this section of the game as both defences held firm. However each side created opportunities to win the game in stoppage time. As the game entered added time an excellent clip from home substitute Andrew Phillips found Josh Dawkin in space. He played the ball on to Joe Carden on the edge of the box. Carden skilfully stepped inside his marker and curled in an effort from the edge of the box which was heading just inside the far post only to be prevented by the fingertips of keeper Cooper who flung himself to his right to tip the ball around the post.

Only one minute later Clark and Ahenkorah combined well on the left with the substitute delivering a low driven cross that Sutton did very well to cut out bravely diving in just ahead of Taylor.

The final chance of the game came in the fifth minute of added time as Dawkin again picked up a loose ball in midfield and ran at the visitors defence before delivering a low cross along the eighteen yard line that Carden expertly dummied to leave Higgs in space. Unfortunately the usually reliable midfielder failed to keep his effort down.

The verdict on this introduction to step three was that we certainly have the players to compete at this level and are very capable of picking up points. But we must be more clinical in our finishing otherwise we will get punished by the quality of striker that we will run into at this level. Still the games come thick and fast now and a visit to Chesham on Tuesday evening will no doubt prove another stern test.

There were many contenders for man of the match in this game with all playing well. Young Sutton must have gone close on his debut, but the sponsors plumped for skipper Charlie De’ath who had his usual reliable game in the centre of defence.

It was good to see lots of new faces around the ground, along with the old crowd. Let us hope that they all enjoyed what they saw and will join us as Pro-Edge Westwood Road regulars over the coming season.

St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove, McGowan, Harradine (Phillips 78), Ives (Carden 85), Dawkin

Unused subs : Chaffey, Sinclair, Clayton

Goals : O’Malley 45

Sponsors Man of the Match : Charlie De’ath

Final Score :  St Ives Town 1 Stratford Town  1

Attendance  :  342

First Team Preview (H) Stratford Town

St Ives Town vs Stratford Town

Date: Saturday 6th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor:  R Costings Ltd

Entry Prices for this match are:
Adults –  £10
OAP’s –  £6
Military Discount (with ID Card)- £5
Students (with ID Card)-  £4
U16’s    – £2

First Team Friendly Result (H) Peterborough Sports

St Ives Town vs Peterborough Sports

Date: Tuesday 26th July 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

Ex Ives skipper and club legend, Jimmy Dean was welcomed back to his old stomping ground in his new role as manager of the ambitious new kids on the block in Peterborough, Peterborough Sports. The visitor’s squad boasted seven players with Ives connections and had also recruited well after their promotion to the UCL Premier Division and boasted a 100% record prior to this fixture. With all of this in mind I think the majority of those present were expecting the home side to face their toughest test of pre-season to date, and so it proved.

The visitors were clearly well set up by their manager and his motivational calls were in evidence on the touch line from early on. Not unsurprisingly they set off on the front foot and carved out their first effort on goal after only three minutes as Mark Jones played in Josh Moreman on the left and home keeper Tim Trebes was called in to action tipping over his driven effort. The resulting corner was delivered to the far post where fortunately for the Ives brothers Richard and Mark Jones got in each others way and failed to hit the target with a header from just outside the six yard box.

The home side should have remembered how far their ex defender Olly Medwynter could throw a ball, but were almost caught out only four minutes later as his first long throw of the match picked out an unmarked Richard Jones near the penalty spot, but fortunately he failed to hit the target with his header.

Although the Ives began to settle and enjoy an even share of possession as the half wore on they were struggling to create any clear cut chances. They did manage to register their first shot of the game on 17 minutes as Jack Higgs found a little bit of space to hit a snap shot from 25 yards that rattled the boards a couple of feet wide of Ollie Sutton’s right hand post.

The home sides best opportunity of the first period arrived on 22 minutes as left back Jordan Jarrold sprayed a cross field ball to his fellow full back Harry O’Malley wide on the right. O’Malley curled a delicately flighted ball into the box that the Sports defence struggled to clear. The loose ball fell to Ben Seymour-Shove on the penalty spot, but he mishit his effort and the ball deflected wide off a defender.

The final opportunity of the first half was created by a moment of magic from Tom McGowan as he picked up the ball in midfield and drifted right pulling the majority of the Sports defence with him. He played an excellent reverse pass into the feet of O’Malley who had arrived in space in the centre of the box. But the ball took a bobble, and his attempted strike harmlessly looped up, and over the cross bar.

Ives made a change at half time replacing the hard working Allan Owen with Buster Harradine and pushing Sam Ives up front. But it was the visitors who started to win the midfield battle and take control of the game. Keeper Tim Trebes had to make the first of a series of impressive saves to keep his side in the game on the hour. The speedy Jordan McLeod was played clear by a perfectly weighted through ball from substitute Dan Clements and probably should have scored, but Trebes bravely plunged in at his feet to block the effort at close range.

Ives were struggling to create anything to trouble young Sutton in the visitors goal. Their only efforts of note in the second period were a 25 yard free kick from Jack Higgs that flew wide of Sutton’s right hand post on 70 minutes and Jarrold strike from similar distance five minutes later that flashed across goal but ended in a similar result.

The final fifteen minutes of the game were largely spent with the ball in and around the Ives box with Trebes continuing to frustrate the visitors attempts. McLeod was proving a constant threat down the left and he set up the next opportunity on 75 minutes as he delivered a teasing cross that another ex Ives man Avi Vieira met in spectacular fashion, but fortunately he failed to keep his volley from a good position down.

Trebes produced his best save of the evening with ten minutes to go as he first plunged to his left to keep out a well struck drive from Clements and then recovered quickly to block the follow up effort from Vieira with his legs. The final opportunity of the night was probably the best one of the lot. Vieira jinked his way past a couple of tackles down the left and delivered a low driven cross that another ex Ives man Karl Gibbs attacked in all to familiar fashion at the near post. He made good contact under pressure from Liam McDevitt and was very unlucky to see the ball flash inches wide of the upright.

The overall conclusion was that whilst both teams retained their unbeaten records in pre-season it is undoubtedly the visitors who will take a lot more from this game and probably should have taken the victory. They look a very good bet for at least a top two finish in the UCL this season.

Positives for the home side were the third clean sheet in a row and a very good work out for the entire side particularly the defence. It is probable that we will meet poorer sides than this in the League over the coming months. Although we did enjoy some good periods of possession and the players all look comfortable on the ball coping well with the pressing tactics of the visitors, the biggest worry was probably the lack of fire power as Sports keeper was not forced into a single save over the entire 90 minutes.

Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Peterborough Sports 0

St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath, Chaffey (McDevitt 56), Higgs, Carden (Sinclair 62), McGowan (Lewis Clayton 79), Owen (Harradine 45), Ives, Seymour-Shove

Attendance  :  99


First Team Friendly Result (H) Eynesbury Rovers

St Ives Town vs Eynesbury Rovers

Date: Tuesday 19th July 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

A pre-season friendly on the hottest day of the year to date did not bode well for a highly competitive affair and so it proved. The Ives tore into their United Counties League rivals for the first 20 minutes and looked likely to win by a substantial margin, but the heat began to tell and the game tailed off with both sides almost going through the motions in the second half.

Both sides will be delighted to get more game time into their players and Ives manager Ricky Marheineke may also have a little thinking to do as two of the three trialists on view for the home side did enough to probably warrant at least a second look. Goalkeeper Dan Wilks was on St Mirren’s books last season and although not really tested he looked very confident and composed in all that he did. Centre forward Alan Owen looked very sharp in the first half. He was involved in the first goal and was probably a little unfortunate not to grab a goal for himself. The third man looking for an opportunity to impress was ex Histon midfielder Lewis Clayton who appeared to pick up a knock early on and struggled to make a real impression in the centre of the park.

As already mentioned Ives started this game impressively and had the ball in the net after only four minutes. Ben Seymour-Shove ran at the defence on the left and fed the ball out to the overlapping Jordan Jarrold. His deep cross was kept in play by Joe Carden who pulled the ball back to Owen on the penalty spot. He miss hit his first time effort, but the ball bounced on to Seymour-Shove who had continued his initial run and found himself alone in the six yard box. He prodded the ball past Jamie Greygoose in the visitor’s goal, but was not surprised to see the effort ruled out by an assistant’s flag.

Owen was like a terrier in this early period and was giving the Rovers defenders no peace at all. He hounded and robbed a dallying Eliot Bentley on seven minutes. His bobbling effort from the right hand corner of the box almost deceived Greygoose who dived to soon and was relieved to knock the ball away for a corner.

The home side’s pressure told only one minute later as Seymour- Shove again ran at the Rovers defence from a central position. He played the ball into the feet of Owen who played a deft flick back into the path of the speedy winger. His first time effort from 25 yards found it’s way into the bottom right hand corner of Greygoose’s net past the despairing dive of the keeper.

Seymour-Shove could have doubled his tally only three minutes later as Carden outpaced his full back down the right and hung up a deep cross that beat the back peddling Greygoose. Seymour-Shove arriving beyond the far post got a clean header on the ball, but only succeeded in putting it in the side netting.

The visitors had their first real foray into home territory on 28 minutes as Ben Keating brought down Bentley wide on the left 30 yards from goal. The free kick was delivered deep to the far post where Jarrold knocked it out for a corner. He had to be equally alert seconds later as the out swinging flag kick was delivered to the penalty spot by James Freshwater where Tom Coles had found space to power in a free header. Jarrold did very well to stick to his station just inside the near post and head the ball away to safety.

Freshwater was caught dallying at the opposite end of the park two minutes later. Seymour-Shove took the ball off his toe before powering to the bye line. His low cross to the near post was met by the toe of Owen who just failed to hit the target under pressure from Adam Randall.

An Ives free kick just outside the visitor’s box almost proved their own undoing ten minutes before the break. The ball was delivered low into the box and cleared first time by Randall. Craig Smith looked to be getting away onto the ball down the middle, but Keating denied him with a perfectly timed covering tackle just outside the Ives box.

Owen’s final opportunity to grab the goal his all round performance deserved came right on the break. Seymour-Shove played the ball into his feet on the right hand corner of the box. He initially shaped to go left of his marker, but turned and got in a powerful low drive with his right that keeper Greygoose just managed to hang onto plunging low to his right.

The heat and a whole raft of substitutions began to take their toll in the second period. The first item I found noteworthy did not arrive until the 76th minute. Josh Dawkin set out on a probing run down the left side and managed to battle his way into the box before prodding the ball through to Buster Harradine. His shot from just inside the box took a huge deflection off a defender and looked to be looping in over a stranded Greygoose. But the keeper had other ideas and hurled himself backwards to acrobatically tip the ball over the top.

His salvation was short lived however as Dawkin delivered a deep in-swinging corner that curled over the stopper and looked to be heading straight into the net before it met the forehead of Charlie De’ath who gleefully nodded it home from point blank range.

That concluded the evening’s entertainment. The only other item worthy of mention, and I am sure it will have been noted by Ricky and Jack – The first clean sheet of the season, let us hope there are plenty more to follow in the coming campaign.

Final Score : St Ives Town 2 (Seymour-Shove 8, De’ath 77) Eynesbury Rovers 0

St Ives team : Wilks, O’Malley, Jarrold (Sinclair 59), Chaffey (De’ath 69), McDevitt (Moyes 60), Clayton (Higgs 59), Carden, Keating (McGowan 45), Owen (Phillips 59), Ives (Harradine 60), Seymour-Shove (Dawkin 45)

Attendance  :  82

First Team Friendly Result (H) Peterborough United Youth XI

St Ives Town 1 vs Peterborough United Youth XI 1

Date: Tuesday 12th July 2016
Kick Off: 7:30pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

Pre-season continued well for the Ives with a good win in an entertaining, fast moving, encounter against a skilful and competitive Posh team boasting at least one first team player.

Both sides enjoyed the opportunity to move the ball around on an excellent surface sharpened up by the days rain. Each team spent the early period of the game with a good degree of possession, without either being able to penetrate the others back line.

It took until the 18th minute before either side could carve out even a half chance. Andrew Phillips managed to escape down the left. He laid the ball back to the feet of the late arriving Jordan Jarrold, but his well struck shot from 20 yards was bravely blocked at close range by Posh skipper Hugh Alban-Jones.

As the half wore on the Ives began to get on top and created a better opportunity five minutes later as the alert Josh Dawkin took a quick throw on the right and then delivered a low driven cross into the middle from the return ball. The Posh defence struggled to deal with it and a miss hit clearance fell to the feet of Harry O’Malley on the penalty spot. But he snatched at the chance and only succeeded in firing high and wide.

Ives manager Ricky Marheineke executed his pre-match plan as he made four changes on 35 minutes. One of the new introductions Joe Carden had an immediate impact as he sprinted away from his marker down the right. He looked up and picked out the un-marked Phillips on the penalty spot who made no mistake firing the ball home high into the roof of the net giving keeper Lewis Elsom no chance.

Just as it appeared that the home side were going to head in to the break in front they were caught out by a quick break from the speedy Posh strikers. Jordan Broome and Cam Stump combined to play their way past an exposed Dan Moyes with the latter firing home into the bottom corner of the net from just inside the box past the despairing right hand of Tim Trebes.

Broome continued to cause the home defence problems with his pace and trickery early in the second half. But his team mates squandered the half chances he managed to set up from his dancing runs down the right.

Marheineke executed the second half of his pre-match plan on 65 minutes rolling back on the four players that previously went off and adding Ben Keating to the mix. From this point the superior fitness of the Ives began to tell and they were now looking the only likely winners.

On 78 minutes an excellent flowing move saw Jarrold play the ball in to the feet of Sam Ives who held the ball up well and played it back to Keating in space. He instantly swung the ball out wide to Carden. His driven cross was bravely claimed by substitute keeper Conor Barton just ahead of Ives.

The home side looked certain to go back in front four minutes later as Posh Centre back James Goode misjudged a long ball from Scott Sinclair and Ives found himself clear with only the keeper to beat. He prodded the ball past Barton and went to run onto it only to be held back by the keeper. Inexplicably the referee waved away appeals for a penalty and left the Posh keeper a very lucky man.

Keeper Barton was called into action twice more in the next two minutes as he kept out a header from Tom McGowan and a crisp drive from Sinclair. Jack Higgs fired a free kick from 20 yards inches over the top on 88 minutes and it looked like the last chance to win the game had probably gone.

However the home side continued to pile on the pressure and bagged two corners in quick succession as the clock ticked towards time. Ben Seymour-Shove swung in the second of these from the left to well beyond the far post where skipper Charlie De’ath rose above the crowd to head the ball powerfully back into the goal mouth Tom McGowan reacted first to force the ball home.

There was still time for Ives to switch off and almost hand the visitors an equaliser. The elusive Broome delivered another telling ball from the right which picked out Stump unmarked eight yards from goal. Fortunately the young striker failed to hit the target with his free header.

Only seconds later the full time whistle went to conclude a thoroughly entertaining game. The Ives fans can be happy that the new players appear to be bedding in well and the all important team spirit seems to be growing in the new group. It can be no co-incidence that Ives controlled the game for the final 20 minutes as the all important fitness work began to show through.

One to note for the statisticians amongst us. 15 year old goalkeeper Shay Griffiths made his first appearance for Ives replacing Tim Trebes for the last 15 minutes (and keeping a clean sheet for his period on the pitch). Is he the youngest player to represent St Ives first team?

Final Score : St Ives Town  2 (Phillips 39, McGowan 90) Peterborough United Development XI  1 (Stump 43)

St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath, Chaffey, Higgs, Seymour-Shove, Harradine, Phillips, Ives, Dawkin

Subs (all used roll on roll off)  :  Griffiths, Moyes, Sinclair, McGowan, Keating, Carden


Attendance  :  126


First Team Friendly Result (H) Oakham United


Date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT

The Ives seized the opportunity to give a run out to all of their fit and available players in their opening pre-season game at a sunny Pro-Edge Stadium on Saturday.

The playing surface looked as good as it has probably ever done at this stage of the season following the warm, damp start to the summer and the visiting step six Imps were expecting a challenging encounter against the now step three hosts.

Following last season’s promotion, the management team had been busy recruiting over the short summer break and the Ives faithful were eagerly anticipating a first view of the many new recruits to the host’s ranks.

The starting line up only boasted four of last season’s successful squad and seven newcomers, six of whom have already put their name to the Ives cause for the forthcoming season. The odd man out being stand in keeper Tom Spenser filling in whilst Tim Trebes was enjoying his holiday.

Right from the off it became clear the new squad was boasting a little more quality and pace than last year. New central midfielder Tom McGowan was the first man to get a shot away for the hosts as the visitor’s defence struggled to clear a long throw from Harry O’Malley in only the third minute and McGowan quickly pounced on the loose ball to rattle the boards with a crisp drive from 20 yards that flew inches wide.

The first effort on target came only six minutes later as two more newcomers combined to test visiting keeper Quincay Showunmi. Sam Ives run and cross from the left was met perfectly by the late arriving Josh Dawkin at the far post. But his powerful volley from ten yards was blocked by the body of the keeper.

Ives showed that extra little touch of skill and ability in this year’s squad as on 19 minutes he picked up the ball in central midfield and had the composure the look up and see keeper Showunmi a little way out of his goal. A perfectly flighted lob had the custodian scurrying backwards to just keep the ball out at the second attempt.

Showunmi again saved his side on 27 minutes as he bravely denied Andrew Phillips. Dawkin set off on an excellent run cutting in from the left past two defenders. The ball was just taken off his toe by a third covering man, but Phillips was onto the loose ball in a flash only for Showunmi to come flying off his line to block the striker’s effort at point blank range.

Two minutes later the same two players were involved again with the same result. The struggling Imps back line failed to clear a low ball to the edge of the box and again Phillips pounced on the loose ball and tried to slot it home, but again Showunmi was equal to it plunging low to his left to push the ball away.

The visitors had rarely raided into Ives territory, but they almost caught the host’s back line napping on 36 minutes. The pacey Michael Nelson took on Charlie De’ath and got around him before driving a low ball into the box that Lee Chaffey sliced over his own cross bar. Centre back Gavin Cooke got on the end of Stu Lambie’s corner, but powered his header over the top.

Just as it looked like Ives were not going to get in front before the break they suddenly grabbed the lead with a goal out of nothing four minutes from the break and then doubled their advantage just seconds before the whistle.

The first goal came from a harmless looking ball delivered into the middle by O’Malley. Phillips will always chase any cause and as both goalkeeper and centre back dallied the ever willing striker nipped between them to just toe end the ball past the late arriving stopper.

The second came from a goalkeeping error from the unfortunate Showunmi. Jordan Jarrold delivered one of his trade mark cross field pings from the left that arrived at the feet of Ives beyond the far post. The skilful striker took down the ball well, but miss hit his shot straight at the keeper who inexplicably allowed it to slip through both his hands and his legs before it rolled agonisingly inches over the line.

Josh Dawkin also had an excellent double chance to grab a goal in between those two strikes as he ran clear onto a long ball through the middle. His first effort was blocked by the legs of Showunmi and the follow up was acrobatically cleared off the line by the covering Ash Hibbitt.

Ives made four substitutions at half time and a further five around the hour which meant the second half was a much more disjointed affair. The Imps spurned an excellent opportunity to pull a goal back on 57 minutes as a ball in from the right arrived at the feet of Nick Young. He was denied by a brave point blank block by Spenser only for the ball to roll to Nelson inside the six yard box. But he could only rattle the upright with his effort from a tight angle.

The third Ives goal arrived on 77 minutes and it was created by trialist Guiy Mailancel who danced past three players down the left and delivered a deep cross to beyond the far post where fellow substitute Ben Seymour-Shove picked up the ball and drove in a low cross that the unfortunate Cooke turned past his own keeper at the near post.

Mailancel came close to grabbing a goal of his own with six minutes to go as Jack Higgs fed the ball out to him on the left and he cut inside his marker before firing in a fierce drive that stung the hands of keeper Showunmi who only held it at the second attempt.

The last action of the afternoon belonged to the visitors who grabbed a consolation goal with four minutes to go that will have disappointed the home management team. Hibbitt delivered a corner from the left that was powerfully headed home by Eddie McDonald who had found space in the box.

Final Score : St Ives Town 3 (Phillips 41, Ives 45, Cooke own goal 77) Oakham United 1 (Jenkins 86)

St Ives team : Spenser, O’Malley (Land 60), Jarrold, De’ath (Moyes 64), Chaffey (Steel 45), Harradine (Higgs 45), Carden (Seymour-Shove 45), McGowan (Keating 45), Phillips Davidson 60), Ives (Lloyd 60), Dawkin (Mailancel 60)

Attendance  :  82


Ladies Result: Saints Ladies 1 Milton Ladies 0

St Ives Lionesses kept alive their hopes of claiming top spot in the Championship South with a very hard fought win over one of their rivals for the crown at a very sunny Pro-Edge Stadium.

The game was decided by a well taken early goal from Ives skipper Sasha Smith, but the result was achieved by an impressive all round team performance and a very solid defensive display in which keeper Kira Markwell and centre back Mollie Flack were outstanding.

The speedy Milton no. 10 had the ball in the Ives net as early as 3rd minute, but fortunately the eagle eyed match official had spotted her pull back on Megan Stowe as she powered through and disallowed the effort.

Hannah Seymour-Shove was winning a lot of the ball in the centre of the park and she almost put Smith clear in the 12th minute. It took a foul on the edge of the box by the Milton centre back to deny Smith a clear run on goal. The free kick came to nothing.

Two minutes later the same two players combined again and this time Smith battled her way clear to get on the end of Seymour-Shove’s through ball. The keeper bravely closed her down and blocked Smith’s effort at close range. But the tough centre forward battled on and just managed to turn the loose ball home from a narrow angle in spite of the efforts of a covering defender to clear.

Hannah Seymour-Shove continued to enjoy a lot of possession in the centre of the park and she combined well with Georgia Rebane to set up a shooting opportunity for Tierney Poore on 23 minutes. Poore’s effort from 20 yards was well struck, but straight at the keeper who held on well.

Milton slowly began to work their way into the game and started to create a few opportunities of their own as the half wore on. The two central strikers combined well to try and work their way through on 27 minutes. But when the shot finally came in it was blocked by an Ives defender. The ensuing scramble in the box ended with a follow up shot fired well over from a good position.

Keeper Markwell showed her alertness and bravery just after the half hour as the Milton centre forward broke clear onto a clip over the top. Markwell was quick off her line and bravely threw herself across the shot on the edge of the box. The ball ran loose to another Milton player following up, but Markwell showed her speed of recovery by again hurling herself in to the feet of the attacker. But this time she mistimed her challenge just outside the box and took out the opposition player instead of the ball. She picked up a yellow card for her troubles, but certainly took one for the team as she prevented a clear shot on a vacant goal. The free kick was hammered over the top so Ives preserved their lead.

Ives were somewhat under the cosh during the latter period of the first half, but did create one opportunity from a very direct move. A long punt from Markwell was skilfully brought down by Rebane 25 yards from the Milton goal. She instantly spotted Amy Seymour-Shove in space on the left and sprayed a long diagonal ball into her run. The young winger took the ball in her stride, took a touch, and fired in a powerful drive from the corner of the box that the Milton keeper did well to hang onto.

Markwell was again the Ives saviour two minutes from the break as the dangerous Milton no. 10 again managed to break clear to run onto a through ball from her fellow striker. But she got a slightly heavy touch on the ball which was just sufficient to give the ever alert Markwell time to sprint from her line and just win the race to the ball.

Ives had one chance to double their advantage right on the break as they won a corner which was delivered from the right by Hannah Seymour-Shove. Substitute Connie Liddiard managed to get in front of her marker and got in a clean strike at the near post but Milton’s keeper was again well positioned to make the save.

The home side started the second half in positive fashion and created three good opportunities in the first ten minutes. On 51 minutes Amy Seymour-Shove won the ball in midfield and played it into the feet of Rebane. She teed up Poore for a first time volley from the edge of the box that just cleared the crossbar.

Less than sixty seconds later a handball 25 yards from goal set up a free kick opportunity for the returning Smith. She struck her free kick well over the wall, but again the Milton keeper was equal to the effort. The third opportunity two minutes later fell to Rebane as she got on the end of a long ball from Liddiard, but the Milton keeper was on hand to make another routine save.

The next major incident of the game came just before the hour as the speedy Milton no.10 escaped her marker and raced onto another ball through the channel. Once again Markwell came off her line at speed and again she beat the striker to the ball hacking it away from the edge of the box. But the momentum of the two players took them both on into a sickening clash of heads. Both players fell to the deck and both were helped from the field after a lengthy stoppage for treatment. The versatile Liddiard donned the yellow jersey and play resumed after a ten minute stop.

This incident and the heat of the day seemed to be taking a little of the pace out of the game and the next 15 minutes passed without either side creating a decent opportunity, although Ives did win three corners in quick succession around the 70 minute mark.

Amy Seymour-Shove was brought down by a clumsy tackle 30 yards from goal on 75 minutes. Smith delivered a well struck free kick to the far post where Leigh Chatten who had only just come on bravely challenged the keeper for the ball. Chatten was deemed to have fouled the keeper, by jumping into her, but she was the one who came off worse as she took a blow from the keeper’s attempted punch clear. She became the third player of the afternoon to leave the field looking a little groggy.

Milton had one chance to pinch a draw and it came with eleven minutes of normal time remaining as a long punt from the keeper was allowed to bounce and the Milton substitute got between Ives defenders and stand in keeper Liddiard to get a toe on the ball. But much to the relief of all it rolled inches wide of the post.

The superior stamina of the Ives team began to tell as the game wore on into the added eleven minutes and they probably should have sewed the game up in this added time. Two minutes in Molly Berryman delivered an excellent ball into the box that eluded everyone in the middle. Georgia Stancombe had ghosted into the far post un-noticed and looked certain to score, but she took a touch and the excellent Milton keeper quickly closed her down forcing her to shoot into the side netting.

We had played eight added minutes when Georgia Stancombe got away down the right running onto an excellent through ball from Chloe Stefanelli. Stancombe got past a covering defender and cut in on goal. But a slightly heavy touch gave the Milton keeper chance to show her bravery as she plunged in at the feet of Stancombe to claim the ball.

Smith was only denied her second by the final whistle as she was put through the middle by Poore and was bearing down on goal as the referee brought proceeding to an end.

Overall a very competitive game watched by an appreciative crowd of over 100 people on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The result means the Ives have now guaranteed themselves at least second place with one game to go and a chance to overhaul Park Ladies on the final day of the season. A fantastic performance from a brand new side expertly moulded together by Darren, Neil and Simon.

Player of the match was jointly won by the excellent Kira Markwell and Mollie Flack who did an equally good job keeping the very dangerous Milton no. 10 in her pocket for most of the game.

For anyone who did not manage to get along to see them this season, look out for their games next year as this side, like the whole Club, are going places.

St Ives team : Markwell, Stefanelli, Berryman, P. Webb, Stowe, Flack, Stancombe, H. Seymour-Shove, Smith (capt), Rebane, A. Seymour-Shove.

Subs : all used roll on/roll off : Liddiard, Chatten, Jenkins, Poore, Ford

Goal : Smith 14

Players of the match : Mollie Flack & Kira Marwell

Attendance : 102

Result: St Ives Town 2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1

The ultimate climax of a fantastic season arrived for the Ives on May Bank Holiday Monday 2016. May Bank holiday has always been the traditional workers holiday and the hardest working team in Southern League football gained their reward in this play-off show down in front of a bumper crowd at Pro-Edge Westwood Road.

In spite of finishing one place above the Diamonds in the regular season the home side went into this game as the slight underdogs against their well supported opponents who had already removed play-off favourites Royston.

Both sides started the game nervously and struggled to string passes together on the hard bumpy surface. The conditions not helped by a strong breeze blowing down the pitch which was in the Ives favour in the first period.

All of the early efforts from both sides came from distance and did not trouble either keeper. The first shot of the game came from the Diamonds as Andy Hall cut inside Jordan Jarrold and fired well over from 25 yards on four minutes. Five minutes later Luke Knight hammered Ives first effort even further over the top from 20 yards after the first corner of the game had been headed clear to him.

Jack Bowen set up another half chance for the Diamonds on 12 minutes as he managed to pull Charlie De’ath out of his central position and then get around him on the right before driving a ball across the box which was only inches ahead of Shawn Richards sliding in.

Each sides best opportunity of the half came in a three minute spell around the midway point. Ben Seymour-Shove covering back brought down Lewis Leslie by the corner flag on the left. Richards delivered the free kick into the box and Leslie leapt highest to get in a powerful header which flew inches wide of the far post on 24 minutes.

Three minutes later and a long throw from skipper Knight caused panic in the Diamonds defence. Connor Kennedy’s hurried clearance arrived back at the feet of Knight and he delivered a dangerous in-swinging cross to the near post. Danny Watson bravely attacked the ball and got a touch just ahead of keeper Matt Finlay but he got to much contact on the ball and it scraped just over the crossbar.

Ives did get the ball in the net from the very next attack only sixty seconds later. As Watson managed to ghost in and get on the end of a long free kick from the halfway line from Jack Higgs. He met the ball well and Finlay somehow managed to block the effort at close range. De’ath was following up and headed home the rebound, but the cheers were short lived as the assistant had his flag raised to signify that Watson had started his run a split second to early.

The only other item of note in a scrappy first period was the loss of inspirational skipper Knight who had to leave the field after a gash opened up below his eye following a clash in central midfield with Dan Quigley. Quigley picked up a yellow card for his action, but a very groggy Knight left the field to be replaced by Jack Warwick.

The second period was only 18 seconds old when Seymour-Shove rattled an effort from the corner of the box into the side netting. He had been put clear by Andrew Phillips after good work by Watson had created the space.

The combination of Richards and Leslie was still looking dangerous for the Diamonds and the pair combined again on the hour as Richards delivered a free kick from wide on the right which was won in the air at the near post by Leslie who flashed his header just wide.

The man who has been Ives saviour on so many occasions this season came to their rescue again three minutes later as Bowen looked to have put Leslie clear through the middle, but just as he shaped to shoot one of Steve Gentle’s long legs came through to take the ball off his toes.

The game was opening up a little more at this stage and swinging from end to end. The next chance only one minute later fell Ives way Seymour-Shove and Higgs combined well on the right to create an opportunity for Higgs to swing in a ball to the near post where Phillips again won the header, but failed to hit the target.

Five minutes later a deep free kick from the half way line caught on the breeze and deceived Gentle. The ball fell into the box and a scramble ensued. Ives can be thankful to their centre forward Phillips who was doing a covering job and managed to hack the ball clear.

Time was ticking away and it was beginning to look like a stalemate. But with nine minutes to go the Diamonds snatched what looked like a winner as substitute Elliott Sandy found space at the far post to get on the end of a well delivered corner from the left by Richards and direct his header down and into the net from eight yards.

Manager Ricky Marheineke was left with little choice, but to go for it and quickly made his two remaining changes as Scott Sinclair came on to replace the tiring Phil Draycott and the experienced Dan Moyes replaced Jordan Jarrold.

Having conceded from a corner Ives snatched the equaliser in similar fashion with only two minutes to go as Higgs took a short free kick on the right back to Harry O’Malley. His out-swinging delivery cleared everyone in the centre and arrived at the feet of Watson who had found space beyond the far post. Watson hit the ball first time on the volley hard and low into the back of the net sending Ives fans into raptures.

There was still time for Seymour-Shove to deliver another teasing ball in from the right that Finlay had to punch away from Sinclair at full stretch. But the ball was scrambled to safety by his team mates and the game arrived at ninety minutes all square for the second time in a row.

The Ives went into extra time with their tails up having snatched the prize away from the Diamonds at the death. However it was the visitors who threatened first on 95 minutes as Leslie delivered a dangerous ball in from the left that De’ath bravely headed away from Diamonds substitute Tom Liversedge at full stretch. The ball fell to Kennedy who fired over from 25 yards.

Ives went in front in route one fashion two minutes later as a wind assisted punt by keeper Tim Trebes was only half cleared to Seymour-Shove 20 yards from goal. He instantly brought the ball down touched it sideways to create some space and hammered a low drive into the bottom corner of the net past a diving Finlay.

This seemed to really knock the stuffing out of the visitors and Watson twice went close to increasing the lead in the last two minutes of the first extra period. The big striker chased down a punt out of defence on 104 minutes and just beat keeper Finlay to the ball, but Diamonds skipper Liam Dolman was on hand to tidy up behind his keeper.

The only corner of the first added period arrived at the feet of Watson deep inside the box one minute later. His first effort was blocked at close range and the rebound cleared off the line by Jason Lee.

With the rain now lashing down and the pitch easing a little both sides were still trying to play football with little sign of fatigue from their tough semi-finals in the previous midweek. Diamonds were desperately trying to get back on terms and it was that man mountain Gentle that came to Ives rescue again with four minutes to go as Kennedy delivered a deep cross from the right that was won at the far post by Liversedge. Gentle blocked the header at close range and the ball bounced loose to Phillips who broke at speed and timed his ball to the right into the path of Seymour-Shove to perfection. The flying winger drove into the box and flashed his effort across the face of goal.

The Diamonds mustered one final effort right on time as another Kennedy cross from the right was half cleared to Quigley on the edge of the box. The amazing Gentle hurled himself across the line of the shot to block the ball away. The visitor’s plaintiff pleas for handball fell on deaf ears and just moments later the referees whistle blew to send the stadium into uproar.

So ends an amazing season, far and away the best in the history of St Ives Town. Those that were there on this historic day will probably not remember the quality of the performance, but the atmosphere and the winning goal will live long in the memory of all. Most of the Rushden hoards took their defeat gracefully and know they will be back for a second go next season. Unfortunately a mindless few looking for trouble tried to spoil the Ives big day, but they were soon ushered away to allow the celebrations to begin.

Throughout the season this team, and the whole Club has been a big family and it has been said on a number of occasions that we are the Leicester City of the Southern League. It was hard to pick a man of the match again today, but on the big stage you always need big players and they do not come any bigger than our colossus Steve Gentle who once again was everywhere heading away virtually everything thrown into the box and putting his body onto the line to block out shots when necessary. He was pushed close by to many others to mention.

Roll on next season and a chance to have a go at a few more of the big boys. As Ricky Marheineke said at the end, “enjoy today as the planning for next season starts tomorrow”.

St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold (Moyes 87), De’ath, Gentle, Higgs, Seymour-Shove, Knight (Warwick 45+1), Phillips, Watson, Draycott (Sinclair 87)

Unused subs : Brown, Rogers

Goals : Watson 88, Seymour-Shove 97

Supporters Man of the Match : Steve Gentle

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

Attendance  :  1,523