Alvechurch v St Ives Town


Match Report

Alvechurch v St Ives Town  

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central 02-10-2021

The question being asked by Ives supporters at the end “was this a hard earned point on the road, or two points dropped?”. The statistics would certainly suggest the former with the Church registering 17 shots, eight on target, to Ives four shots, three on target. But to counteract that Nathan Hicks missed the chance of the game in the last minute of the first half and had it gone in the visitors would have been sitting on a two goal advantage that they would have been fancied to defend.

With Ives in desperate need of finding a way to arrest their run of nine games without a win and even longer run without keeping a clean sheet manager Ricky Marheineke was expected to make changes and he did with Callum Milne and Eniola Agemoh-Davies recalled to the starting eleven in place of the suspended Brett Solkhon and Samir Nabi who dropped to the bench.

The hosts were quick out of the traps and would have gone in front after only ninety seconds but for a brilliant goal line clearance from Milne after Luke Yates had got clear through the right channel and beaten Paul White with a crisp drive that was heading for the far corner of the net before Milne’s timely intervention.

Sam McLintock also went close to putting the Church in front only seconds later as Zak Brown and Dave Bellis combined well to feed him through on the left, but the host’s winger pulled his shot wide from a good position.

White almost gifted the hosts the lead on ten minutes as he stopped his action part way through an attempted throw out to Josh Flanagan. The ball shot from his grasp and fell at the feet of Anthony Dwyer who should have scored but White redeemed himself by pulling off a brilliant double save to keep out his well struck effort and then bravely dive in at the feet of Nick Clayton-Phillips to prevent him slotting home the loose ball.

Ives first meaningful attack came in thirteenth minute as their high pressing game almost brought dividends. Liam Cross hounded Ash Carter into a mistake deep in his own territory, played a one two with Nabil Shariff and slammed in a low drive that brought a smart one handed save low to his right out of home keeper Dan Jezeph. Shariff almost got onto the rebound but the ball bounced wide off his knee.

Toseland needlessly brought down Dwyer 30 yards from goal in a central position in 20th minute. The resulting free kick ultimately led to a seven minute delay as Bellis got on the end of Clayton-Phillips free kick and beat White with his effort only to be denied by the assistant’s raised flag. However in his effort to keep the ball out of the net Milne had slid into the goal and torn the netting off the crossbar. A hurried call for the groundsman, search for cable ties, and call for a chair to stand on to make the repairs meant the players were all able to enjoy a long drink break.

When play eventually resumed it took a while for both sides to get back into the flow of it again. The next opportunity went the way of the hosts in 33rd minute as a corner from the right was cleverly pulled back to Clayton-Phillips on the edge of the box. His initial effort was blocked but the ball ricocheted to Carter who unleashed a screamer that brought the best out of White as the big keeper leap spectacularly to fingertip the ball over the top.

By this point Ives were beginning to look dangerous on the break and it was from just such a situation that they went in front two minutes later. Shariff showed brilliant touch to take down a ball out of defence and feed in Cross on the right. The youngster showed great composure to get his head up and picked out Dylan Williams all on his own at the back post. Williams showed equal composure as he took a touch before slotting the ball under the body of the exposed Jezeph.

The hosts responded well to going behind and they were quickly back on the attack. Clayton-Phillips and McLintock combined well down the right. The move ending with the latter firing in a dipping 25 yarder that skipped off the turf just in front off White. The big keeper could not hold onto the effort but again he reacted brilliantly to claim the loose ball just ahead of Clayton-Phillips. The keeper was in spectacular action again in 43rd minute as he leapt full length to his right to palm away and stinging effort from overlapping full back Jamie Ashmore after he had been put through by Dwyer.

In the last minute of the 45 came Hicks miss that could have put Ives on the road to victory. Cross galloped away down the right and got to the bye line before delivering an inviting ball along the six yard line where Hicks was arriving at pace unmarked. The ball only had to hit him to rebound into the net but somehow he failed to make any contact at all and the chance was gone. The added seven minutes brought no further telling action before the break finally arrived.

It was the turn of McLintock to squander the hosts first opportunity of the second half as he failed to hit the target from an excellent position having got onto the end of a ball clipped into the box by Bellis only twenty seconds after the restart.

Ives last good chance to make their afternoon a little more comfortable came in 49th minute as Williams fed in Cross cutting in from the right. His crisp low drive from just inside the box was well kept out by Jezeph who dived low to his right to palm the ball away one handed at full stretch.

All of the host’s possession and pressure finally brought them reward in 64th minute. Carter played in Yates down the left and his low driven cross was forced home at the far post from close range by Clayton-Phillips as he slid in.

Having got level the hosts continued to press forward in search of a winner but they found Ives defence in much more resolute mood than it has been in recent games. All of the visitors back line were sticking to their task well and where necessary putting their bodies on the line to block shots and crosses from being delivered into their box. When a shot eventually got through in 82nd minute it was a piledriver from Carter that stung the hands of White as he parried it away. The keeper was thankful that the follow up from Bellis was less powerful and straight at him and he held on well.  

White deserved a little good fortune and he got it in 90th minute as a free kick from the right rebounded off Ives wall and fell to substitute Charlie Dowd who carefully curled the ball off the outside of his right boot from the edge of the D, it arced around the full length dive of White but cannoned to safety off the top of his right hand upright.

The hosts had one last chance to win it in the second of five added minutes when three players all arrived together at the far post to get on the end of a corner from the right. One of them should have directed a header on target but fortunately for Ives they all got in each other’s way and the ball sailed harmlessly wide off the shoulder of Carter.

My personal verdict, although it could have been more, on the balance of play this was a good point on the road. Unlike recent games there were also a number of contenders who got a mention for Ives man of the match amongst the small group of Ives faithful followers behind the goal. Callum Milne, Dylan Williams and Ben Toseland all had their best games in a while but the accolade went to Camron McWilliams who as well as winning a whole host of vital tackles and interceptions also got forward to support the attack whenever possible.

Final Score: Alvechurch  1  St Ives Town  1      


ALVECHURCH: Clayton-Phillips 64

ST IVES: Williams 35


ALVECHURCH: Jezeph, Ashmore (Dowd 87), Sephton, Bellis, Willets (capt), Carter, McLintock (Turton 76), Brown, Dwyer (Waldron 76), Clayton-Phillips, Yates Unused subs : Patterson, Phillips

ST IVES: White, Agemoh-Davies, Toseland, Richens (capt), Milne, Flanagan, Cross, Williams (Nabi 87), Shariff (Snelus 87), McWilliams, Hicks (Parker 79)) Unused subs : Heath, Faris Rhaman

Ives Supporters man of the match : Camron McWilliams

Attendance : 102

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Alvechurch TV

St Ives Town

1Paul White Goalkeeper
2Eniola Agemoh-Davies Defender
3Ben Toseland Defender
4Michael Richens Midfielder
5Callum Milne Defender
6Josh Flanagan Defender
7Liam Cross Midfielder
8Dylan Williams 15 Midfielder 35'
9Nabil Shariff 14 Striker
10Camron McWilliams Defender
11Nathan Hicks 12 Midfielder
12Robbie Parker 11 Midfielder
14Jack Snelus 9 Striker
15Samir Nabi 8 Midfielder


Date Time League Season Full Time
October 2, 2021 15:00 Southern Premier Central 2021-22 90'


Club1st HalfFinal Score
St Ives Town11