Alvechurch 2 St Ives Town 1
Evostik Southern League Premier Division Central – 13-10-18
A flowing display of passing football in a second half dominated by Ives failed to bring any reward for the visitors from their first ever trip to the windswept Lye Meadow as the Church took the spoils courtesy of a somewhat fortunate opener midway through the first half and a well taken second just after the hour. The goal that Ives build up play deserved only arrived deep in added time and proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Ives suffered a blow in the pre-match warm up as previously ever present Jarvis Wilson pulled up with an injury to be replaced in the starting eleven by Owen Wallis. With storm Callum providing a strong breeze diagonally from the Redditch end of this small but picturesque ground in the Worcestershire hills it was never going to be an easy day for either side.
Ives came within inches of going in front from their first free kick of the game in ninth minute. Skipper Robbie Parker curled in the kick from the right and Wallis got across in front of his marker to power in a header from ten yards that beat keeper Paul Evans but hit the inside of the post and rebounded straight to Wallis with the Ives man now on his knees he did well to redirect his second header only inches wide.
The Church came equally close to the opening goal on the quarter hour as Josh Ezewele found space on the right to curl in a cross that picked out Kieron Cook who had dropped off at the back post. Crook steered his downward header goalwards with the ball just clipping the outside of the post on its way into the side netting.
The opener did arrive in 28th minute as left back Zak Foster was not closed down as a throw was fed beck to him wide left. He curled a dangerous cross into the box, and with everyone watching big centre forward Aaron Lloyd, Mitchell Botfield managed to ghost between defenders to flick the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards.
Ives had a very good opportunity to get on level terms straight away as the hard working Ollie Snaith was hauled down by Kyle Morrison on the edge of the D only ninety seconds later. A perfect chance to get a shot on target and test the keeper but Parker chose a different option trying to play in Bailey as he peeled off the five man Church wall but he overhit the ball and it rolled harmlessly out of play.
The Church full backs were both seizing every opportunity to raid forward and six minutes later Ezewele exchanged passes with Dave Bellis before surging on into the box from the right. It took a brave last ditch challenge from Wallis to prevent him doubling the hosts advantage.
Ives were still well in this game as a contest and had a good shout for a penalty turned down four minutes before the break, Parker and Snaith exchanged passes down the right after chasing down a long Sam Wilson punt four minutes from the break. The move finished with Parker breaking into the box before being clipped from behind and going down. Referee Robbie Dadley was right on the spot and instantly waved the appeals away.
Perhaps a little unfortunate to go in one down Ives came out for the second half determined to get back on terms and went close twice in thirty seconds only five minutes after the restart. George Bailey showed an excellent touch to turn his maker and fire in a skimming left footed effort from 20 yards that Evans did well to turn around the post plunging low to his right. Joe Hood delivered the resulting corner from the right into the mix where Sam Cartwright rose highest at the back post but powered his header inches wide.
Ives continued to move the ball around well at pace keeping it on the deck to overcome the gale force wind but on each occasion they got to the edge of the Church box they either chose the wrong option, just failed to pick out the runner with the intended through ball, or got caught offside.
Having failed to find a way through the visitors then found themselves with a bigger hill to climb as they fell two behind just after the hour Church skipper Jamie Willets managed to get a clear run inside the Ives box to power home a header from a long Botfield free kick.
Falling further behind knocked Ives confidence and it took a good save low to his left by keeper Wilson to keep out a stinging low drive from the edge of the box by Bellis as he ran onto a Botfield flick and hit it first time only seconds later.
A poor Mark Coulson back pass put Wilson under pressure in 68th minute but the young keeper sprinted from his line to just hack the ball off the toe of the fast closing Lloyd. The ball arced on the breeze to Bellis inside the centre circle and the tricky winger went for the spectacular with a first time effort that was on target. Fortunately young Wilson again showed his pace and agility to get back into his six yard box and make the save.
Manager Ricky Marheineke was still making every effort to find a route back into the game as he replaced the tiring Snaith and Jordan Patrick with Ben Baker and Dylan Wilson. With Parker and Tom McGowan ruling the midfield this pair and the pacey Bailey and Munashe Sundire continued to trouble the hosts defence but it did not crack. Another Hood corner in 76th minute carved out another half chance. The ball into the six yard box rebounded off a defender onto the head of Wallis who did well to direct his header on target but could not get any power on it and the goal bound effort was hacked away by a covering defender.
The final Ives substitution was the replacement of Sundire by Ben Seymour-Shove ten minutes from time and the wide man seemed to have a point to prove as he instantly seized every opportunity to take on the much bigger Church defenders. Baker similarly was looking to run at the hosts back line whenever possible. The two combined to go close in 86th minute. Baker burst through the centre before feeding the ball into Seymour-Shove just outside the box. He showed good touch and a turn of pace to get just enough space to fire in a left footed effort that keeper Evans did well to save low to his left.
The visitors goal arrived three minutes into added time and proved to be little more than a consolation. Hood roaming forward on the right fed the ball into Seymour-Shove on the edge of the box he turned his man well and unleashed a rising drive that keeper Evans did amazingly well to tip onto the post away from the top left hand corner of his net. The ball rebounded across the face of goal. The first man to react was left back Mark Coulson who slammed in his first ever Ives goal from close range.
Ives frustration at getting nothing from this game was personified two minutes later as Seymour-Shove foolishly managed to pick up a yellow card for kicking the ball away having failed to win a free kick to waste the few remaining seconds on the clock. The Ives first home League game for over a month offers them the opportunity to put things right quickly on Tuesday but it is certainly a tough one as they host the unbeaten Waders at Westwood Road.
Final Score : Alvechurch 2 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Coulson 90+3
Team : Sam Wilson, Hood, Coulson, McGowan, Cartwright, Wallis, Sundire (Seymour-Shove 79) Parker (capt), Bailey, Snaith (Baker 62), Patrick (Dylan Wilson 69),
Unused subs : Jarvis Wilson, Kelly
Supporters Man of the match : Robbie Parker
Attendance : 254
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|October 13, 2018||15:00||Southern League Premier Division Central||2018-19||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||1|