Barwell v St Ives Town
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 22-01-19
The second one all draw on the road in three days reinforced Ives mid table position but as on Saturday it could so easily have been even better as again a defensive error meant they failed to hold onto a lead gleaned just before the break with another fantastic goal.
Andrew Osei-Bonsu’s weaving run and clinical finished deep in added time at the end of the first half warmed the cockles of the thirty or so Ives fans who had braved the wintery weather to make the trip to this historic Leicestershire village. Those brave souls along with the small crowd of locals that had ventured out were all worried pre-match as the game was put in doubt by a heavy snow shower two hours prior to kick off. Fortunately the weather relented and with both sides eager to play the excellent referee Sam Kane was happy to allow the match to go ahead following a line sweeping exercise from the groundsman and a few willing volunteers.
It looked like a scene from the 1980’s games that are regularly shown on tv at the start although the yellow ball should probably have been changed for an orange one just to complete the image. It was the hosts that started best and it took an excellent clearing header from Ben Jackson at the back post to prevent Antony Dwyer getting on the end of a teasing cross from the right by Kurtis Revan in sixth minute.
Dwyer went even closer two minutes later as Ives struggled to clear a Brady Hickey free kick into their box. The ball eventually being fed back to Hickey who picked out Dwyer well at the near post with his return cross but the big centre forward headed over from a good position under pressure from Charlie De’ath.
The visitor’s first telling penetration into the host’s final third of the pitch came in 27th minute as Danny Kelly and George Bailey combined well on the break to put Osei-Bonsu clear. The pacey Ives striker was only stopped by a very well timed covering tackle from Henry Eze who slid in to take the ball off his toe just as he entered the box. The resulting corner was half cleared to Munashe Sundire who’s attempted cross back into the mix from the right took a deflection and looped into the air. Home keeper Liam Castle looked a clear favourite to claim the ball but on a cold night his first real handling job of the evening was not a good one and he spilled it. Fortunately for him his defenders reacted first and Ruben Desrosiers scrambled the loose ball out for another corner. Castle made no mistake with this one claiming the ball cleanly at the back post.
By this point in the game Ives were looking fairly comfortable and dealing well with what the hosts were throwing at them. They were also beginning to look threatening on the counter attack. In 35th minute another good Ives break saw Osei-Bonsu threat a perfectly weighted pass into the run of Ben Seymour-Shove cutting in from the left but the Ives winger was forced wide and when his shot finally came in from a narrow angle it was blocked by a covering defender.
The indication was for an added two minutes at the end of the first period and the goal when it came arrived in the second of those and although completely different to Jake Newman’s stunner on Saturday it was another contender for goal of the season. Osei-Bonsu picked up a ball inside from Seymour-Shove on the left fully 35 yards from goal. He set off on a mazy run at the retreating Canaries back line beat one man just outside the box then jinked past Eze just inside the box and showed his honesty as he was clearly clipped but did not go down choosing instead to keep his balance before slotting the ball under the body of Castle and into the far corner of the net.
The warming half time cuppa was greeted in very happy style by the Ives faithful and not one of them had ventured to the Clubhouse outside the ground which may have been just to far in the cold. Jackson succumbed to an injury he picked up just before the break and was replaced by Mark Coulson who slotted in on the right hand side with Kettering loanee Ben Toseland retaining his spot on the left. Toseland was involved in the first threatening Ives attack of the second half in 56th minute as he threaded a ball down the line to allow Seymour-Shove to deliver a deep cross that Bailey half volleyed well over at the back post.
Ives went close to adding to their advantage again three minutes later as Eze misjudged a long Martin Conway punt down the centre allowing Kelly to challenge Desrosiers and keeper Castle for the dropping ball on the edge of the box. Kelly got his toe to it first but directed his prod the wrong side of the post.
Although Ives had been defending well up to this point the Canaries were still very much in the game and the mobile Dwyer was causing a few problems. In 63rd minute he managed to find himself a little bit of space on the left and flashed a head height cross across the six yard box just ahead of two of his colleagues rushing in. The ball went out for a throw on the left and it was in trying to work their way forward from that throw that the usually ultra-reliable Robbie Parker made the fatal error that cost Ives two points on the night. He allowed himself to be dispossessed by Revan deep inside his own half. A ball inside Toseland put Dwyer through to the bye line Conway managed to get to his low driven cross but could not hold onto the greasy ball and Hickey gleefully accept the gift ramming home the loose ball from close range to level things up.
The hosts continued to push on in search of a winner but the frugal Ives back line was soon back to it’s best and was very effective in dealing with what was being thrown at them. There were a couple of opportunities for the Canaries from dead ball situations. The best of these came in 85th minute when Jake Newman’s first act on being introduced as a substitute was to foul Dwyer just outside the D in a central position. Hickey lined up the free kick and although he cleared the four man Ives wall he also cleared the crossbar by a good two metres.
Ives came within millimetres of breaking Barwell hearts deep in added time. A De’ath long throw was headed out to Sundire fully 25 yards from goal. He took a touch and unleashed a howitzer that flew past the startled Castle without the keeper moving a muscle. It looked like it was going to dip in but it just did not dip enough in the cold night air and it rattled the goal frame before rising high into the air giving Castle chance to recover his wits and claim the ball as it dropped.
All in all an entertaining game that ended with honours even on a night when the referee’s decision to allow the game to go ahead was fully vindicated. George Bailey claimed the man of the match award for a very hard working display on the right, although he was pushed close by Andrew Osei-Bonsu who on his first start looks like a player of huge potential he took his goal brilliantly let us hope it is the first of many he claims for the Ives.
Final Score : Barwell 1 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Osei-Bonsu 45+2
Team : Conway, Jackson (Coulson 45), Toseland, Sundire, De’ath, Jarvis Wilson, Bailey (Snaith 79), Parker (capt), Kelly, Osei-Bonsu (Newman 83), Seymour-Shove,
Unused subs : Baker, Ward
Supporters Man of the Match : George Bailey
Attendance : 136
Report by Nigel Howlett
|January 22, 2019||19:45||Evo-Stik League South - Premier Division Central||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||1||1|