Basford United v St Ives Town


Match Report

Basford United v St Ives Town

Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central  04-03-2023

An impressive goalkeeping performance from James Goff deserved to gain Ives a vital point. The reason it didn’t was an unexpected error from Michael Richens who played a back pass towards his keeper without looking 18 minutes from time. The skipper’s pass from the half way line was woefully under hit giving Lions substitute Gregg Smith the freedom of the park to slot the ball past the exposed keeper for the only goal of the game.

Goff had earlier impressed with a series of vital saves to keep the hosts at bay, all topped off by an excellent penalty save 13 minutes before the break diving low to his right to push away Matt Thornhill’s well struck spot kick. But Ives also had their chances to win this vital contest, the best of those falling to Jonny Edwards right on half time. But the usually deadly striker failed to hit the target with a free header from six yards out.

The game was a very nervy affair between two out of form side both looking over their shoulder at the sides below them who are beginning to pick up points in the battle to avoid the drop. 

The early exchanges showed that edginess particularly in front of goal. The first opportunity to fell to the hosts from a well worked corner in 8th minute. Tyreace Palmer came short to receive Josh Barnes’s flag kick and a clever back heel set Barnes free to scamper in along the bye line. His pull back found Thornhill in space just inside the box but he snatched at the chance and fired well over.

That was the only real opportunity in the first 25 minutes of endeavour but little quality from either side. Ives first half chance came in 25th minute as Richens rose highest to get on the end of Johnny Herd’s out-swinging corner at the back post but he could not get over his header under heavy pressure from defenders.

Richens also wasted a good shooting opportunity on the half hour. A poor clearance from Thornhill had gone straight to Myles Cowling just outside the box. As he was closed down he fed the ball sideways to Richens inside the D but he snatched at his shot which flew high into the car park behind the goal.

The penalty incident came two minutes later Kevin Da Silva Bastos fed in Palmer through the right channel and the centre forward went down under challenge from Jordan Williams, but excellent referee Haydn Lavender waved away the appeals and it looked like the risk was gone. However Palmer managed to retain possession as he got back to his feet and was dribbling the ball away from goal towards the corner flag when Williams needlessly had another nibble and clipped his heels. Referee Lavender had the easy task of awarding the penalty. But Williams blushes were spared by his keeper as Goff guessed correctly diving low to his right to turn Thornhill’s spot kick around the post. 

Following that reprieve Ives got on top for the remainder of the first period. In 39th minute the busy Enoch Andoh robbed Mitchell Tait just outside the box and was taken down by a desperate attempt from the defender to recover the ball. Richens and Ben Toseland both eyed up the free kick and it was the latter who took it on but unlike earlier in the season he did not find the top corner only the roof of the stand behind the goal.

Then as the half entered it’s final minute Edwards spurned the perfect opportunity for to put Ives in front. Andoh fed in Kellan Hickinson down the right and the Peterborough United loanee hung up the perfect cross over the head of keeper Kieran Preston. Edwards arriving at the back post only had to direct his free header on target but he failed to get over the ball and his effort flew harmlessly over the top to ensure that the two sides went in to the break all square.

The hosts came out at the start of the second half determined to take the game to their visitors and Goff had to be at his best to ensure the parity was maintained. His first excellent save came only four minutes after the restart plunging low to his left to keep out a close range effort from Revarnelle James after the striker had been set up by Da Silva Bastos. Ives struggled to clear the loose ball and Ben Starkie’s well struck effort from just inside the box was deflected wide.

Lions skipper Thornhill was still struggling to make the most of good shooting opportunities and he was another to fire into the car park as he failed to hit the target following good work from Palmer in 53rd minute. The pressure from the hosts continued and another clever corner routine brought a chance for Starkie two minutes later. Barnes picked him out with another short flag kick this time on the right and the midfielder was able to get a clean run into Ives box before firing wide.

Another excellent save from Goff denied Palmer just after the hour. The centre forward found just enough space to take down a long free kick, swivel and unleash a fierce drive from just outside the box that Goff was equal to leaping to his left to push the ball around the post.

Another Lions attack in 66th minute saw Da Silva Bastos drive deep into Ives territory before having a shot blocked. The ball looped to Thornhill at the back post and the skipper went for the spectacular trying a scissor kick that he executed well but again Goff was equal to the effort plunging low to his right to clutch onto the ball.

That was Da Silva Bastos’s last act as he was replaced by Smith just moments later and it was the powerful substitute who claimed the only goal of the game just three minutes after coming on. Ives were enjoying a good period of possession moving the ball around well just outside the host’s box without finding a route through. They fed the ball back to Richens on half way and he made the costly mistake of simply moving it on towards his own goal without looking. Smith had anticipated the move and easily cut out the poorly struck back pass before slotting the ball low past the left hand of the exposed Goff.

To their credit Ives lifted themselves and battled hard to get back into the game, creating a number of chances to haul themselves back on terms in the last ten minutes. Edwards rose above Brad Beatson to get on the end of Paddy Casey’s hanging cross in 80th minute, but as earlier he failed to hit the target with his header.

Only moments later an in-swinging corner from Johnny Herd somehow evaded everyone as it flashed across the six yard box then bounced off the shins of an unexpectant Andoh beyond the back post. Andoh went a lot closer with two minutes to go as he ghosted between defenders to get on the end of Tyrone Baker’s cross from the left but like all before him in the orange shirts he failed to test keeper Preston. The only time that the keeper was called upon to make any sort of save all afternoon was in the final added minute as a Herd cross from the right flicked off the head of his own centre back Lewis Carr and would have gone in under the crossbar but in reality it was a comfortable catch for Preston.

At the end it was the home side celebrating what could prove to be a vital three points that sees them leapfrog Ives in the table and more importantly maintain the daylight between themselves and the bottom four. The visitors will again feel that this was a game where they should have got some reward but this is now six games without a win and with the matches running out, the gap to the relegation places now down to six points and the teams below them picking up points Ives must all pull together to get some results before they find themselves drawn into the dogfight.

Final Score:  Basford United  1  St Ives Town  0     


BASFORD: Smith 72


Team Line Ups:

BASFORD: Preston, Roma, Tait, Thornhill (capt), Beatson, Carr, Bastos (Smith 69). Starkie, Palmer, James, Barnes, Unused subs: Peters, Clark, Irvine, Musson

ST IVES: Goff, Casey, Herd, Richens (capt), J. Williams, Toseland, Andoh, Cowling (Higgs 51), Edwards, Hickinson (Shariff 67), Baker, Unused subs: Johnston, Kaziboni,  

Cards: Yellow:  BASFORD: Starkie (90+3),  ST IVES: none


Attendance:  313

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Ollie Jones.

St Ives Town

1James Goff Goalkeeper
2Patrick Casey Defender
3Johnny Herd Defender
4Michael Richens Midfielder
5Jordan Williams Defender
6Ben Toseland Defender
7Enoch Andoh Winger
8Myles Cowling 14 Midfielder
9Jonathan Edwards Striker
10Kellan Hickinson 12 Midfielder
11Tyrone Baker Winger
12Nabil Shariff 10 Striker
14Kieran Higgs 8 Winger
Yellow Cards
Red Cards


Date Time League Season Full Time
March 4, 2023 15:00 Southern League Premier Division Central 2022-23 90'


Club1st HalfFinal Score
Basford United01
St Ives Town00