Bedworth United v St Ives Town
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 02-03-19
When you are at the bottom lady luck rarely smiles on you and the struggling Greenbacks received a hefty blow before this game even kicked off as their keeper James Fogg picked up an injury in the pre-match warm up which prevented him taking his place in the starting line up. Probably their only piece of good fortune on the day was having a substitute keeper named amongst the substitutes so Adam Harrison was called up to take his place.
Ives manager Ricky Marheineke stuck with the same squad that claimed an impressive win at Banbury in their previous game the only slight change being George Bailey’s recall to the starting eleven in place Andrew Osei-Bonsu who had enjoyed the intervening week training with a higher level club in the North East.
The hosts lost the toss and found themselves up against a stiff breeze blowing straight down the pitch towards the town end courtesy of the impending storm Freya. With this type of wind blowing across a 3G surface it was a day for precise passing as long balls were being caught by the breeze and quickly diverting from their intended target.
As both teams battled to come to terms with the conditions the only item worthy of note in the first fifteen minutes was an early clattering for Martin Conway in the Ives goal as he claimed a dangerous looking cross from the left by James Hancocks he was bundled unceremoniously into the net by the powerful Levi Rowley. In the 1950’s the “goal” would have stood fortunately in this more enlightened age the effort was rightly chalked off by referee Scott Chalkley.
The first meaningful effort at goal from either side came from the hosts in 15th minute as a low cross from the right by Chekaine Steele was cut out at the near post by Robbie Parker but the ball rebounded to Barry Fitzharris on the edge of the box. With a little bit of time the Greenbacks midfielder should probably have done better but he tried his luck first time and only managed to blaze his effort well over the top.
The wind had a hand in the Ives opening goal four minutes later as Rowley tried to head on a long ball down the centre of the park but got it completely wrong and only succeeded in powering his header in completely the wrong direction. It fell to the feet of Munashe Sundire deep inside opposition territory. His touch belied the conditions as he floated a peach of a ball over the hosts defence to the back post. Ben Seymour-Shove had timed his run to perfection and was onto the dropping ball in a flash. His finish matched the quality of the ball in as he met it perfectly to smash it past the exposed Harrison on the volley for goal that was simply way above the quality of everything else that had gone before it.
The hosts had an opportunity to get back into the game only three minutes later as Ben Jackson mistimed a tackle on Luke Rowe on the left corner of the box. The Ives right back picked up the first yellow card of the game for his clumsy challenge as Alex Troke considered his options from this dangerous position. Troke went for goal his effort curling around the Ives three man wall but the well positioned Conway made the save look easy.
Ives doubled their lead with only their second effort on goal in 33rd minute. One of their trademark flowing breaks out of defence saw the ball fed out to Seymour-Shove wide on the left. He cleverly stood up Ricardo Dudley before outpacing the Greenbacks defender on the outside and laying in a teasing left footed cross to the near post where Mark Coulson had crept unseen. His flicked header across the face of goal deceived keeper Harrison and crept in at the back post much to the delight of the experienced left back who claimed only his second goal ever for the Ives.
The hosts were beginning to realise that it was not going to be their day but to their credit they continued to press forward in search of a goal if only to break their lengthening dry spell without one. Hancocks flashed a shot across the face of goal after he had been played into the left hand edge of the box by clever hold up play from the powerful Rowley.
Comfortably in the driving seat Ives came out for the second period with a resilient we hold what we have mentality and although willing to concede possession in the opposition half they were determined to make it very hard for the struggling Greenbacks to break them down. Any efforts at goal from the hosts were restricted to shots from distance. The first two of these came from the busy Steele who flashed a 25 yard effort a couple of feet wide in 48th minute and then went a little closer seven minutes later. Rowley chested down a Rowe cross from the left to tee up Steele just outside the D and although he did not hit this effort as cleanly the unsighted Conway was relieved as it bobbled just wide of his right hand post.
Dudley ventured up from the back to try his luck in 57th minute but he faired no better as his attempted curler from 25 yards drifted wide of Conway’s left hand post on the breeze with the keeper confidently watching it go by.
A pre-rehearsed corner routing almost brought success for the home side in 70th minute as Rowley stepped over Rowe’s low driven corner at the near post. Hancocks arriving in the middle made good contact on the ball but only succeeded in diverting it over the top from a good position.
Ives should have killed off their struggling hosts with a third goal in 73rd minute as Osei-Bonsu closed down and robbed Elliott Parrott as he tried to deal with a Coulson clip down the left. Osei-Bonsu bore down on goal from a narrow angle, he drew keeper Harrison to him and only had to pick out Sundire arriving unmarked at the back post. But the Ives substitute slightly overhit his ball across the six yard box meaning that what should have been a tap in for Sundire became a desperate lunge to reach the ball and he did not quite get there.
Having failed to kill the game off Ives could easily have been pegged back only seconds later as from the resulting goal kick the ball reached Rowley on the left and he managed to deliver a dangerous cross into the box. With the ball swirling on the wind Conway was always struggling and although he got an outstretched hand to the ball he only succeeded in palming it down into the box. Fortunately Tom Wood was on the spot to come to his keeper’s rescue as he did just enough to prevent Troke forcing the loose ball home.
Conway was having real problems with the gusty wind and he was almost caught out by another cross from the left ten minutes from time. Overlapping full back Rowe delivered the hanging cross that the stretching Conway completely missed as he tried to punch it clear under pressure from Rowley. Much to the frustration of the home supporters lady luck again came out on the keeper’s side as the ball hit Troke and was scrambled away by Jarvis Wilson at the expense of a corner.
By this point the home side had come to the conclusion that, as had been the case for them so often this season, it was not going to be their day. This realisation meant they dropped their level a little and that along with the introduction of the pace and trickery of Jordan Patrick and Ben Baker allowed Ives to carve out a couple more opportunities to add to their tally. In 83rd minute Osei-Bonsu outpaced the tiring defence and was only just prevented from getting on the end of a Jackson clip over the top by the alertness of keeper Harrison.
Four minutes later Patrick and Osei-Bonsu combined on the left to tee up Robbie Parker his well weighted clip to the near post put the galloping Coulson in on goal again and the full back looked likely to add to his first half effort as he clipped the ball past the advancing Harrison only to be denied by the covering Parrott who hacked the goal bound effort away.
The final action of the afternoon only served to highlight the hosts problems in front of goal as the vastly experienced substitute Iyseden Christine cleverly held the ball up on the edge of Ives box before rolling it into the path of Steele. His low drive produced only the Greenbacks second effort on target of the affair but it was blocked at his near post by the well positioned Conway. The rebound fell to Rowley who floated the ball to the back post where Hancocks forced his way in front of Jackson but failed to hit the target from close range.
The sad Greenbacks extend their time without a goal to only six minutes shy of 500 and must be coming to terms with the certainty of relegation with nine games to go. In contrast the Ives continue to consolidate their future at step three for another season as they move up to eleventh and increase the gap to the relegation places to thirteen points. Mark Coulson was a perhaps unlikely winner of the supporter’s man of the match award for his all action display topped off with a rare goal, and almost a second. He was pushed very close by Ben Seymour-Shove who had a huge hand in both goals and a man fast becoming a new fans favourite Tom Wood.
Final Score : Bedworth United 0 St Ives Town 2
Goals : Seymour-Shove 19, Coulson 33
Team : Conway, Jackson, Coulson, Sundire, Hoyte, Jarvis Wilson, Seymour-Shove (Patrick 85), Parker (capt), Wood, Bailey (Osei-Bonsu 64), Snaith (Baker 81)
Unused subs : Ward, Newman
Supporters man of the match : Mark Coulson
Attendance : 143
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|March 2, 2019
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town