Belper Town v St Ives Town
Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round 08-10-2022
Unable to match their FA Cup heroics Ives slithered out of the FA Trophy tamely at the first hurdle. But even without playing well the visitors could so easily have been the ones going into the hat for Monday’s First Round draw. A goal to the good thanks to a little bit of magic from Myles Cowling they were awarded a blatant penalty fifteen minutes from time as home keeper Dan Moore hauled down Nabil Shariff inside the box as the striker rounded him. With neither Jonny Edwards nor Dylan Williams on the pitch Enoch Andoh grasped the responsibility. Despite hitting his spot kick well his stuttering run up had given Moore plenty of time to guess which way to go and the young keeper got it right redeeming himself with a flying stop to his left. To rub salt into the wound the Nailers went straight down the other end and levelled things up courtesy of well taken goal from their best player Brodie Litchfield.
With a few players carrying knocks and the FA Cup tie against Halifax looming in just seven days manager Ricky Marheineke made four changes from the starting eleven that won so impressively at Ilkeston on Tuesday evening. In came Cambridge United loanee full back Greg Sandiford for his Ives debut. Ed Hottor came back into the centre of the park, Ethan Johnston made his first start of the season up front and Shariff returned to lead the attack and captain the side. Michael Richens and Dylan Williams were on the bench whilst the two more seriously injured Kane Lewis and Edwards missed out completely.
The hosts, struggling in the lower reaches of the Northern Premier League, were already onto their third manager of the season and new man in charge Steve Kittrick had steadied the ship picking up four points in their last two games. After a slow start from both sides that little bit of confidence that results bring began to show through for the Nailers and the first real opportunity of the game came their way in 12th minute. Charlie Reaney threaded a perfect ball through Ives defence to put Litchfield clear but as James Goff came to meet him the winger fired well wide from just outside the box.
It was half way through the first half before either side got an effort on target and that also came from the hosts as Litchfield got past Sandiford down the left before delivering the ball to the near post where Jakub Hebda met it acrobatically but his shot was straight at Goff who held on well.
Ives first, and only, effort on goal in the first half came in 24th minute. Shariff was taken down clumsily by Charlie Wakefield just outside the right edge of the box. Johnny Herd delivered the ball to the back post where Shariff got through the crowd to make contact only six yards out but the ball came more off his shoulder than his head and it bobbled just wide of the post.
Chances at either end remained at a premium until the last few minutes of the half. But the hosts did carve out two very good opportunities in those moments and it took two excellent saves from Goff to ensure that Ives went in level. In 43rd minute Hebda timed his run to perfection to get in behind the visitors back line and got to the bye line before picking out Reaney with his pull back to the edge of the box. The Nailers number ten struck the ball cleanly and it took a brilliant reaction save from the keeper to keep the effort out. Ives keeper did even better just seconds before the break, Litchfield again got down the left and delivered to the centre where Jordan Williams did just enough to stop Luke Mangham getting on the end of it. But the loose ball fell to Harry Middleton who unleashed a screamer from just outside the box that forced Goff into a flying full length save high to his left to keep the ball out.
Goff was again in action early in the second period making a more comfortable save to deny the dangerous Litchfield in 49th minute. But only moments later he almost undid his good work as he dropped a cross from the same player. Fortunately he was first to react and bravely pounced on the loose ball just ahead of Mangham.
Ives first shot on target arrived in 52nd minute as Hottor threaded a ball through into the well timed run of Johnston and a well positioned Moore was forced to block the strikers effort away with his feet. This seemed to spark Ives out of their slumbers and they enjoyed their best spell of the game in the next twenty minutes. Good high pressing won the visitors a free kick wide on the right but Tyrone Baker’s 63rd minute free kick was a little to deep for the late arriving Williams.
Then came Cowling’s moment of brilliance in 67th minute. Hottor fed the ball inside to him fully 35 yards from goal and youngster burst through the centre of the host’s defence bustling past two defenders including surviving a clip from Ben Middleton on his way through. Having got through he then showed his composure rounding the exposed Moore before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Now with their noses in front Ives continued to push for a second and clinching goal. Cowling had a shot block and Andoh curled a follow up effort inches wide in 73rd minute. Two minutes later came the crucial point of the game. Shariff managed to out muscle Ben Middleton to win a long ball down the centre. Leaving the Nailers skipper on the deck the Ives skipper tried to round the exposed Moore only to have his legs taken from under him by the young keeper. Moore picked up a yellow card for his action but will feel himself fully vindicated as he plunged to his left to keep out Andoh’s spot kick. Play swung directly to the other end where Litchfield found space to cut in from the left and tuck the ball low past Goff’s outstretched left hand into the bottom corner of the net.
Despite the introduction of Richens, Dylan Williams and Greg Kaziboni from the bench it was the hosts that looked the more likely to find a winner in the closing stages. Williams did well to block a close range effort from Mangham on the goal line with six minutes to go and a scramble in the Ives box in the last minute saw two more efforts bravely blocked by the bodies of flying defenders.
With no replays, or extra time, to decide FA Trophy ties this season it was straight to penalties. Home keeper Moore had already shown his prowess at saving spot kicks when he kept out Andoh’s effort so crucially during the game and sure enough the young stopper came up trumps again in the shoot out keeping out efforts from Herd and Richens to ensure it was the Nailers who progress. Ives can instead look forward to a much bigger cup tie for the club when they welcome FC Halifax Town to quattro tech Westwood Road in a 4th Qualifying Round FA Cup tie.
Final Score: Belper Town 1 St Ives Town 1 Belper Town win 4-2 on penalties
BELPER: Litchfield 76
ST IVES: Cowling 67
Team Line Ups:
BELPER: Moore, Woodcock, Wakefield, H. Middleton, B. Middleton (capt), Wilson, Hebda (Carvell 82), Lipka (Tempest 61), Manghan, Reaney (Robson 56), Litchfield, Unused subs: Gibson, Lobley
ST IVES: Goff, Sandiford, Herd, Hottor (D. Williams 82), J. Williams, Milne, Baker (Kaziboni 82), Cowling, Shariff (capt), Johnston (Richens 77), Andoh, Unused subs: Sheriff,
Cards: Yellow: BELPER: Moore (75), Litchfield (78), Wilson (90+1) ST IVES: Andoh (71)
IVES SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Myles Cowling
Report by Nigel Howlett
|October 8, 2022
|The FA Trophy
|St Ives Town