Biggleswade Town v St Ives Town
BetVictor League Southern Premier Division Central 17-08-19
After two away defeats in four days the embryonic league table does not make great reading for Ives fans but once again the boys will come away from the game feeling that they could easily have got something from it if they had taken the opportunities when they got into the opposition box.
The Waders have always been competitive in this League and coming into this game smarting from a midweek home drubbing by near neighbours Royston they were going to be all out to get the result. There were four casualties from their previous line up including ex Ives men Jack Bradshaw and Liam McDevitt. The visitors on the other hand made only one change reverting back to the same starting eleven as the opening game with Danny Kelly coming back in to replace Charlie De’ath who dropped to the bench.
With the Royston game still in the back of their minds the hosts were always going to be a little nervous early on and they showed this failing to spot Jack Snelus picking up an early Ty Ward corner from the right on the edge of the box. The young striker’s rasping drive was to hot for home keeper Sam Donkin to hold but his defenders came to his aid scrambling the loose ball away before an Ives striker could prod it home.
Mc Devitt’s replacement Tom Smith picked up a nasty looking facial injury in 15th minute in a clash of heads with Jarvis Wilson as the Ives man did just enough to prevent the young centre back getting on the end of a deep Kieron Forbes free kick. Smith was off the field receiving treatment for four minutes but despite of good midfield possession Ives were unable to carve out a clear shooting opportunity during their numerical advantage.
Immediately following Smith’s return the hosts created the best opportunity of the first period as Solomon Sambou fed a ball from the right into the feet of Joe White deep inside Ives box. The big striker had his back to goal and appeared to be well marshalled by Wilson but he showed excellent touch and strength to hold off Wilson, pirouette, and get away a low shot the keeper Martin Conway did well to block with his feet.
Most of the traffic during the latter part of the first half was flowing towards Ives goal but the only other time Conway was called into meaningful action was in 35th minute when Jordan Gent rose highest to Matt Ball’s corner from the right and directed a looping header on target from fifteen yards but Conway was in the right place to tip the effort over the top.
The powerful White was generally being handled well by Ives defenders but he was still showing his abilities. Five minutes before the break he held up a ball into his feet well on the edge of the box before feeding in Sambou and then spinning off his man to get on the end of Sambou’s clip into the centre but he failed to hit the target with his flick which flew over the top from a good position.
The final effort of the half came in 44th minute and was a fiercely struck free kick from the left hand corner of the box by Ball that had Conway flinging himself to his left to cover but the effort flew inches over the angle of crossbar and post to send the sides in equal at the break.
Both sides came out after the break looking for that all important opening goal. There were only ninety seconds on the second half clock when Robbie Parker jinked his way into the Waders box but things would not open up enough for him to get his shot away and his attempt to feed in Snelus was blocked and the chance was gone.
Three minutes later and it was the turn of the hosts to go close. Liam Brooks slid a slide rule pass into the well-timed run of White and keeper Conway did very well to spread himself to block the big striker’s first-time effort from ten yards with his legs. Smith rose highest to the resulting corner but under heavy pressure could only direct his effort over the top.
An early change of left winger by the hosts only five minutes after the break saw Junior Soares replaced by Sean Lucien but that move only heralded a good few minutes for Ives. Only seconds later a flowing move concluded with Snelus and Tom Wood combining well to work their way into the host’s box but again neither man managed to get a shot away and as the ball was eventually fed out to the overlapping Ward he went for glory from a narrow angle and blazed over the top.
Less than a minute later Dan Clifton looked like he had put Snelus clear into the box only for the ball to get stuck in the young striker’s feet. His eventual attempt to set up Ezra Forde for a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box with a clever back heel was successful but the Ives centre forward’s effort lacked power and provided a comfortable save for Donkin.
Almost immediately after that came Ives best chance of the afternoon as Snelus picked out Ward in space on the left and the Ives full back delivered a teasing low ball along the six yard line that it looked like Forde arriving at the back post was going to slide home but he got things horribly wrong and failed to make contact the ball running on to safety much to the relief of Donkin.
Having gone so close to getting that all important first goal Ives then fell behind to a soft goal only two minutes later. Lucien who had barely been involved up to that point suddenly found himself in a little bit of space on the left. An interchange of passes with Ball saw him pick up the return ball on the corner of the box, a step inside and a curling right foot effort that beat the despairing dive of Conway and crept in the bottom corner of the net was just the confidence boost that the Waders needed.
To their credit Ives kept battling and came close to an equaliser in 63rd minute as Ward’s cross from the left carried on the breeze and almost deceived Donkin. The keeper did just enough to touch it onto the crossbar and Jackson following up got onto the loose ball first but Donkin recovered well and was in position to smother the Ives full back’s effort at his near post.
As Ives pushed forward in search of an equaliser they were always likely to be vulnerable to a break away, but when the second goal came in 71st minute it was a calamity of the visitor’s own making. A poor delivery into the box from a short corner saw Ives caught out with virtually everyone in the Waders penalty area. Ball picked up the clearance and fed in Lucien who broke into the box only to be clumsily taken down by a fast recovering Johnson for a pretty much cast-iron penalty. There was little reason to argue the award of the spot kick but there was much more controversy over the eventual outcome of the kick. Conway plunged low to his left to make an excellent save to deny White and the big striker fired the rebound wide. But Ives players and supporters celebration of the save and the hope that it would provide stimulus for a recovery was short lived as after a short consultation with his assistant referee Elliott Kaye ruled that the kick should be retaken because Conway had left his line to early. Wilson and Parker both picked up yellow cards for taking their complaints a little to far and Brooks who took over spot kick duty sent Conway the wrong way with attempt number two thus doubling the host’s advantage and effectively killing off the game with twenty minutes to go.
Manager Ricky Marheineke immediately made two substitutions throwing on strikers Ben Seymour-Shove and Andrew Osei-Bonsu to replace Forde and Clifton. With more men thrown forward Ives continued to search for at least a consolation. With thirteen minutes to go Snelus fired in a fierce rising drive from twenty yards the clipped the outside of the stanchion on the way past as Donkin looked on.
As has often been the case when he has been introduced Seymour-Shove brought an increased level of urgency and threat into Ives attack and in the remaining minutes he had a couple of snap shots blocked before giving Donkin his first real test of the day as Wood set him up to fire in a low drive from the edge of the box that the Waders keeper had to dive full stretch to his right to tip around.
So for the second game in a row no reward for Ives on their travels and the slightly worrying aspect is that both opponents looked vulnerable at times. Present conclusion is that it is way to early to press the panic button and the football being played is of better quality than last season we just have to find a way to come up with that all important cutting edge whilst ensuring that we remain solid at the back which is really just stating the obvious.
Final Score : Biggleswade Town 2 St Ives Town 0
Goals : none
Team : Conway, Jackson, Ward, Johnson (Dylan Wilson 84), Kelly, Jarvis Wilson, Wood, Parker (capt), Forde (Seymour-Shove 72), Snelus, Clifton (Osei-Bonsu 72)
Unused subs : De’ath, Snaith,
Supporters man of the match : Jack Snelus
Attendance : 160
Match report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Dave Hook. Photos by Gemma & Louise Thompson.
|August 17, 2019
|Southern Premier Central
|St Ives Town