Coalville Town v St Ives Town
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central 27-04-19
An excellent tactical performance ensured that Ives concluded their season in style with a hard earned single goal win on the road at Coalville. The result was all the more impressive as they became the first team all season to prevent the Ravens registering a goal at the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium. The three points also saw them match their best ever thirteenth place finish at step 3.
Things did not start as well for the visitors as Owen Wallis broke down in the warm up to prompt a change of formation and tactics with Jake Newman replaced him in the starting eleven to become a loan striker with the versatile Tom Wood fitting into what became a back four rather than plan A’s back five.
Newman was the first person to have an opportunity in thirteenth minute as Dean Freeman was deceived by the strong wind blowing from corner flag to corner flag. The big centre back allowed the ball to bounce over his head on the half way line to let Newman away. Keeper Matt Coton came to meet him and did well as he spread his body to block the well struck shot at close range when it eventually came from the edge of the box.
Playing with the wind predominantly at their backs Ives were enjoying a lot of possession and went close again four minutes later as Ollie Snaith teed up Mark Coulson who hung up a cross into the centre where George Bailey got in front of his marker to win the header but steered it just wide from ten yards.
Released from his fill in full back role Munashe Sundire was enjoying a more forward role and he broke through centre only ninety seconds later feeding the ball to Ben Seymour-Shove cutting in from the right Coton parried his fierce right foot strike back into play and was perhaps fortunate as Sundire volleyed the loose ball over the top.
The previously free scoring Ravens had offered very little going forward but created their first opportunity in 28th minute as Andrew Wright delivered a free kick from the right that flashed across the face of goal Scott McManus arrived at the back post but made a poor contact and only succeeded in knocking the ball back across goal allowing in to be cleared to safety.
Having failed to go in front the hosts almost immediately found themselves one down as Seymour-Shove finished well with a crisp right foot shot from the right hand corner of the box that beat the despairing dive of Coton low to his right and nestled in the bottom corner of the net. The chance had been created by Sundire who knocked on a flick into the box from Newman into the path of the flying Ives winger.
Ives continued on top without creating any further clear cut chances before the break. The only noteworthy effort on goal in the remaining fifteen minutes of the first period came in the only added minute when Mc Manus and Tom McGlinchy worked a short corner routine that ended with the former delivering a cross to the back post where Kieren Fenton rose above the crowd to head straight into the hands of Conway.
The second half started with Ives now playing into the still strong breeze that was rattling the floodlight pylons and whistling around the grandstands. In spite of the elements it was Ives who carved out the first chance as Newman knocked down a long Parker free kick to tee up Bailey who fired over from the edge of the box.
Having failed to take all of their chances in the first period Ives were perhaps a little lucky to retain their lead in 50th minute as they were almost caught out at their own attacking free kick. The ball was cleared down the centre and Kairo Mitchell timed his run to perfection to get clear. He drew Conway to him before cleverly clipping his effort over the exposed keeper he then had to look on in horror as the ball rebounded from the post straight back into the hands of the fast recovering Conway.
Although the Ravens were enjoying the majority of possession Ives were still looking dangerous on the break and twice went close to doubling their advantage. In 62nd minute Snaith got away down the left and picked out Seymour-Shove at the back of the box with his low cross but McManus managed to close him down quickly and block his effort out for a corner. Keeper Coton was a fortunate man eight minutes later as he got things completely wrong calling for a low cross into the box by Seymour-Shove only to then completely miss the bouncing ball and be mightily relieved as it just evaded Snaith and finished inches the wrong side of the far post.
With time running down on their impressive home scoring record it was no surprise that the Ravens mounted a period of sustained pressure on the Ives goal. In 76th minute a McGlinchey corner from the left fell into a crowded box Fenton lashed at the loose ball but his goal bound effort was deflected wide off the body of Jarvis Wilson.
Conway was helping his defence by coming to claim some of the hanging crosses being delivered into the box which was no mean feat given the gusty conditions. When he was unable to come and claim his centre back pairing of Wilson and Wood ensured that the hosts won very few of those balls into the box. The one opportunity that they did get came in 82nd minute when substitute Tom Burgin rose highest to get on the end of a McManus cross from the left but he failed to hit the target from ten yards.
Conway had to make one crucial save to preserve Ives lead seven minutes from time when Wright seized an opportunity to run at the heart of Ives defence before slipping a ball to Tim Berridge who took a touch before unleashing a powerful drive from 25 yards that swerved and dipped on it’s way towards goal but Conway was equal to it leaping high to his right to palm the ball over the crossbar.
That save seemed to take the wind out of the hosts sails and Ives were quite effective in retaining possession to run down time and they should have sewn the game up in the first minute of added time when substitute Andrew Osei-Bonsu drew in the defenders before cleverly threading a ball into the path of Seymour-Shove as the young winger cut in from the left. With keeper Coton at his mercy Seymour-Shove’s touch for once let him down and a heavy first touch allowed the keeper to slide in and claim the ball off his toe.
There was only one more moment of worry for Ives supporters before the celebrations could begin and it came sixty seconds later as Wood was spotted pulling back Wright in a central position 25 yards from Ives goal. Wright lined up the free kick and went for power but the visitor’s five man wall did its job and the ball rebounded away of Osei-Bonsu to allow Ives to claim their ninth win on the road and conclude a very successful season.
For the record their defensive record of only conceding 43 goals in 42 games was only bettered by the top three, they had the sixth best away record overall in the Division only bettered by the top two, Coalville, Rushall and Royston. On the negative side their tally of only 36 goals scored was only worsened by the meagre returns of the three relegated clubs. But lets end by flashing up a few highlights of an enjoyable season number one has to be the 3-0 success at eventual champions Kettering, number two even though it was a defeat is the record breaking FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round visit to once mighty York City, Number three was breaking the Royston bogey with an excellent 2-1 August Bank Holiday win at Garden Walk which really announced our presence as a team that any side in the Division would underestimate at their peril. Let us hope for plenty more of the same next season.
Final Score : Coalville Town 0 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Seymour-Shove 29
Team : Conway, Ward, Coulson, Wood, Newman (De’ath 86), Jarvis Wilson, Seymour-Shove, Parker (capt), Bailey (Osei-Bonsu 67), Sundire, Snaith (Baker 80)
Unused subs : Dylan Wilson, Wallis
Supporters man of the match : Tom Wood
Attendance : 165
Report by Nigel Howlett Photos by Louise Thompson
|April 27, 2019
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town