Godmanchester Rovers v St Ives Town
Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup – Semi Final 06-12-2022
Any amongst the few souls that braved the first icy blasts of winter hoping for a competitive contest very quickly had their hopes quashed as Ives set off like a steam train and ensured that the gap in class between these two sides was a true chasm. Even with a squad seriously depleted with injuries and nine players from their small squad unavailable the visitor’s strikers had way too much pace and movement for the struggling Rovers back line.
Ethan Johnston recalled from Harborough Town for the game quickly slotted back into the fold and it was his burst down the right that set up the games first chance in tenth minute as he got to the bye line before picking out Enoch Andoh on the edge of the box with his pull back. The tricky winger took a touch before getting his shot away which just gave Richard Chadwick time to bravely block the effort.
But Andoh was only to be denied momentarily and it was he who put Ives in front only sixty seconds later with Johnston again the provider as he out muscled Sammy Fisher before delivering a low cross to the near post that was turned home with aplomb by the fast arriving Andoh.
Any vain hopes that the hosts had of getting back into the contest were effectively extinguished in Ives next attack as ex Ives under 18 centre back Jake Sulman earned himself a red card for taking down Andoh as the speedy winger was bursting clear onto a Nabil Shariff flick. With none of his colleagues even in the same street it was a very simple job for referee Dan England to decide that Sulman was the last man and produce the card.
Now down to ten men it wasn’t long before Rovers found themselves two goals in arrears as Shariff showed his usual predatory instincts had not been dulled by the cold when he prodded home the loose ball after keeper George Whitehall had done well to keep out a close range Johnston effort. Johnston’s chance had arrived in very simple fashion as Charlie Johnson flicked on Callum Milne’s long throw at the near post to cause panic in the Rovers six yard box.
At this point Rovers seemed to realise that the needed to replace their missing centre back and sacrificed winger Jacob Joseph to bring on Josh Lewis. But the change made very little difference to the flow of the game as Ives went three up in 20th minute with an early contender for goal of the night. This time Milne’s throw into the box was fed back to him and his first time cross to the near post was perfectly met with a diving header from Johnston that beat Whitehall emphatically.
With the game now over as a contest Ives eased off and simply started to play keep ball for long periods which were interspersed by forays into the Rovers box with Andoh the usual instigator of those raids. On the half hour he wriggled his way past Lewis cutting in from the left and fed the ball in to Shariff who was completely surrounded by four Rovers defenders by the penalty spot but his instincts still ensured that he got a shot on target that Whitehall did well to block with his feet.
The final action of the half came four minutes before the break and saw Johnston and Paddy Casey combine well down the right with Casey unselfishly declining the opportunity for a shot from a narrow angle but instead picking out Andoh arriving at pace but this time Lewis was able to do just enough to block his shot.
Dylan Williams should really have added to Ives lead only two minutes after the restart as quick thinking from Andoh put him completely clear one on one with Whitehall, but he telegraphed his shot before releasing it allowing the keeper to make a good save to his left.
Tyrone Baker had been relatively quiet up to this point but his 52nd minute burst down the right got him past Fisher and his low cross through the centre of the box somehow got all the way through to Milne at the back of the box. His first time effort was well save by Whitehall who was doing his best to keep the score respectable.
A sporadic raid at the other end saw James Goff in the Ives goal have to make his only save of the evening as he comfortably gathered a 25 yard effort from the bust Tom Spark in 56th minute. But that attempt was only a very brief ripple in the tide of Ives possession and Andoh finished off the scoring for the night in spectacular fashion just after the hour. Dylan Williams corner was half cleared to him on the edge of the box and he took on the shot on the half volley executing it perfectly to see the ball arrow into the opposite corner of the net past the despairing dive of Whitehall.
That really was the last action of the night worthy of writing home about as Ives simply played out time to ensure that they kept their third clean sheet in a row, avoided any more injuries and made their way comfortably to another Huntingdonshire FA Senior Cup Final. Their unbeaten run in the competition now dating back to 2018.
Final Score: Godmanchester Rovers 0 St Ives Town 4
ST IVES: Andoh 11 & 62, Shariff 17, Johnston 20
Team Line Ups:
GODMANCHESTER: Whitehall, Tayaca, Fisher, Chadwick, Sulman, Rogers (capt) (Jolley 60), Spark, Tait, Allan (M. Edwards 67), Tagg, Joseph (Lewis 18), Unused subs: Hammaz, Sagwete
ST IVES: Goff, Lembikisa, Casey, Milne, J. Williams, Johnson, Baker, Johnston (J. Edwards 75), Shariff, D. Williams, Andoh, Unused subs: Richens
Cards: Red: GODMANCHESTER: Sulman 14,
Yellow: GODMANCHESTER: none ST IVES: J. Williams 45, D. Williams 78
IVES SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Enoch Andoh
Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Ollie Jones.
|December 6, 2022
|Hunts Senior Cup
|St Ives Town