St Ives Town v King’s Lynn Town
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 26-01-19
A cracking advert for Non-League football saw an understrength Ives push the play-off chasing Linnets all the way. This pulsating game had almost everything as Ives matched their illustrious opponents and were only denied the victory by an excellent late penalty save by visiting keeper Alex Street.
With four players missing injured and Jarvis Wilson serving his one match ban for his dismissal at Halesowen the starting eleven for this game almost picked it’s self and there was also a welcome return to Ives for Jordan Patrick who joined Ben Seymour-Shove and Ben Baker as the only three players on the bench.
Even with all of their changes it was the hosts who started best and there were only eight minutes on the watch when a good early advantage by referee Tim Donnellan as Robbie Parker was fouled in centre of the park allowed home debutant Andrew Osei-Bonsu to run at the visiting defence cutting in from the left but his shot when it eventually came from 20 yards lacked power and proved a comfortable save for Street.
Referee Donnellan was the centre of attention again seven minutes later but this time he disappointed Ives fans as he failed to award them a spot kick. George Bailey had started up where he left off Tuesday evening at Barwell looking very busy and his bustling style enabled him to rob Jake Kerins just outside the visitor’s box. As he bore down on goal the recovering Kerins seemed to push him down from behind but there was insufficient contact to satisfy the referee.
Ives did get reward for their early endeavours though in 19th minute. A slide rule pass through the Linnets back line by Mark Coulson picked out Ollie Snaith who had inexplicably found a few yards of space on the edge of the visitor’s box. Snaith had time to turn and fire in a low shot that crept in the back of the net via the inside of the post despite Street getting his finger tips to the effort.
The shock of falling behind seemed to spark the visitors into life and only sixty seconds later it took a well timed challenge from Charlie De’ath to prevent Adam Marriott getting on the end of a Frazer Blake-Tracy through ball from the left. De’ath did even better in 24th minute as bravely blocked a close range Marriott effort after the dangerous striker had exchanged passes with Craig Parker before breaking into Ives box.
The Linnets had one more chance to get level in first period when a 28th minute Blake-Tracy corner from the right was knocked down at the near post. Centre half Ryan Fryatt reacted first to the loose ball but fired his effort wide from a very good position.
The hosts also had another opportunity to increase their lead two minutes before the break as the excellent Bailey slid a ball through the centre on the deck that caused confusion between the visitors centre backs. Fryatt initially missed the ball giving Jake Newman chance to almost get clear but Rory McAuley slid in to delay the Ives striker giving Fryatt chance to recover and although Newman eventually got his shot away from the edge of the box it flew wide of Street’s right hand post.
Both sides came out for the restart determined to lift the pace of the game and chances started to come thick and fast at both ends. There was less than a minute gone when Linnets skipper Michael Clunan played in a ball from the left that Marriott flicked on in the centre. His strike partner Michael Gash arrived at the back post and hammed in a fierce drive that fortunately for Ives only billowed the side netting.
Three minutes later a long De’ath throw in from the right was flicked on by Danny Kelly and although the visitors attempted to clear the ball it fell to Munashe Sundire 25 yards from goal his ball back into the box was knocked down by Newman to Snaith who fired in a first time effort that brought a smart save out of Street who plunged to his left to parry the ball away at close range.
Snaith was even more unlucky only ninety seconds later as he was denied a second goal by the firmness of the Ives pitch. Keeper Street only just beat Newman to a long ball over the top but his hurried clearance fell straight to Snaith 30 yards out. The young Ives midfielder took a touch and lofted the ball over the stranded Street who could only look on in horror as the ball sailed over his head. The look turned to amazement as the ball bounced on the six yard line and got high enough to go over the crossbar and land on top of the net.
Having ridden their luck the Linnets now started to push forward with more purpose and started to look much more dangerous. Home keeper Martin Conway was called up to make his first save of the game on the hour as substitute Ryan Hawkins combined with Jordan Richards on the right before the latter delivered a cross to the near post where Marriott rose highest but Conway was equal to the effort flicking the close range header over the top.
But two minutes later the scores were level as Ives defence was prized open by a series of headed passes through the centre Gash won the initial ball twenty yards from goal his well directed header picked out Henderson on the edge of the box and his header down picked out Marriott bursting through. The Linnets striker made no mistake slotting the ball past the exposed Conway from twelve yards.
The visitors play became more direct as they continued to press forward looking for a winner. They were stretching the Ives back line but it refused to break with every player on the park doing their bit to help the cause. It was not until 76th minute that the visitors managed to carve out another clear cut opportunity and that was perhaps a little fortunate as the ball seemed to bounce off Ives substitute Baker to put Marriott clear into the box again. But this time he was denied by the ever alert Conway as the Ives keeper sprinted from his line to bravely block the striker’s effort at point blank range. The resulting Blake-Tracy corner arrived at the near post where Gash had an effort blocked before Marriott’s follow up shot from ten yards was deflected straight into the grateful hands of Conway.
With the clock ticking down the visitors continued to push forward. The closest they came to a winner came in 81st minute as another Blake-Tracy corner from the right was met powerfully by Fryatt at the back post but his rasping header hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down before it was scrambled away by Ives defenders. The Linnets had one more opportunity to clinch it in 81st minute Clunan picked out substitute William Mellors-Blair in space on the left edge of the box but his curled effort was tipped away spectacularly by a diving Conway.
Having survived the second half pressure Ives now seemed to find a second wind and suddenly seemed to realise that they could not only take a battling point from this game they could even win it and their golden opportunity arrived in 89th minute. Newman picked out substitute Seymour-Shove in space cutting in from the left. He took a touch before firing in a shot from just outside the box that went through a defender’s legs and almost caught out Street low to his right. The keeper just did enough to keep the ball out but he could not hold it. Baker came out of nowhere and took the ball off him only to be brought down by the struggling keeper. Referee Donnellan immediately blew for the penalty, Newman stepped up confidently and placed the ball on the spot. He struck his shot well but Street had guessed the right way and redeemed himself by hurled himself to his left to palm the ball away.
There were still five added minutes for either side to grab a winner and both sides came close. In 92nd minute another Clunan cross from the left was met powerfully at the back post by Gash but he directed his header just inches the wrong side of the post. Back at the other end of the park in the final added minute Parker and Patrick combined to get the latter to the bye line his cross into the six yard box beat Street and cannoned off the knee of McAuley on a different day it would have flown into the roof of the net but on this occasion it flew wide and proved to be the final action in a highly entertaining game.
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 King’s Lynn Town 1
Goals : Snaith 19
Team : Conway, Coulson, Toseland, Sundire, De’ath, Kelly, Bailey (Seymour-Shove 69), Parker (capt), Newman, Osei-Bonsu (Patrick 83), Snaith (Baker 69)
Unused subs : none
Sponsors man of the match : Munashe Sundire
Attendance : 322
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|January 26, 2019||15:00||Evo-Stik League South - Premier Division Central||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||1||1|
|King’s Lynn Town||0||1|