Leiston v St Ives Town
Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central 12-10-2021
After Saturday’s horror show against Royston manager Ricky Marheineke was going to be looking for a massive reaction from his players to get their season back on track and break the long run of games without a win which trails right back to sunny August. The only casualties from the weekend massacre were goalkeeper Paul White with Ben Heath stepping up from the bench to make his league debut for Ives and Eniola Agemoh-Davies who was still nursing an injury picked up early in the game against the Crows. Camron McWilliams reverted to his more accustomed right back role with Nathan Hicks coming into midfield. There were perhaps more signs of things to come in the near future with the Ives squad as new signings Ally Conway and Urijah Gordon-Douglas were both named amongst the substitutes.
Whether it was reaction to Saturday, or not, is impossible to tell, but manager Marheineke almost got his dream start as Ives caught their hosts completely cold straight from the kick off. Nabil Shariff was fed in through the right channel and got his shot away from just inside the box, keeper Sam Donkin managed to block the effort with his legs, but the ball ran to Jack Snelus, his follow up effort was blocked on the line by covering defender Joe Marsden. The ball again rebounded across the Blues box to the feet of Dylan Williams who met it perfectly on the volley, but again keeper Donkin was in the right place to parry his effort away.
Three shots on target inside the first thirty seconds was an amazing statistic, the small band of Ives faithful were just hoping that was the sign of a real reaction and a supercharged performance from the team. Had one of them gone in that might have been the case, but sadly it proved to be a flash in the pan and normal service was quickly resumed as Ives shaky rear guard started to faulter almost as soon as it was put under pressure. The usually reliable McWilliams made the first error in ninth minute as he completely missed a long diagonal ball from Marsden allowing the speedy Adam Mills to gallop away down the left. The winger cut into the box before unleashing a low drive that a well positioned Heath blocked with his legs. Not for the first time this season the resulting corner proved to be the visitors undoing as they struggled to clear the ball delivered to the centre of their box it eventually fell to the feet of centre back Jake Hutchings who unceremoniously slammed it home from eight yards to put the hosts in front.
Mills continued to cause problems down the Blues left and he harried McWilliams into another error in 15th minute as he robbed the young full back 30 yards from goal. Again the winger used his pace to drive on into the box but in a repeat of the earlier action keeper Heath was once more equal to his well struck shot.
Both sides were playing a high pressing game but generally the defences were just about coping with the hosts particularly showing no qualms in going long when they had to. Shariff, Snelus and Williams were all continuing to work hard in Ives cause and the former did manage to catch out a dallying Siju Odelusi to win a corner off him in 23rd minute. Ben Toseland’s in-swinger was delivered into a dangerous area but no one got on the end of it.
The hosts continued to look dangerous going forward and fortunately for Ives they failed to hit the target with two good opportunities in a five minute spell around the half hour mark. Overlapping full back Seb Dunbar was fed in down the left by Mills but fired over in 27th minute and five minutes later an excellent touch from Will Davies teed up George Quantrell who curled his right footed effort just past the post from the edge of the box.
The temperature was dropping by half time and the small band of travelling fans were hoping for something to warm their cockles early in the second period and they got just that as Ives equalised in the simplest fashion four minutes after the resumption. An early Toseland corner from the left was met perfectly at the near post by skipper Brett Solkhon who steered his unchallenged header into the roof of the net to put hope into our hearts.
Rather than lifting the Ives to go on and win the game losing their lead seemed to spur on the hosts and they started to put pressure back on the shaky visitor’s defence. Two minutes later Hutchings rose highest to get on the end of a Marsden free kick from the right but keeper Heath reacted well to get down low to his right to cling onto the goal bound effort.
That effort was repelled but four minutes later poor defending again cost Ives as two defenders trying vainly to shepherd a long free kick from keeper Donkin out of play allowed themselves to be robbed by Quantrell who galloped along the bye line before laying the ball into the path of Davies who swept home from close range to restore the Blues lead. The parity had only been in place for six minutes.
Now back in front the hosts tore into the wounded Ives going for a third goal to kill them off. Two minutes later Finlay Barnes managed to get past Toseland on the right before cutting inside and curling a left footer just inches over the bar from the edge of the box.
Even the reliable Ed Hottor was making mistakes and his poor ball out of defence in 67th minute was cut out by Ollie Saunders who fed in Barnes through the right channel. The winger’s powerful rising shot was straight at keeper Heath who held on well. Two minutes later a shooting gallery developed in Ives box as they struggled to clear a ball in from the left. Both Quantrell and Mills had shots bravely blocked by flying Ives bodies as they desperately defended their goal.
Having been under pressure for most of the second period the visitors had one opportunity to get back on level terms in 73rd minute. A Toseland corner from the right was fed back to him and he delivered the perfect in-swinging ball back into the box that picked out Williams ten yards out. The number ten flicked his header goal wards only to be denied by Marsden on the line. The under pressure full back sliced his attempted clearance inches over his own crossbar but that was just enough and the resulting corner came to nothing.
That proved to be Ives final chance to get some return for all of their hard work as the goal that killed them off arrived five minutes later. It proved a complete disaster for young centre back Callum Milne who seemed to get caught in two minds as he tried to deal with a long ball into the box from the right from Marsden. Unsure whether to clear it with his boot, or a diving header, he did neither ending up on his knees he only succeeded in chesting the ball down to Davies who gratefully accepted the gift and slotted it past the exposed Heath.
There was no coming back from there and Mills almost put the icing on the host’s cake as he curled an effort just wide from 20 yards with nine minutes to go. Had it gone in that would have been cruel on struggling Ives but football is a cruel game and there will always be someone to kick you when you are down.
The win lifts the Blues up to seventh in the table, just outside the play-off places. Positives are hard to find for Ives but I will try, after Saturday this was a battling performance where everyone gave one hundred percent, the two new signings did not really get long enough to show their true abilities but there were promising signs. The team still sit two places and two points above the relegation zone. There is now a full seven days before the next outing and I am sure that there are irons in the fire to bring in more new blood to freshen up the side ahead of what will be a massive encounter with fellow relegation contenders Hitchin Town at Westwood Road on 19th October.
Final Score : Leiston 3 St Ives Town 1
LEISTON: Hutchings 10, Davies 55 & 78
ST IVES: Solkhon 49
LEISTON: Donkin, Marsden, Dunbar (capt), Saunders, Odelusi, Hutchings, Barnes, Quantrell, Davies, Switters, Mills (Ocran 84), Unused subs: Eagle, Hunter, Allen, Eaton-Collins
ST IVES: Heath, McWilliams Toseland, Richens, Solkhon (capt), Milne (Dwumfuo 86), Snelus (Conway 77), Hottor, Shariff, D. Williams, Hicks (Gordon-Douglas 73), Unused subs : Nabi, White
Ives Supporters man of the match : Jack Snelus
Attendance : 131
Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Dave Hook.
|October 12, 2021||19:45||Southern Premier Central||2021-22||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||1|