Leiston v St Ives Town
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 16-03-19
Ives tactics ensured they made best use of the gale force wind to take their revenge on the Blues for an October defeat at Westwood Road in the process they moved up two places to twelfth and leapfrogged their hosts into the bargain. Manager Ricky Marheineke decided to freshen up his side resting Munashe Sundire, Ollie Snaith and Andrew Osie-Bonsu and bringing in Jake Newman, Ty Ward and Ben Baker. Mark Coulson also returned after illness to replace the injured Jordan Patrick at left back.
The hosts won the toss and chose to play with the strong breeze at their backs in the first half but it was Ives who started the best with their high pressing style preventing the home side from enjoying any comfort in possession anywhere on the park. The first opportunity of the game came in eleventh minute when Robbie Parker nicked the ball off Ashley Nicholls in centre circle. He fed Ben Seymour-Shove who threaded a ball into the run of Newman through the centre. Unfortunately a heavy touch from the centre forward allowed keeper Marcus Garnham to sprint from his line to claim the ball just ahead of his adversary.
The wind was proving difficult for everyone and in 19th minute a Kyle Hammond corner from the left was won at the back post by Joe Jefford his looping header back into the centre swirled in the breeze making life very difficult for Martin Conway who did very well to claim the dropping ball at the second attempt under heavy pressure from Matt Blake.
Ives best attempt in the first half came in 23rd minute when the persistence of Ty Ward managed to keep in a ball that looked like it was going out by the corner flag on the left. He picked out Seymour-Shove on the edge of the box with his pull back and the visitors leading scorer took a touch before curling in a low right footer that beat keeper Garnham but just scraped the outside of the far post.
Conway pulled off his first excellent save of the afternoon to deny Robert Eagle in 38th minute. Christy Finch and Seb Dunbar combined well down the left before the latter delivered a cross that evaded everyone in the centre and arrived at the feet of the unmarked Eagle beyond the back post. But the ever alert Conway was on him in a flash to block the shot at point blank range.
The final opportunity of the first period also fell to Eagle in the first added minute but the busy midfielder failed to trouble Ives keeper on this occasion as he was unable to keep down his effort from 20 yards. The chance had been created when Dominic Docherty delivered a low ball in from the right that Blake had held up well before teeing up Eagle.
The already powerful breeze seemed to strengthen even more during the half time interval and the Blues found themselves kicking off into a fully fledged gale. Ives high pressing style ensured that they made best use of the elements immediately pinning their opponents back inside their own half. Seymour-Shove had three efforts at goal in the first three minutes after the re-start. The best of those in 47th minute was created by Tom Wood who harried a Blues defender into a mistake before feeding the ball through to Seymour-Shove who probably should have done better with his powerful drive from the edge of the box that flashed inches the wrong side of the post.
In spite of Ives now enjoying the majority of possession the Blues were still looking dangerous on the break and Conway was called into spectacular action twice in two minutes around the 55th minute. In the first of these Blake held the ball up well before feeding Eagle on the right he threaded a ball inside to put Noel Aitkens in on goal but Conway matched his first half save by again smartly closing down the Blues midfielder and blocking his shot a point blank range.
Two minutes later Hammond and Eagle combined well down the right before the latter picked out Finch on the left corner of the box with his low cross. The Blues winger took a touch and tried to curl his effort into the far corner but Conway was equal to it hurling himself high to his left to palm the ball away.
From that point Ives took control of the game and almost went in front on the hour. A mistake by Harry Knights allowed Newman a run on goal but the big striker fired his effort from the edge of the D inches wide of Garnham’s left hand upright with the keeper beaten.
The same player made no mistake as he put Ives in front four minutes later with a goal that was created by Baker. The young winger went past Dunbar on the outside before picking out Seymour-Shove and Ward both arriving in the centre with his pull back. The two seemed to get in each other’s way and neither made clean contact but the ball ran on to Newman lurking at the back post and he gleefully lashed it home inside the six yard box giving Garnham no chance.
Now in front Ives confidence lifted even higher and they went close again three minutes later as a long Conway free kick into the box was headed down by Newman and it took a last ditch block from Knights to prevent Seymour-Shove doubling the visitors advantage. The hosts final noteworthy effort of the game came less than sixty seconds later when a 25 yard snap shot from Finch forced Conway into another excellent diving save low to his right.
Ben Jackson was the next Ives player to go close to adding to their lead in 73rd minute when he rose unchallenged to power over a Coulson free kick from the right hand edge of the box. The free kick had been won by the tricky Baker who again jinked past Dunbar forcing the Blues full back to bring him down just inches outside the box.
Ives continued to press for the second goal that would put the game to bed and nine minutes from time two man of the match contenders combined to set up another chance the hard working Wood won yet another tackle in the middle of the park before sending Baker away down the right again. His pull back picked out Newman again and he was only denied by another desperate block from Jefford.
The clincher finally arrived in the second minute of added time when substitute Osei-Bonsu robbed a dallying Aitkens before setting off on a powerful run towards goal only to be taken down by Knights just inside the box. The excellent referee Elliott Kaye was in the perfect position and he immediately pointed to the spot. Skipper Parker despatched the penalty to take his tally for the season to six all from the spot and completed another well planned, hard working win on the road. Ives eight of the season a record only bettered by champions elect Kettering.
The man of the match award was not an easy one on another occasion when everyone did their job well. Tom Wood and Ben Baker were front runners but the accolade went to Martin Conway for an impeccable keeping performance topped off by four excellent saves on a day when the weather conditions made it very hard indeed for goalkeepers as Garnham found on a few occasions when attempted goal kicks were curling back towards him rather than arrowing down the park.
Final Score : Leiston 0 St Ives Town 2
Goals : Newman 64, Parker 90+2 (pen)
Team : Conway, Jackson, Coulson, Wood, Hoyte, Jarvis Wilson, Seymour-Shove (Wallis 88), Parker (capt), Newman (Osei-Bonsu 88), Ward (Snaith 82), Baker
Unused subs : Sundire
Supporters man of the match : Martin Conway
Attendance : 216
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|March 16, 2019||15:00||Southern League Premier Division Central||2018-19||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||2|