Lowestoft Town v St Ives Town
Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central 27-11-2021
On the day when Storm Arwen swept through the UK the Ives should have blown away the sorry Trawlerboys in this vital six pointer at the wrong end of the table. A dominant first half performance saw them two up and cruising with the break approaching when a howler from keeper Ben Heath not only gave the hosts a route back into the game but suddenly made them favourites to take the spoils.
With Camron McWilliams serving a one game ban Ives had a slightly unfamiliar look to their line up with Callum Milne moving across to right back and Ben Toseland returning to the centre of defence following his successful spell in a forward role. With Dylan Williams missing recent signing from Banbury Ethan Johnston came in for his debut alongside Nabil Shariff up front.
Initially playing with the wind at their backs the Ives started on the front foot although the first half chance of the game fell to the hosts in eleventh minute when the lively Kieran Higgs got through the centre of Ives defence but he delayed his shot allowing Toseland to get around and block the effort when it finally came.
Ives first attempt on goal in 13th minute came within inches of putting them in front. Milne delivered a deep cross from the right that Johnston won in the air heading the ball down into the six yard box where Shariff got a toe to it but his effort was straight into the hands of keeper Warren Burwood who managed to hold onto the ball right on his goal line.
Johnston made a dream start to his debut as he put the visitors in front in their next attack in 19th minute. Michael Richens ran across the hosts back line before sliding a ball into the feet of Johnston inside the box. A lightening turn and shot surprised keeper Burwood who although he got a hand to the ball could not keeper it out of the net.
Tyrone Baker scored a screamer to double Ives lead only three minutes later. It was a goal scored in the simplest fashion possible. A well directed kick out from Heath picked out Kyle Davison-Gordon just inside the hosts half. Baker ran onto his flick down the line, cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable effort from the left hand corner of the box that flew into the far corner of the net past the despairing dive of Burwood.
Now well on top Ives continued to pile on the pressure Richens flashed a thirty yarder inches past the post with Burwood well beaten just after the half hour. That opportunity had been set up by Nathan Hicks and Hicks himself twice went close to increasing the lead in 33rd minute. Richens slid a quick free kick down the right channel for Ed Hottor to deliver into the box. His cross was only half cleared to Hicks and his powerful drive from the edge of the D was deflected just wide. The resulting corner was only cleared as far as the same player who this time blazed well over from 25 yards.
Shariff flashed a header inches over the top as he got in front of his man to get on the end of another teasing Hottor cross from the right in 37th minute. The best chance to increase the lead came only moments later as the excellent Richens slid through another slide rule pass to pick out the perfectly timed run of Baker. Clear into the box he managed to take the ball around keeper Burwood but decided that the angle was then to narrow and tried to find Shariff with a pull back allowing Adam Tann to cut out the pass and scramble the ball away.
With time ticking down to the break it looked like Ives were going to go into the dressing room with a comfortable two goal lead when keeper Heath made his mistake. Owen Murphy was chasing a ball clipped over the top but Heath was always favourite to claim it without incident. However the keeper somehow failed to collect the ball allowing to go through his hands. Murphy was going to be clear onto the rolling ball and to prevent him getting to it Heath had to shoulder barge him away. Referee Emily Heaslip had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick she also decided that as the last man Heath had to receive a red card to add to his red cheeks. With no goalkeeper on the bench the versatile Milne showed another string to his bow as he bravely donned the gloves. His first act was to pick Higgs emphatically despatched penalty out of the net.
Seconds later the half time whistle sounded with Ives joint management team now needing to deliver a completely different team talk to the one that they had been expecting only moments earlier. With Milne clearly not a proper keeper between the sticks Trawlerboys manager Jamie Godbold had obviously told his charges to shoot on site and in the first few minutes after the re-start long range efforts from Higgs and skipper Travis Cole both flew harmlessly wide.
Milne was called upon to make his first save in 51st minute and he did brilliantly to deny Adam Sherwood in unorthodox style. Higgs delivered a ball from the left that flicked off a head in the centre and arrived at the feet of Sherwood on his own at the back post it looked like he must score but he got the ball tangled in his feet allowing Milne to slide across his line and block the shot away with his legs.
Ten man Ives seized every opportunity to get forward and still looked dangerous on the break, They had a shout for a penalty of their own turned down on the hour as Shariff got onto the end of an overhead kick into the box by Johnston only to be muscled off the ball by the combined efforts of Cole and Tann.
The equaliser did arrive for the hosts in 64th minute as Jerrell Barbor delivered a ball in from the right that found Josh Harvey in a little bit of space inside the box. The sixteen year old striker belied his tender age as he took a touch before smashing a right footed effort past stand in keeper Milne from 15 yards.
Now on level terms the hosts went in search of a winner and Milne was called upon to make another save ninety seconds later. The dangerous Higgs cut in from the left and hit a powerful rising effort that Milne got both hands to pushing the ball into the air. Davison-Gordon did very well to just prevent Harvey forcing the dropping ball home at the back post.
Despite their reduced numbers Ives themselves were also still looking to get a maximum return from this vital game and dead ball situations at least gave them chance to get a few more bodies into the opposition box. A 73rd minute corner from the right by Toseland caused panic in the Trawlerboys box as it dropped to the feet of Davison-Gordon by the penalty spot but his first time effort got a big deflection off a defender which took all of the sting out of it and allow keeper Burwood to make a comfortable save.
Seven minutes later at the other end substitute Marcus Wilkinson had a goal bound effort deflected wide off the body of Ives substitute Eniola Agemoh-Davies. This presented the hosts with their seventh corner of the second period but skipper Brett Solkhon was at his imperious best as he rose to head it away from almost underneath his own crossbar.
One last Ives opportunity to grab a winner was denied by an assistant’s flag four minutes from time as substitute Jason Dwumfuo got clear onto a threaded Ben Toseland pass. With that chance gone it had to be a case of the visitors hanging on to what they had got and they did just that with only one real scare in the final added minute as Richens took down Louis McIntosh inches outside the box. Milne lined up a five man wall then stood behind it clearly unable to see a thing. McIntosh himself took the kick and much to the relief of Ives small travelling contingent he curled it over the bar.
In the circumstances, having to play the entire second half with ten men and a stand in keeper between the sticks this has to go down as a point gained. But after the magnificent first half performance the game should have been dead and buried well before Heath’s howler so two points were really thrown away. Lots of candidates for man of the match Milne had to be a front runner for his heroics as a stand in keeper and Solkhon was back to his best during the second half but the behind the goal crew picked Ethan Johnston for what we hope is the first of many awards on a lively debut.
Final Score : Lowestoft Town 2 St Ives Town 2
LOWESTOFT: Higgs 45+3 (pen), Harvey 64
ST IVES: Johnston 19, Baker 22
LOWESTOFT: Burwood, Fleming, Smith, Barbor, Tann, Cole (capt), Murphy, Sherwood (McIntosh 76), Harvey (Oladipo 81), Higgs, Johnson (M. Wilkinson 61) Unused subs: Ruffles, J. Wilkinson
ST IVES: Heath, Milne, Davison-Gordon, Richens, Solkhon (capt), Toseland, Baker (Agemoh-Davies 58), Hicks, Shariff, Johnston (Dwumfuo 83), Hottor, Unused subs : Rhaman, Patrick
Ives Supporters man of the match : Ethan Johnston
Attendance : 258
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Shirley D Whitlow.
Click Here for a full set of match photos
|November 27, 2021||15:00||Southern Premier Central||2021-22||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||2||2|