Needham Market v St Ives Town
Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round 04-09-2021
For the second season in a row Ives timidly tumbled out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle to a team from Suffolk. Last season the minnows from Brantham took their heads this time it was their regular league rivals Needham Market that grabbed the only goal of the game eight minutes after half time.
No one was really expecting an old fashioned blood and guts cup tie from two teams that had played out a tight draw in a league fixture at the same venue less than three weeks ago. With that in mind this game did not surprise anyone as clear cut chances were very few and far between with defences dominating throughout.
The goal that settled it came from an error by Ives goalkeeper Paul White who failed to hold onto a low driven cross shot from the left by Marketmen’s left back Callum Sturgess presenting an opportunity for his opposite full back Kyle Hammond to slam home from close range.
The afternoon started with a bit of good news for Ives supporters as Brett Solkhon had recovered from his knock picked up against Stratford the previous Saturday and took his place in the centre of defence also reclaiming the captain’s armband. Powerful midfielder Nathan Hicks also made his first start of the season having recovered from his hamstring injury picked up in pre-season. Unfortunately exciting winger Luke Fairlamb had not recovered sufficiently from his knock to make the squad.
As has seemed to be the way in recent games Ives started slowly seemingly inviting their hosts to come onto them. Sure enough the Marketmen seized the early initiative with their first effort on goal arriving in 5th minute with Hammond setting a trend for the afternoon by getting down the right. His low pass into the box was teed up well by Will Hunt but Noah Collard’s first time effort from the edge of the box was deflected wide for the first of the home sides eight corners in the first half.
The host’s next foray into Ives box came in 12th minute Byron Lawrence delivered a deep hanging cross beyond the far post Ben Fowkes rose unchallenged and found Hunt with his header into the mix but the centre forward failed to hit the target from a good position.
Six minutes later Luke Ingram probably should have put the home side ahead as Fowkes and Hunt combined down the left with the latter picking out Ingram in space twelve yards out but the Marketmen’s number seven slammed his first time effort inches over the top.
To tell you how one way the game had been to this point Ives first real threat arrived in 20th minute when patient build up play eventually ended with Ben Seymour-Shove almost threading a ball into the box to pick out the well timed run of Dylan Williams but Sturgess was alert to the danger and slid in to just cut out the threat.
The game continued as a cagy cat and mouse affair with only one slightly noteworthy effort from each side before the break. In 31st minute Fowkes tried to emulate the goal that he had scored in the earlier league fixture by cutting inside from the right and attempting a curler from 25 yards that this time just went over the top. Ives first shot in 43rd minute was created by substitute Camron McWilliams who had only been on the field a few minutes having replaced the injured Eniola Agemoh-Davies. McWilliams cut inside from the right beating two men before teeing up Williams for a shot from just outside the D that can only be described as high and wide.
So the game reached the half time interval without either keeper being called upon to make a save. All of that changed in the first few minutes after the re-start. Home keeper Marcus Garnham was first into action with less than 30 seconds on the watch. Williams picked up a ball just outside the box and side steeped to create just enough space to curl and effort around his marker that was heading for the bottom corner but the big stopper was equal to it plunging full length to his left to palm the ball away.
Ives carved out a second on target effort in 52nd minute as Nabil Shariff and Seymour-Shove combined to feed in McWilliams on the right. The angle was very narrow but the young full back went for goal forcing Garnham to tip the ball over the top.
Having started the second period so well and looking like they were getting on top Ives had the wind taken out of their sails only ninety seconds later as the ball was played to the other end where Sturgess found space on the left to fire in his powerful low cross shot that White spilled presenting the opportunity for Hammond to gleefully hammer home what proved to be the winner.
Since his introduction McWilliams probing runs were looking like the most likely route for Ives to find a way through the Marketmen’s otherwise solid back line. In 58th minute he almost managed to put Shariff clean through as he went past two defenders before releasing the slide rule pass that looked like it had done the job but home skipper Daniel Morphew stuck out a long leg to take the ball of the strikers toe.
Having struggled so hard to find a way through for the first hour of the game the visitors suddenly found themselves presented with a gift. Centre back Josh Pollard woefully under hit an attempted back pass and Hicks burst clear onto the loose ball. With only Garnham to beat the midfielder decided to take the shot on early but struck his twenty yarder straight at the keeper who blocked the effort. Seymour-Shove was following up and looked likely to force home the loose ball but Pollard had kept running and just did enough to slide in a deflect the shot away from goal and make recompense for his error seconds earlier.
That proved to be Ives best opportunity to get level and the pace of the game dropped off again after the chance had come and gone. The next attempt on goal came from the hosts in 74th minute. Ed Hottor brought down substitute Tariq Issa 25 yards from goal. Ives five man wall did its job to block Issa’s initial free kick, the rebound fell to Lawrence who unleashed a low screamer that White was relieved to see deflect wide of his right hand upright off Fowkes.
Ives still kept looking for the elusive equaliser and they went close in 86th minute as substitute Michael Harding cleverly stepped over a ball in from Hottor. Shariff was on to it and looked to be clean through but he failed to get his shot away first time and was quickly surrounded by defenders. He did eventually manage to get a shot on target but it was a tame one straight into the arms of the grateful Garnham.
There was one final opportunity for the visitors to take their hosts back for a Tuesday night replay at Westwood Road in the last minute of the ninety as substitute Ryan Robbins ran at the heart of the Marketmen’s back four and was taken down inches outside the box. Referee George Laflin played an excellent advantage as the ball ran on to Liam Cross but the young winger fired over from a good position.
The final goalmouth action of this pretty tame encounter saw White pull off the save of the day as Hammond’s cross to the back post fell to substitute Tom Maycock who rattled in a powerful half volley that White reacted brilliantly to turn away at point blank range.
Overall a disappointing afternoon as the dream of an FA Cup run with all of its associated revenue streams and excitement ends for another year. It only remains to wish the Marketmen every success in the next round.
Final Score : Needham Market 1 St Ives Town 0
NEEDHAM MARKET : Hammond 53
ST IVES :
NEEDHAM MARKET: Garnham, Hammond, Sturgess, Lawrence, Pollard, D. Morphew (capt), Ingram, Collard, Hunt (De La Paz 67), Page (Issa 72), Fowkes (Maycock 79). Unused subs: Fennell, Dye, Elsden
ST IVES: White, Agemoh-Davies (McWilliams 39), Flanagan, Hottor, Solkhon (capt), Milne, Cross, Seymour-Shove (Robbins 79), Shariff, Williams, Hicks (Harding 73) Unused subs : Heath, Toseland, Snelus
Ives Supporters man of the match : Brett Solkhon
Attendance : 161
Report by Nigel Howlett
|September 4, 2021||15:00||The FA Cup||2021-22||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||0|