Redditch United 2 St Ives Town 0
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Central Division 18-08-18
Ives were brought down to earth as their exciting start to the season came to a juddering end at The Trico Stadium. But as is so often the case at this level the game hinged on fine margins. If George Bailey’s early effort that was tipped onto the post or Sam Cartwright’s free header seconds later had gone in this game could have gone on a completely different route.
Following defeats in both of their opening two games during which they shipped nine goals the Reds changed their keeper and two of the back four but they still looked very shaky at the back in the early exchanges. The game was only two minutes old when Ollie Snaith was hauled down just outside the right hand corner of the box by Jordan Mills. It looked like an ideal opportunity for Declan Rogers to curl a left footer into the danger zone but instead he went for goal and only succeeded in hitting the wall.
Ives continued to put on the early pressure and Rogers had a much more telling contribution only two minutes later as he slid a perfectly weighted pass into the run of Bailey through the left channel. The young striker took a touch and unleashed a low left footed effort across keeper Louis Conner, the Reds stopper hurled himself to his left and just got finger tips onto the ball to divert it onto the post. The loose ball was scrambled away at the expense of a corner. Cartwright lost his marker and rose majestically at the back post to get a clean header onto Rogers corner, but he could only direct his free header well over the top from ten yards.
Having failed to take either of those early opportunities Ives then found themselves behind as they gifted the hosts an opener in their first meaningful attack in tenth minute. Caolan Boyd-Munce found some space on the left and delivered a telling cross into the box. Joe Hood making his Ives debut was aware of Montel Gibson arriving behind him at the far post. In stretching to reach the ball Hood succeeded in diverting it away from Gibson, but only managed to knock it down to the feet of ex Aston Villa and St Neots striker Stefan Moore inside the box. Moore did not need a second invitation as he curled the ball high into the top left hand corner of the net giving Tim Trebes no chance.
It took a brave save from Trebes to prevent the Ives going two behind only ninety seconds later. Boyd-Munce and Gibson combined well on the right before the latter drove in another dangerous cross and Trebes had to hurl himself in to touch the ball off the feet of Moore.
Now with their noses in front the confidence began to flow through the Reds and their dangerous forward line continued to carve out chances. Full back Jamie Ashmore got forward in support of Gibson in 19th minute and delivered another telling cross into the box. The ball arrived at the back post where Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham made light of the awkward bouncing ball as he acrobatically hooked in an effort that Trebes had to plunge to his left to keep out.
The hosts continued to press forward in search of a second goal and succeeded in doubling their advantage in 22nd minute. Initially a poor clearance from Jarvis Wilson fell to the feet of Joe Stokes 35 yards from goal. He picked out Leachman-Whittingham on the left and Wilson did well to recover and block Moore’s effort as he got on the end of Leachman-Whittingham’s low cross. The resulting corner was delivered into the mix where an under pressure Trebes only managed to knock it away to just outside the box. Liam Francis pounced on the loose ball and drove in a low shot that deflected off Snaith on it’s way past Trebes and into the bottom corner of the net.
The keeper was called into spectacular action to deny Declan Benjamin a third ten minutes later. Charlie De’ath powerfully headed away a deep Leachman-Whittingham cross to the back post but the ball fell invitingly to the feet of the Reds number eight fully 35 yards from goal. He accepted the invitation and unleashed a thunderous dipping volley that Trebes did remarkably well to keep out as he hurled himself high to his right to fingertip the ball around the post.
Ives thought that they had found themselves a way back into the game ten minutes before the break as Bailey seized an opportunity to run at the Reds back line before slipping the ball through into the run of Rogers. The skilful midfielder wriggled his way away from Francis skipped around the Reds keeper and rolled the ball into the net only to be denied by an assistant’s flag.
The close shave lifted the visitors and Munashe Sundire came within inches of pulling a goal back only two minutes later. The tricky Ives winger timed his run to perfection to get on the end of a clip over the top by Bailey just ahead of Conner, but the keeper acrobatically hurled himself high to his right to turn away Munashe’s attempted flick over his head.
There was one final opportunity for Ives to get a goal back before the break as Snaith was again bundled over by Mills just outside the right hand corner of the box. This time Rogers curled free kick found a way through the melee in the centre of the goal and arrived at the feet of Bailey at the back post. But his well struck effort was bravely blocked at point blank range by the combined efforts of Francis and keeper Conner.
With Sundire carrying a knock manager Ricky Marheineke made an early change in the second half introducing Danny Kelly for his seasonal debut. The substitute spurned an opportunity to get Ives back in the game only three minutes after his introduction in 52nd minute. He received a ball from Snaith into his feet in the box and exchanged passes with Robbie Parker before failing to make clean contact with his effort from eight yards out.
Kelly was also heavily involved in carving out Ives next opportunity in 63rd minute as he skilfully took down a long throw turned his marker and rolled the ball across the edge of the box into the run of Tom McGowan but the all action midfielder tried to side foot his effort and although he got it on goal it was straight at Conner who made a comfortable save.
Ives continued to work hard, but The Reds were not about to concede their two goal advantage and in spite of two more positive substitutions by Marheineke the visitors continued to struggle to find a route through the hosts back line which began to look more and more solid as the game wore on.
The only further chances in the game both came the way of the hosts as Ives tried to chase the game. Ashmore delivered a dangerous cross from the right in 81st minute that an under pressure Cartwright almost sliced into his own net just screwing the ball past the post.
Reds substitute Luke Keen should have delivered the coup de grace two minutes into added time as he arrived on the end of a cross from the right by fellow sub Jayden McColla. He opened his body perfectly looking to side foot the ball past the exposed Trebes but got it all wrong and only managed to slice the ball well wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.
This game only goes to reinforce what I think we already know that every game in this League will be a tough one and if we are going to get something from them every player must perform to their best for the full ninety minutes. Maybe it was a touch of tiredness after two very tough games in four days, or perhaps Ives under estimated their opponents Either way they were little bit off the level of the previous two games and got punished on the day. On the positive side six points from three very tough games two of them away from home is probable better than we could have wished for and hopefully this will be lesson learnt that will not be repeated.
Result : Redditch United 2 St Ives Town 0
Goals : none
Team : Trebes, Cartwright, Hood, McGowan, De’ath, Jarvis Wilson, Snaith (Seymour-Shove 76), Parker (capt), Bailey, Rogers (Dylan Wilson 61), Sundire (Kelly 52)
Unused subs : O’Connor, Leslie
Man of the match : Robbie Parker
Attendance : 202
Match report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|August 18, 2018
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town