Royston Town v St Ives Town
BetVictor League Southern Premier Division Central 07-03-20
For the second time in two weeks Ives were thumped by one of the promotion chasing sides and again it was dead ball situations that proved their Achilles heel with all five goals coming about from either corners, or free kicks, delivered into their box. Just like against Sports two Saturdays earlier the towering players of the opposition proved impossible to stop for the physically smaller Ives players.
The galling thing is that the two sides had gone into this in completely different frames of mind with Ives on a high following their vital win over Leiston on Tuesday evening and the Crows on a low after missing out on the very realistic prospect of a visit to Wembley Stadium after their unfortunate FA Trophy Quarter Final defeat at Concord Rangers on the same evening. With those two results very much in mind it was no surprise that Ives manager Ricky Marheineke went for an unchanged side whilst Crows boss Steve Castle rested a number of his tired charges after their very tough extra time defeat changing eight of Tuesdays starting line up.
The game should have started so well for the visitors as they could easily have gone in front in only the third minute. Tom Hamblin cleverly lost his man to get on the end of Ben Seymour-Shove’s deep free kick. His looping header beat Crows keeper Joe Welch and was on its way into the net but Dylan Wilson decided to make sure and toe poked the ball home from almost on the goal line, unfortunately he had started in an offside position and the assistant’s flag shot up to chalk off the “goal”.
The many changes to the host’s line up meant that it took them a while to get into their stride but they began to settle down and get on top and they showed their threat on dead ball situations for the first time in 19th minute. Aaron Phillips pulled back Josh Castiglione wide on the left to concede a free kick in a dangerous position. Castiglione’s initial free kick was blocked by Ives one man wall but the ball ricocheted to Dan Green who delivered a teasing cross to the back post where Matt Bateman managed to climb above the stretching Martin Conway in the Ives goal. Fortunately for the visitors his header hit the crossbar and was scrambled clear.
It did not take long for the Crows to understand the ascendency that they had in the air was a massive advantage for them and only two minutes later they used that air power to go in front. Castiglione delivered a deep corner from the left beyond the back post where Crows captain Ben Martin won the ball and powered his header back into the six yard box where Gus Scott-Morris rose to glance it home.
A smart interchange of passes between Adam Watkins and Brandon Adams carved out a rare chance for the Crows from open play in 29th minute but Ben Jackson did just enough to prevent Bateman turning home Watkins low cross at the near post. Unfortunately that simply gave the hosts chance to drop another corner into Ives box. On this occasion the under pressure Conway did just enough to keep out James Brighton’s flag kick in spite of the presence of three Royston Town players all well over six foot tall surrounding him.
It looked like the Ives might keep the half time deficit to a single goal only for the Crows route one tactics to once more prove successful in the simplest fashion five minutes before the break. A long free kick was pumped into Ives box where Conway seemed to be at least partially impeded by his own defenders before being outjumped by the biggest Crow of all in Martin who simply steered his header into the empty net to double the hosts advantage.
To their credit Ives lifted themselves at the start of the second period and came within inches of grabbing a lifeline less than a minute after the re-start. Joe Curtis hassled Green into a mistake deep inside his own half and ran at the covering Crows defence before feeding the ball into the run of Wilson cutting in from the left. The young striker’s first time effort was pushed away by Welch low to his left but Seymour-Shove pounced on the loose ball unfortunately he scuffed his shot giving Scott-Morris chance to hack the ball away off the goal line.
The visitors went close again four minutes later as Seymour-Shove delivered a cross from the right into the danger zone where Robbie Parker flung himself at the ball but just failed to make contact on the edge of the six yard box. The ball was swiftly fed to the other end of the park where Watkins took the opportunity to run at Ives back line before feeding the ball to Adams on the edge of the box, he cleverly stepped inside Phillips before curling in a right foot effort that beat the diving Conway but cannoned away off the foot of the post.
The Crows decided that a few of their rested players needed game time and by the 64th minute they had used all three of their substitutes. Scott Bridges had taken over corner duty on the left and his first touch was to deliver a teasing flag kick that Jackson did very well to prevent Bateman heading in at the back post, but unfortunately that was at the expense of another corner. This time the delivery to the back post was initially knocked down but then clipped back into the mix where substitute Joshua Oyinsan rose to power home a header only seconds after coming off the bench.
Oyinsan turned provider in 68th minute as he did well to keep a long free kick in play by the Ives bye line where he managed to find enough space to clip the ball into the near post where Bateman forced it home at close range. The final nail in Ives coffin was delivered in familiar fashion as Bridges delivered another hanging corner from the left Conway completely surrounded by towering Crows inside his six yard box was unable to come for it allowing ex St Neots defender Taylor Parr to complete the simple task of nodding the ball home as he rose above the Ives defence.
The Ives custodian was a little more successful in keeping the ball out of his net when not surrounded as he proved seven minutes from time when he leapt high to his right to tip over a curling Bridges free kick from the edge of the box after debutant defender Rhys Kelly had brought down Brighton. The final act of the afternoon was perhaps unsurprisingly a well delivered cross into Ives box this time from the left by Brighton but Adams missed the chance to heap further misery on the visitors as he directed his header from ten yards over the top.
Just like Sports two weeks earlier the hosts crushing of the Ives lifted them into second place in the table only two points behind table toppers Tamworth and in with a very realistic chance of nicking the one guaranteed promotion spot off the Lambs. For Ives the consolation is that all of their rivals for the drop also lost so it is as you were at the bottom. They must lift themselves quickly as they now have two home games in the next week both against mid table opposition where they must glean some points to keep alive any realistic hope of a dramatic escape from the bottom three.
Final Score : Royston Town 5 St Ives Town 0
Goals : none
Team : Conway, Phillips, Toseland, Hottor, Hamblin (Kelly 51), Jackson, Wilson, Parker (capt), Seymour-Shove, Curtis (Clifton 78), Dean (Snaith 64)
Unused subs : Patrick, Powell
Supporters man of the match : Robbie Parker
Attendance : 415
Report by Nigel Howlett
|March 7, 2020||15:00||Southern Premier Central||2019-20||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||0|