Rushall Olympic 4 St Ives Town 1
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 20-10-18
A beautiful autumn day welcomed the Ives to the lush Dales Lane park unfortunately the visitor’s performance did not match the weather as all of the best aspects of previous games this season seemed to desert them in a single miserable afternoon.
Perhaps it was a reaction to the effort and energy that was expended in the unfortunate defeat to Biggleswade on Tuesday evening but whatever the reason this was Ives most disappointing performance of the season by some margin. Three of the four Pics goals came from a failure of Ives in defending dead ball situations into their box an area which has previously looked so solid up to now.
The hosts showed their attacking intent right from the off as full back Tyler Lyttle found space on the right and delivered a teasing cross that Joe Hood just managed to do enough to prevent Richard Brodie getting on the end of it as the big centre forward had dropped off to find space at the back post.
Ives first opportunity to threaten the Pics goal came midway through the first half as Robbie Parker ran over a free kick on the left corner of the box leaving Hood to deliver a dangerous in-swinger that Joseph Hull was forced to head over his own crossbar to prevent Danny Kelly getting on the end of it. Ben Seymour-Shove delivered the resulting corner from the right and picked out Jarvis Wilson on the edge of the box. His powerful header into the six yard box was palmed off Kelly’s head by keeper Joe Slinn.
As the half wore on the hosts began to get on top without ever really looking threatening although Lyttle was looking to get forward at every opportunity and continued to find a lot of space on the right touchline. He was the main protagonist in effectively winning the game for the Pics as they claimed two goals from corners in three minutes just before the break.
In 42nd minute Lyttle combined well with Ben Lund to carve out a crossing opportunity that Seymour-Shove did well to block at the expense of a corner. Lyttle delivered the resulting flag kick into the centre and Ives somehow managed to lose one of the biggest players in the box as Hull arrived at the back post to simply side foot the dropping ball home from eight yards.
With the half whistle looming the hosts won another corner on the right which Lyttle again delivered catching out Ives who had turned off completely as he pulled the ball back to the unmarked Ashley Sammons on the corner of the box he hung up the ball to the back post where two Pics players were queuing up to finish it Lund got to the front of the queue to head home from close range.
Coming out two down we were hoping for a reaction from the Ives but it was not to be as the hosts continued well on top with Lyttle continuing to terrorise them down the right. He again found space only ninety seconds after the restart and drove in a low cross that deflected off Sam Cartwright at the near post. Hood again had to be alert to complete the clearance at the back post.
Another Lyttle cross caused Ives further problems four minutes later as the visitors struggled to clear at the back post allowing Edwin Ahenkorah to tee up Sammons who curled his 25 yard effort inches wide with the outside of his right foot.
The Pics pressure continued and they went close again twice in the next two minutes. A quick break from an Ives corner saw Ahenkorah get away down the right and hang up a cross to the back post where Kevin Monteiro directed his header from eight yards inches wide. Only sixty seconds later Lyttle again used the acres of space he was still enjoying on the right. This time Lund got between Ives centre backs to direct his header towards the bottom corner of the net forcing Sam Wilson into an excellent save low to his right.
Ives were struggling to get out of their own half at times and the only time that they went close in the early period of the second half was on the hour when Mark Coulson and Parker combined on the left with latter getting to the bye line before hanging up a cross that a stretching Sam Whittall headed up into the air. Ollie Snaith pounced on the dropping ball but fired his powerful volley well wide from a narrow angle.
Whittall had a major impact at the opposite end of the pitch five minutes later as Ives were again caught napping at a dead ball situation. A long free kick was won in the air by Brodie whose header back across the box was picked up by Ahenkorah the number elevens cross back into the mix was deflected home at close range killing off any faint hopes Ives may have had of getting back into the game.
With the game now decided the Pics took their foot of the gas a bit but they still managed to rub more salt into Ives wounds as Owen Wallis brought down substitute Justin Richards as he broke into the box. Referee Simon Brown had a good view of the incident and had no hesitation in pointing to spot. Richards picked himself up and emphatically beat keeper Wilson with the kick burying the ball in the bottom right hand corner as the young stopper went to his left.
Young substitute Dylan Wilson was introduced to replace the ineffective Kelly twenty minutes from time and he brought a bit more urgency into Ives attack grabbing himself a well taken consolation goal five minutes from time Parker slid a ball through the left channel into Wilson’s well timed run and the striker cleverly drew keeper Slinn to him before slotting the ball through the keepers legs from a narrow angle covering defender Whittall made a desperate attempt to keep it out but only succeeded in knocking the ball over the line.
There was still time for Wilson to display his shot stopping abilities again as he plunged to his right to tip Sammons free kick around the post in the dying seconds to prevent even more embarrassment for the visitors.
Rather than have their usual on pitch debrief and warm down it was a sad site as the Ives exited the arena as quickly as possible on the final whistle with their tails well and truly between their legs. This fourth defeat in a row sees them tumble to sixteenth in the table now sitting only four places and three points above the relegation zone. A prompt return to the early season form that brought victories over fancied Tamworth and Royston is now urgently required even if this means a more defensive set up to re-shore up the previously very solid defence. The supporters must be aware that our continued survival at this level is much more about grinding out results that playing pretty football.
Final Score : Rushall Olympic 4 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Dylan Wilson 85
Team : Sam Wilson, Hood, Coulson, McGowan, Cartwright, Jarvis Wilson, Wallis, Parker (capt), Kelly (Dylan Wilson 70), Snaith (Bailey 61), Seymour-Shove (Baker 80),
Unused subs : Sundire
Man of the match : Robbie Parker
Attendance : 202
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|October 20, 2018
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town