St Ives Town 1 Biggleswade Town 0
Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central – 19-09-20
The Waders have always been something of a bogy team for Ives and this was only the hosts second league victory over their visitors in nine attempts. The amazing thing to those of us that have endured some of those fixtures in the past was the complete reversal of playing styles between the two sides. The Waders who have in the past been a footballing side were very direct with almost their entire threat on this lovely late summer afternoon coming from high balls and long throws pumped into Ives box. The hosts on the other hand were showing considerably more subtly with the pace and direct running of Michael Gyasi proving an eye-catching threat equalled by the silky skills of Dylan Williams and the presence of Marc Richards.
Ives threat was apparent right from the off when as early as fourth minutes Ben Seymour-Shove slid a ball through the Waders back line into the perfectly timed run of Richards forcing Jordy Ngathe to haul down the ex Cambridge United striker 25 yards from goal. Ben Toseland tried to curl the resulting free kick over the visitor’s wall but did not quite get it high enough and the ball deflected over the top for the first of the hosts five corners before the break.
The game quickly settled into it’s perhaps somewhat unexpected pattern with the Waders going long at almost every opportunity when they gained possession. It was a style once perfected by John Beck at Cambridge United that seemed to involve trying to win throw in opportunities deep in the opposition territory. Scott Davies was the man delivering the howitzer like throws but Ives new centre back pairing of Oran Jackson and Kyle Lincoln ably assisted by the height and power of Jarvis Wilson were equal to everything hurled into their box.
Ives on the other hand were looking to use the pace and trickery of Gyasi, Williams and Seymour-Shove and it was the latter who was bundled over 25 yards from goal in 25th minute. Williams powered the resulting free kick over the wall and beat the diving Kyle Forster in the Waders goal only to be denied the opener as the ball thudded into the underside of the crossbar and bounced up into the box. Gyasi was first to react and tried to loop a header over the out of position Forster but the keeper reacted quickly to finger tip the effort over the top. The big keeper also denied Gyasi from the resulting corner as he held onto the strikers stabbed effort through the crowd after the ball had fallen to him by the penalty spot.
The Waders carved out their first opportunity of the afternoon two minutes later when Johnny Giles bustled his way through on the right before delivering a cross that Shane Bush looked certain to head home but the visitor’s skipper somehow failed to hit the target from a central position ten yards out. His embarrassment was relieved a little when he spotted the upraised flag of the assistant referee on the far side.
The visitors managed to even up rattling the woodwork in the final minute of the first half. Jackson was adjudged to have pushed Bush as they challenged for a high ball 25 yards from goal. Davies curled the free kick over Ives three man wall but fortunately for the hosts the ball clipped the outside of the post and rebounded to safety with keeper Martin Conway looking on.
Having been barely tested in the first period Conway was called into smart action less than thirty seconds after the restart. A long ball down the right was taken into Ives box by Tremayne Charles who laid it back to ex Ives man James Peters who let fly a stinging drive from the edge of the box that the Ives keeper did well to block with his body. Another half chance came the visitor’s way ten minutes later as one of Davies’s many long throws fell to Joe Neal on the edge of the box but the Waders number nine screwed his shot wide.
Ives were continuing to edge the possession and were still carving out half chances of their own. Williams went close again in 63rd minute as he got on the end of a flowing move before unleashing a fierce rising drive from 25 yards that skimmed the crossbar with Forster beaten.
The only goal of the afternoon came in the 73rd minute and ironically it came from an Ives long throw Toseland launched the ball into the box where it was only half cleared to Nathan Hicks on the edge he clipped the ball to the back post where an unmarked Richards stooped to steer a header back past Forster the ball slowly bounced it’s way just inside the upright with the keeper and his defenders vainly appealing that the Ives striker was in an offside position.
Waders manager Chris Nunn almost instantly made two changes to try and freshen up his attached and five minutes later he threw caution to the wind as he went three at the back, replacing centre back Tom Boxer with striker Bradley Bell. But the visitors still showed little subtlety as they continued to throw the ball into the Ives box, literally in the case of Davies.
Half chances for an equaliser did appear and in 83rd minute Jackson brought down Sam Squire deep in Ives territory. Davies free kick dipped late over the wall presenting a difficult take on the bounce for the diving Conway but the keeper held on well under pressure. The Ives keeper was in action again two minutes later as he clung on to a well struck Peters effort from edge of the box.
There were six added minutes which in the past has brought nightmares for Ives supporters and they must have had their hearts in their mouths in the fifth of them as the ball bounced around the box allowing Bush the chance to power a header on goal from ten yards but Lincoln epitomised the Ives never say die attitude as he put his body on the line to deflect the effort away from off the goal line. The resulting corner was headed onto the roof of the net by Russell Short as he rose highest at the back post and the whistle blew on an excellent opening afternoon for the hosts only seconds later.
Michael Gyasi picked up the sponsors man of the match award for his eye catching performance but there were a lot of other contenders in the running particularly the centre back pairing of Jackson and Lincoln who never wilted under the Waders bombardment. Overall a very promising start which now leaves us all hoping that Government let the entertainment continue and Covid-19 does not stop the fun.
Please remember to comply with the protocols and social distance correctly at all times, by doing so you are helping to keep everyone safe and to keep football going
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Biggleswade Town 0
Goals : Richards 73
Team : Conway, Jarvis Wilson, Toseland, Gyasi, Oran Jackson, Lincoln, Seymour-Shove (Patrick 89), Parker (capt), Richards (Amu 89), Williams, Hicks
Unused subs : Baker, Dylan Wilson, Mills
Sponsors man of the match : Michael Gyasi
Attendance : 217
Match report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Dave Hook. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|September 19, 2020||15:00||Southern Premier Central||2020-21||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||1|