St Ives Town v Biggleswade Town
BetVictor League Southern Premier Division Central 25-01-20
Waders ex Peterborough United and Hull City striker Jonathan Edwards thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to Westwood Road helping himself to a second half hat trick as the visitors romped to a comprehensive double over the struggling Ives. Prior to their second half collapse Ives with debutant centre back Tom Hamblin to the fore had looked a much more solid and resilient side in the first forty five minutes defending their box well and restricting their visitors to a single on target effort before the break.
All of the hard work was blown away just fifty seconds after the restart as a slip by Ben Jackson allowed Edwards to grab the opener after which the hosts fragile confidence seemed to quickly ebb away allowing their visitors to take complete control and Edwards to help himself to a further brace.
Manager Ricky Marheineke had been busy in the week before the fixture bringing in two new defenders to try and plug the many holes which have recently appeared in the Ives back line. The experienced Hamblin joining from fellow step three side Hendon and the very highly rated 20 year old Beckham Kennelly coming in from Northern Premier League Wisbech Town. Whilst Kennelly was to make his first Ives appearance from the bench in the latter stages Hamblin was immediately installed in the heart of Ives defence alongside Jackson. Another plus for the hosts was the return from suspension of combative midfielder Edmund Hottor.
The visitors had probably been studying videos of Ives recent games as from the off they were quick to start bombarding the Ives box with high balls at every opportunity although they did not appear to have allowed for the revamped hosts back line which looked a lot more solid with Hamblin and Jackson winning their aerial battles in the centre and being admirably backed up by full backs Aaron Phillips and Ben Toseland. With Hottor also winning some crunching tackles just in front of his back four the Waders who were well on top in terms of possession were being effectively kept out of Ives box.
The Waders only two noteworthy efforts of the first period were a low drive from Treymayne Charles cutting in from the right that required a save from Bradley Lashley in sixth minute and a rising effort from Dylan Williams that flew harmlessly wide in 15th minute. To counter that the hosts had to wait until one minute before the break before their first effort a turn and shot from the right hand corner of the box from Andrew Osei-Bonsu that provided a routine catch from Richard Walton.
Ives suffered a serious blow at the interval as their solid looking back four was severely disrupted by the departure due to injury of Aaron Phillips. Dan Clifton replaced him and had not even got a touch of the ball before the hosts fell behind. There were only 50 seconds on the stopwatch when the ball was fed down the centre of the park Jackson looked likely to deal with it but delayed a split second allowing Edwards to gain possession and get away an initial shot which was parried by Lashley but the rebound off the keeper fell back to the feet of the Waders striker who gleefully stabbed it in the corner.
The fragile confidence gained from a good first half immediately began to ebb away from the Ives and the Waders were quick to go for the jugular swarming over the Ives who did well to not become completely swamped by the tide of green pouring down on them. The rest of the game is almost a story of Waders attempts to add to their opener and gallant Ives efforts to prevent that happening.
In 51st minute a snap shot from Charles took a deflection off Clifton and almost deceived Lashley who did well to react quickly to smother the loose ball just ahead of Edwards after he had failed to hold onto the initial shot. Six minutes later Hottor lost possession in the centre circle allowing Callum Donnelly to feed through Charles for another attempt on goal but again Lashley was equal to his effort saving low to his right.
Edwards looked certain to double his tally on the hour as he got away from Hamblin to get a clear run on goal from a Shane Bush flick to a long ball down the centre but as Lashley came to meet him the striker pulled his left foot effort wide from a good position. However the dangerous number eight did not have to wait much longer to claim his second of the afternoon as only sixty seconds later he found acres of space in the centre to side foot home a low cross from the right by Devante Stanley that had somehow evaded everyone on its way through.
Only two minutes later Edwards should have completed his hat trick as he was fed through the right channel by Charles to be in on goal again but this time he snatched at the effort, and possibly aided by a bobble, blazed the ball well over the top from an excellent position.
Something very rare arrived in 67th minute as Ives managed to win a free kick in a dangerous position Corey Panter was perhaps a little unfortunate to be adjudged to have brought down the battling Joe Curtis when the Ives player appeared to have bundled into the full back as he won the ball just outside the box. But the hosts failed to take advantage of the opportunity as Ben Toseland curled the free kick over the four man wall but also over the crossbar.
Normal service was quickly resumed as play swung back to the Green Leys end of the ground where Edwards completed his hat trick five minutes later this time cutting in from the right and unleashing a low left foot drive that Lashley will be disappointed managed to get past him at his near post. The same player was convinced that he had claimed a fourth goal fifteen minutes from time as he turned Clifton and fired off a rasping right foot blaster from the left edge of the box that beat Lashley comprehensively and crashed into the underside of the crossbar and down onto, or over, the line. Goal line technology would have decided but in its absence the match officials could not be certain so a bemused Edwards remained with three goals chalked against his name.
He should have made certain of the elusive fourth chalk mark three minutes later as with the Ives defence once more in disarray he lost his marker and got on the end of another Stanley cross from the right but inexplicably steered his close range effort the wrong side of the post when it looked easier to score.
The most noteworthy event of the remaining twelve minutes was the introduction of Kennelly in place of the tiring Hottor who had run himself into the ground for the cause. The young defender showed a few good touches in his short time on the pitch a period during which the Waders failed to create any more chances but to counter that the Ives did not come close to grabbing a consolation.
Once again all of the sides at the bottom end of the table around the Ives also lost so the equation for survival remains the same with simply one less game to play. With mid table Hednesford visiting Westwood Road on Tuesday evening it must be hoped that Ives can find some belief from somewhere to pick up that vital first victory that could lift the confidence just enough to spark a real survival challenge before it is too late.
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Biggleswade Town 3
Goals : none
Team : Lashley, Phillips (Clifton 45), Toseland, Hottor (Kennelly 83), Hamblin, Jackson, Seymour-Shove, Parker (capt), Dylan Wilson, Curtis, Osei-Bonsu (Foy 62)
Unused subs : Ward, Bailey
Supporters man of the match : Joe Curtis
Attendance : 161
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|January 25, 2020||15:00||Southern Premier Central||2019-20||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||0|