St Ives Town v Bromsgrove Sporting
Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central 10-12-2022
Ives will probably feel a little unlucky to get nothing from this game, but in truth they were the architects of their own downfall as a series of errors from the home side allowed the Rouslers to avenge an opening day defeat on their own patch on a balmy August day that those of us enduring this December cold snap would have very much enjoyed.
Right from the first few seconds chances came and went for the hosts. The game was only 80 seconds old when Enoch Andoh burst between defenders to pounce on a loose ball after Jonny Edwards had challenged Tom Taylor to get on the end of a Nabil Shariff flick. Ives pacey winger carefully lifted the ball over the out of position visiting keeper Ollie Taylor but the ball drifted just inches over the crossbar.
The hosts continued to press and a flowing seventh minute move through the centre ended with Andoh feeding in skipper Dylan Williams through the right channel but his rising drive was straight at keeper Taylor who held on well. Williams tried his luck again six minutes later as he let fly with a dipping 25 yarder that flew just over the top.
The visitors first real foray into Ives territory did not come until 25th minute when left winger Miro Pais showed an amazing burst of speed to get to the bye line. He picked out Ammar Dyer on the edge of the box with his pull back but the full back fired well over the top.
Home keeper James Goff had to show an equally good turn of pace three minutes later as he sprinted from his line to just beat Dyer to a ball through the left channel from Jack Tolley. The pressure was now all coming from the visitors and Dan Sweeney combined well with Tolley to put the youngster through on goal in 34th minute. It took a brilliant recovery from Callum Milne to slide in and block Tolley’s initial shot. The Ives full back then did equally well to block the number ten’s follow up effort.
The opening goal arrived two minutes later and again the appropriately named Pais was heavily involved as he once more got away down the left before cleverly feeding the ball inside to Sweeney whose first time effort from a narrow angle found the far corner of the net. Ever his own worst critic, keeper Goff will, I am sure, question his positioning on this occasion.
Now with their noses in front the Rouslers continued to push for a second. Sweeney was still causing problems for Ives back line and he forced Charlie Johnson into a rash challenge just outside the box in 39th minute. Pais’s resulting free kick rebounded to him off Ives four man wall and he threw up a hanging ball to the back post where Tolley jumped highest but could only direct his header straight at Goff.
It was Ives turn to break at pace four minutes before half time and that break should have been rewarded with an equaliser. Kieran Higgs got past Dyer down the right and sent in a low driven cross towards Shariff arriving unmarked at pace by the penalty spot, but the pass was just a little to strong and the stretching Shariff could only manage to divert the ball onto the crossbar and over.
Having come within millimetres of levelling things up Ives then suddenly found themselves indebted to Jordan Williams to ensure they went into the break only one goal in arrears. The deadly Sweeney was fed clear through the centre and bearing down on Goff’s goal with seemingly only the keeper to beat when Williams came in with the most perfectly timed recovery tackle that you will ever see taking the ball of the striker’s toe just as he was about to slot it home. A split second out with the timing and Ives centre back would have been staring at a certain red card.
Bovril was the order of the day at half time to raise the body temperature of those brave souls behind the goal that went with a little reassurance that we were very much still in the game along with the usual “next goal is vital” statement or two. But it was the visitors who came out in search of their second to try and kill the game off and their deadly strikers continued to go close to finding that vital goal. Goff did brilliantly to deny Sweeney in 47th minute as he reacted to put up an arm and turn away the striker’s effort from just inside the box that had taken a deflection off Milne on the way through. Jordan Williams was again Ives saviour three minutes later as Sweeney once more bustled his way into Ives box, this time rounding the exposed Goff, but Williams was covering behind his keeper to block the centre forward’s goal bound effort.
But just to confirm the general opinion at half time Ives were very much in this game they enjoyed a purple patch around the hour mark. In 58th minute Andoh danced his way down the right before delivering a teasing clip to the near post where skipper Taylor needlessly conceded a corner heading the ball out of the hands of his waiting keeper. The resulting in-swinging corner from Higgs was missed by all at the near post and was knocked down to Milne at the back of the box. His miss hit effort looked tame but it evaded all of the first line of defence and was bobbling on its way into the corner of the net before it was hacked away off the line by Taylor.
Moments later Edwards went close as he struck a fierce drive into the side netting after being fed in by Dylan Williams. Another Edwards drive on the hour after he had been fed through the left channel again, this time by Milne, was straight at keeper Taylor. But the equaliser did finally arrive in 66th minute. Higgs cut in from the left past Kieron Dawes and was taken down inches inside the box by covering defender Lewis Wright. Rouslers players convinced the foul was outside the box surrounded referee Alistair Wilson but the official was adamant that the contact happened on the line and eventually booked the lead protestor Dawes for dissent. Edwards retained his composure to coolly beat Taylor from the spot and level things up.
Having fought so hard to get back on level terms Ives then gifted their visitors the lead back only five minutes later. Dylan Williams needlessly flew into Pais by the left touchline to concede a free kick. The Rouslers winger picked himself up and curled the ball into the near post where one of the smallest players on the pitch, Mo Sebbeh, somehow arrived unmarked to power home his header and restore the advantage.
To their credit Ives did not put their heads down, instead they fought back and again carved out a good opportunity to get level. Milne’s long throw from the left touchline was fed back to substitute Tyrone Baker on the edge of the box. His miss struck shot turned into an excellent ball back into the middle which Jordan Williams directed just wide of the near post from ten yards.
That proved to be Ives last real opportunity to get some reward for all of their hard work as the visitors took every opportunity to go down and win free kicks to effectively break up the remaining time. In fact they themselves came closest to increasing their advantage going close twice in added time. Sweeney fired a 20 yard free kick inches wide in the second added minute and it took a brilliant diving save from Goff to deny the same player in fourth of the added six minutes.
Ives will feel that they missed an opportunity to reinforce their potential play-off credentials with this result and with the cold spell now forecast to set in for a while it will be interesting to see if their two scheduled away games before Christmas go ahead. Whenever they return to action they will be keen to eliminate the errors and get back to winning ways.
Final Score: St Ives Town 1 Bromsgrove Sporting 2
ST IVES: Edwards 66 (pen)
BROMSGROVE: Sweeney 36, Sebbeh 71
Team Line Ups:
ST IVES: Goff, Milne (Lewis 82), Casey, Shariff, J. Williams, Johnson, Higgs, Hottor (Richens 82), Edwards, D. Williams, Andoh (Baker 68), Unused subs: Herd
BROMSGROVE: O. Taylor, Dawes, Dyer (Portman 61), Curtis, T. Taylor (capt), McGrath, Wright, Sebbeh. Sweeney, Tolley (Smalley 76), Pais, Unused subs: Perkins, King-Harmes, Newell,
Cards: Yellow: ST IVES: Johnson (84), J. Williams (87) BROMSGROVE: McGrath (54), Dawes (67), T. Taylor (76), Curtis (83)
IVES SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Nabil Shariff
Report by Nigel Howlett. Interview by Andrew Dunn. Match Highlights by Ollie Jones. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|December 10, 2022
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town