St Ives Town v Bromsgrove Sporting


Match Report

St Ives Town v Bromsgrove Sporting   

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central 23-11-2021

A goal deep in added time robbed Ives of what would have been a huge three points against the in-form Rouslers who had arrived at Westwood Road unbeaten in their previous six in all competitions, if one allows for a shoot out defeat to Morpeth in the FA Trophy, and managed by the skin of their teeth to escape back to Worcestershire with that record stretched to seven games.

The late drama only goes a very small way to explaining the story of the evening which started with problems for the hosts even before the game had kicked off with centre back and captain Brett Solkhon pulling up injured in the warm up. A quick reshuffle of the side saw Ed Hottor return to the starting line up having originally been left out. He came into an unfamiliar left midfield roll with Ben Toseland reverting to his old left back berth and Kyle Davison-Gordon slotting into Solkhon’s roll at centre back alongside Callum Milne.

Michael Richens took over the armband and he was the man who set the evening off to an explosive start after only 147 seconds as he picked up a lose ball fully 30 yards out on the left drove forward a few strides before unleashing an unstoppable screamer that flew past the startled Aaron Clayton in the visitor’s goal and nestled in the back of the net off the inside of the far post.

Ben Heath had been recalled as Ives stopper and he was called into his first action of the night in seventh minute as he got down well to his right to hang onto a speculative 30 yarder from Nathan Hayward. 

The game then settled down into more of a midfield battle with Ives enjoying the majority of possession and moving the ball around at pace on their excellent 3G surface but the hard working Rouslers were not giving them space and although a little more direct in their style they to were probing for an opening but Ives unfamiliar back line were holding firm. The next noteworthy attempt on goal did not arrive until midway through the first period when the lively Tyrone Baker seized an opportunity to cut in from the right and get his shot away from the edge of the box but the left footed effort lacked power and Clayton made a comfortable save.

The visitors had been forced into a very early substitution when Miro Pais limped off with what one presumed was a recurrence of an injury he was carrying pre-game to be replaced by Cameron Ebbutt in the ninth minute. Ebbutt had a hand in the equaliser in 27th minute as he delivered a deep cross from the right that Joe Willis did well to keep alive and he got to the bye line before picking out Jack Newell with his cut back. The visitor’s number eight levelled things up as his low right footed effort from the edge of the box got through the crowd and beat the diving Heath low to his right.

Ives raised their game again and Nabil Shariff twice went close to restoring their lead in 29th minute. Initially he did well to retain possession under heavy pressure from Charlie Wise but having shook off the visitor’s centre back he managed to pivot and get his shot away from just outside the box but the effort flew well over the top. The Rouslers tried to play out from the back from the resulting goal kick only to get caught out as Dylan Williams robbed Wise to set up Shariff for another attempt from almost the same spot as he previous one. This effort was closer but still did not trouble Clayton as it flew over the crossbar.

Richens had been living up to his role with the armband and working like a trojan in the centre of the park and it took a brilliant recovery tackle from him on the edge of his own box only moments before the break to prevent Newell capitalising on a misplaced pass from Hottor to put the visitors in front. 

It was the visitors who started on the front foot in the second period and they went close twice in the first five minutes. Initially the towering Kettle rose highest to a long free kick from the left by Ebbutt. He directed his header on target but Heath was equal to it leaping to his left to fingertip the ball over the top. Another free kick three minutes later, this time from the right and delivered into the box by Joe Willis flicked off a head in the centre and arrived at the feet of Jamie Molyneux at the back post but he snatched at the opportunity and dragged his shot wide. 

Another excellent chance fell to the visitors in 57th minute as Ebbutt ran onto a Kettle flick and managed to outmuscle the covering Camron McWilliams but he to failed to hit the target from a very good position. The visitors were showing why they are considered one of the form sides in the division as they continued to press the hard working Ives but the hosts makeshift back line although stretched at times continued to hold firm. 

Hayward almost got onto a clip over the top from Josh Dugmore in 67th minute but Heath was alert to the danger and off his line quickly to get to the ball ahead of the Rouslers midfielder. Keeper Heath was called into more spectacular action three minutes later as Ebbutt teed up Hayward for a powerful rising 25 yarder that had the Ives keeper leaping to his left to tip over the top.

Ives had soaked up some pressure from their visitors but they also looked dangerous when they got opportunities to get forward and an amazing run from McWilliams almost brought reward in 74th minute. He charged forward from right back across the face of the Rouslers back line to pop up on the left side of their box and get on the end of a clip inside from the left by Toseland. Quick feet saw him turn and get a shot away from a narrow angle that keeper Clayton was forced to block out for a corner with his body.

The hosts maintained the pressure as the resulting corner was only half cleared and fed back into the feet of Baker inside the box. A lightning turn to his right completely fooled Rouslers substitute Jake Bloomer who had only been on the field a few moments and his clumsy attempt to get the ball that only succeeded in taking the legs from Baker presented referee Abigail Marriott with probably one of the simplest penalty decisions that she will ever have to make. The amazing site of no complaints to the referee about the decision made it clear just how blatant this one was. Newly appointed penalty taker Williams stepped up and slammed home sending Clayton the wrong way to put Ives noses back in front.

Now back in front Ives had one more opportunity to make the game safe in 86th minute as Shariff robbed a dallying Dugmore deep in Rouslers territory and burst forward into the box past a covering defender before letting fly with a left footed effort that sadly lacked power allowing Clayton to make a diving save low to his left.

Having made the error at one end of the pitch to present Ives the lead we found the real danger that Bloomer presented at the other end of the park as he turned out to be a true Rory Delap style long thrower delivering balls deep into Ives box from anywhere inside 30 yards from the corner flag. With the towering Kettle also now in the mix permanently it quickly became obvious that the last few minutes were going to be backs to the wall stuff. Ives survived the first few shells hurled into their box with only one real scare as Heath did brilliantly to bravely block a close range effort from Willis after one of the long throws had dropped at his feet by the far post with two minutes of the ninety left.

The game ticked into added time and Ives survived another scare in the first added minute as Davison-Gordon got away with a high bouncing back pass that put Heath under severe pressure which was only relieved as a stretching Willis fouled the keeper as he tried to beat him to the ball.

The final irony was that the equaliser when it finally arrived in the third of four added minutes came from a short throw as with everyone defending their box James Mace was given time and space to pick out his man with his cross from the right. He found the head of Kettle who knocked the ball down for Hayward to sweep it home from just inside the box to deprive Ives of what would have been an excellent three points. 

Taking into account the late reshuffle just before the kick off I am still going to take solace from another improved performance and this time one that lasted the full ninety minutes and earned reward, albeit only one point. Every game is now a massive one for Ives and that is certainly true of Saturdays trip to the coast with Lowestoft sitting one point and two places below in the table it is certainly the proverbial six pointer.

Final Score : St Ives Town  2  Bromsgrove Sporting  2       

Goals : 

ST IVES: Richens 3, Williams 77 (pen)

BROMSGROVE: Newell 27, Hayward 90+3


ST IVES: Heath, McWilliams, Davison-Gordon, Richens (capt), Hottor, Milne, Baker, Hicks Shariff, Williams (Gordon-Douglas 88), Toseland, Unused subs : Rhaman, Agemoh-Davies, Solkhon

BROMSGROVE: Clayton, Mace, Dugmore, Hayward, Wise (Bloomer 72), Kettle (capt), Pais (Ebbutt 9), Newell, Taylor (Shorrock 65), Willis, Molyneux, Unused subs: Marusiak, Spink

Ives Supporters man of the match : Michael Richens

Attendance : 208

Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Dave Hook. Photos by Louise Thompson.

St Ives Town

1Ben Heath Goalkeeper
2Camron McWilliams Defender
3Kyle Davison-Gordon Defender
4Michael Richens Midfielder 3'
8Edmund Hottor Midfielder
6Callum Milne Defender
7Tyrone Baker Winger
14Nathan Hicks Midfielder
9Nabil Shariff Striker
10Dylan Williams 12 Midfielder 77'
11Ben Toseland Defender
12Urijah Gordon-Douglas 10 Striker


Date Time League Season Full Time
November 23, 2021 19:45 Southern Premier Central 2021-22 90'


Club1st HalfFinal Score
St Ives Town12
Bromsgrove Sporting12