St Ives Town v Lowestoft Town
BetVictor League Southern Premier Division Central 11-01-20
With everyone apart from Jack Snelus and Edmund Hottor fit and available for this vital game Ives went into it feeling quietly confident of claiming an important win to lift themselves out of the bottom two whilst dragging the Trawlerboys back into the mix in the lower reaches of the table with them. That confidence may have been dented a little in the week leading up to the game when Cambridge United recalled excellent young keeper Finley Iron from his loan spell but a more than adequate replacement was quickly found in first year Northampton Town professional Bradley Lashley.
Another pre-match boost for the hosts came courtesy of an unexpected return from Billericay for the prodigal son Andrew Osei-Bonsu. The extra bit of quality that he could provide could make all the difference in this vital game.
The pre-match expectation looked like it could have some foundation as Ives started the game at break neck pace and came within millimetres of going in front with less than two minutes on the clock. An early Robbie Parker free kick was delivered into the box and only half cleared to Joe Curtis who cleverly hooked it back into the box where Dylan Wilson managed to find enough space to get in a header from ten yards that looked like it was going to loop over visiting keeper Luis Tibbles only for the custodian to show his agility as he leapt backwards high to his right to fingertip the effort around the post at full stretch.
The excellent Tibbles did even better six minutes later as he plunged low to his right to keep out a well struck Robbie Parker penalty. The spot kick had been awarded after Curtis had been bundled over inside the box by Josh Curry as he tried to flick a Ben Seymour-Shove pass on into the run of Matt Foy.
Having failed to get in front from either of those two golden opportunities Ives then found their confidence knocked as they fell behind in twelfth minute. Jake Reed cleverly turned Tom Wood to get a run on goal only to be pulled back by the struggling Ives defender just inside the box. Referee Joe Woolmer had no hesitation in awarding the second penalty of the game only three minutes after the first. Unlike Parker, Malachi Linton made no mistake from the spot beating debutant Lashley low to his right.
Both sides continued to tear into each other with both defences looking rather nervous and even at this early stage more goals were looking likely at both ends. Ben Toseland was perhaps a little fortunate as he was robbed by Linton deep inside his own half in 24th minute. He only escaped punishment as Reed has wandered marginally offside before being put clear by his strike partner.
Toseland did much better two minutes later as he put Foy away down the left. The Ives striker worked his way into the box before slipping on the soft surface but he still managed to get the ball away to Wilson who was unlucky to see his well struck shot blocked away by Curry.
It was the visitors turn to go close again in 37th minute as the powerful Reed again got the better of Toseland down the right before delivering a teasing low cross that Linton arriving late at the back post flung himself at full length fortunately for Ives he did not quite manage to get enough contact to force the ball home.
The usually deadly Seymour-Shove failed to take a golden opportunity to level things up only a minute later as he was cleverly picked out by Wilson with a perfectly weighted pass into his run cutting in from the left. The Ives winger stepped inside Dylan Ruffles to put himself in one on one with keeper Tibbles only to curl his attempted clip past the keeper but just the wrong side of the post.
Having missed that opportunity Ives then found themselves under the cosh again for the last few minutes of the half. There were four minutes to go when Miguel Lopez and Jacek Zielonka combined well down the left. The move ending with Lopez getting to the bye line and picking out Zielonka with his pull back only for the Trawlerboys number eleven to get it all wrong and blaze his effort well over the top from a good position. The same player did much better right on half time as he fired off a crisp low drive from just inside the box that forced a diving save at his near post out of Lashley.
The resulting corner delivered a telling blow to Ives hopes of getting back into the game as Linton’s flag kick was half cleared to Lopez on the right edge of the box. His low cross picked out Connor Deeks twenty yards out in the centre of goal. The big midfielders low drive through the crowd caught Lashley unsighted as it arrowed into the bottom right hand corner of the net to double the visitor’s advantage at the break.
Ives came out early looking like they were meaning business right from the off at the start of the second half and they were almost instantly denied a route back into the game by an assistant’s flag for a marginal offside against Osei-Bonsu as he galloped clear onto a Toseland ball down the left. He had Foy waiting in the centre to tap home before he was pulled back by the referee’s whistle.
However having failed to get back in the game Ives suddenly found the rug yanked from under their feet as they were hit with a double blow with the visitors taking advantage of poor defending to score twice in a minute and effectively kill off the game. In 53rd minute the admirable Deeks slotted a perfect pass out to the left to pick out Curry on the overlap. Lopez arriving at the back post managed to get in front of his marker to glance the home the full back’s inviting cross for a simple third goal. The fourth arrived in almost comical fashion only seconds later. With Ives looking to push forward in a vain pursuit to get back into the game a ball out of defence caught out Wood on the half way line. The Ives centre back slipped ending up on his face in the mud allowing Andrew Fisk to race away bearing down on Lashley. To add insult to injury the young keeper also slipped as he came to close down the visitor’s midfielder leaving him with the simple task of skipping around him and rolling the ball into the empty net.
The next few minutes gave Ives supporters their only real positive moments from an otherwise dark afternoon as Wilson showed his huge promise with two very coolly taken goals either side of the hour to give a glimmer of hope of the comeback of all comebacks. The first of the young striker’s goals in 57th minute saw him time his run to perfection to get clear down the middle onto a through ball from Foy. He cleverly drew Tibbles to him before deftly flicking the ball past the exposed keeper into the net. His second seven minutes later was a more emphatic finish as he got clear onto an Aaron Phillips through ball and comprehensively beat Tibbles from fifteen yards to reduce the arrears to two.
In between Wilson’s two goals we had also witnessed a double save from Lashley that was out of the top drawer. Only one minute before Wilson’s second Reed had got away at the other end only to be denied by a brilliant close range block from Lashley, but the loose ball ran to Zielonka who looked like he must score only for the agile Lashley to bravely hurl himself across the line of the shot to deflect the ball away with his body. Lashley was again called into athletic action in 69th minute as he flung himself high to his right to tip over a 25 yard piledriver from Linton that looked destined for the roof of the net.
Ives one chance to gain a very unlikely something from this game came in the 72nd minute as Osei-Bonsu showed his pace and strength in a 50 yard run that took him from inside his own half past two defenders into the Trawlerboys box from where he unleashed a curling effort that was pushed away by a diving Tibbles to preserve the visitors two goal cushion.
With that chance gone the host’s belief began to wain and they failed to mount any further serious challenge to the visitor’s goal. Zielonka wasted a glorious opportunity to put the final nail in Ives coffin ten minutes from time. Reed got past Phillips down the left and cut inside before hitting a crisp low drive that Lashley saved but could not hold. The ball fell to the visitor’s wide man eight yards out with the goal gaping but he somehow scooped his shot over the top.
But Zielonka did not have long to dwell on that miss as only two minutes later he beat Lashley to a Jack Wilkinson free kick clipped into the box from the left to glance home the Trawlerboys fifth and final goal of the afternoon and send their noisy supporters home very happy. The free kick had been given away by Phillips clumsily bringing down Lopez just outside the box.
The only ray of sunshine for Ives on an otherwise very tough afternoon were the two very well taken goals from young Wilson who rightly claimed the sponsors man of the match accolade. Unusually it begins to look like it is not the lack of goals which is preventing progress up the table it is now a very shaky defence which is presenting all of the worries for manager Ricky Marheineke and twelve goals shipped in the last three games is a very concerning statistic particularly when in those same three games we have netted five at the other end to gain no reward.
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Lowestoft Town 5
Goals : Dylan Wilson 57 & 64
Team : Lashley, Phillips, Toseland, Osei-Bonsu, Wood, Powell, Seymour-Shove (Bailey 80), Parker (capt), Foy, Curtis, Dylan Wilson
Unused subs : Jackson, Ward, Snaith, Clifton
Sponsors man of the match : Dylan Wilson
Attendance : 162
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
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|January 11, 2020
|Southern Premier Central
|St Ives Town