St Ives Town v Redditch United
Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central 24-09-2022
Ives fell to their second successive home defeat as the Reds maintained their excellent away form and showed why they are looking like a threat to some of the big boys this season. The silky skills of Max Sheaf shone through right from the early stages and it was the excellent midfielder that opened the scoring for the visitors finding the top corner with a peach of a free kick in 15th minute.
Following last week’s FA Cup success Ives named an unchanged starting eleven but they were slow to get into their stride and were very fortunate not to fall behind as early as the third minute when they were caught completely cold by a quick free kick by Sheaf who set Robbie Bunn in through the right channel and his low cross was turned home by Olalekan Osideko fortunately Ives were saved by the assistant’s upraised flag as the debutant striker had strayed offside.
Myles Cowling tried to get the ball rolling for the hosts two minutes later as he ran at the defence exchanged passes with Jonny Edwards and almost got clear but an excellent recovery by Ryan Wollacott blocked the all action midfielders strike from just inside the box.
The brilliantly taken opening goal in 15th minute was really down to a series of errors from Ives, Lewis Hudson was initially allowed time and space to deliver a cross from the left. Johnny Herd got to it, but his defensive header was a poor one the ball dropping to Bunn 25 yards from goal in a central position. He side stepped to try and get a strike away from just outside the box where he was taken down by a clumsy tackle from Enoch Andoh. Keeper James Goff carefully lined up a five man defensive wall, but it was not enough as Sheaf curled his free kick over the end of it and into the top corner giving the man in lime green no chance.
To their credit Ives tried to lift themselves to get back level but they seemed to be lacking their usual level of threat going forward and their best chances were coming from dead ball situations. In 18th minute skipper Dylan Williams curled in a deep in-swinging free kick that was only inches away from the stretching Jordan Williams at the back post. Four minutes later a Herd long throw created a scramble in the Reds box in which both Nabil Shariff and Callum Milne had shots blocked before the ball was cleared.
Jonny Edwards was also looking to add to his eight goals for the season so far and he forced a diving save out of Reds keeper Kieran Boucher with a powerful drive from fully 30 yards in 25th minute and also went agonisingly close to beating the keeper from a little closer four minutes later as received a ball inside from Kane Lewis 25 yards from goal and stepped around a defender before curling a left footed effort inches wide with Boucher struggling to get across.
The closing moments of the first half saw both sides go close. In the first added minute Shariff timed his run to perfection to get on the end of Herd’s through ball. He rounded Boucher but the keeper forced him wide and his shot from a narrow angle only found the side netting. Only seconds later Bernard Mensah spurned a golden opportunity to put his side two in front. Bunn and Sheaf combined well to put the striker clear and as Goff came to meet him the number eleven fired high and wide from just outside the box.
An excellent advantage by referee Graham Swanton created another opportunity for the visitors in the first minute of the second half. Lewis Hudson was taken down by a poorly timed tackle from Lewis on half way but the advantage saw Bunn get almost to Ives box before he was fouled by Cowling. Lewis picked up a yellow card for the initial challenge and Sheaf was presented with another opportunity to test out Goff and his wall. This time the wall won as the Reds midfielder’s goal bound effort deflected off it inches over the top.
Lewis had a much greater impact at the other end of the park as he got into the Reds box for the first time in 50th minute. An exchange of passes with Shariff gave him the opportunity to deliver a teasing ball into the box where Andoh forced his way in front of Kieran Donnelly to prod home from six yards.
Having now got back on terms most in crowd expected Ives to go on and take control of the game but that was not to be as it was the visitors who raised their game and began to take control. Goff had already produced an excellent diving save to his left to keep out a powerful strike from the overlapping Hudson and Sheaf had failed to hit the target with a close range header before the winner arrived in 65th minute. Hudson got down the left and fed the ball inside to debutant Reds striker Olalekan Osideko who amazingly found time and space to turn inside Ives box and pick his spot in the bottom corner of the net past the outstretched hand of the diving Goff.
Even now back in front the Reds did not sit on their lead but continued to go in search of a third to kill the game. It took a brilliant defensive header at the back post by Lewis to prevent Cain Smith turning in Donnelly’s teasing cross in 70th minute. A deflected effort from Reece Flanagan a couple of minutes later crept just over the crossbar.
With fifteen minutes left Ives manager Ricky Marheineke made the bold move of going three at the back, taking off both full backs and replacing them with Michael Richens, who went into the centre of that back three and Greg Kaziboni who went into his familiar right wing position. But the game could easily have been over a few minutes later as Wollacott cleanly met a Reece Flanagan corner from the right eight yards out and turned away to celebrate thinking that his powerful header was destined for the net only for Goff to come up with a top draw save to not only keep it out but somehow hold onto the ball.
That save and the new formation lifted Ives and they could easily have found an equaliser in the closing stages. Ethan Johnston was brought into the fray as the hosts final change replacing Cowling with ten minutes to go and he came oh so close with his first touch of the ball. A Dylan Williams free kick was knocked back into the box by Milne and the ball fell to Johnston just outside the six yard box. He hit his effort cleanly but instead of billowing the net it hit Hudson on the line and bounced away with the full back knowing very little about it.
Milne now playing as a right sided wing back was heavily involved in setting up the hosts final opportunity to get something out of the game in the first added minute as he got to the bye line and delivered a cross into the box that was deflected into the path of Andoh his attempted scissor kick was charged down and the ball ricocheted around the Reds box like pinball with both Jordan Williams and Johnston having shots blocked before it was finally cleared.
Even though they threw virtually everyone forward for the final few minutes Ives were unable to create another shooting chance and the final opportunity of the game fell to the visitors on the break as Yan Osadchyl got completely clear with only Goff to beat but once again the keeper did well forcing the Reds substitute to take his shot on early and like Mensah at the end of the first half he too failed to hit the target.
But it was the visitors that were celebrating seconds later as referee Swanton blew the final whistle to seal the Reds fourth win out of five games on the road this season and take them up to third place in the early season table. Ives drop to seventh and have a very quick chance to get things back on track as they visit Top Field to face Hitchin Town on Monday evening ahead of next Saturday’s historic FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round tie against Chasetown at the quattro-tech Westwood Road.
Final Score: St Ives Town 1 Redditch United 2
ST IVES: Andoh 50,
REDDITCH: Sheaf 15, Osideko 65
Team Line Ups:
ST IVES: Goff, Lewis (Kaziboni 74), Herd (Richens 74), Cowling (Johnston 79), J. Williams, Milne, Andoh, Hottor, Edwards, D. Williams (capt), Shariff, Unused subs: Saka, Sandiford
REDDITCH: Boucher, Donnelly, C. Flanagan, Wollacott, Hudson, Byrne (capt) (C. Smith 60), Bunn, R. Flanagan, Sheaf (Osadchyi 90+3), Mensah (Boothe 70), Osideko, Unused subs: H. Smith, Rowbottom
Cards: Yellow: ST IVES: Lewis (46), Ritchens (90+6) REDDITCH: C. Flanagan (45+3), Bunn (88)
IVES SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Enoch Andoh
Match Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson. Video by Ollie Jones & Dave Hook.
|September 24, 2022
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town