St Ives Town v Rushall Olympic
Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central 29-10-2022
Having gone most of the season to date with barely an injury to disrupt their small squad Ives may consider themselves unlucky to have picked up three injuries in the week preceding this game. As if that was not bad enough ever reliable centre back Jordan Williams tweaked his groin in the warm-up. This meant midweek signings Charlie Johnson and Ravi Shamsi both started and the hosts were left with only two fit players on the bench.
Taking into account all of the above it was Ives who started on the front foot and but for a poor touch Shamsi could have opened his Ives account within 25 seconds of the kick off. The opportunity was created by a speedy break down the left from Tyrone Baker who sprinted past Kristian Green before finding the Ives debutant arriving at the near post sadly his effort went well wide of the target.
The game then settled down into a tight affair with both defences generally on top. The next attempt on goal did not arrive until 20th minute when Callum Coyle teed up Sam Mantom for a shot from just outside the box that home keeper James Goff saved well low to his right. This effort from the visitors seemed spark Ives into life and Michael Richens almost caught out keeper Jake Weaver with a speculative effort from 30 yards two minutes later. The athletic Pics stopper did very well to leap spectacularly high to his left to tip the effort over.
The hosts then continued to look the more likely side to break the deadlock in the remainder of the first period. Callum Milne got on the end of a deep Richens free kick in 25th minute but the flag was up to prevent him nodding home. Ives best chance of the day came in 32nd minute when Julien Saka won a crunching tackle in the centre of the park and fed in Shamsi cutting in from the right. His fierce low drive from just inside the box was parried by keeper Weaver who quickly recovered to claim the follow up chip from the Ives man underneath his crossbar.
Weaver was again in action five minutes before the break when he acrobatically tipped over a fierce rising drive from a narrow angle by Baker who had been fed through down the right by an excellent ball inside the full back from Kane Lewis. The final action of the half saw Milne lose his man beyond the far post to get on the end of a deep Shamsi cross but he could not pick out a team mate in the centre with his header which bounced through the six yard box before being cleared.
The visitors almost got their noses in front in 56th minute as Callum Coyle sprung Ives offside trap and got clear inside the box. As Goff came to meet him he tried to set up Will Shorrock for a tap in at the back post but the winger miscued his effort allowing Goff to recover and save. That was a real let off for the hosts but they failed to take advantage of it as they fell behind in the very next Pics attack only seconds later. Andre Landell got through the middle and Goff did very well to sprint off his line and spread himself to block the strikers shot at point blank range but the ball fell to Mantom. His low drive appeared to be blocked on the line by the hand of defender Julien Saka. Callum Coyle rammed home the loose ball but the assistant’s flag was up giving Ives momentary hope of redemption but the raised flag was merely to confirm that Mantom’s effort had already crossed the line before Saka’s intervention thus saving the defender from a potential red card.
Ives huffed and puffed but with the excellent Jordaan Brown snuffing out their main goal threat by keeping Jonny Edwards quiet their opportunities were very few and far between. Keeper Weaver did make an excellent reaction save to keep out Richens header from Shamsi’s free kick in 69th minute but that was his only noteworthy stop of the second half.
The goal that effectively killed the game and ensured that the points went back to the West Midlands came fifteen minutes from time. With everyone lining up for a long throw from Alex Fletcher he cleverly took it short and then picked out Green in space beyond the far post with his cross. The full back took down the ball well and drilled it in the bottom corner from just inside the box.
The late introduction of Enoch Andoh lifted the home supporters but although his trickery and pace carved out a couple of chances neither came to anything. His 78th minute cross picked out Edwards but the centre forward’s header from by the penalty spot was straight at Weaver. Seconds later the winger created then wasted an excellent chance for himself as he weaved his way past three players to break into the box but as things opened up for him he fluffed his shot giving Weaver a simple save to make.
Things could have got worse for the tiring hosts as six minutes from time the silky Fletcher found time and space 25 yards out to pick his spot with a curler that was destined for the top corner until Goff showed his prowess leaping high to his left to tip the effort over the top. Mantom also skimmed a low drive inches wide from just outside the box ninety seconds later.
The final effort of the game came from the hosts as Richens 30 yard free kick was deflected wide but, even with seven added minutes courtesy of a head injury to the battling Johnson that left him patched up and looking like Terry Butcher of old, there was no way back for the Ives.
This defeat sees them slide down to mid table while the Pics move up to sixth just one place outside the play-off places. Now four league games without a win at home Ives must look back to August Bank Holiday Monday for their last maximum return at quattro-tech Westwood Road. A run of form that must be quickly arrested if they are to continued to nurture play-off aspirations of their own.
Final Score: St Ives Town 0 Rushall Olympic 2
RUSHALL: Mantom 56, Green 75
Team Line Ups:
ST IVES: Goff, Lewis, Saka, Richens (capt), Johnson, Milne, Baker, Hottor (Shariff 80), Edwards, D. Williams, Shamsi (Andoh 72), Unused subs: J. Williams
RUSHALL: Weaver, Green, Mitchell, Fletcher, Brown, Masidi, Shorrock (Thorley 72), Mantom, Landell (Cameron 80), Coyle (Campbell 60), Batchelor (capt) Unused subs: Daly, Riley
Cards: Yellow: ST IVES: Saka (52) RUSHALL: Mantom (37), Mitchell (67)
IVES SUPPORTERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Charlie Johnson
Report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Ollie Jones. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|October 29, 2022
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town