St Ives Town v Stafford Rangers


Match Report

St Ives Town v Stafford Rangers 

Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round  31-10-20

Once again Ives left it very late before picking up their reward from this game. This time it took an 89th minute penalty from Dylan Williams to force the game to a shoot out where the hosts really came to the fore scoring four emphatic penalties to the visitors solitary successful effort.

With injuries still keeping Marc Richards and Nabil Shariff out of the squad Ives went into the game without a recognised centre forward starting the game with the same eleven that had finished so powerfully on Tuesday evening. With skipper Robbie Parker also absent with injury experienced centre back Brett Solkhon stepped up to take the armband. Boro interim manager Matty Hill made four changes to the visitors starting line up for his first game in charge.

Things started well for the Northern Premier League’s bottom side who were looking to impress their new boss. Joe Cuff went close with an early effort that flashed across the face of Martin Conway’s goal in the game’s very first attack after only fifty seconds. The same player did even better as he put the visitors in front in thirteenth minute. A quick break away down the right saw to many Ives players caught at the wrong end of the pitch allowing Callum Coyle to cleverly put Cuff clear through the centre and the Boro’s leading scorer calmly slotted home past the exposed Martin Conway.

Ives reacted well to falling behind and five minutes later the dangerous Michael Gyasi cut inside from the left past Michael Williams and Aaron Cole before pulling his shot from twenty yards well wide of Lewis King’s right hand upright. But King was called into his first real action of the afternoon two minutes later as he plunged to his left to tip around a Williams effort from 15 yards after quick thinking by Gyasi created the opportunity for Ives stand in centre forward. Fouled just outside the box by the struggling Michael Williams Gyasi got to his feet quickly and instantly slid the free kick inside to Williams.

The first half high on effort but lacking a decisive final ball saw only one more real save required by either keeper and it was Conway that needed to be on his toes in 34th minute. Ed Hottor brought down Coyle just outside the box Alex-Ray Harvey’s free kick cannoned into the Ives wall but the rebound fell to John Welsh 25 yards out. He curled his first time effort over the crowd and it was angling into the corner of the net before Conway got across his goal to claim the ball.

We probably expected Ives to come out of the traps fast at the start of the second half but they started slowly and Cole came within millimetres of doubling the Boro lead in 49th minute as he got on the end of Cieron Keane’s corner from the right at the back post but he only succeeded in directing his header into the side netting. 

Ives began to perk up and should have drawn level in 61st minute as Solkhon got on the end of a long Conway free kick and directed his header perfectly down into the run of Seymour-Shove to put the striker clear through the centre. Keeper King came to meet him and did very well staying big to deflect Seymour-Shove’s close range effort wide off his body. The resulting corner came to nothing but less than sixty seconds later Seymour-Shove thought he had made amends as he got onto the end of a Nathan Hicks through ball and curled his shot from the edge of the box past the exposed King only to have his effort ruled out by the assistant’s raised flag to add to his frustration.

Going so close twice in quick succession seemed to lift the Ives and just like in their previous game on Tuesday evening they began to build up the pressure on their visitors. In 65th minute Hottor went close in spectacular fashion as Solkhon flicked on a Liam Bateman long throw and rather than try and bring it down Hottor went for the overhead kick. He connected well and got the effort on target but it went straight into the grateful arms of the well positioned King.

The visitors were by now only raiding sporadically into Ives half but a quick break down the left by Keane in 70th minute ended with the overlapping full back sending a rasping drive across the face of goal that deflected wide off the outstretched boot of Oran Jackson. The resulting corner was dealt with effectively by Ives who broke at pace the move ending with Seymour-Shove feeding in Gyasi who got to the bye line on the left before cutting inside along the line. But rather than laying the ball back to the waiting Hicks he went for goal from a narrow angle and the shot got trapped between the legs of keeper King.

Midfielder Hottor was sacrificed for debutant striker Michael Harding in 74th minute and he had an almost instant impact spinning on the edge of the box to fire in a low right footer that King did excellently to keep out low to his right. Coulson then came to the prostrate keeper’s rescue as he scrambled the loose ball away just ahead of Gyasi arriving to slam it home.

The Ives pressure continued to mount but they were still struggling to find a route through the Boro back line and past keeper King until with less than a minute of the original ninety to play Coulson made the fatal mistake as he needlessly dived in on Seymour-Shove just inches inside the box as the nippy striker was heading away from goal. With both Richards and Parker missing responsibility from the spot fell to Williams but he kept his composure and beat King well sending the keeper the wrong way.

There was still one opportunity for Ives to claim the win inside regulation time when two minutes into added time Gyasi managed to tee up Bateman for a shot from just inside the box but the full back tried to go for placement rather than power allowing King to make a comfortable save.

So the game finished all square and with no extra time or replays this season in the competition it was straight to a shoot out, something that Ives have really struggled over in recent times but the new look hosts took it in their stride and even with first and second choice penalty takers missing Hicks, Solkhon and Williams all beat King comprehensively. In reply Cuff scored for the visitors but Mitchell Candlin saw his effort brilliantly saved low to his left by Conway and Coulson fired well over the top leaving substitute Ben Toseland with the opportunity to clinch the win, He did not disappoint beating King just as emphatically as his predecessors to take Ives through to the first round proper in this competition for the first time in their history.

Unsung hero Luke Howell took the man of the match accolade for his battling display breaking up opposition sorties and distributing the ball well from his position just in front of the back four.

The draw for the next round comes out Monday but with a second Covid enforced lockdown just about to start who knows when the tie may get played. 

Final Score : St Ives Town  1  Stafford Rangers  1  (St Ives Town won 4-1 on penalties)  

Goals : Williams 89 (pen)

Team : Conway, Bateman, Ballinger (Toseland 83), Gyasi, Jackson, Solkhon (capt), Seymour-Shove, Howell, Williams, Hottor (Harding 74), Hicks   

Unused subs : Lincoln, Clifton, Mitkov 

Supporters man of the match : Luke Howell

Attendance : 156

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

Many thanks to our Match Sponsor

St Ives Town

6Brett Solkhon Defender
7Ben Seymour-Shove Midfielder
8Luke Howell Defender
9Dylan Williams Midfielder 89'
10Edmund Hottor 14 Midfielder
11Nathan Hicks Midfielder
12Ben Toseland 3 Defender
14Michael Harding 10 Striker


Date Time League Season Full Time
October 31, 2020 15:00 The FA Trophy 2020-21 90'


Club1st HalfFinal ScoreGoals
St Ives Town011*(4)
Stafford Rangers111 (1)