St Ives Town v Stourbridge
BetVictor League Southern Premier Central – 24-08-19
Ives could spend a long time trying to work out how they got no reward from a game they dominated for long periods particularly after their high riding opponents had gone down to ten men with the silly dismissal of left back Zac Foster who picked up the second of two very silly yellow cards with over half an hour to go.
The answer to Ives question is two fold one they did not take their opportunities when they arose failing to hit the target on a number of occasions when in good positions and two when they did find the target they found Glassboys goalkeeper James Wren in imperious form.
The hosts made three changes from the side that had come away from Biggleswade with nothing last Saturday. Left wing back Ty Ward, left sided midfielder Dan Clifton and central striker Ezra Forde were replaced by Charlie De’ath, Ollie Snaith and Ben Seymour-Shove respectively the latter two making their first starts of the season.
After a good opening spell for Ives their first real opening fell to De’ath in 13th minute. A deep Ben Jackson cross from the right created panic in the Glassboys box. The ball initially falling to Tom Wood who saw his first time effort blocked but it ran loose to the Ives defender on the edge of the six yard box and it took a very brave block at point blank range from skipper Ashley Carter to deny De’ath the opener.
Having been on top for all of the opening period the host’s fell behind in the most unfortunate circumstances only two minutes later. Greg Mills delivered a free kick from the left into the danger zone between goalkeeper Martin Conway and his defenders. The ball bounced in the centre and skipped on to the back post where Charlie Johnson under heavy pressure from Will Grocott turned the ball past his own keeper.
Seymour-Shove spurned a golden opportunity to put Ives level less than sixty seconds later as a slide rule pass from Jack Snelus put the usually deadly striker clear through the middle. Keeper Wren quickly came to meet him and made a brave block with his body just inside his box.
The same two Ives players combined to create another good opportunity for Seymour-Shove again just after the half hour. This time an interchange of passes saw the striker regain possession inside the D and get his shot away but again the fast closing Wren made a good block. The ball ran loose to Ben Jackson on the right who fed it inside into the feet of Snelus who had continued his run but his rising drive from the edge of the box was turned over the top acrobatically by the well positioned Wren.
After failing to take those chances Ives could have easily found themselves two behind as the dangerous Mills again found space on the left to deliver a perfectly weighted clip to the back post where Grocott had got in front of his marker and should have done a lot better as he failed to hit the target with his free header from eight yards.
Seymour-Shove and Snelus continued to cause problems for the Glassboys back line and the pair combined to set up the former for his third good chance of the first half four minutes before the break. The Ives striker timed his run to perfection to beat the visitor’s offside trap and Snelus’s pass to put him clear could not have been better. It looked like Wren v Seymour-Shove for the third time but Glassboys skipper Carter had not given up the chase and as the Ives man hesitated to try and pick his spot past his nemesis Carter came sliding in to block the effort at point blank range. This proved to be the last action of the afternoon for Carter as he was helped off nursing an ankle injury to be replaced by the giant Jordan Williams.
With a drinks break included on this hot afternoon and the added delay for the injury to Carter there were an added six minutes at the end of the first period and in the third of those added minutes Ives created and spurned their sixth opportunity in the first forty five minutes. A long Robbie Parker free kick was flicked on in the centre and De’ath arriving at the far post got on the end of it. He was stretching and under pressure from Kristian Green but should really have hit the target with his effort from six yards.
The first real action after the break was the silly dismissal of Foster. He had picked up his first yellow card for raising his hand to try and stop a Snelus drive from 25 yards in 33rd minute. His second yellow came eight minutes after the restart as he foolishly reacted when Seymour-Shove tried to help him up after he was fouled by the Ives man on the touchline.
Both sides made changes following the dismissal with the Glassboys sacrificing Grocott, replacing him with Ryan Winwood and reshuffling their pack to fill the hole at the back left by the missing Foster. Ives manager Ricky Marheineke changed to a more attacking formation replacing central defender Johnson with striker Andrew Osei-Bonsu.
Even though the visitors were now playing a man light they still managed to create two good opportunities either side of the hour. A stretching Danny Kelly was almost caught out in 59th minute as Aaron Lloyd robbed him 30 yards from goal and teed up Mills but the Glassboys left winger snatched at the chance and fired high and wide from just outside the box. Two minutes later Ives came very close to getting caught out in identical fashion to the opener as Mills delivered an identical free kick from the left but this time De’ath did just enough to prevent Mitchell Bottfield forcing the ball home at the back post.
Not surprisingly with an extra man on the park the Ives continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but the game was into the final twenty minutes before they really tested Wren again and once more the athletic keeper denied them. Substitutes Osei-Bonsu and George Bailey combined well down the right with the former eventually firing in a shot from a narrow angle that took a slight deflection off Tom Turton but Wren was equal to the effort plunging to his right to fingertip the ball around the post.
Ives continued to huff and puff but could not blow the Glassboys house down and it was not until added time before they again brought the visitor’s custodian into dramatic action. There were 92 minutes on the watch when Osei-Bonsu managed to keep alive a deep Conway free kick on the left. He cut back inside and cleverly fed fellow sub Dan Clifton 20 yards out. Clifton struck his effort well but it was straight at Wren who held on comfortably.
Wren saved his best until last as just over a minute later he denied the same player in much more impressive fashion. Wood drove in a low cross from the right and the keeper started to move to his right to cover it but the ball took a deflection of Clifton’s thigh just in front of the near post and was arrowing into the bottom corner when Wren again showed his agility by hurling himself low to his left to not only stop the ball but hold onto it.
By that point Ives knew it was not going to be their day and to rub salt into the already sore wounds Glassboys substitute Michael Taylor found the space on the break to barrel his way between Jarvis Wilson and Kelly and round the exposed Conway before rolling the ball into the empty net and ensuring the three points went back to the West Midlands.
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Stourbridge 2
Goals : none
St Ives team : Conway, Jackson (Clifton 87), De’ath, Jarvis Wilson, Kelly, Johnson (Osei-Bonsu 56), Wood, Parker (capt), Seymour-Shove, Snelus, Snaith (Bailey 69)
Unused subs : Ward & Dylan Wilson
Man of match : Robbie Parker
Attendance : 204
Match report by Nigel Howlett. Video by Dave Hook. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|August 24, 2019
|Southern Premier Central
|St Ives Town