St Ives Town v Barwell
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 09-03-19
After two excellent results on the road it looked like Ives were running into a nice little bit of form with the season now winding down and the prospect of a visit from the Canaries who are only just struggling above the drop zone and had not scored for three games looked like an inviting opportunity to extend the winning run. However games are never played out on paper and it was the visitors desire and battling qualities that came out on top in the end as they grabbed a late winner to take all three points against a very lack lustre Ives.
The game started fairly evenly with the visitors enjoying some good early possession without really creating much. The first real threat came from an Ives breakaway as Ben Seymour-Shove managed to wriggle his way between two much bigger defenders to get on the end of a Robbie Parker clip over the top in eleventh minute. But the striker was forced to take his shot early and fired well wide from just outside the D.
The Canaries main threat came from a series of free kicks Ives were conceding around their box. The second of these in 13th minute saw the powerful Henry Eze get on the end of Brady Hickey’s clip into the box. The hosts were perhaps a little fortunate that the big centre back powered his free header well over the top from a good position.
Two minutes later Hickey went for goal from another free kick from five yards closer. This one had been clumsily conceded by Gavin Hoyte who brought down Sam Hollis from behind. Hickey’s free kick curled around Ives three-man wall but just crept over the angle of post and crossbar.
You might almost say that Ives taking the lead in 20th minute was against the run of play up to that point but it was a very well taken goal by leading scorer Seymour-Shove as he caught out the struggling Eze to get on the end of an excellently weighted Parker clip to the left corner of the box. Having beaten Eze to the dropping ball as the big man struggled to turn Seymour-Shove still had a lot to do. Keeper Liam Castle sprinted from his goal to quickly close down the angle but the Ives striker did everything right as he deftly clipped the ball past the Canaries keeper and wheeled away to celebrate as it bounced on into the empty net.
This setback knocked the fragile confidence of the visitors and they had the agility of Castle to thank for not falling further behind seven minutes before the break. A Ben Jackson long throw from the right was knocked down by Tom Wood the ball falling to Seymour-Shove on the edge of the box and he took the shot on first time on the volley almost catching Castle out low at his near post but the agile keeper got down smartly to his left to palm the ball around the post.
At half time with scores elsewhere going against them the visitors looked in serious danger of being sucked into the relegation quagmire if they could not lift themselves to get something out of the game. No doubt they received a roasting from their management team at the break to try and lift the effort levels in search of a route back into the match. The half time “team talk” seemed to have the desired effect as the Canaries came out and took the game to their opponents straight from the off but they were rather handed their route back into the game in 50th minute. A ball in from the right by Jamie Towers was not dealt with effectively by Ives back line and the ball fell to the feet of Dominic Brown-Hill who tried to lift it back into the mix but Hoyte’s upraised arm arrested the track of the ball giving referee Wayne Chalmers little option but to award a penalty. Hickey made no mistake from the spot firing down the middle as Martin Conway went to his left.
We hoped for a reaction from Ives but it just did not happen and it was the visitors who continued to come forward in search of a winner. Eight minutes later the all action Hickey robbed stand in left back Jordan Patrick deep inside Ives territory before exchanging passes with Daniel Durkin and then lashing in a powerful drive from the edge of the box that the well positioned Conway did well to block with his legs.
Conway was called into more spectacular action in 64th minute. Eze got on the end of a Brown-Hill corner from the right but his goal bound header was blocked by an Ives defender and scrambled out of the danger zone. Eddy Nisevic latched onto the loose ball and unleashed a screamer from fully 35 yards that was net bound until Conway flung himself to his right to turn the ball around the post.
Hickey continued to threaten at every opportunity and only ninety seconds later he was sent tumbling just outside the box by an ill-timed sliding challenge from Jarvis Wilson. The young Ives defender earned himself a yellow card and was saved from further punishment as Conway clung onto Hickey’s curling free kick that beat the hosts four-man wall.
Ives still seemed to be almost sleep walking their way through the game and in spite of Jake Newman and Ben Baker replacing Wilson and the strangely quiet Ollie Snaith to allow the hosts to change to a 4-4-2 formation they continued to create very little threat on Castle’s goal. The visitors sensing that a vital three points could just be there for the taking stepped up their efforts to claim the full reward. Star man Hickey showed their desire to win the game in 76th minute when he seized an opportunity to take a quick free kick well inside Ives half fortunately for the hosts substitute Jacob Whitmore wasted the opportunity by blazing the ball over the top from 25 yards.
With the clock ticking down it looked like Ives were going to get more reward than their performance perhaps deserved from this game but the Canaries found one final chance to load Ives box as deep in added time they were awarded a free kick on the half way line. Keeper Castle pumped the ball into the mix and Eze somehow managed to lose his marker inside the crowded box and rose to power home a header from ten yards giving Conway no chance.
The wild celebration that followed between players, management team and supporters shows just how vital these extra two points may be when it comes to the final shake up at the end of the season and with all of their main rivals for those relegation places ending up dropping points it turned out to be a good afternoon after all for the Canaries.
Manager Ricky Marheineke knows this performance was a long way below par and he and Bully Adams will need to reinstate the level of passion and desire which has been so evident in so many of Ives performances this season very quickly to ensure they do not turn into one of those middle of the table sides that are simply playing out the season in their remaining eight games.
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Barwell 2
Goals : Seymour-Shove 20
Team : Conway, Jackson, Patrick, Sundire, Hoyte, Jarvis Wilson (Newman 69), Seymour-Shove, Parker (capt), Wood, Osei-Bonsu (Ward 83), Snaith (Baker 69)
Unused subs : Bailey
Supporters man of the match : Ben Seymour-Shove
Attendance : 168
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|March 9, 2019
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town