St Ives Town v Bedworth United
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 08-12-18
After the massive high of winning at League leaders Kettering last week this game was always going to be a challenge as Ives faced up to the rock bottom Greenbacks without a League win to their name all season. If some of the visitor’s supporters were to be believed pre-game then their unfortunate run had been at least in part due to lady luck deserting them on a number of occasions. As it turned out the visitors can once more point to the dice not rolling their way but it must be said that their fourteenth League defeat of the season came about at least in part due to their own short comings but also in large measure due to Ives never say die attitude.
Not surprisingly manager Ricky Marheineke kept the same starting eleven that played so well at the Poppies last Saturday with back from suspension Jake Newman only claiming a spot on the bench. With the momentum from last week still flowing and the wind at their backs Ives tore into their struggling visitors from the off. Ben Seymour-Shove latched onto a loose ball just outside the box in eleventh minute and cracked in a first-time right foot effort that had supporters on the Clubhouse terrace leaping for joy but that celebration was a little premature as the fierce drive had only ruffled the side netting.
Seymour-Shove continued to trouble the visitor’s defence going close again four minutes later as he cut in from the right and outbattled a defender to earn himself just enough space to get in a left foot effort from just inside the box that flew inches wide of keeper Adam Harrison’s left-hand post. Danny Kelly should really have put the Ives in front only seconds later as the resulting goal kick was powerfully headed back down the park and a slip by Bradley Maslen-Jones allowed Kelly to get clear as keeper Harrison came to meet him it looked like Kelly only had to get a touch to knock the ball past him but the ball took a slight bobble off the surface and the big striker failed to make any contact allowing the ball to run out of play to safety.
Having pressed hard for an opener throughout the early stages Ives were stunned to fall behind to the visitors first meaningful attack in 17th minute. Daniel Summerfield found a little space on the left and delivered a low cross to the near post where Sam Cartwright did well to block Luke Rowe’s initial strike. But the ball rebounded to the Greenbacks skipper and before anyone else could react he hammered the loose ball home from close range giving Martin Conway in the home goal no chance.
The setback knocked Ives out of their stride and they were unable to create another opportunity until 31st minute when Charlie De’ath got on the end of a Seymour-Shove corner from the right and sent in a looping header that beat the scrambling Harrison but landed on the crossbar and dropped in the mix where the keeper did very well to keep his wits about him enough to push the loose ball away just ahead of Ollie Snaith trying to force it home.
Ives had claims for a penalty waved away in 37th minute as Sam Cartwright appeared to be hauled to the ground by a defender when he looked favourite to get on the end of Robbie Parker’s free kick from the right. The home side went even closer to levelling the game three minutes before the break when another Parker free kick from a similar position was only half cleared by Maslen-Jones. The ball dropped to Jarvis Wilson on the edge of the box who showed remarkable technique for a centre back as he struck an excellent dipping volley from just outside the box. The ball was arrowing into the roof of the net only for Harrison to hurl himself acrobatically to his left to fingertip it over the top.
There was still time before the break for both sides to be reduced to ten men as Snaith reacted badly to being brought down by Ricardo Dudley on the half way line. The initial foul would probably have brought the Greenbacks defender a yellow card but he then followed up by grabbing Snaith around the neck the Ives man reacted leaving the pair hugging each other somewhat like two tiring boxers both looking for the bell at the end of a round. As is normal in such circumstances other players from both sides joined in as both additional adversaries and peace makers. After the melee had settled both of the initial protagonists received straight reds from referee Giovanni Marasca and the worst of the additional adversaries Maslen-Jones picked up a yellow.
With something now to defend the visitors came out for the second period with two solid banks of four and a willing lone striker in Montel Gibson. Not surprisingly the hosts continued to enjoy the majority of possession but were finding it hard to break down their stubborn opponents. It took until just after the hour before they worked Harrison again this time the keeper plunging to his right to tip around a Wilson header. Ben Jackson had delivered a deep teasing cross into the box which Cartwright had headed back from beyond the far post Wilson met his header well from twelve yards but could not beat the agile Greenbacks keeper.
Manager Marheineke made his only change of the afternoon in 68th minute sending on Newman for Ben Baker who after enjoying the counter attacking game at Kettering where his pace had really come into play had found it much harder to find any space amongst the mass ranks of the Greenbacks.
The equaliser did carry a little luck when it finally arrived fifteen minutes from time Munashe Sundire drove at the visitor’s back line before exchanging passes with Parker. Sundire’s return pass to put Parker away into the box looked a little heavy but even with Maslen-Jones trying to shield the ball out of play the Ives skipper would not give it up sliding in around the Greenbacks defender to hammer in a cross that rebounded off the chest of the unfortunate Barry Fitzharris and entered the net.
With the game now level and one point not really sufficient for the visitors in their quest to close the gap between themselves and safety they were forced to come out of their shell a little in the last ten minutes. In 81st minute Summerfield combined well with substitute Jake Whitmore on the right before the Greenbacks sub drove in a low cross that just evaded Gibson sliding in at the back post.
Seymour-Shove was brought down just outside the box in 84th minute, but the free kick came to nothing. Three minutes later Newman combined well with Kelly on the left to create a bit of space for Parker to deliver the ball into the box. Cartwright rose above the defence at the back post and directed his header down into the mix just inches in front of Newman who had continued his run into the box.
Only a minute later the Greenbacks went close to snatching an unlikely victory as a Rowe corner from the left was headed goal wards by Fitzharris, Jackson was on hand to knock the ball away from almost off the goal line but it fell to Rowe who delivered another dangerous cross to the near post where Gibson flicked it inches over the top.
The visitor’s will again feel hard done by as lady luck again deserted them as the game entered added time. Keeper Harrison sprinted from his line to just beat Newman to a clip through from Sundire. But the keeper’s momentum on the damp turf took him sliding outside the box. The eagle-eyed officials spotted his misdemeanour and the obligatory red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity followed. With no substitute keeper on the bench centre back Maslen-Jones was forced to don the gauntlets. Unfortunately for the emergency stopper his first task was to pick the ball out of the net as Parker’s driven free kick beat everyone in the crowded box and arrived at the back post where an unmarked Jackson had time to take a touch before slamming the ball home to claim his first goal on his home debut for the Ives.
There was still time for the visitors to have one last chance to get something out of the game as they won a corner in the fifth added minute allowing Maslen-Jones to join his eight remaining colleagues in the Ives box. The ball fell to late substitute Iyseden Christie who saw his close-range effort blocked and hacked to safety to allow the hosts to claim a very hard fought three points that moves them a little further away from the drop zone and maintains the momentum with the busy Christmas period looming.
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Bedworth United 1
Goals : Fitzharris (own goal) 74, Jackson 90+3
Team : Conway, Jackson, De’ath, Sundire, Cartwright, Jarvis Wilson, Baker (Newman 68), Parker (capt), Snaith, Kelly, Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : Hood, Wallis, Ward, Bailey
Supporters man of the match : Munashe Sundire
Attendance : 166
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|December 8, 2018||15:00||Evo-Stik League South - Premier Division Central||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||2|