St Ives Town 0 Coalville Town 1
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Central – 01-09-18
No one would have bet on these two teams both sitting in the play off places after five games. Judging on the evidence of this game both have got there through sheer hard work and endeavour.
Ives already missing two players through injury and Ollie Snaith serving the first game of his three match ban suffered a further serious blow prior to the kick of as influential defender Charlie De’ath failed a late fitness test. This left the hosts fielding a back four with an average age of 18½, probably the youngest back line ever fielded by the Ives.
The youngsters were tested early on as the visitors showed the confidence of a team on a three match winning run. Alex Dean got down the right and delivered a dangerous cross to the back post in only 2nd minute fortunately Joe Hood was alert to the danger and managed to turn the ball away from Tom McGlinchey at the expense of a corner.
The Ravens early pressure continued as only two minutes later the skilful Tim Berridge played in McGlinchey. A well positioned home keeper Tim Trebes kept out McGlinchey’s low drive with his feet. The resulting corner from the left by Dean was driven in low and somehow managed to evade everyone as it skipped through the six yard box. Debutant loanee from Kettering Jack O’Connor did well to flick it away from danger at the far post. A quick throw then saw the ball channelled back into the box where Tolani Otomola managed to find just enough space to prod in a low shot that Trebes did well to keep out a point blank range.
The dangerous Berridge again showed his skills in ninth minute as he got away down the left and delivered a dangerous low ball into the six yard box that Trebes did well to claim as he bravely dived in at the feet of Otomola.
Ives first meaningful attack of the afternoon came three minutes later as Tom McGowan closed down, harried and robbed a dallying Dean Freeman just outside the box. Having done the hard work through he failed to capitalise as he screwed his right footed effort wide from a good position just inside the box.
The hosts were now enjoying their first period of decent possession inside the opposition half and only ninety seconds later Danny Kelly and Ben Seymour-Shove combined well on the left to set up a shooting opportunity for Robbie Parker. But the Ives skipper dallied momentarily was immediately closed down and the chance was gone.
With Jack O’Connor in the side Ives had a new string to their attacking options as the young full back is capable of delivering a long throw deep into the opposition penalty area. One of these throws in 17th minute was only half cleared to Seymour-Shove in space on the left inside the visitor’s box. He had half a chance to go for goal, but the angle was narrow and instead he tried to pick out Parker in the centre with a pull back but the ball failed to find it’s way through the forest of covering legs.
Parker had another half chance come his way in 20th minute as Ravens full back Kyle Bryant made a complete hash of a long ball out of defence allowing Parker to pick up the loose ball 30 yards from goal. Rather than try to play in Seymour-Shove he had spotted keeper Smith-Varnam off his line and tried to chip the keeper with a first time effort, but he only succeeded in firing the effort well over the top.
The remainder of the first half was a period much more for artisans than artists as both sides worked very hard to prevent their opposition getting even a glimpse of goal and neither side had that little bit of extra quality required to unlock the two very resolute defences. The game was already begining to look like a goalless draw and both sides would have probably settled for a point at this stage.
The endeavour continued after the break when Ives created the first opportunity as Kelly cleverly held up the ball before releasing Seymour-Shove down the left.He cut in on goal, but as keeper Smith-Varnam came to close him down he again went for the pull back rather than go for goal and a covering defender was again able to cut out the intended pass and hack the ball away.
The Ravens went close twice in a two minute spell. In 54th minute a cross from the right by Dean was cushioned down to Joe Doyle-Charles by Otomola. Doyle-Charles tried to carefully pick his spot from the edge of the box but only managed to steer his side footed effort just wide of Trebes left hand post. The move of the match came two minutes later as a quick passing move involving four players saw the ball arrive at the feet of Dean just outside the box. His crisp drive was deflected to the feet of McGlinchey inside the box but the young winger snatched at the opportunity and only succeeded in prodding his effort straight into the hands of a relieved Trebes.
The visitors continued to probe without really looking likely to find a way through. In 63rd minute a deep cross from the left by McGlinchey was headed down by Dean into the run of Steve Towers. His first time effort from 20 yards was always rising and flew a couple of feet over the crossbar.
The decisive goal arrived out of nothing two minutes later. A long hopeful punt into the box by Scott McManus looked like meat and drink for Trebes, but the keeper although under very little pressure was possibly a little late leaving his line and tried to take it a little lower down than he would have liked. Initially it looked like he would just about hang onto it but the ball wriggled free as he landed and dropped to the feet of the lurking Berridge who could not believe his luck. The Ravens striker kept his composure and almost sheepishly rolled the ball into the empty net.
Without the pace and direct running of Ollie Snaith, George Bailey, Dylan Wilson and Munashe Sundire up front Ives were always going to struggle to find a way through a defence as solid as the Ravens and although manager Ricky Marheineke shuffled his cards and threw on all three substitutes to try and make a difference the well marshalled visitors back line stayed firm and the hosts were unable to test keeper Smith-Varnam even once in the remaining time.
The best opportunities in that period fell to the fast breaking visitors. In 74th minute a clever back heel from Berridge put McGlinchey in for a strike on goal, but his right foot effort from the edge of the box flew inches over the top.
Freeman thought that he had doubled the visitor’s lead in 89th minute as he powered home a Courtney Wildin corner at the back post, but referee George Byrne had already blow for a foul on Trebes.
The Ravens extended their winning run to four and consolidated themselves in a clear second place behind run away leaders Kettering. Ives depleted side can still be proud of the level of effort that they put in and a member of the young back four that performed so heroically deserves the man of the match award. It could have been any of them but the behind the goal crowd picked Jarvis Wilson who as always played with his heart on his sleeve for the cause.
With two cup games ahead of them in the next seven days Ives desperately need to get a few more off the treatment table and back in the starting line up if they are to find the goals to progress.
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Coalville Town 1
Goals : none
St Ives team : Trebes, Hood, O’Connor, McGowan, Cartwright, Jarvis Wilson, Wallis (Patrick 86), Parker (capt), Kelly (Sundire 86), Rogers (Leslie 73), Seymour-Shove
Unused Subs : De’ath
Man of match : Jarvis Wilson
Attendance : 262
Report by Nigel Howlett. photos by Louise Thompson
|September 1, 2018
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town