St Ives Town 2 Halesowen Town 0
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 17-11-18
New faces can certainly freshen up a team that has been down on its luck and that was exactly the case in this game as Ives claimed their first home win since the opening day of the season and their first maximum return in of any sort in the League since August Bank Holiday Monday.
Striker Jake Newman joined the Ives in the week from Peterborough Sports and although not scoring himself on his home debut he proved to be the catalyst for the hosts upturn in fortunes as they ended the visiting Yeltz five game unbeaten run. Newman showed his qualities as early as the sixth minute as he latched onto a long ball out of defence and tested visiting keeper Cameron Gregory with a stinging drive from just inside the left hand corner of the box that the keeper was pleased to push away.
Ives have found efforts on goal few and far between during their recent struggles and Newman again showed that he looks very likely to go a long way towards overcoming this problem as he struck another powerful effort at goal only six minutes later. Newman’s presence in the side seemed to be lifting his colleagues around him to greater endeavours and this second opportunity came courtesy of a Danny Kelly flick onto another long ball forward. Newman instantly latched onto the loose ball but hammered his first time effort from 20 yards well over the top.
The early Ives pressure brought reward in 19th minute as Kelly threaded a ball through the left channel to try to put Ben Baker away. Kieran Morris looked favourite to cut the ball out but made the fatal mistake of taking his eye off the rolling ball allowing it to bobble over his foot leaving Baker clear to bear down on the exposed Gregory. The young striker tried to thread the ball through the keeper’s legs and although Gregory got a touch to it he could not prevent it from rolling home to set Ives on their way.
The Yeltz tried to go for an instant response and striker Lewis Reilly should have done better only two minutes later. He and Ravi Shamsi exchanged passes down the left before Shamsi’s slide rule pass into the centre forward’s run put him clear into the box. The angle was narrow and as home keeper Martin Conway came to meet him Reilly unleashed a flashing drive that beat Conway but flew wide of the far post.
The remainder of the first half was an even affair contested mainly in the centre of the park where home skipper Robbie Parker and Munashe Sundire were working like Trojans to ensure that the visitors pairing of Asa Charlton and Danny Bragoli had no time on the ball. Neither keeper had a save to make in this period and the only noteworthy shot came from Yeltz full back Brad Lewis in 33rd minute as he latched onto a corner that was cleared to him 30 yards from goal but his low skimming drive thudded the boards five yards wide of Conway’s left hand post.
The visitors probably got a roasting from their management crew at half time and were out early for the start of the second half. Although the Yeltz did try to lift their pace in the early stages Ives matched them for effort and effectively cancelled out any anticipated early pressure although keeper Conway did have to make his only real save of the afternoon in 50th minute as he tipped over a Dean Hawkshaw header from ten yards after the visitors number eleven had got across in front of Jarvis Wilson to get on the end of Lewis’s cross from the right.
Having weathered that early period of pressure Ives were soon creating more chances of their own at the other end. In 55th minute the hard working Ollie Snaith curled an excellent cross field pass to pick out the run of Baker cutting in from the right. The speedy wide man took a touch and went for goal only for the shot to be blocked by a desperate lunge from the covering Jack Kelly.
Sundire was playing in Tom McGowan’s midfield position and like his predecessor he was putting in the hard yards. He showed his defensive qualities were not lacking in 66th minute as he tracked the run of Reilly as the centre forward tried to get on the end Shamsi’s free kick at the near post. Sundire bravely threw himself in to get to the ball first and put it out for a corner. The resulting flag kick dropped in the Ives box but was smuggled away by the ever reliable Parker.
The Yeltz did get the ball in the net eight minutes later as Lewis got on the end of a deep Shamsi free kick at the back post and headed home but the flag had gone up early as the full back roving forward had got himself into an offside position.
The whole Ives side continued to work tirelessly to preserve their lead with Jarvis Wilson, Sam Cartwright and Robbie Parker particularly to the fore but also full backs Joe Hood and Owen Wallis both in unfamiliar positions with Hood on the left and Wallis in Hood’s usual role on the right were doing a sterling job preventing crosses going into the box.
Parker took one for the team in 78th minute as he unceremoniously halted an Ivor Lawton run 30 yards from goal just as it looked like the Yeltz centre back was going to pull the trigger. Shamsi wasted the resulting free kick from an excellent central position as he played it straight at the first defender.
Having played his part in the victory the tiring Newman departed the stage four minutes from the end of the ninety to rapturous applause from the home faithful. He was replaced by a different sort of front man in Ben Seymour-Shove and it was the substitute who made the points safe two minutes into added time as with the Yeltz pushing forward in search of an equaliser Snaith picked him out in space inside the box. Seymour-Shove even had time to take a touch before picking his spot and firing low past the exposed Gregory from fifteen yards.
Newman’s presence not only unsettled the opposition it also lifted his team mates to perform above the level of some of their recent appearances. On a afternoon when everyone on the Ives side would have been worthy of at least a seven out of ten many in the ground would have probably picked Newman as their star man but the sponsors for the day did not go for the simple choice they went for a much more considered option and instead picked the man who put in a performance that we all know he is capable of, but have probably not seen often enough. Step forward the enigmatic Danny Kelly who will hopefully grab a few more of these.
The result lifts Ives above local rivals St Neots in the table and even more importantly it moves them four points away from the dreaded bottom three. With their next two home games also against opposition in the lower half of the table lets hope we can put a run together to increase that daylight between ourselves and the relegation zone.
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Halesowen Town 0
Goals : Baker 19, Seymour-Shove 90+2
Team : Conway, Hood, Wallis, Sundire, Cartwright, Jarvis Wilson, Baker, Parker (capt), Newman (Seymour-Shove 86), Kelly, Snaith
Unused subs : Patrick, Jackson, Dylan Wilson, Bailey
Sponsors man of the match : Danny Kelly
Attendance : 178
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|November 17, 2018
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|St Ives Town