St Ives Town v Rushall Olympic
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central – 09-02-19
The powerful Pics once again brought out the worst in Ives who for only the second time this season found themselves on the end of a three goal beating in the League. Their previous three goal defeat in October was against guess who?, the very same opponents. Is it possible for a team to become one of your bogy sides after you have only played them twice?.
The day had started so well for the hosts as a drying overnight breeze courtesy of the remnants of storm Erik had dried out the pitch sufficiently to enable the cancellation of a planned precautionary early pitch inspection. Manager Ricky Marheineke had virtually a full strength squad to pick from with only long term injury absentee Dylan Wilson and unavailable keeper Martin Conway missing. Conway’s absence between the sticks allowed a cameo appearance out of retirement for former fans favourite Tim Trebes.
Having played well in recent games without managing to gain full reward from any of them we all expected the Ives to start positively with the strong breeze at their back but it was the visitors who started on the front foot with Trebes needing to gather a snap shot from Dylan Parker inside the first minute. It was no real surprise when they went in front in twelfth minute Tyler Lyttle and Massiah McDonald combined down the right with the former sliding a clever ball through Ives back line to get the big centre forward to the bye line. His low driven cross took a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Robbie Parker at the near post and flew into the net past the off balance Trebes.
Falling behind did not seem to rouse the lack lustre Ives and the visitors remained in the ascendency going close again only three minutes later as Ben Lund did well to keep alive a ball that looked like it was going out by the left corner flag. His cross to the near post was met powerfully by McDonald but fortunately he directed his header wide of Trebes right hand post.
The Pics continued to rule the centre of the park where very unusually for them Munashe Sundire and Parker were getting out fought by the muscular visitor’s pairing of Lee Smith and Danny O’Callaghan. They went close to increasing their advantage twice more in a two minute spell midway through the first half. In 20th minute a deep corner from the right by Lyttle picked out O’Callaghan who directed his header straight at Trebes. Two minutes later the dangerous Simeon Maye robbed Charlie De’ath 35 yards out and set off for goal only to be hauled down just outside the box by the covering Danny Kelly who received the expected yellow card. Lyttle curled the free kick over the Ives wall but the curl was not quite enough and the ball went into the side netting as Trebes scrambled across to cover the effort. The keeper was called into action again in 27th minute as he bravely slid in at the feet of Parker to claim the ball as the speedy striker looked likely to out pace Kelly and get away.
Ives did enjoy good twenty minute spell either side of half time when they offered some threat to the Pics goal. Their first threatening attack of the afternoon came in 34th minute as a flowing move ended up with the ball at the feet of Andrew Osei-Bonsu on the left edge of the box. He took the opportunity to cut inside and take on Lyttle before unleashing a rasping drive that took a big deflection off Joe Hull and flew wide. Ben Toseland delivered the resulting corner low to the near post and when the ball came back to him he picked out Jake Newman by the penalty spot with his back to goal. Newman pivoted well on his right foot but fired his left foot shot well wide.
The Pics debutant keeper Ben Newey had to make his first save of the afternoon four minutes later. Sundire seized the opportunity to run at the visitor’s back line and was hauled down 25 yards out. Kelly curled the free kick up and over the wall but the effort lacked pace and Newey made a comfortable save by the foot of his right hand post.
Ives came out of the blocks much sharper in the second half and the keeper was called into more spectacular action only two minutes after the restart as Sundire pounced on a loose ball and rifled in a dipping thirty yard effort that the young keeper did well to keep out hurling himself to his right to parry the ball away. Unfortunately for the hosts no one reacted quickly enough to the loose ball allowing Pendley to complete the clearance.
Good pressing from Newman carved out another opportunity for Ives to get level in 50th minute. The big centre forward just beat Hull to a bouncing ball and got away on the left hand edge of the box. His pull back picked out George Bailey arriving at pace but the striker failed to make good contact and his partially blocked shot rolled into the waiting hands of the already prone Newey.
Ives good spell came to an abrupt end in 56th minute as they were carved open down the centre by Parker and Maye the move ending with the former slipping through a perfectly weighted pass to put the latter clear into the box. He cleverly drew Trebes to him before slotting the ball through the legs of the exposed keeper.
With Ives now at sixes and sevens the visitors continued to threaten to completely kill them off and Parker should have done that in 61st minute as he got put completely clear only to be forced wide by the advancing Trebes. His shot when it eventually came only found the side netting.
Manager Ricky Marheineke was desperately searching for a route back into the game and made a brave triple substitution in 64th minute taking off the injured Danny Kelly, the struggling Ben Jackson and the strangely ineffective Newman and replacing them with Jarvis Wilson, Ben Seymour-Shove and recent signing from St Neots making his debut Tom Wood. But before the substitutes had chance to even bed into the game two further dramatic events meant any slim hopes Ives had of getting back into this game had been entirely extinguished.
In 66th minute De’ath planted himself in the way of Maye to prevent the Pics winger from breaking away right in front of the assistant on the far side. It looked like an almost certain yellow card but unfortunately De’ath had already picked up one of those just after the break. Sure enough the second yellow was promptly followed by a red taking the hosts down to ten men. To rub salt into the wounds the resulting Lyttle free kick arrived at the feet of Hull just inside the box and he made no mistake side footing home past the unsighted Trebes to put the final nail into Ives coffin.
With the game now effectively over the visitors did an excellent job of moving the ball around and retaining possession to ensure that Ives found it impossible to build up any head of steam to threaten even a remote possibility of a very unlikely come back. The final chance of the game fell to Lund who probably should have put the icing on the Pics cake in 83rd minute when a Lyttle corner arrived at his feet by the back post but he snatched at the chance and his miss hit shot simply bobbled into the grateful hands of Trebes.
Without doubt Ives worst two performances this season have come against the Pics, amazingly over 20% of the goals Ives have conceded in the League this season have come in the two fixtures against the boys from Walsall. On the bright side this is the first defeat in six and ends a run of four draws. The Ives are still eleven points above the drop zone with only twelve games to go and next week face runaway leaders and champions elect Kettering Town. One of our best performances this season was served up at the home of the Poppies so let’s hope lighting can strike twice and we can repeat it at Westwood Road.
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Rushall Olympic 3
Goals : none
Team : Trebes, Jackson (Jarvis Wilson 64), Toseland, Sundire, De’ath, Kelly (Seymour-Shove 64), Bailey, Parker (capt), Newman (Wood 64), Osei-Bonsu, Snaith
Unused subs : Coulson, Ward
Supporters man of the match : Munashe Sundire
Attendance : 180
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson
|February 9, 2019||15:00||Southern League Premier Division Central||2018-19||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||0|