Stourbridge v St Ives Town
BetVictor League Southern Premier Division Central 18-01-20
Once again failure to defend dead ball situations cost Ives all three points as the Glassboys completed a comfortable double over their struggling visitors. To add insult to injury the usually reliable Robbie Parker failed to convert an early spot kick for the second game in a row.
With Dan Clifton and Ben Jackson both back to full fitness and recalled to the starting eleven Ives were only missing long term absentee Jack Snelus and unavailable Matt Foy from a first choice squad. They started the game positively and the penalty arrived after only ninety seconds as Andrew Osei-Bonsu got clear down the left and pulled the ball back to the late arriving Ben Toseland who was unceremoniously taken down from behind by Jordan Williams. Referee Gareth Davis had no hesitation and immediately pointed to the spot. Despite his miss last week Parker seized the ball and confidently whacked his kick past the diving Charlie Price in the home goal only to end up with his head in his hands again as the ball thudded the upright and rebounded to safety.
In another repeat of last week Ives then found themselves behind only a few minutes later in the simplest fashion. Tom Turton delivered the hosts second corner of the game deep beyond the far post where Williams rose above his marker to nod the ball down into the six yard box. The lurking Anthony Dwyer reacted fastest to the loose ball to prod it home from close range with only six minutes on the watch.
Falling behind seemed to instantly drain the confidence from the struggling Ives and the Glassboys looked to take further advantage over their fragile visitors. Defending balls into their own box was proving a real problem and five minutes later a Will Grocott free kick from the right was headed wide at the back post by Jordaan Brown.
The Ives almost self destructed twice in quick succession around the twenty minute mark. Initially a poor pass out of defence by Jackson was cut out by Dwyer who fed in Grocott the pacey number ten was only denied a clear run on goal by a brilliant recovery tackle from Tom Wood. Only seconds later goalkeeper Bradley Lashley was forced into a hurried clearance from a back pass. The ball skimmed along the deck to the feet of Nathan Hayward fully forty yards from goal. He took a touch and curled a return effort over the fast back peddling Lashley who showed excellent footwork and agility to leap backwards and tip the ball just over the crossbar. Unfortunately for the young keeper he was let down by his defenders on the resulting corner which was swung into the near post by Turton where central defender Brown was allowed a free run to power home a header from eight yards.
Ives struggles continued as the rampaging hosts continued to bombard their box. They were perhaps a little fortunate not to fall further behind in 25th minute as yet another Turton corner created an effort on goal. This one was delivered to the back post where Williams rose above his marker but powered his header straight at Lashley who held on well.
A rare effort from open play in 36th minute saw Grocott flash a fierce right foot drive inches wide from just inside the box having been fed through by Alex Nicholls. To add to Ives problems defending high balls they found that their hosts also had a long thrower who could deliver the ball into dangerous territory. One of Tom Tonks arcing throws caused problems in 38th minute. Lashley came through the crowd to try and help his struggling defenders out but the keeper’s under pressure punch fell to the feet of Hayward just outside the box. His low drive through the gaggle of players in the box was hacked off the line by Alfie Powell.
The goal that killed the game as a contest arrived five minutes before the break and just like its predecessors it came from a dead ball situation. Clifton picked himself up a yellow card for clattering Hayward on the left. The resulting free kick was delivered to the back post where Ives defenders struggled to deal with it the ball eventually falling to Hayward who scrambled it home from close range to send the Glassboys supporters into their tea break three goals to the good.
With the game now over the pressure eased on both sides although it was still the hosts in the ascendency but despite creating a few chances from open play they were unable to beat Lashley and his colleagues again. The first opportunity arrived five minutes after the re-start as Nicholls and Hayward combined to feed in Tonks who screwed his shot wide from a good position. Tonks was involved in carving out the next chance in 57th minute as he linked up well with Nicholls and Grocott on the right before delivering a teasing low cross that just evaded Hayward sliding in at the back post.
Clifton was on hand to acrobatically clear a Tonks effort off the line in 59th minute after the little number seven had got on the end of Nicholls cross from the left. Lashley then twice brilliantly denied Hayward in three minutes just after the hour. The Glassboys midfielder thought that he had scored with the first effort as he threaded a low shot through a crowd of players from the edge of the box but the young keeper was sharply down to his left to keep it out. Hayward’s second opportunity was set up by Turton’s low cross from the right. This time he went for power from the edge of the box but again Lashley threw himself to his left to palm the ball away.
Dylan Wilson had been running the hard yards as Ives lone striker throughout the afternoon and his sheer persistence won him reward in 67th minute. Williams tried to head a bouncing ball back to his keeper but made poor contact just allowing Wilson to nip between the two and lift the ball over the out of position Price and into the net to give Ives just a glimmer of getting back into the game.
With Ollie Snaith replacing the out of sorts Osei-Bonsu to bring his bustling energy into the game the next fifteen minutes were Ives best spell of the afternoon. In 75th minute Wilson managed to outpace Williams to get on the end of a long ball down the right from Wood. Again he tried to lob the out of position Price but this time he got it wrong and the ball sailed harmlessly wide. Three minutes later Parker won the ball deep in Glassboys territory before bursting into the box but firing wide. The final Ives chance of the game also fell to Wilson in 80th minute as he hassled Williams into another mistake just outside the box but this time seemed caught in two minds of whether to shoot or again try and lob Price who was well outside his six yard box. Unfortunately he did neither simply firing a tame effort straight into the keepers hands.
With the clock ticking down the hosts were quite effectively retaining possession to kill off the game. They did still manage to carve out a couple more opportunities to add to their tally. Two minutes from time Dwyer fed in substitute Josh Ezewele who drilled in a low cross from the right that Aaron Phillips did remarkably well to take off the toe of Grocott at the back post. There was also time for the impressive Lashley to show off his prowess once more as he leapt high to tip over a fierce drive from Dwyer deep in added time.
The result still leaves Ives in the bottom two but with everyone else around them also losing the hope of lifting themselves out of the mire still remains and with two home games in four days starting next Saturday the recovery must start soon.
Final Score : Stourbridge 3 St Ives Town 1
Goals : Dylan Wilson 67
Team : Lashley, Phillips, Toseland, Clifton (Ward 83), Jackson, Powell (Bailey 74), Osei-Bonsu (Snaith 66), Parker (capt), Dylan Wilson, Curtis, Wood
Unused subs : Seymour-Shove
Supporters man of the match : Dylan Wilson
Attendance : 712
Report by Nigel Howlett. Photos by Louise Thompson.
|January 18, 2020||15:00||BetVictor Southern Premier Central||2019-20||90'|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score|
|St Ives Town||0||1|