Yaxley 2 St Ives Town 2 (2-0 Penalties)
Southern League Challenge Cup Preliminary Round – 04-09-18
The dreaded penalty shootout hoodoo struck again as Ives tumbled out of the League Challenge Cup at the first hurdle to local rivals Yaxley. To rub salt into the wounds the Cuckoos shootout hero was ex Ives keeper Ollie Sutton. He denied Ben Seymour-Shove, Danny Kelly and Owen Wallis with Declan Rogers failing to hit the target to test him as Ives amazingly failed to score in four attempts from the spot.
With an important FA Cup tie looming at the weekend manager Ricky Marheineke took the opportunity to rest a few players in this game giving squad players a chance to stake their claim ahead of Saturday. Tom Smith, Lewis Leslie, Jamie Short and Jordan Patrick all made their first starts of the season alongside recent signing from Banbury Ben Baker leading the attack.
In spite of the many changes Ives began positively and captain for the day Owen Wallis played a perfect clip over the top to put Baker away in ninth minute. Baker outpaced Dalton Bettles, drew Sutton towards him but only succeeded in hitting the keeper’s legs with his low driven shot.
The hosts first attack of the game came only seconds later as the resulting corner was cleared and Kyle Nolan broke away at pace before feeding in Jack Saunders cutting in from the left. Saunders well struck shot from the left corner of the box was straight at Smith who held on well.
The lively early opening continued as the Cuckoos again went close only ninety seconds later. The aptly named Matt Sparrow got away down the right and delivered a low cross to the near post where Nolan got across in front of his man, but only rattled the boards with his effort from inside the six yard box.
Play immediately swung to the other end where Short played a telling ball down the right and Seymour-Shove got to the bye line before delivering a low cross into the mix where Baker got between two Cuckoos defenders but just failed to get enough contact to guide the ball home.
The hosts went in front with a hotly disputed opener in 27th minute. A quick break down the centre saw Sparrow play an excellent reverse pass into the run of James Ward who rifled home into the top corner of the net past Smith from the edge of the box. But manager Marheineke and a host of Ives supporters, plus a few from Yaxley, who were in line when the through ball was played were all convinced that the Cuckoos striker was at least two metres offside when the ball was played.
Going in front lifted the confidence of the hosts and they enjoyed a period where they began to look less shaky at the back and create a few more chances of their own. Smith pulled off a smart save to deny Sanders in the 41st minute after the Cuckoos winger had run onto a Tom Waulmsley flick to a long ball down the middle and tried his luck from 20 yards.
The Cuckoos second goal arrived in bizarre fashion right on the break. Sparrow got away down the right again and tried to deliver a cross into the centre but the ball carved off the outside of his right boot and arrowed inexorably over Smith at his near post dipping in behind the disbelieving keeper and into the far top corner of the net much to the delight of Sparrow who will probably claim that he intended it.
Ives were quick out of the blocks in the second half and a teasing Seymour-Shove free kick from the right just evaded Wallis on the edge of the six yard box and flashed away to safety.
Smith was called upon to make another save on the hour as he turned away a powerful Sparrow drive from the right corner of the box after the Cuckoos winger ran onto another Waulmsley flick from a long Sutton goal kick. After that point Ives took control of the game. Jordan Patrick sparked them into action as he was allowed to run onto a Short throw from the right and unleashed a stinging drive that beat Sutton but rebounded to safety off the underside of the crossbar.
That was Patrick’s last action of the evening as he was replaced by Danny Kelly only seconds later. Only seconds after that change Baker got Ives back into the game as he got around the hosts defence on the left and was running along the bye line as he was clipped by a desperate challenge by John-Paul Duncliffe. Referee Ryan Williams was right on the spot and immediately blew for a penalty. Seymour-Shove sent Sutton the wrong way from the spot to halve the arrears.
Ives now had the wind in their sails and went in pursuit of the equaliser. Kelly should have done better in 75th minute after being put clear into the box by Seymour-Shove but rather than try a left foot effort he tried to turn inside onto his right and was quickly closed down by covering defenders.
Two minutes later the visitors did get level a flowing move all the way from a quick roll out by Smith saw the ball quickly fed through Wallis, onto Kelly with an excellent lay off to substitute Gordon Torkornoo who fed in Baker cutting in from the left. The young striker’s shot was blocked but Seymour-Shove was on the loose ball in a flash to turn and fire low past Sutton from eight yards.
There was only looking one likely winner now and three minutes later Declan Rogers picked out Seymour-Shove in space on the right a quick lay off allowed Joe Hood to hit a rasping drive from the edge of the box that Sutton managed to palm away Kelly just failing to latch onto the rebound.
The resulting corner was delivered deep to pick out Jack O’Connor whose header back into the centre picked out Wallis, but the skipper’s diving header from eight yards flew inches over the top.
The Cuckoos were stretched but did not break in the remaining few minutes until fifth minute of added time when Seymour-Shove again got put away on the right he delivered a low bouncing cross into the box that looked like it was going to arrive at the feet of Baker coming in late at the back post. In a desperate attempt to prevent the ball getting to Baker Duncliffe threw his body in the way. The ball clearly struck his arm, but with the referee unsighted he looked to his assistant on the near side for guidance but the man with the flag signalled that in his opinion the ball had hit the defender’s chest.
The final whistle blew only seconds later with the Ives players and management team still claiming they had been severely wronged. Manager Marheineke took the argument with the officials a little too far and was eventually dismissed by the referee. Perhaps he knew what was coming in the shoot out as Seymour-Shove’s first penalty was brilliantly saved by Sutton. Kelly’s effort lacked power and proved a comfortable save. Rogers’s effort went well wide of Sutton’s left hand post. In between Ward and Joe Butterworth scored for the hosts and although Smith denied Josh Pike. Sutton’s save from Wallis’s finished the Ives involvement in the Challenge Trophy at the first hurdle for the second year running.
Result : Yaxley 2 St Ives Town 2 – Yaxley won 2-0 on penalties
Goals : Seymour-Shove 69 pen, 77
Team : Smith, Hood, O’Connor, Leslie (Jarvis Wilson 90+4), Cartwright (Torkornoo 65), Short, Wallis (capt), Patrick (Kelly 87), Baker, Rogers, Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : Parker, McGowan
Man of the match : Ben Seymour-Shove
Attendance : 97
Report by Nigel Howlett
|September 4, 2018||19:45||Southern League Challenge Cup||2018-19|
|Club||1st Half||Final Score||Goals|
|St Ives Town||0||2||2|