Saturday 26th September 2015 – FA Cup Second Round Qualifying
St Ives Town 0 Harlow Town 3
The final score makes it look like this was a comfortable passage for the Hawks, but it could have been so different if Ives had taken two good chances in the first half when they were on top.
The home side started brightly and Danny Watson earned a free kick in dangerous position after only three minutes, but Jack Higgs kick was took deep and drifted harmlessly out for a goal kick.
The visitors first sortie into home territory came four minutes later when Ryan Melaugh similarly wasted a free kick from an identical position wide on the right.
Ives first good opportunity came on 12 minutes when Watson picked up a loose ball on the left and curled in a cross onto the head of Stuart Eason who knocked the ball down to Phil Draycott in space on the penalty spot. But Draycott rushed his effort and only succeeded in shooting straight at visiting keeper Nicklas Freund.
Eason was having a good battle with the Hawks experienced centre back pair, but he was winning his share of headers. Two minutes later he drifted off to the far post where he managed to out jump Craig Pope to get on the end of a Jordan Jarrold cross, but he failed to hit the target with his header.
After weathering this early pressure Harlow started to enjoy a bit more possession and get into the game. They shocked the home side on as they took the lead with their first threatening attack on 26 minutes. Alex Read found space just outside the box and slotted a ball in to Junior Dadson who ran on and fired in a powerful drive from just inside the area that deflected off a covering defender and nestled in the far corner of the net.
The home side should have equalised only three minutes later as they broke out of defence quickly and fed the ball down the right to Harry O’Malley who delivered the perfect deep cross for Luke Knight to attack. He powered in a header that beat Freund, but cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and Draycott following up saw his close range shot blocked by the prostrate keeper. The loose ball was scrambled away by Pope, and the chance was gone.
The Hawks again showed the Ives how to finish as they doubled their advantage on 36 minutes. Melaugh was given time and space wide on the left and he delivered an inch perfect cross to pick out Leon Antoine for free header eight yards out in the centre of goal, Antoine made no mistake!.
Stung into action Ives attacked straight from the restart and again the opportunity fell to Draycott as Jack Higgs threaded a ball to him inside the box. But covering defender Harry Prince bravely hurled himself in to block the winger’s goal bound effort.
Harlow did have time left in the first period to prove they do not take every opportunity as in the last minute of the half good inter passing between Layne Eadie and Dadson allowed the latter to tee up Fabian Simms for a strike on goal from the edge of the box, but the Hawks midfielder failed to hit the target with his side footed effort.
Everyone anticipated, and hoped for an Ives onslaught in the second half, but it did not materialise as the Hawks defence well marshalled by ex premiership defender Ibrahima Sonko managed to ensure the home side could not get up a head of steam.
The first opportunity of the second period did not come until the 57th minute when Read managed to get in front of his defender to get on the end of a dangerous ball in from the left by Eadie, but his header scraped over the crossbar. Read also had another crack at goal two minutes later, but his sliced effort from the edge of the box flew well wide.
The home side’s first dangerous attack of the half came on 64 minutes when, a strangely quiet, Peter Clark showed his first moment of magic to create himself some space on the left. His in swinging ball into the box was headed just past his own post by Eadie under pressure from, a late arriving, Eason.
The game was settled on 67 minutes as Syrus Gordon picked up the ball in midfield and slotted the ball into the feet of Dadson, who danced into the box past two defenders and fired the ball into the bottom corner giving Tim Trebes no chance.
Ives manager Ricky Marheineke made three changes and went for a more attacking formation to try and find a way back into the game, but Sonko and his fellow defenders still remained firm and ensured the Ives could not find a way back into this tie. The closest they came was on 76 minutes when a deep corner was picked up by Higgs wide right. He fired the ball across the crowded box where it cannoned goal wards off Pope, but Prince was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Sometimes you just know it is not going to be your day and sadly this was certainly one of those days for the Ives. So the FA Cup adventure ends for another season, but there is still the FA Trophy to come and some very important League games.
Man of the match was a tough one as no one man really stood out. Stuart Eason got the vote for his never say die battle against Sonko who certainly knew he had been in a game, but the ex Reading and Stoke man was the overall winner of this one and it is the Hawks in the hat for the draw on Monday.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, Death, Gentle, Knight (capt) (Sinclair 73), Clark, Higgs, Eason, Watson (Simons 73), Draycott (Seymour-Shove 65)
Unused subs : Moyes, Peacock
Goals : none
Supporters Man of the Match : Stuart Eason
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Harlow Town 3
Attendance : 345