St Ives Town vs Soham Town rangers
Date: Saturday 30th July 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Ives arrived at their final pre-season game undefeated and facing Rymans North opposition in Soham Town Rangers probably expected to complete the full programme undefeated, but as so often in football things did not go to plan.
The home side started the game positively moving the ball around well with a lot of mobility in their front line and midfield and should have gone in front after only five minutes as Ben Seymour-Shove was brought down wide right by full back W. Gardner. Jack Higgs curled in a teasing free kick to the back post where Liam McDevitt rose highest, but powered his header inches over the top.
Only two minutes later a flowing move down the left saw Sam Ives play an excellent ball into the feet of Josh Dawkin who took the ball onto the bye line, but his low cross to the near post was just taken off Ives toe by at late lunge from Will Lawton.
Another excellent flowing move down the left in the 12th minute saw Ives and Seymour-Shove combine to put the latter clear down the left. He found time to get his head up and pick out Lewis Clayton in space on the edge of the box. But the young trialist rushed his effort and only made minimal contact.
The Ives best chance of the game arrived six minutes later in true route one fashion. Tim Trebes caught a free kick into the box and spotted Sam Ives one on one with Lewis MacDonald. He launched a long punt down the middle which McDonald inexplicably tried to bring down. Ives was on him in a flash and took the ball off his toe to find himself facing goalkeeper George Lawton. He sidestepped to find space and fired the ball past the exposed keeper, but inches the wrong side of the upright.
Having survived this scare the visitors began to grown in confidence and started to look the more likely team to score. They almost did so from their first corner of the game on 20 minutes as Jordan Gent rose above the crowd to knock the ball down for S. Avis who volleyed the loose ball inches over from a good position.
Home skipper Charlie De’ath kept the Ives level two minutes later as Avis beat the offside trap to get clear and clip the ball over the advancing Trebes, but the alert Charlie De’ath managed to get around behind his keeper and head the ball away.
The Greens were now well on top and R. Patterson seized the opportunity to force his way through between De’ath and Jordan Jarrold only sixty seconds later. He struck a thunderbolt of a shot from the edge of the box that Trebes was pleased to see skim over his crossbar.
The visitors went even closer just before the half hour as a flowing move down the left involving D. Foxley and Avis ended with the centre forward playing a ball into the path of Ryan Sharman 25 yards out. His first time strike beat Trebes all ends up, but rattled back into play off the frame of the goal
The home keeper was called into action again ten minutes before the break as the tricky ex Ives winger Salim Relizani delivered an inviting ball in from the right that Avis met with a diving header six yards from goal. Trebes did very well to block the effort and scramble the ball away.
The game was finally settled by a scrappy goal on 64 minutes as home skipper De’ath dallied on a clearance and was quickly closed down by Sharman. The ball rebounded from the Soham man into the path of Relizani who had the simple task of knocking the ball past the exposed Ives keeper from just inside the box.
As is usual in pre-season the teams made a number of substitutions in the second period, but the game continued to flow in the direction of the visitors with Sharman going close from a Relizani cross on 70 minutes.
One change for the home side did seem to lift the atmosphere a little and that was the introduction of your Allan Owen on 68 minutes. His enthusiasm seemed to prompt some of his team mates to make a more pressing effort to get something from the game. He chased down and won a ball by the left corner flag on 78 minutes and battled well to win a free kick. Seymour-Shove delivered the in-swinging free kick deep to the far post where McDevitt again won the ball in the air, but failed to hit the target.
The final chance for an equaliser came with eleven minutes to go as visitors keeper Josh Smith rolled the ball out to substitute Ian Groves who was instantly closed down and robbed by Ives. The young striker turned and fired in a shot from the edge of the box that just eluded the stretching finger tips of Smith, but also rolled agonisingly wide of his left hand post.
There is no doubt that Andrew Phillips has been a huge miss in the last two games where the most worrying aspect has been the Ives failure to register a single shot on target in either game. The defence still looks pretty sound, but in order to get results in step 3 the ball will need to spend a lot more time in areas of the park other than the 30 yard stretch closest to the Ives goal.
The euphoria of the early part of pre-season, the draw with MK Dons and victory over Cambridge City have turned to a greater level of concern in the last two games. A full week of training to get everything in back on track and lift the spirits again is hopefully exactly what the doctor ordered to get everything in place for the big kick off next week.
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Soham Town Rangers 1
St Ives team : Trebes, Sinclair, Jarrold, De’ath, McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (O’Malley 81), McGowan, Ives, Clayton (Owen 68), Dawkin (Carden 76)
Attendance : 131