St Ives Town vs Cambridge City
Date: Saturday 23rd July 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
With manager Ricky Marheineke away enjoying a well earned break prior to the start of the new season, the Ives team was under the stewardship of his assistant Jack Cassidy for the Pro-Edge Stadium derby between landlords St Ives and tenants Cambridge City.
In the corresponding fixture last season then higher level City took the honours, but a lot has happened in the intervening twelve months. The Ives have enjoyed the most successful season in the Clubs history and have joined the Lillywhites in the Southern League Premier Division for the coming season. Having gained their promotion they also did their business early in the summer and have recruited well strengthening their squad all around.
In contrast City endured a challenging season in which they managed to stave off the threat of relegation. But then parted company with long term manager Gary Roberts in the summer and lost a whole host of their first team players. They are very much a team in transition.
Following all of the changes over the intervening period it was the Ives who went into this game as the much more rounded team and very much the favourites. They lived up to their billing with a much more comfortable victory than the score line suggests. The game was decided by two penalties in two minutes just before the break, but it was only poor finishing that prevented a much more comprehensive win.
The Ives were on top from the off, but took until the 15th minute before they created a clear cut opportunity as a perfectly weighted clip over the top from ex City man Buster Harradine put Joe Carden clear. He showed an excellent touch to bring the ball down, but his attempt to flick it past ex Ives keeper Enol Ordonez was well blocked by the City custodian.
Only sixty seconds later Ben Seymour-Shove tried to test the City stopper as he picked the ball up in midfield and was allowed to roam forward before trying his luck from 25 yards. The ever alert Ordonez was scrambling across his goal and probably had the effort covered as it sped inches the wrong side of the post.
Ives midfielders were very much running the show in the centre of the park and it Tom McGowan’s turn to find space to go on a run four minutes later. He drifted across the box and delivered an inviting cross from the right that hung in the air eight yards out. Andrew Phillips attacked it, but powered his header inches over the top.
Further efforts followed from Phillips, Harradine and Carden that all caused more concern to the neighbours in the houses behind the goal than City’s Spanish keeper.
The opening goal when it finally arrived only four minutes from the break came from a swift move down the left. Jordan Jarrold played the ball down the line Phillips played a deft flick that Seymour-Shove picked up at speed cutting into the area. He jinked his way past two lunging challenges and was unceremoniously upended by the third from Jack Uttridge. Referee Jon Burridge was right on the spot and had no hesitation in blowing for the penalty. The ever reliable Jack Higgs stepped up and blasted home the kick giving Ordonez no chance.
Having waited so long for a goal a second arrived in almost identical fashion only two minutes later. Phillips and McGowan played a one two on the edge of the box with the latter running onto the return ball only to be clipped by Charlie Day as he entered the area. Again Mr Burridge blew his whistle to award the spot kick. Higgs handed over the responsibility to Phillips on this occasion and he netted in similarly comprehensive fashion sending Ordonez the wrong way.
As has happened in all of the preceding friendlies this summer the substitutions commenced at the break. Trialist goalkeeper Dan Wilks replaced Tim Trebes at half time for the Ives and the young stopper was called into action on the hour to deny City striker Charlie Woolfe who had got clear onto a through ball from Tundi Adewunmt. Wilks was quickly off his line and bravely spread himself to block Woolfe’s effort at close range.
City’s substitute keeper Robbie Ponting had to be equally alert less than sixty seconds later as he bravely blocked a Seymour-Shove effort from a narrow angle after the Ives winger had got clear onto a through ball from Alan Owen.
Ives were continuing to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and continued to create opportunities but did not really test young Ponting. On 78 minutes the two Ives full backs combined well to set up a shooting opportunity for Higgs. Jarrold sprayed a 40 yard cross field ball to Harry O’Malley who teed up Higgs, but his well struck shot from 30 yards was straight at the Lillywhite’s keeper.
Three minutes later Seymour-Shove’s trickery won the Ives a corner as he jinked inside and then out around Karl Locker before delivering a low cross that Willis managed to cut out at full stretch. Seymour-Shove failed to beat the first man with the resulting corner, but the ball was headed straight back to him. His second effort was much better picking out O’Malley beyond the far post. His free header from a narrow angle was straight at a well positioned Ponting.
Alan Owen was celebrating signing for the Ives having completed his studies at Newcastle University and his enthusiasm and pace was causing the tiring City defenders problems. He robbed a dallying Willis and played the ball into Seymour-Shove on the edge of the box. He in turn held up the ball well and played it into the path of the late arriving Jarrold who fired in a first time effort from the left corner of the box that was again straight at Ponting.
The one way traffic continued, but Ives were still unable to add to their advantage. With four minutes to go Higgs delivered a deep free kick into the box that Charlie De’ath won beyond the far post he directed his header into the six yard box where Seymour-Shove got on the end of it, but his close range effort lacked power and fell into the grateful arms of Ponting.
Owen got clear onto a Jarrold clip over the top one minute later, but chose to turn inside and his shot from the edge of the box was again straight at Ponting who held on well.
The final opportunity of the day also came Ives way seconds from the whistle as Carden showed his fitness outpacing his marker down the right and getting to the bye line before delivering an inviting ball along the six yard line that just begged to be turned home. Unfortunately none of his fellow strikers had matched his pace.
These two sides meet again in the League in 37 days time and it will be very interesting to see how the two have faired in their early season League games by that point. On the evidence of this game the Ives will be very hopeful of having a good number of points already under their belts. The Lillywhites on the other hand will probably be grateful if they have managed to put together a competitive team and picked up sufficient points to be outside the bottom four.
On a final note for the Ives it is excellent to see the squad coming together, the extra quality and depth is clear and the competition for places looks fierce which certainly bodes well for the coming season.
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 (Higgs 41 pen, Phillips 43 pen) Cambridge City 0
St Ives team : Trebes (Wilks 45), Sinclair, Jarrold, Chaffey, McDevitt (De’ath 61), Higgs, Carden, McGowan (Ives 45), Phillips (Owen 58), Harradine (O’Malley 55), Seymour-Shove
Attendance : 150