St Ives Town vs Eynesbury Rovers
Date: Tuesday 19th July 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
A pre-season friendly on the hottest day of the year to date did not bode well for a highly competitive affair and so it proved. The Ives tore into their United Counties League rivals for the first 20 minutes and looked likely to win by a substantial margin, but the heat began to tell and the game tailed off with both sides almost going through the motions in the second half.
Both sides will be delighted to get more game time into their players and Ives manager Ricky Marheineke may also have a little thinking to do as two of the three trialists on view for the home side did enough to probably warrant at least a second look. Goalkeeper Dan Wilks was on St Mirren’s books last season and although not really tested he looked very confident and composed in all that he did. Centre forward Alan Owen looked very sharp in the first half. He was involved in the first goal and was probably a little unfortunate not to grab a goal for himself. The third man looking for an opportunity to impress was ex Histon midfielder Lewis Clayton who appeared to pick up a knock early on and struggled to make a real impression in the centre of the park.
As already mentioned Ives started this game impressively and had the ball in the net after only four minutes. Ben Seymour-Shove ran at the defence on the left and fed the ball out to the overlapping Jordan Jarrold. His deep cross was kept in play by Joe Carden who pulled the ball back to Owen on the penalty spot. He miss hit his first time effort, but the ball bounced on to Seymour-Shove who had continued his initial run and found himself alone in the six yard box. He prodded the ball past Jamie Greygoose in the visitor’s goal, but was not surprised to see the effort ruled out by an assistant’s flag.
Owen was like a terrier in this early period and was giving the Rovers defenders no peace at all. He hounded and robbed a dallying Eliot Bentley on seven minutes. His bobbling effort from the right hand corner of the box almost deceived Greygoose who dived to soon and was relieved to knock the ball away for a corner.
The home side’s pressure told only one minute later as Seymour- Shove again ran at the Rovers defence from a central position. He played the ball into the feet of Owen who played a deft flick back into the path of the speedy winger. His first time effort from 25 yards found it’s way into the bottom right hand corner of Greygoose’s net past the despairing dive of the keeper.
Seymour-Shove could have doubled his tally only three minutes later as Carden outpaced his full back down the right and hung up a deep cross that beat the back peddling Greygoose. Seymour-Shove arriving beyond the far post got a clean header on the ball, but only succeeded in putting it in the side netting.
The visitors had their first real foray into home territory on 28 minutes as Ben Keating brought down Bentley wide on the left 30 yards from goal. The free kick was delivered deep to the far post where Jarrold knocked it out for a corner. He had to be equally alert seconds later as the out swinging flag kick was delivered to the penalty spot by James Freshwater where Tom Coles had found space to power in a free header. Jarrold did very well to stick to his station just inside the near post and head the ball away to safety.
Freshwater was caught dallying at the opposite end of the park two minutes later. Seymour-Shove took the ball off his toe before powering to the bye line. His low cross to the near post was met by the toe of Owen who just failed to hit the target under pressure from Adam Randall.
An Ives free kick just outside the visitor’s box almost proved their own undoing ten minutes before the break. The ball was delivered low into the box and cleared first time by Randall. Craig Smith looked to be getting away onto the ball down the middle, but Keating denied him with a perfectly timed covering tackle just outside the Ives box.
Owen’s final opportunity to grab the goal his all round performance deserved came right on the break. Seymour-Shove played the ball into his feet on the right hand corner of the box. He initially shaped to go left of his marker, but turned and got in a powerful low drive with his right that keeper Greygoose just managed to hang onto plunging low to his right.
The heat and a whole raft of substitutions began to take their toll in the second period. The first item I found noteworthy did not arrive until the 76th minute. Josh Dawkin set out on a probing run down the left side and managed to battle his way into the box before prodding the ball through to Buster Harradine. His shot from just inside the box took a huge deflection off a defender and looked to be looping in over a stranded Greygoose. But the keeper had other ideas and hurled himself backwards to acrobatically tip the ball over the top.
His salvation was short lived however as Dawkin delivered a deep in-swinging corner that curled over the stopper and looked to be heading straight into the net before it met the forehead of Charlie De’ath who gleefully nodded it home from point blank range.
That concluded the evening’s entertainment. The only other item worthy of mention, and I am sure it will have been noted by Ricky and Jack – The first clean sheet of the season, let us hope there are plenty more to follow in the coming campaign.
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 (Seymour-Shove 8, De’ath 77) Eynesbury Rovers 0
St Ives team : Wilks, O’Malley, Jarrold (Sinclair 59), Chaffey (De’ath 69), McDevitt (Moyes 60), Clayton (Higgs 59), Carden, Keating (McGowan 45), Owen (Phillips 59), Ives (Harradine 60), Seymour-Shove (Dawkin 45)
Attendance : 82