ST IVES TOWN 3 VS OAKHAM UNITED 1
Date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
The Ives seized the opportunity to give a run out to all of their fit and available players in their opening pre-season game at a sunny Pro-Edge Stadium on Saturday.
The playing surface looked as good as it has probably ever done at this stage of the season following the warm, damp start to the summer and the visiting step six Imps were expecting a challenging encounter against the now step three hosts.
Following last season’s promotion, the management team had been busy recruiting over the short summer break and the Ives faithful were eagerly anticipating a first view of the many new recruits to the host’s ranks.
The starting line up only boasted four of last season’s successful squad and seven newcomers, six of whom have already put their name to the Ives cause for the forthcoming season. The odd man out being stand in keeper Tom Spenser filling in whilst Tim Trebes was enjoying his holiday.
Right from the off it became clear the new squad was boasting a little more quality and pace than last year. New central midfielder Tom McGowan was the first man to get a shot away for the hosts as the visitor’s defence struggled to clear a long throw from Harry O’Malley in only the third minute and McGowan quickly pounced on the loose ball to rattle the boards with a crisp drive from 20 yards that flew inches wide.
The first effort on target came only six minutes later as two more newcomers combined to test visiting keeper Quincay Showunmi. Sam Ives run and cross from the left was met perfectly by the late arriving Josh Dawkin at the far post. But his powerful volley from ten yards was blocked by the body of the keeper.
Ives showed that extra little touch of skill and ability in this year’s squad as on 19 minutes he picked up the ball in central midfield and had the composure the look up and see keeper Showunmi a little way out of his goal. A perfectly flighted lob had the custodian scurrying backwards to just keep the ball out at the second attempt.
Showunmi again saved his side on 27 minutes as he bravely denied Andrew Phillips. Dawkin set off on an excellent run cutting in from the left past two defenders. The ball was just taken off his toe by a third covering man, but Phillips was onto the loose ball in a flash only for Showunmi to come flying off his line to block the striker’s effort at point blank range.
Two minutes later the same two players were involved again with the same result. The struggling Imps back line failed to clear a low ball to the edge of the box and again Phillips pounced on the loose ball and tried to slot it home, but again Showunmi was equal to it plunging low to his left to push the ball away.
The visitors had rarely raided into Ives territory, but they almost caught the host’s back line napping on 36 minutes. The pacey Michael Nelson took on Charlie De’ath and got around him before driving a low ball into the box that Lee Chaffey sliced over his own cross bar. Centre back Gavin Cooke got on the end of Stu Lambie’s corner, but powered his header over the top.
Just as it looked like Ives were not going to get in front before the break they suddenly grabbed the lead with a goal out of nothing four minutes from the break and then doubled their advantage just seconds before the whistle.
The first goal came from a harmless looking ball delivered into the middle by O’Malley. Phillips will always chase any cause and as both goalkeeper and centre back dallied the ever willing striker nipped between them to just toe end the ball past the late arriving stopper.
The second came from a goalkeeping error from the unfortunate Showunmi. Jordan Jarrold delivered one of his trade mark cross field pings from the left that arrived at the feet of Ives beyond the far post. The skilful striker took down the ball well, but miss hit his shot straight at the keeper who inexplicably allowed it to slip through both his hands and his legs before it rolled agonisingly inches over the line.
Josh Dawkin also had an excellent double chance to grab a goal in between those two strikes as he ran clear onto a long ball through the middle. His first effort was blocked by the legs of Showunmi and the follow up was acrobatically cleared off the line by the covering Ash Hibbitt.
Ives made four substitutions at half time and a further five around the hour which meant the second half was a much more disjointed affair. The Imps spurned an excellent opportunity to pull a goal back on 57 minutes as a ball in from the right arrived at the feet of Nick Young. He was denied by a brave point blank block by Spenser only for the ball to roll to Nelson inside the six yard box. But he could only rattle the upright with his effort from a tight angle.
The third Ives goal arrived on 77 minutes and it was created by trialist Guiy Mailancel who danced past three players down the left and delivered a deep cross to beyond the far post where fellow substitute Ben Seymour-Shove picked up the ball and drove in a low cross that the unfortunate Cooke turned past his own keeper at the near post.
Mailancel came close to grabbing a goal of his own with six minutes to go as Jack Higgs fed the ball out to him on the left and he cut inside his marker before firing in a fierce drive that stung the hands of keeper Showunmi who only held it at the second attempt.
The last action of the afternoon belonged to the visitors who grabbed a consolation goal with four minutes to go that will have disappointed the home management team. Hibbitt delivered a corner from the left that was powerfully headed home by Eddie McDonald who had found space in the box.
Final Score : St Ives Town 3 (Phillips 41, Ives 45, Cooke own goal 77) Oakham United 1 (Jenkins 86)
St Ives team : Spenser, O’Malley (Land 60), Jarrold, De’ath (Moyes 64), Chaffey (Steel 45), Harradine (Higgs 45), Carden (Seymour-Shove 45), McGowan (Keating 45), Phillips Davidson 60), Ives (Lloyd 60), Dawkin (Mailancel 60)
Attendance : 82