St Ives Town vs Peterborough Sports
Date: Tuesday 26th July 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Ex Ives skipper and club legend, Jimmy Dean was welcomed back to his old stomping ground in his new role as manager of the ambitious new kids on the block in Peterborough, Peterborough Sports. The visitor’s squad boasted seven players with Ives connections and had also recruited well after their promotion to the UCL Premier Division and boasted a 100% record prior to this fixture. With all of this in mind I think the majority of those present were expecting the home side to face their toughest test of pre-season to date, and so it proved.
The visitors were clearly well set up by their manager and his motivational calls were in evidence on the touch line from early on. Not unsurprisingly they set off on the front foot and carved out their first effort on goal after only three minutes as Mark Jones played in Josh Moreman on the left and home keeper Tim Trebes was called in to action tipping over his driven effort. The resulting corner was delivered to the far post where fortunately for the Ives brothers Richard and Mark Jones got in each others way and failed to hit the target with a header from just outside the six yard box.
The home side should have remembered how far their ex defender Olly Medwynter could throw a ball, but were almost caught out only four minutes later as his first long throw of the match picked out an unmarked Richard Jones near the penalty spot, but fortunately he failed to hit the target with his header.
Although the Ives began to settle and enjoy an even share of possession as the half wore on they were struggling to create any clear cut chances. They did manage to register their first shot of the game on 17 minutes as Jack Higgs found a little bit of space to hit a snap shot from 25 yards that rattled the boards a couple of feet wide of Ollie Sutton’s right hand post.
The home sides best opportunity of the first period arrived on 22 minutes as left back Jordan Jarrold sprayed a cross field ball to his fellow full back Harry O’Malley wide on the right. O’Malley curled a delicately flighted ball into the box that the Sports defence struggled to clear. The loose ball fell to Ben Seymour-Shove on the penalty spot, but he mishit his effort and the ball deflected wide off a defender.
The final opportunity of the first half was created by a moment of magic from Tom McGowan as he picked up the ball in midfield and drifted right pulling the majority of the Sports defence with him. He played an excellent reverse pass into the feet of O’Malley who had arrived in space in the centre of the box. But the ball took a bobble, and his attempted strike harmlessly looped up, and over the cross bar.
Ives made a change at half time replacing the hard working Allan Owen with Buster Harradine and pushing Sam Ives up front. But it was the visitors who started to win the midfield battle and take control of the game. Keeper Tim Trebes had to make the first of a series of impressive saves to keep his side in the game on the hour. The speedy Jordan McLeod was played clear by a perfectly weighted through ball from substitute Dan Clements and probably should have scored, but Trebes bravely plunged in at his feet to block the effort at close range.
Ives were struggling to create anything to trouble young Sutton in the visitors goal. Their only efforts of note in the second period were a 25 yard free kick from Jack Higgs that flew wide of Sutton’s right hand post on 70 minutes and Jarrold strike from similar distance five minutes later that flashed across goal but ended in a similar result.
The final fifteen minutes of the game were largely spent with the ball in and around the Ives box with Trebes continuing to frustrate the visitors attempts. McLeod was proving a constant threat down the left and he set up the next opportunity on 75 minutes as he delivered a teasing cross that another ex Ives man Avi Vieira met in spectacular fashion, but fortunately he failed to keep his volley from a good position down.
Trebes produced his best save of the evening with ten minutes to go as he first plunged to his left to keep out a well struck drive from Clements and then recovered quickly to block the follow up effort from Vieira with his legs. The final opportunity of the night was probably the best one of the lot. Vieira jinked his way past a couple of tackles down the left and delivered a low driven cross that another ex Ives man Karl Gibbs attacked in all to familiar fashion at the near post. He made good contact under pressure from Liam McDevitt and was very unlucky to see the ball flash inches wide of the upright.
The overall conclusion was that whilst both teams retained their unbeaten records in pre-season it is undoubtedly the visitors who will take a lot more from this game and probably should have taken the victory. They look a very good bet for at least a top two finish in the UCL this season.
Positives for the home side were the third clean sheet in a row and a very good work out for the entire side particularly the defence. It is probable that we will meet poorer sides than this in the League over the coming months. Although we did enjoy some good periods of possession and the players all look comfortable on the ball coping well with the pressing tactics of the visitors, the biggest worry was probably the lack of fire power as Sports keeper was not forced into a single save over the entire 90 minutes.
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Peterborough Sports 0
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath, Chaffey (McDevitt 56), Higgs, Carden (Sinclair 62), McGowan (Lewis Clayton 79), Owen (Harradine 45), Ives, Seymour-Shove
Attendance : 99