Peterborough Sports 2 St Ives Town 0
Date: Saturday 29th July 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: 651 Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 3HA
A very lacklustre Ives ended their unbeaten pre-season run as they stumbled to a toothless defeat against a Turbines side managed by ex Ives legend Jimmy Dean and containing ten ex Ives men in their squad.
With probably five of the first choice starting line up missing manager Ricky Marheineke took the opportunity to try a few things, although this offers little excuse for the lack of energy and spark in the squad on the day.
The hosts showed they were very much up for this one taking the game to their visitors right from the off. A quick free kick after only four minutes by Dan Lawlor in the centre circle picked out Josh Moreman wide on the left. As Brett Longden tied to close on the skilful winger he showed his ability by touching the ball past the Ives full back who was forced to bring him down. Lawlor delivered the in-swinging free kick to the back post where trialist centre back David Femiola managed to get up highest and power the ball away.
Ives first, and only on target, attempt of the first half came on seven minutes James Hall fired in a low drive from 25 yards that home keeper Lewis Moat got down to save comfortably. The chance had been created by good work on the left from Phil Draycott.
The Turbines were pinging the ball out to Moreman at every opportunity and he was sticking close to the left touchline giving himself space to bring the ball down before facing up to his marker. He received another inch perfect ball from Lewis Webb on 14 minutes and again Longden was sucked in and forced to clumsily bring down the winger as he pushed the ball past him. Longden received the Ives first yellow card of the season and worst still followed as Lawlor delivered another in-swinger to the far post where Mark Jones found enough space to power in an effort that keeper Conor Barton got a hand to, but could not keep out.
Falling behind did not lift Ives from their slumbers and they were almost two down ten minutes later. Ex Ives striker Avi Viera got past Dan Moyes on the right and delivered a cross into the centre that picked out Jones again at the far post, but this time he was stretching and only succeeded in directing his header from ten yards over the top.
Another Viera cross from the right pulled the best out of Ives keeper Conor Barton. Jones got a flick in the centre and the ball fell to Moreman coming in at the far post. He hit the ball on the volley and Barton reacted instantly to push the screamer away high to his left. Lawlor drove across the resulting corner in a pre-rehearsed move that saw Josh Sanders get across his marker at the near post and rattle the crossbar with his powerful header.
A second Turbines goal had looked on the cards for some time and it duly arrived three minutes before the break. When it came it was simply executed and smartly taken. Jones cleverly pulled his marker Lewis Ferrell forward as he received a ball in from Webb. He flicked it on to Lawlor and turned off the shoulder of Ferrell into space where his fellow defenders had failed to cover. Lawlor fed a precise ball into his run and Jones did the rest slamming a low shot into the far corner past the diving Barton.
For the second time in as many games Ives found themselves two down at the break, but this time they would be up against a full contingent of opposition players in the second half. On Tuesday night manager Marheineke had managed to lift his charges with some wise words in the interval and we were hoping for a repeat performance. However it was not to be and it took sixteen minutes of the second period before home keeper Moat was called into meaningful action as he had to gather a Draycott free kick from twenty yards low to his right.
Barton was called upon to make a much better save to keep the score line respectable two minutes later plunging to his left to push a Jones drive from 25 yards around the post as the big striker went in search of his hat trick.
Manager Marheineke rung the changes bringing on Jordan Jarrold, Lee Chaffey, and Gordon Torkornoo and the introduction of these three around the hour did liven things up for the Ives although they were still struggling to make inroads into the Turbines defence well marshalled by ex Ives centre forward Stuart Eason.
To many attempts to drift the ball over the home defence to get Hall away were either being gobbled up by the centre backs, or simply ran through to the alert Moat. The only time that one of these came close to success was twelve minutes from time as Hall was only just beaten to the ball by Moat and his attempted clearance was deflected to Hartley, but his effort from the edge of the box was blocked by a covering home defender.
The closest Ives came to a goal was only sixty seconds later as Hall drifted to the left where he found a little space and managed to get to the bye line before hanging up a cross to the far post where Hartley bravely attacked the ball and was unlucky to see his powerful, close range, header instinctively pushed away by Moat.
Seventeen year old Matt Wright was also introduced for the tiring Draycott 15 minutes from time and his pace and persistence created an opportunity with three minutes to go as he harried and robbed Jamie Graham before driving into the box and laying the ball into the feet of Hall who in turn teed up Hartley. The young winger struck his low drive well and it was heading for the bottom corner until the foot of Sanders deflected it wide.
One final Ives effort at a consolation came as the game entered added time. Substitute Grant Robins got down the left and delivered a cross to the near post where Hall got in front of the tiring Eason, but could only direct his header from eight yards over the top.
Overall verdict on the day was a disappointing Ives performance and probably one to get out of their systems. Hopefully a few of those missing from this game will be fit and available for the next couple of games and a return to the previously seen flowing football will be very welcome to build towards competitive action starting in 14 days time. The Turbines on the other hand look like they will be capable of holding their own in the very tough Northern Premier League Southern Division where they find themselves for the coming season, we wish them well.
Final Score : Peterborough Sports 2 St Ives Town 0
Goals : none
St Ives team : Barton, Longden, Moyes (Jarrold 59), Femiola (Chaffey 56), Ferrell(capt), McGowan (Robins 81), Hartley, Hilliard, Hall, Kelly (Torkornoo 65), Draycott (Wright 74)
Attendance : 120 approx