St Ives Town 1 Cambridge City 3
Date: Saturday 5th August 2017
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
An eight minute second half hat trick from Tom Knowles ensured that the tenants came out on top against their landlords and ensured that the Ives somewhat disjointed pre-season finished on a low as far as the result was concerned. But before people get to disheartened the statistics show that the hosts were on top for most of this game and sixteen shots from the Ives to the Lillywhites seven is a better reflection of the pattern of the game. But the old saying is that goals win games and to score those you must hit the target so a greater worry is that City hit the target with four out of seven, Ives only worked the keeper with three out of their sixteen.
Another big positive for manager Ricky Marheineke from this game is that Peter Clark and Dubi Ogbonna both returned to full fitness and they plus a number of the others recently missing managed to clock up some valuable pitch time.
The game started badly for trialist Ives keeper Conor Barton as he calamitously misjudged a long punt down the middle from Harry Norman after only four minutes. He miss timed his run from his line to gather the ball and allowed it to bounce over his head. Knowles was onto the loose ball in a flash, but fortunately for the red faced keeper the angle was just to narrow and the City wide man only succeeded in screwing his effort into the side netting.
Having survived that huge scare the hosts came within inches of taking the lead only five minutes later. Brett Longden pinged a cross field ball to pick out his fellow full back Jordan Jarrold wide on the left. Jarrold jinked past his marker and drove in a low cross which was deflected out for a corner.
Lewis Hilliard delivered the resulting flag kick from the left and it was knocked down to Lee Chaffey by the near post. His low driven effort was skilfully deflected onto the upright by Jimmy Hartley. The ball rebounded back into the centre of goal where it was knocked back into the feet of Hartley by Danny Kelly. Hartley spun on it in a flash and fired in another effort which rattled the crossbar. Again Hartley was first to react to the loose ball to knock it home only to be denied by an assistant’s flag as he had strayed offside before receiving Kelly’s knock through.
After this lightning start the game settled down with both sides moving the ball around well without creating any clear opportunities. Ives had a decent shout for a penalty waved away in 25th minute as Hartley bustled his way into the box and was clipped by Adam Capel just as he shaped to shoot. But referee Brian O’Sullivan was quick to wave away the appeals.
The hosts were hugely unlucky not to go in front only sixty seconds later as Longden delivered a hanging free kick into the box. It looked a routine catch for ex Ives keeper Niall Conroy in the Lillywhites goal. But he spilled the ball under very little pressure. The all action Hartley was again first to react to the loose ball and hooked it goal wards only for the effort to be deflected unwittingly over the top off the back of the head of team mate Danny Kelly.
City’s only other effort at goal in the first period came on the half hour as Longden was adjudged to have fouled Ollie Snaith 25 yards from goal in a central position. Another ex Ives man Salim Relizani curled the free kick around the wall, but a couple of yards wide of Barton’s right hand post.
A speculative effort from Phil Draycott almost caught out Conroy nine minutes before the break. The hard working winger picked up the ball fully thirty five yards from goal strode forward into space and unleashed a low drive which skipped off the wet turf and thudded into the boards inches to the left of the City keeper’s goal with the beaten custodian still struggling to get across.
The second half was only four minutes old when Longden put in Hilliard down the right and the silky midfielder worked his way into the box before driving in a low effort which rebounded to safety off the legs of keeper Conroy.
But three minutes later Ives had to thank their keeper for preventing them falling behind as substitute Richard Platt delivered an inviting cross from the right that Snaith attacked with his head ten yards from goal. Barton made an amazing reaction save sticking up his left hand to deflect the effort over as he was diving the other way.
However City did not have to wait much longer to go in front as the resulting corner was knocked out to Norman 25 yards from goal and he was clattered into by an Ives defender to win the visitors a free kick. Knowles lined the ball up and rifled a right footed effort into the wall. But as the ball rebounded to him he took a touch and fired in a low drive with his “weaker foot” that beat Barton low to his left and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.
The same player doubled the Lillywhites advantage in 59th minute as he chased a ball into the left hand corner and tried to win a flag kick off covering defender Longden, but was fortunate to get a ricochet off the defenders legs to put him clear into the box. He fired in a powerful effort from a narrow angle that Barton will probably be disappointed that he did not keep out as he got both hands to the ball which eventually entered the net off both posts.
Only three minutes later Knowles completed his hat trick as he latched onto a loose ball which Ives were struggling to clear and smashed in a dipping volley from 25 yards which swerved past Barton’s outstretched right hand and billowed the roof of the net.
The scoring was completed in 65th minute as Ives pulled one back. The battling Hartley robbed Norman deep inside his own half and drove into the City back line. As the ball was knocked off his toe substitute Ben Seymour-Shove, who had only been on the pitch two minutes, followed up and rapped the loose ball home through the legs of the exposed Conroy.
The hosts huffed and puffed to try and blow City’s house down in the remaining 25 minutes, but their clear chances were few and far between. The best came on 70 minutes as Seymour-Shove got on the end of a long ball over the top and just beat keeper Conroy to the ball, but only succeeded in clipping his effort against the body of the onrushing stopper.
The only other efforts worthy of note are a couple of excellent probing runs from Clark. On 72 minutes he was played through the middle following a slick interchange of passes between Kelly and Hilliard, but Capel read the move well and came across with a perfectly time covering tackle. Six minutes from time Clark again scampered through the middle and fed the ball out wide to substitute Matt Wright who picked out Seymour-Shove in space in the centre, but his free header from ten yards flew well wide.
So a disappointing end to a very average pre-season for the Ives. There are two good training sessions to come ahead of the very tough looking Evo-Stik Premier League opener at Weymouth next Saturday. Yours truly is in absolutely no doubt that we have a much better squad than last season with some real quality players and lots more creativity in the side. Manager Marheineke’s challenge is to get them all fit and firing ready for that curtain raiser and the exciting season to come.
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Cambridge City 3
Goals : Seymour-Shove 65
St Ives team : Barton, Longden (De’ath 68), Jarrold (Ogbonna 68), Chaffey, Ferrell (capt) (Moyes 79), McGowan, Hilliard, Clark, Kelly (Wright 79), Draycott (Seymour-Shove 63)
Attendance : 130 approx