St Ives Town 2 Kings Lynn Town 0
Date: Monday 17th April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
A commanding second half performance saw the Ives conclude their first ever home League campaign at step three in the non league football pyramid with a two nil victory against opponents they last beat in ninety minutes in 2013 UCL Cup Final two tiers lower down.
In spite of the Ives domination it took goals from two players who had not scored since before Christmas to decide the issue. Liam McDevitt finding space in the visitor’s box to take a number of touches before tucking away the opener on 67 minutes and Danny Kelly sealing the win with a classical diving header to give him a hugely deserved goal ten minutes from time.
Prior to Ives lifting their game the first forty five minutes had been fairly much end of season fair with each side only producing one decent chance to test the opposition keeper. The home side’s opportunity arrived early as with the game only nine minutes old Kelly got completely clear as Linnet’s defender Sam Cartwright misjudged a long ball out of defence. Kelly ran on to the edge of the box and then took on his shot early as keeper Alex Street came to meet him. He hit the target with his well placed shot low to the keeper’s right and was unlucky to be denied by the outstretched boot of the Linnets custodian.
The visitor’s best chance of the first period came eight minutes later as McDevitt and keeper Tim Trebes combined to make a hash of a quick throw and gift their opponents a corner. Linnet’s skipper Michael Clunan delivered his flag kick to the back post where Ryan Harnwell had somehow managed to lose his marker. But the Linnet’s striker fortunately failed to hit the target with his free header from the back of the six yard box.
The only other noteworthy moments of the subdued first period were a dangerous low cross from the right by Harnwell which was spilled by Trebes after only five minutes. Fortunately for the Ives custodian his captain Charlie De’ath was first to react to the loose ball and hacked it clear.
Fifteen minutes before the break Josh Dawkin skilfully brought down a long ball out of defence by Jack Bradshaw deep in Linnets territory. His pass inside almost put Peter Clark clear only for the ball to be taken off his toe just as he entered the box by covering defender Sam Gaughran.
The final mention before the break goes to a twenty five yard effort from Sam Warburton that thudded the boards just to the right of Trebes goal. This snap shot arrived after he had picked up Jordan Jarrold’s header clear from Kegan Everington’s dangerous ball into the box from the left.
The Ives faithful were in good Bank Holiday voice and spurring on their heroes from the off. The sound level was raised for the start of the second period and the players responded moving the ball around well and taking the game to their visitors.
The first strike on goal arrived only six minutes after the re-start as Kelly expertly took in a ball from Tom McGowan and turned his man before pinging a ball across the park to pick out Ben Seymour-Shove beyond the far post. Ives winger took a touch before almost surprising Street by going for goal from a narrow angle. The Linnet’s stopper got down to block the shot, but only at the expense of a corner.
The resulting corner came to nothing. But only two minutes later another Seymour-Shove corner from the left was spilled under heavy pressure by keeper Street. The ball was smuggled out to the right where Bradshaw did well to keep it alive before delivering a cross to the near post that allowed Dawkin to tee up Charlie Day for a powerful strike that was spectacularly palmed away by a recovered Street.
The Linnets sorties into home territory were sporadic. But they did pick up a free kick 25 yards from goal on the hour. Ryan Hawkins carefully lined up the kick, and curled his effort over the four man wall, but inches wide of Trebes right hand post as the static keeper looked on.
The flow towards the visitor’s goal soon resumed and Kelly was extremely unlucky not to put the home side in front on 63 minutes. A flowing move through midfield involving Clark, Kelly and Dawkin put Jarrold clear down the left. He delivered the perfect inviting low cross just in front of the inrushing Ives striker who met the ball well ten yards from goal. His powerful strike hit the body of keeper Street rather than him saving it, and rebounded to safety.
The visitor’s had clearly worked hard on a number of corner routines on the training ground and one of these almost brought reward in 66th minute as Clunan and Warburton worked a short routine that saw the latter loop around to get a run on goal from the corner of the box. Jarrold did well to block his goal bound effort. But the ball fell to Chris Ward who hammered it just wide from 20 yards.
Having survived that scare the hosts went straight down the other end to open the scoring less than sixty seconds later. Bradshaw delivered a long throw into the box from the right. McDevitt jumped above the defence to flick the ball on and it arrived at the feet of Kelly just outside the six yard box. He held the ball up and laid it back into the path of McDevitt as the big centre back turned in the box. He amazingly found space and time to take a couple of touches before screwing the ball just inside the post past the diving left hand of keeper Street.
Ives continued to push forward looking for the all important second goal but in spite of enjoying good spells of possession did not trouble keeper Street again until ten minutes from time when Kelly grabbed his much deserved first goal since Christmas. The move started with a long punt out of defence by Trebes that Kelly brought down expertly. He sprayed the ball out to Seymour-Shove on the right who saw his attempted cross blocked by Ward. But Bradshaw was following up and Kelly had continued his run into the box. Bradshaw curled in the perfect inviting cross that the big Ives striker hurled himself at making powerful contact with his head ten yards from goal. His precise header beat Street low to his left sparking wild celebrations in spectators and players alike.
The hosts now had their tails up and continued to push forward in search of another. Dawkin cut out a poor cross field pass from Ward and should have put Kelly clear only two minutes later. Unfortunately his pass into the space behind the Linnet’s back line was just to heavy and the ball ran through to Street.
Dawkin was enjoying himself now and he teased his way past Jacek Zielonka on the left turning the full back inside and out on 84 minutes. But having worked the space for his cross well he over hit his attempt to pick out a team mate in the centre and the ball sailed to safety.
With time ticking down the visitors did manage to create a couple of half chances, but failed to trouble Trebes with either of them. Two minutes from time a quick free kick by Warburton picked out Zielonka on the right. His inviting cross into the box picked out Hawkins at the far post. But having risen above his marker he failed to hit the target from eight yards.
The final chance for a Linnet’s consolation goal arrived deep in added time. But substitute Tom Ward did no better than his team mate blazing high and wide from a good position after Clunan’s free kick had arrived at his feet at the back of the box.
Overall a good performance and a good result to end the regular League season at home. This display should give the side confidence going into their final League appearance at champions Chippenham next week and then onward into the Cup Final at the Pro-Edge seven days later. A hand in both goals won Jack Bradshaw the man of the match accolade just edging out Danny Kelly and an ebullient Charlie Day who seemed to relish his unusual role in the centre of the park giving manager Ricky Marheineke good food for thought when picking his cup final side.
St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, McGowan (Higgs 64), Seymour-Shove, Day, Kelly, Clark (Dias 90), Dawkin,
Unused subs : Chaffey, Moyes, Short
Goals : McDevitt 67, Kelly 80
Supporters Man of the Match : Jack Bradshaw
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 King’s Lynn Town 0
Attendance : 265