St Ives Town vs Leek Town
Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: The Oliver Cromwell
Goals from Harry O’Malley and Ben Seymour-Shove saw Ives come from behind to progress to their furthest point since they entered the FA Trophy four seasons ago. But make no mistake first time visitors to the Pro Edge Leek Town more than played their part in this pulsating cup tie and they will trek back to Staffordshire feeling a little unlucky not to have at least got a replay from this game.
Having played the last round without most of their regular strike force it was the turn of Ives defenders to be missing from this tie. With skipper Charlie De’ath unavailable, Liam McDevitt serving a one match ban and Scott Sinclair injured only Mark Coulson remained from the back four of the previous round. Harry O’Malley was the obvious replacement right back and the ever reliable Lee Chaffey replaced skipper De’ath. But the surprise was a call up for Dan Moyes from his recent exploits at step five Eynesbury Rovers. The cover centre back on the bench was 16 year old prospect from the scholars Jamie Short.
With their makeshift back line the one thing Ives required was a steady start to allow them to settle into the game. But Leek came into this game full of confidence and looking to extend their eight match unbeaten run. They were straight out of the traps and rocked the home side by going in front after only six minutes as Chris Budrys and Rob Stevenson combined well down the right to allow the latter to drive in a low cross that O’Malley completely misjudged and inexplicably turned past his own keeper meaning that Tim Trebes first touch was to pick the ball from the back of his net.
Ives reacted positively to this set back and Jared Cunniff got away down the right only four minutes later. His pull back into the centre was just scrambled away from both Danny Kelly and Josh Dawkin by Toby Mullarkey and Mackenzie Faulkner in turn.
Leading scorer Seymour-Shove should have equalised only seconds later as the resulting corner was cleared to Moyes who found Chaffey in space on the left. The big centre back did not panic at finding himself in unfamiliar territory. He got his head up and pulled the ball back to Seymour-Shove in space by the penalty spot with the goal at his mercy. But he only succeeded in placing his side footed effort over the top.
The home side were playing some good flowing football on the rain slickened surface as they continued to go in search of the leveller. Danny Kelly had a header saved on 14 minutes as he got on the end of a Coulson cross from the left but could not quite direct his header over Leek keeper Chris Martin.
It was the turn of Dawkin to go close on 21 minutes as he picked up a cross from Cunniff that had deflected off the head of Mullarkey. He danced past two defenders into the box, but drilled his shot from a narrow angle over the top.
Kelly was proving a real handful for the Leek defenders and he was involved in creating another opportunity of 27 minutes as he tricked his way through a bunch of visiting defenders on the right hand edge of the box. His low cross just inside the box was dummied by Jack Higgs and it took a brave diving block from Mullarkey to deflect away Dawkin’s well struck effort.
Having survived the Ives pressure the visitors started to come into the game more as the half wore on and were only prevented from doubling their advantage by an excellent reaction save from Trebes on the half hour. A corner from the left by Jake Dunwoody was met perfectly in the centre by the powerful Mullarkey and Trebes did very well to keep out the towering header.
Ives had something of an escape in controversial circumstance five minutes before the break. A long punt from Martin was allowed to bounce inside the Ives half and the alert Budrys nipped between O’Malley and Trebes to nick the ball. He went down inside the box under challenge from the keeper. But much to the consternation of the Leek fans behind the goal, and the relief of the Ives faithful, referee Ashley List decided that the Leek striker had dived and issued him with a yellow card and awarded the free kick in Trebes favour.
Leek keeper Martin was tested for the first time seconds before the break as Higgs seized on a loose ball just outside the box after a Dawkin shot had been blocked back to him. The hard working midfielder hit a crisp low drive through the crowd that Martin did very well to hang onto low to his right.
Having had the lion’s share of possession in the first period Ives were confident that they could find a way back into this game. Most of us expected the home side to up the tempo and really go at their opposition right from the off in the second half. But it was the visitors who were again fast out of the traps and Stevenson went close as he headed over an Alex Morris cross only 28 seconds from the kick off.
Home keeper Tim Trebes had a rush of blood on 51 minutes as he called, came positively, and caught well a long free kick from his opposite number. However an eagle eyed assistant had noticed that the Ives custodian had landed outside his box with the ball having made the catch. Dan Shelley hammered the free kick against the wall and Darren Chadwick’s follow up was deflected to the feet of Budrys eight yards from goal. Fortunately for Ives he scooped his effort over the top.
The end to end nature of this entertaining game continued and Cunniff set up an opportunity for Kelly at the other end on 58 minutes. But his low shot on the turn was saved low to his left by Martin.
The Ives equaliser arrived on the hour as Higgs delivered one of his trademark dangerous in-swinging free kicks from the right that deflected off someone in the middle to arrive on the head of Moyes at the back post. He directed the ball back into the mix where O’Malley bravely threw himself in to head the ball home.
Buster Harradine came within inches of putting Ives in front only two minutes later as O’Malley delivered a long ball in from the right that Kelly flicked on and Harradine hit first time just past the left hand post of an unsighted Martin.
Play swung to the other end where Trebes once again kept the game level with an amazing save. Stevenson delivered a hanging ball over the head of the keeper to the back post where Budrys rose highest and powered his close range header at goal. But the Ives keeper was moving across his goal at pace and managed to parry the ball away off his goal line.
Up the other end again Kelly almost grabbed what would have been a spectacular solo goal as he jinked his way past three defenders on a mazy run into the box. But was unfortunately stretching as he tried to steer his shot past the advancing Martin and the big keeper got down well to his left to save.
The visitors enjoyed a purple patch for the next ten minutes as the Ives goal lead a charmed life. Coulson was in the right place to head a goal bound effort from Chadwick off the line on 70 minutes. The chance had arrived as another deep corner by Dunwoody had been headed back into the middle by Mullarkey.
Trebes did well to hang onto a fierce low drive from 20 yards by Leek substitute Tom France on 72 minutes. However the keeper was almost embarrassed two minutes later as he was beaten by a bobble and completely missed his attempted clearance from a Jordan Jarrold back pass. Fortunately for the red faced stopper the ball rolled inches wide of the post.
Stand in centre back Moyes had performed admirably throughout, but his moment of glory arrived on 79 minutes as France threaded a ball through the centre that put Grice clear. The big striker clipped the ball past the advancing Trebes and turned away to celebrate. But he reckoned without the tenacity of Moyes who kept going and somehow managed to scoop the ball away from almost on the goal line.
Having almost fallen behind the Ives then stunned their visitors by going straight up the other end and grabbing the winner. Morris made an attempt to turn a ball down the right by O’Malley back to his keeper, but only succeeded in playing it to the feet of Kelly who laid it into the middle where Dawkin stretched to touch it on to Seymour-Shove who pivoted and hit a low drive into the bottom right hand corner of Martin’s net.
Ives managed to play out the remaining ten minutes, plus the five added minutes without to many scares. This even with Kelly playing the last ten minutes as a stand in right back with O’Malley a virtual passenger having picked up a knock in a heavy challenge from Chadwick and all three replacements already on the pitch.
The verdict on this very entertaining game was that a draw would probably have been a fair result, but as has so often been the case this season we have been beaten by the opposition’s clinical strikers when we have probably deserved something from the game so it was nice to see it happen the other way around.
The sponsors chose Dan Moyes as their man of the match and the recalled veteran centre back fully earned the accolade for his all round commitment as well as his amazing late goal line clearance when the legs must have been going a bit!.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Coulson (Jarrold 71), Chaffey (capt), Moyes, Higgs, Seymour-Shove, Cunniff, Kelly, Harradine (Penfold 75), Dawkin (McGowan 82)
Unused subs : Short, Dias
Goals : O’Malley 60, Seymour-Shove 80
Sponsors Man of the Match : Dan Moyes
Final Score : St Ives Town 2 Leek Town 1
Attendance : 160