Cambridge City 1 St Ives Town 2
Date: Monday 29th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
It is always good to win away from home and an excellent first half display ensured that Ives won the Pro-Edge derby against their tenants Cambridge City. It was an odd day for all concerned as Ives players were consigned to the away changing room and the management team got a new view of the ground from the away dug out.
Manager Ricky Marheineke made two changes to the starting eleven following the mauling at Slough with fit again club captain Charlie De’ath and all action Buster Harradine replacing Harry O’Malley and Josh Dawkin. The formation was also tweaked with Jordan Jarrold moving to right back to allow De’ath to come in on the left side. With Harradine supporting front man Andrew Phillips, Scott Sinclair was allowed to return to his more familiar role on the right with Ben Seymour-Shove on the left.
De’ath needed to be alert as early as the third minute as Erkan Okay went past Jarrold on the left and delivered a telling cross to the back post where the skipper only just managed to divert the ball away from the lurking Sam Alderson.
Having survived the early scare the Ives should have gone in front four minutes later as Phillips was gifted a free run on goal as Jack Utteridge misjudged a long ball out of defence that bounced on into the path of Phillips. He had time to draw keeper Enol Ordonez to him and pick his spot. He did the first bit right, but inexplicably slid his shot past the keepers left hand, but the wrong side of the upright.
The Ives next opportunity came from a Jarrold long throw on 13 minutes which was flicked on at the near post. The ball fell to the feet of Phillips in the crowded goalmouth. He unselfishly tried to tee up Seymour-Shove, but the ball was scrambled away from goal. The Ives winger battled on to win back the ball and delivered a cross that was headed clear to Lee Chaffey on his way back from the initial throw. He hit a powerful drive first time on the volley from 35 yards that flew straight into the hands of Ordonez.
The Ives were now enjoying a lot of possession and building up a head of steam. The goal that had been threatening arrived in spectacular fashion on 25 minutes. Jack Higgs sprayed a ball out wide left to Seymour-Shove. He feinted to go outside and then turned inside covering defender David Femiola before delivering the perfect in-swinging cross to the back post where Sinclair had completely lost his marker and rose majestically to power a header past the exposed Ordonez.
The Lilywhites tried to respond to Ives going in front and put together a flowing move on the half hour which saw Okay play in the overlapping Charlie Day down the left. He laid the ball back to Harry Norman on the edge of the box and rather than shooting he played one more pass on to Paul Cooper on the right, his ball through the channel almost fed in Charlie Woolfe, but ex City stalwart Chaffey was on hand to block the effort.
Whilst they were looking quite dangerous going forward the City defence was looking somewhat shaky at the back and they gifted Ives a second on 32 minutes as keeper Ordonez failed to control a heavy back pass and Seymour-Shove nipped in to rob him. In a panicked attempt to clear the keeper lunged in at the speedy striker who was going away from goal and sent him tumbling right on the edge of the box. After a moment considering the exact location of the offence the referee pointed to the spot. Higgs marched up and comprehensively beat the ex Ives keeper with a well struck penalty.
Having got two in front and looking comfortable the Ives needlessly allow City to get back in the game only five minutes later. The usually reliable Chaffy inexplicably tried to run a ball out of defence and slightly over ran it forcing him to dive in on Jon Kaye conceding a free kick 35 yards from goal and earning himself a yellow card. Norman tried his luck with the free kick, but the ball deflected off the wall and ran through to Femiola who forced it home from close range.
That was the final noteworthy action of a first half in which the Ives had ten efforts on goal to the Lilywhites three. But we were all thinking that their slender one goal lead may not be enough. The visitors were forced into a change at half time as Harradine again succumbed to his recurring injury and was replaced by Joe Carden with Sinclair returning to a more central role.
As was expected City came out for the second period fired up after a roasting from their manager at the break. The half was only three minutes old when Cooper and Woolfe combined on the right to set up a shooting opportunity for the latter that Liam McDevitt did well to block.
Ollie Sutton in the Ives goal had generally been well protected by his defenders up to this point. But he was almost caught out on 55 minutes. Day robbed Jarrold wide on the left and drove inside before unleashing a dipping drive from 30 yards that bounced just in front of the young keeper who did well to keep his body behind the ball and reacted quickly enough to smother the danger before Tunde Adewunmi could pounce.
Ives raids in the second period were sporadic, but they did create an opportunity from one of these on 63 minutes as Higgs picked out Tom McGowan with a slide rule pass into space on the right edge of the box. McGowan delivered the ball into the centre where City sub Alex Serrano struggled to clear. His attempted clearance fell to Seymour-Shove who was brought down by a desperate lunging challenged from the struggling City man just outside the box. Seymour-Shove picked himself up and struck to free kick over the wall, but also over the cross bar.
This proved to be the visitor’s last opportunity to increase their lead and the remainder of the game was played out mainly in the Ives half of the pitch as they dropped deeper and deeper trying to preserve their lead. Sutton did well to claim a deep free kick in a crowded goalmouth on 73 minutes and also held on well as a free kick got through the defensive wall four minutes later.
McDevitt saved the day on 83 minutes as Chaffy and De’ath collided going for a high ball and looked to have let Adewunmi and Serrano through on goal, but somehow the pair messed it up between them and McDevitt managed to cut out the ball and clear the danger.
City had two golden chances to grab what would probably have been a deserved equaliser right at the death. There was only one minute of normal time left when Day got past Jarrold down the left and picked out the somehow unmarked Adewunmi eight yards out in the centre of goal. He only had to hit the target with his free header, but luck was on Ives side as he carefully placed his header over the crossbar.
Then three minutes into added time Adewunmi turned provider as Cooper played the ball into his feet in the box and he back heeled the ball into the path of Femiola whose shot from ten yards was deflected onto the crossbar and time stood still for a second as everyone thought the ball which had ballooned up into the air was going over the top. But it dropped inside the six yard box fortunately Sutton was first to react and bravely dropped on the loose ball.
There was one final finger nail chewing moment for the Ives fans as with the ball safely in Sutton’s hands the referee decided to take offence to McDevitt offering him advice on a possible handball by a City player moments earlier. The Ives centre back picked up a yellow card and City had an indirect free kick 35 yards from goal. Fortunately it came to nothing and Ives were able to celebrate another important three points.
Jack Higgs got the supporters man of the match for an excellent all round performance spraying passes when he had the opportunity and in the second half particularly playing that vital role breaking up City attacks just in front of the back four.
St Ives team : Sutton, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, McDevitt, Higgs, Sinclair (O’Malley 90), McGowan, Phillips, Harradine (Carden 45), Seymour-Shove (Dawkin 70)
Unused subs : Trebes
Goals : Sinclair 25, Higgs 33 (pen)
Supporters Man of the Match : Jack Higgs
Final Score : Cambridge City 1 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 429