Cinderford Town vs St Ives Town
Date: Saturday 13th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: The Causeway, Edge Hills Road, Cinderford, Gloucestershire, GL14 2QH
An excellent all round performance saw the Ives return from their long trip to the Forest of Dean with a deserved three points as they claimed their first victory at step three.
Cinderford Town’s ground gave the impression of a team on hard times with crumbling brickwork, leaking roofs and unkempt grass banks. But the Foresters went into this game as joint leading scorers in the Southern League Premier Division. It looked like a tough ask for the Ives to come away with anything, however a thoroughly professional performance saw the visitors return to their modus operandi of last season by claiming the lead when they were well on top and then absorbing all that the home side could throw at them in the second period to take a well deserved 1-0 away victory.
Manager Ricky Marheineke was forced into one change from the side beaten comfortably by Chesham on Tuesday evening as the experienced Lee Chaffey made his first competitive start for the Ives in place of the injured Charlie De’ath. Chaffey also took the arm band and lead from the front along with fellow centre back Liam McDevitt as the pair repelled all that the home side could throw at them particularly in the second period.
After their slow start cost them dear at Chesham it was imperative that the Ives started this game on the front foot and they did just that taking the game to the home side from the off. It took until 17th minute before they could create the first opportunity that their quick passing and movement looked likely to produce. Buster Harradine combined well with Ben Seymour-Shove to win the first corner. Jack Higgs delivered the corner from the right and McDevitt rose highest to power in a header from ten yards out, but he failed to keep the ball down.
Harradine was having his best game for the Ives to date and he went very close to giving them the lead only sixty seconds later. A ball dropped to him in midfield and he seemed to know where keeper Ben Fletcher was position and simply hit the ball first time from fully forty yards. The dipping effort beat the fast back peddling custodian, but unfortunately went a couple of feet the wrong side of his left hand post.
Harradine went close again on 20 minutes as he again found space in the centre of the park and this time chose to run at the home defence before turning back inside and driving in a low effort that keeper Fletcher was forced to push around the post diving to his right. Chaffey got on the end of Seymour-Shove’s corner and beat the ground in frustration as he failed to hit the target with a free header from a good position eight yards out.
The Foresters produced their first meaningful attack on 24 minutes as Blake Waugh delivered a dangerous cross from the right that Gethin Hill looked likely to get on the end of until Chaffey bravely dived in to take the ball of his toe and pick up a free kick for his pains.
Andrew Phillips got in on the act for the Ives on 27 minutes as he picked up a long ball out of defence on the left corner of the box and cut inside Lee Hartshorn before firing in a shot from the edge of the box that beat the diving Fletcher, but flashed inches past his right hand post.
The all important goal arrived sixty seconds later as another long ball out of defence was expertly flicked back into the box over a defender by Harradine to put Seymour-Shove in acres of space by the penalty spot. The speedy winger made no mistake slotting the ball through the legs of the exposed Fletcher from ten yards.
It could, and probably should, have been 2-0 five minutes later as an excellent ball chipped in by Tom McGowan found it’s way over the head of Hartshorn and was skilfully taken down by Phillips who looked to be through on goal. But he delayed his shot for a slit second allowing the recovering Hartshorn to slide in and deflect his effort away.
The final effort of the half came from the home side as they broke up an Ives attack and with Harry O’Malley caught out of position the tricky Jachob Morgan took an opportunity to come inside from his left wing position and fire over the top from 20 yards.
We were all expecting an onslaught from the home side early in the second period as they were surely better than they showed in the first. But the Ives should have sewn the game up with the first opportunity of the second period only four minutes in. Phillips flicked on a long ball into the path of Josh Dawkin who skilfully took the ball past the last defender and toe poked it under the body of the diving Fletcher, but the ball rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
From that point the home side slowly but surely began to come more into the game. They created a good opportunity to equalise on 55 minutes as the dangerous Waugh got away down the right and delivered a hanging cross to the far post when Morgan arriving late failed to hit the target with his powerful header under pressure from O’Malley.
The Ives lost the influential Harradine just before the hour as he limped off with a worrying recurrence of a knee injury. He was replaced by Lewis Clayton making his competitive debut for the visitors. Clayton almost made an instant impact as only two minutes later he seized on a poor headed clearance and sent in a low drive from 25 yards that Fletcher was forced to push away low to his right.
The home side were enjoying a lot more possession from this point, but the Ives defence were holding firm with Chaffey and McDevitt winning everything delivered into the box. This meant that the Foresters were being restricted to long range efforts. Skipper Josh Nelmes fired in the most dangerous of these from 30 yards on 67 minutes. The powerfully struck shot dipped and swerved and Oli Sutton in the Ives goal was forced to parry the ball back into play. But he reacted instantly to bravely plunge in and block the follow up effort from Hill at point blank range.
The Ives defence was so effective that the next noteworthy effort on goal did not arrive until 81st minute and that was another long range effort from substitute Lewis Feley that required a routine diving save to his left from Sutton who held on well.
As the Foresters pushed more men forward in search of an equaliser they were leaving themselves a little exposed at the back and the pace of Ives substitute Joe Carden almost caught them out with six minutes to go as he ran onto a long ball out of defence and hit a first time dipping effort from 20 yards that Fletcher was forced to tip over the bar.
The home side felt they had got very little out of the referee throughout this game and his decision in the first minute of added time provoked an incensed reaction from some of their players as the excellent full back Sam Hunt managed to rob Seymour-Shove wide on the right. The Ives winger made an effort to bring him down, but Hunt managed to get away and run on between two Ives defenders and was closing in on goal when the match official blew his whistle to haul back play for the original foul by Seymour-Shove. The free kick was headed away by Jarrold and Ives were able to play out the remaining two additional minutes to claim their first maximum return of the season.
There were a few contenders for Ives man of the match with Buster Harradine well in the frame until his time on the pitch was cut short by injury. Tom McGowan had another excellent game in the centre of the park. But the main two contenders had to be our excellent centre back pairing of Liam McDevitt and Lee Chaffey. Stand in skipper Chaffey certainly lead from the front and he just won the supporters vote as his experience was so vital in seeing us over the line particularly in the second half.
St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove, McGowan, Phillips, Harradine (Clayton 58), Dawkin (Carden 69)
Unused subs : Sinclair,
Goals : Seymour-Shove 28
Supporters Man of the Match : Lee Chaffey
Final Score : Cinderford Town 0 St Ives Town 1
Attendance : 163