Cirencester Town vs St Ives Town
Date: Saturday 15th October 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: The Corundum Stadium, Kingship Lane, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1HS
Birthday boy Ben Seymour-Shove was Ives hero as he grabbed a controversial winner nineteen minutes from the end of an entertaining game that had a little bit of everything. A thirty yard screamer, two red cards, a penalty save, an own goal and the controversial decider.
With the two teams on show both struggling at the wrong end of the table most of us were expecting a tight cagy affair. But this game started at a good pace and the home side registered the first effort on target after only four minutes as Aiden Bennett slotted a ball through to give James Difford chance to try his luck from the left corner of the box. But the returning Tim Trebes held onto his well struck effort.
Ives first chance arrived from their first corner only four minutes later as Seymour-Shove’s in-swinger to the near post caused confusion in the home ranks and Harry O’Malley got in a header from six yards that he directed just wide under pressure from a number of defenders.
O’Malley was involved again on 13 minutes as he played a ball into the path of Josh Dawkin who tried a snap shot from 25 yards that had home keeper Harvey Rivers scrambling across his goal before plunging to his right to parry the bouncing ball. Fortunately for him defender Alfie Kilgour reacted first to the loose ball to clear the danger.
Ives high pressing game was causing concerns in the Centurions ranks and they were looking the more likely side to score. But they found themselves behind on 17 minutes as Adam Connolly picked up a loose ball in the centre of the park and strode forward before slamming in a screamer from fully 35 yards that swerved and dipped into the bottom right hand corner of Trebes’s net past the keeper’s despairing dive.
This set back knocked the visitors out of their stride for a while, but they soon resumed their high tempo, high pressing game and went very close to an equaliser on 28 minutes as the very mobile Seymour-Shove took down a ball into his body well and spayed a pass out to Dawkin on the right his low cross arrived at the far post where Jordan Jarrold met it well, but keeper Rivers spread himself bravely to block the effort at close range. Mark Coulson picked up the loose ball and laid it back to Jack Higgs on the edge of the box, but he thumped his first time effort wide of the post.
The ebullient Seymour-Shove continued to harry the home defence at every opportunity and he robbed a dallying Kilgour on 34 minutes. He ran into the left side of the box before picking out Sinclair with a precisely weighted clip into the centre. The flying winger struck his volley well, but it was straight at keeper Rivers who parried the ball into the air before catching it at the second attempt.
The leveller that Ives overall first half performance had deserved was gifted to them six minutes before the break as skipper Charlie De’ath got a near post flick onto Higgs corner from the right and Centurions centre forward Aidan Bennett back to help out his defence got things all wrong at the back post and simply knocked the ball past his startled keeper.
Ives should have gone in front only forty seconds later as the home defence parted like the red sea to let Dawkin stride straight through the middle. He rounded keeper Rivers and looked certain to score, but his attempt on the vacant net lacked power and gave defender Matt Liddiard chance to get around behind his keeper and clear the ball off the line.
The first red card for the home side arrived only ninety seconds after the break as the home defence were caught snoozing and failed to deal with a long De’ath ball down the middle. Seymour-Shove was onto it in a flash and got away from the defence only to be brought down by a desperate lunging tackle from behind by Liddiard. The referee correctly deemed it a last man challenge and instantly dismissed the offender. Higgs curled the free kick over the wall, but it was only a routine save for Rivers.
The loss of their skipper seemed to affect the home side less than it did the visitors and the game now drifted into a twenty minute lull where most of the action was in the middle of the park. The next effort worthy of note was a snap shot from Tom McGowan on 65 minutes that took a big deflection on the way through and wrong footed Rivers, but the ball rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post with the keeper well beaten.
The home side had made two quick changes after the sending off sacrificing Difford to bring on another defender and replacing their ineffective Cardiff City loanee Elijah Chilekah with Ross Langworthy. They made a third change on 66 minutes replacing Andy Elcock with Ollie Knight. Knight had an instant impact as his first touch sent a long ball down the left to pick out Bennett who turned inside and ran at the defence before being brought down inside the box by a clumsy tackle from De’ath. Referee Neal Templey pointed to the spot and James Mortimer-Jones lined up the kick. He hit the ball well low to Trebes right, but the keeper had guessed correctly and pulled off an excellent save to keep his side level.
Frustration seemed to be boiling over for the ten Centurions and there numbers were further reduced two minutes later as Alfie Kilgour needlessly slid in on Seymour-Shove on the half way line to pick up his second yellow card of the afternoon and join his skipper and fellow centre back in the early bath.
To add insult to injury the nine men of Cirencester fell behind in controversial fashion on 71 minutes as the excellent Jarrold delivered a teasing ball into the box from the left. Higgs ghosted in at the far post unmarked and knocked the ball into the goalmouth where Seymour-Shove dived in to force the ball home with his chest (and possibly a little bit of arm) from very close range. The Centurions defenders went mad, but in spite of holding a brief conversation with his assistant, who was probably in the best position to see, the referee allowed the goal to stand.
The Ives managed to hold out for the remaining nineteen minutes against the depleted home ranks, without to many scares and should have sewn things up three minutes from time as a long ball into the box was knocked down by substitute Justin Leavers. Jarrold picked up the loose ball and teed up Higgs on the edge of the box. The gritty midfielder had time to pick his spot, but curled his well struck effort inches wide of the post with keeper Rivers looking on.
This was a highly entertaining game that delivered a very valuable three points against another side down the wrong end of the table But the pundits always say the luck evens up over the season and after a few recent games where the roll of the dice has not come down our way it was nice to see lady luck shine on us today. Another famous saying is that you make your own luck with hard work and on that count we certainly got our reward for hard work today.
There were a number of contenders for the man of the match award, not least Ben Seymour-Shove and Josh Dawkin who both put in a real shift as a very mobile front pair. But today’s award voted for by the travelling few went to Jordan Jarrold who is very much growing into his new wide left roll and was a constant danger going forward in this game and also helping out his defence when required.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Coulson, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, Higgs, Sinclair (Leavers 76), McGowan, Seymour-Shove, Dawkin, Jarrold
Unused subs : Moyes, Dias, Sutton
Goals : Bennett (own goal) 39, Seymour-Shove 71
Supporters Man of the Match : Jordan Jarrold
Final Score : Cinderford Town 1 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 118