St Ives Town 2 Chippenham town 3
Date: Saturday 10th September 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: ProEdge
Ground Address: Instant Pot
St Ives Town 2 Chippenham Town 3
Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division 10/09/16
The Ives deserved some reward from this gut wrenching defeat against the League leaders. After going in front with two first half goals they battled heroically repelling the John Beck style aerial bombardment of the Bluebirds for 85 minutes only to be undone by three soft goals in a three minute spell just before the end.
The opening exchanges were fairly tame with each side probing the others defence without any real chances being created. This all changed as the Ives went in front on 15 minutes. Ben Seymour-Shove delivered a cross from the right that Michael Pook had chance to head clear at the back post. But his free header lacked power and was brought down by Josh Dawkin 20 yards from goal. He played the ball square into the feet of Tom McGowan who poked a tame shot at goal that somehow deceived keeper Kent Kauppinen and crept in the corner as the keeper seemed to be ushering the ball past the post.
The Bluebirds manager took little time to make a change replacing the unfortunate Pook with Mark Preece only five minutes later. The big, strong, visitors were already employing long ball tactics and they almost got an equaliser on 23 minutes as the dangerous Alex Sandell got a flick on a high ball to put Dave Pratt clear. The experienced striker lifted the ball over the advancing Tim Trebes. But covering defender Harry O’Malley saved the Ives by acrobatically hacking the ball off the line.
O’Malley played an equally decisive part in the action at the other end of the park ten minutes later as he doubled Ives advantage. McGowan was brought down on the left by Chris Allen and Seymour-Shove delivered the perfect inviting free kick to the far post where O’Malley rose high above his marker to guide a looping header over keeper Kauppinen and into the net.
The Bluebirds bombardment quickly resumed with Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt particularly to the fore winning headers and clearing their box at every opportunity. Chaffey made a vital interception on 38 minutes as he slid in to turn a low cross from Matt Jones over his own crossbar just ahead of Pratt.
The visitor’s manager was again ruthless in his changes as he removed Nunos Felix to replace him with Alan Griffin and go three at the back in only the 39th minute. Ives continued to battle and created one half chance of their own just before the break as Jack Higgs curled in a free kick from the right that flashed across goal with no one able to apply the finishing touch.
After the predicted roasting from their manager the Bluebirds came out fired up for the second half and went close three times in the first seven minutes. Preece flicked a well delivered Jones free kick just over from a good position on 47 minutes. Griffin had a header from a corner cleared off the line by McGowan three minutes later and keeper Trebes had to be alert to turn over a Preece flick from a Sandell long throw on 52 minutes.
The storm continued, but Ives were beginning to weather it and created two good chances of their own to sew up the points in a two minute spell. Andrew Phillips had a header from a Seymour-Shove cross deflected wide on 69 minutes. Charlie De’ath rose highest to the resulting corner and put in a well directed header on goal that Will Richards did well to hack off the line with his keeper beaten.
Two minutes later keeper Kauppinen dropped a Seymour-Shove cross from the right under no pressure. Phillips reacted quickest to the loose ball, but the keeper was equally quick to react to atone for his error by blocking the close range shot.
With the points slipping away from him Chippenham manager Mark Collier played his final card on 76 minutes bringing on James Guthrie for Matt Smith. This change did not make any variation to the direct tactics which continued as the corner count for the visitors rattled up into double figures and the long throws from Sandell continued to rain in. Ives had set up expecting just these tactics and continued to repel the assault.
This was until the 84th minute when the hard working Sandell delivered yet another ball into the box from the right. Ives previously immaculate rearguard got themselves in a tangle and failed to deal with the ball which dropped in the box. Alex Ferguson was first to react to turn the ball home from close range.
The visitors seemed to sense that Ives were rocking and followed up with an equaliser less than sixty seconds later as Sandell fed a ball through the left hand channel to put Pratt clear and he made no mistake sliding the ball home past the advancing Trebes.
The knockout blow for the home side came only two minutes later as Jones delivered a deep free kick into the box that the shell shocked Ives defence again failed to deal with and substitute Griffin gleefully knocked in the loose ball from close range.
To their credit the home side did not capitulate, but rallied and came close to a deserved equaliser deep in added time as Dawkin fired in a powerful low drive that keeper Kauppinen failed to hang onto, substitute Joe Carden pounced on the rebound by missed his kick with the goal at his mercy.
This was a hard defeat to take, but pulling the positives from it, the Ives matched, and came very close to inflicting the first defeat of the season on the League leaders. If the three points had been claimed they would have moved up to sixth place. We must continue to take this fighting spirit into the upcoming run of tough fixtures and ensure that we concentrate and battle for every ball for the entire 90 minutes in every game.