Frome Town 2 St IVes Town 2
Date: Saturday 11th February 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Blindmans Brewery Stadium, Berkley Road, Frome, Somerset, BA11 2EH
A glorious second half comeback culminating with a Josh Dawkin equaliser deep in added time saw the Ives claim a deserved point at the play-off chasing Robins.
The weather that greeted the visitors to the fortress of Frome where the home side had last tasted defeat in September was more akin to the North East of England than the rolling hills of Somerset as Easterly wind accompanied the snow flurries that punctuated the air.
Having stretched their legs with a good warm up after the long coach journey it was Ives who took the game to their hosts early. Danny Kelly twice went close in the opening exchanges heading a Jack Higgs free kick from the right over the top on four minutes and turning smartly in the box to fire a low shot across the face of goal two minutes later.
But having failed to capitalise on these early opportunities the visitors found themselves behind only ten minutes in as they failed to deal with a free kick driven into their box from the right by Jon Davies. Robins skipper Sam Teale got on the end of the ball just ahead of his marker and prodded the ball past a scrambling Tim Trebes and into the bottom corner of the net from twelve yards.
The goal lifted the home side and they enjoyed their best period of the match for the following ten minutes. Davies combined well with Jake Jackson and Mickey Bryant to win a corner of Charlie De’ath in 16th minute. Davies delivered the flag kick from the right to the back post where it was half cleared to Ollie Knight who fired a flashing drive across the face of goal from the corner of the box.
The Robins almost doubled their lead on 20 minutes as a long free kick deep into Ives territory was headed on by Jackson and Bryant hit a crisp low drive from 20 yards that beat Trebes despairing dive, but rebounded to safety of the base of his right hand post.
Having survived this scare Ives broke at pace and went straight down the other end where both Dawkin and Jared Cunniff had well struck shots from in and around the box bravely blocked by the bodies of diving Robins defenders. The ball was scrambled clear to Jack Bradshaw who fed in Kelly through the left channel and his run into the box was only halted by a double challenge by Connor Roberts and Kriss Miller that brought the striker to the ground and had Ives bench shouting for a penalty.
By this point the game had developed into an end to end affair with both sides looking to get forward at every opportunity. The home side picked up another free kick 30 yards out in an almost identical position from which the first goal arrived on 23 minutes. Davies again tried to deliver the kick into similarly dangerous territory, but this time it struck the wall and deflected into the grateful arms of Trebes.
Davies was looking the most dangerous player on the pitch and he was the instigator as the Robins doubled their lead on 28 minutes. He picked up a ball just outside his own penalty area and rampaged forward over the half way line before pinging a cross field ball into the feet of Jackson who in turn teed up George Miller 20 yards from goal. Miller gleefully accepted the opportunity and hammered the ball high into the roof of the net giving Trebes no chance.
The tricky Davies continued to be a thorn in the visitor’s side. He set up Jackson for a shot on 34 minutes, but fortunately for Ives the big centre forward’s effort from just outside the box lacked power and presented Trebes with a comfortable save.
Davies only obvious error in the first period came just one minute before the break as he failed to hit the target after arriving at the back post to get on the end of a low cross from the left by Bryant. Bryant had been given the opportunity to cross the ball into the box by the quick thinking of Knight who had taken a quick throw to put him in space by Ives bye line.
The talk of the Ives travelling few at half time was that although we were two goals in arrears we were not very far away and the possibility of getting something from this game was very much alive, but the next goal would be vital. The players seemed to come out in a similar positive vain and took the game to their opposition once more. Kelly gave keeper Kyle Phillips his first real work of the afternoon on 47 minutes as he fired a 25 yard free kick over the wall but straight at the grateful stopper who made a comfortable save.
Five minutes later a quick throw from Jordan Jarrold and an interchange of passes with Dawkin saw the former play the ball into the feet of Kelly deep inside the box. The big striker turned his man, but fired the effort just past the near post.
Ives centre back Lee Chaffey came to their rescue on 57 minutes as he covered behind his keeper to clear away an attempted chip over the out of position stopper by Knight who had been put clear by George Miller.
In a further attempt to find a route back into the game Ives manager Ricky Marheineke shuffled his pack early in the second half replacing full back Harry O’Malley with Ben Seymour-Shove who came in wide right allowing Scott Sinclair to drop back to right back. The change came just after the hour and within six minutes Ives halved the arrears. Seymour-Shove delivered a corner from the right that keeper Phillips came a long way to try and punch away. He got to the ball around the penalty spot and got a good fist on it, but it fell to the feet of Cunniff 30 yards from goal. He ignored screams of shoot and set off on a mazy run to the right around the Robins defence. He got all the way to the bye line before delivering a low cross into the six yard box where the ball struck Roberts and fell invitingly for skipper De’ath who seized the opportunity and lashed the loose ball home from close range.
Marheineke continued to ring the changes with Tom McGowan a welcome return from injury as he replaced Jack Higgs on 74 minutes. Within two minutes of entering the fray McGowan was involved in another Ives sortie into Robin’s territory. Cunniff again jinked past his marker down the right and picked out Dawkin with a cross field ball. Dawkin in turn teed up McGowan who unfortunately fired his first time effort from the edge of the D straight at keeper Phillips.
The final Ives change arrived twelve minutes from time as Liam McDevitt replaced Jarrold to allow De’ath to be pushed forward with the visitor’s now sporting a back three. However the next opportunity came the way of a Robin’s substitute as Darren Jefferies found space in front of Ives back line to go on a cross field run that ended with him playing the ball into the feet of fellow substitute James Fitzgibbon cutting in from the right. Fitzgibbon fired his first time effort across the face of goal to safety beyond the far post.
Ives were unable to create any further clear cut opportunities and as the home side won a corner with the game now deep in added time it was looking like a gallant defeat. However the Robin’s inexplicably failed to hold the ball in the corner successfully to kill the final few second and De’ath came marauding away with the ball. He crossed the half way line before feeding it out to the right where Seymour-Shove got to the bye line before pulling the ball back to Cunniff. His initial shot was blocked, but the ball ran to De’ath on the left. He unselfishly pulled it back to Dawkin by the penalty spot. His well struck effort took a big deflection of a Robin’s defender before finding it’s way into the bottom corner of the net to spark wild celebration amongst the small travelling contingent.
There was just time for the home side to kick off before the final whistle blew to end an entertaining game with honours deservedly even. Jared Cunniff claimed the man of the match accolade from the travelling contingent for yet another all action display that constantly unsettled the home defence. Josh Dawkin was a very close second for a similar display that also made sure that the home defenders knew they had been in a contest.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley (Seymour-Shove 62), Jarrold (McDevitt 78), De’ath (capt), Chaffey Higgs (McGowan 74), Sinclair, Bradshaw, Cunniff, Kelly, Dawkin,
Unused subs : none
Goals : De’ath 68, Dawkin 90+3
Supporters Man of the Match : Jared Cunniff
Final Score : Frome Town 2 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 236