Hayes and Yeading 1 St Ives Town 0
Date: Tuesday 11th October 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Holloways Park, Windsor Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks, HP9 2SE
This was groundhog day for the Ives as once again they enjoyed a good share of the possession, created chances, failed to hit the target with them and then one error at the back was punished by the opposition to leave them again pointless from a game which should have been won.
The most galling thing about this result was that it was six pointer against a team in turmoil who are lodging at Beaconsfield whilst waiting for their new ground to be completed, were being managed by a caretaker having parted company with their manager only 48 hours earlier following a run of poor results, and had a bench fully populated by youth team players.
The small contingent of Ives faithful that braved the M1 and the M25 on a Tuesday evening were hopeful that the momentum gained from the barnstorming finish to grab a late point on Saturday would be taken into this game. This also looked the ideal opposition to get at early on as any confidence they had was potentially very shaky.
With that in mind it was no surprise that the visitors enjoyed a lot of the early possession, but as is so often the case this season they struggled to find an opening against a very tall rugged defence. The first shot in anger from either side did not arrive until 17th minute when Josh Dawkin picked up a ball in midfield and ran at the defence in his trademark style. He found a gap and released a powerful shot from 20 yards that struck a defender on the way through which took all of the sting out of it and gave home keeper Louis Wells a comfortable save.
Ives first good chance came two minutes later as Ben Seymour-Shove got clear onto a clip over the top by Mark Coulson. He probably had time to bring the ball down, or at least let it drop and try to lob the keeper with his foot, but he was not aware of that and tried in vain to head the ball over the exposed keeper only to present him with a comfortable catch.
The home side with the quirky nickname of “Handy United” still looked dangerous on the break and particularly from dead ball situations. A long throw created havoc in the Ives box as centre forward Melford Simpson pulled the visitors defence around and managed to ensure that no defender got on the end of the throw allowing it to bounce on the edge of the six yard box. Cole Brown got on the end of the loose ball at the back post, but failed to keep his first time effort down under pressure from Scott Sinclair.
The closest Ives came to breaking the deadlock in the first half was on 28 minutes as Jordan Jarrold came inside and played an excellent reverse pass left into the feet of Seymour-Shove who delivered a dangerous low cross along the six yard line that home centre back Manny Adebowale sliced inches over his own crossbar under pressure from Danny Kelly.
Kelly was the culprit in wasting another good opportunity two minutes before the break as he got on the end of a flowing move down the right involving Sinclair, Dawkin and Seymour-Shove. The latter’s little clip through the defence picked out Kelly in space inside the box. But the big striker’s first time effort flashed across goal to safety without troubling Wells.
There was still time for the home side to go a lot closer to opening the scoring before the break as play swung to the other end where James Taylor delivered a perfectly weighted ball in from the left that drifted over the head of Lee Chaffey and was brought down well by Simpson who powered in a shot from the edge of the box that looked to be flying in the top corner only for Ollie Sutton to pull off a excellent one handed save to tip the ball over the top.
Both sides came out of the blocks quickly in the second period looking for the all important opening goal. Dawkin was again the first man to carve out an opportunity with another of his battling runs cutting in from the right. This time he got through into the box before firing over from a good position.
Sutton had to be on his toes two minutes later as Liam McDevitt under hit a back pass, but fortunately the young keeper was just quick enough to hack the ball away ahead of the speedy Jerson Dos Santos.
Play continued to swing from end to end and with Ives now playing the ball on the deck they seemed more likely to find a way through, or around, Handy United’s giant centre back pairing. Another opportunity was carved out on 53 minutes as Harradine won a tackle in midfield and sprayed the ball out to Jarrold on the left. His low driven cross flashed through the six yard box without anyone able to get the vital touch.
A quick throw by Jarrold put Kelly away down the left three minutes later. He got to the bye line and picked out Seymour-Shove with his pull back. His first time effort was blocked, but the loose ball fell to Jack Higgs who also had his goal bound effort bravely blocked by the body of a defender as he flung himself across the line of the shot.
Again play swung to the other end and unlike the Ives, the home side hit the target with their effort as Sutton was forced to plunge to his right to push away an effort from Brian Evans.
Another chance for Ives came and went on 66 minutes as Harradine almost got clear as a long ball evaded the defence, but a covering challenge from Olu Durjaiye did just enough to ensure his shot when it came was a tame one that rolled into the hands of Wells.
The goal that settled it came from a long hopeful punt down the park from keeper Wells on 71 minutes. With Ives playing a high line the ball turned the defence and McDevitt gave chase. Sutton left his goal at pace and called for the ball. The centre back won the header comfortably ahead of any attacker, but his attempt to head the ball back to Sutton beat the keeper who was still coming forward at pace. Lloyd Macklin could not believe his luck as he ran onto the loose ball, but McDevitt had kept going and as the striker took a touch he lunged in to take the ball away from him. Referee Neil Morrison deemed that the challenge had been unfair and immediately pointed to the spot. After time for treatment to Macklin and the issue of a yellow card to McDevitt, Durojaiye calmly stepped up and sent Sutton the wrong way.
Manager Ricky Marheineke quickly made three changes of personnel and changed formation to go three at the back. But unlike on Saturday this did not bring the reward of an equaliser. The closest Ives came was on 83 minutes when one of the substitutes Harry O’Malley got on the end of a Dawkin cross from the right, but he was stretching and failed to get good contact right in front of goal.
The only other item worthy of note in the remaining minutes was another save from Sutton as he plunged to his left to tip away an effort from home substitute Dylan Kearney. The home side kept possession well to see out time and claim a valuable, and probably unexpected three points.
Manager Marheineke’s search for a goal scorer goes on and it is a journey that must end in success soon if we are to move away from the danger zone. Josh Dawkin got the man of the match award for his battling performance that created chances that were once again not put away.
St Ives team : Sutton, Sinclair (O’Malley 78), Coulson (Leavers 78), Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Dawkin, Harradine, Seymour-Shove, Kelly, Jarrold (De’ath 79)
Unused subs : McGowan
Goals : none
Supporters Man of the Match : Josh Dawkin
Final Score : Hayes & Yeading United 1 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 130