Kings Lynn Town 1 St Ives Town 0
Date: Saturday 26th November 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
Ground Address: The Walks Stadium, Tennyson Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 5PB
Ives record run in the FA Trophy came to an unfortunate end in the mud at old rivals King’s Lynn. This was a game full of huge amounts of effort from both sides, but lacking goalmouth action and that little bit of real quality.
In the end the difference between the two sides came down to the Linnets taking their only clear cut chance on the day only twelve minutes in and Ives missing their quilt edged chance of an equaliser ten minutes from time.
Coming into this game on the back of a four game winning run the Ives would under normal circumstances have fancied their chances against the misfiring Linnets. But with recent signings Dubi Ogbonna and Jack Bradshaw both cup tied it was going to be a tough task. That task was made a whole lot tougher with Scott Sinclair, Lee Chaffey and Charlie De’ath all missing injured and Buster Harradine having joined Soham for personal reasons in midweek. This left the visitor’s squad very much reduced to the bare bones with only three players named on the bench.
The visitors were the first into their stride and picked up a couple of free kicks around the home box in the first ten minutes. But neither of these resulted in an effort on target.
Having started well Ives were rocked as the Linnets went in front in their first real attack. Ryan Hawkins delivered a deep cross into the box from the right. A back peddling Tim Trebes failed to get there and Dan Moyes attempted clearing header only landed at the feet of Michael Clunan just outside the box. His first time effort found the bottom right hand corner of the net past Trebes despairing dive.
Having got in front the home side enjoyed a good period and had a claim for a penalty turned down eight minutes later as Toby Hilliard combined well with Kurtis Revan before playing a through ball that Revan got to inside the box. The big striker went down under a challenge from Liam McDevitt. But referee Matthew Law was well positioned and instantly waved away the appeals.
Seventeen year old Morgan Penfold was enjoying his best game so far for the Ives and he managed to get in the visitor’s only shot of the first period on the half hour. Tom McGowan won the ball in midfield and fed the ball into the feet of Danny Kelly just outside the box. Kelly in turn played the ball on to Penfold cutting in from the left. His attempted curler into the far corner took a deflection off Linnets skipper Sam Gaughran which took all of the sting out of the shot to present home keeper Alex Street with a comfortable save low to his left.
The majority of the game continued to be played out in the middle of the pitch with both sides attacking attempts breaking down against solid opposition back lines. There were only two more efforts worthy of note before the break, both from the home side. On 32 minutes Sam Warburton cut in from left and played a ball into the feet of Lee Stevenson who almost got clear into the box, but was stopped by another excellent challenge from McDevitt. Warburton was also involved six minutes from the break as he threaded a ball inside to Hilliard who curled his effort from 20 yards just over the top.
Ives shot out of the blocks at the start of the second period and Street had to be alert to pull of his best save of the game only forty seconds from the whistle. Danny Kelly threaded an excellent ball through the right channel and Josh Dawkin was clear. Street came racing off his line and slid in to make a brave block at close range to deny the striker.
The Linnets next effort arrived on 51 minutes from a well rehearsed free kick. Clunan took the kick 30 yards from goal and fed it into the feet of Stevenson who brilliantly turned Moyes and looked to be clear, but Jordan Jarrold timed his covering run coming over from left back to perfection and took the ball off Stevenson’s toe as he shaped to shoot.
The sapping surface began to take it’s toll and although the endeavour was there from both sides the midfield battle almost saw both sides cancel each other out and both defences continued to hold the ascendency over the opposition’s attack and chances continued to be very few and far between.
The home side almost carved out a chance to make the game safe fifteen minutes from time. Revan picked up the ball and ran at Jarrold only to be brought down by a clumsy tackle just outside the box. Referee Law waved an excellent advantage as Linnet’s substitute Shaun McWilliams picked up the loose ball and ran on into the box. His driven cross looked to be heading for the feet of Hilliard six yards out, but again McDevitt came to the rescue getting to the ball just ahead of the striker to force it out for a corner.
Ives golden chance to force a replay from this tie came ten minutes from time. Kelly put Dan Quigley under pressure at a high ball to force the big centre back into a poor header. The ball fell to the feet of substitute Jack Higgs and he played a perfectly weighted ball to put Dawkin clear through the middle. Linnet’s appeals for a flag came to nothing. Dawkin closed on keeper Street who came to meet him, probably more in hope than expectation. But the striker was struggling to get his feet right to take the shot and the effort when it came was off the outside of his right boot and although it beat the keeper it was always curling away from the upright and eventually ended up a yard wide.
This proved to be the last opportunity of a disappointing afternoon for the Ives. But they can hold their heads up high as they very much played their part in this hard fought encounter and deserved to take the tie back to the Pro-Edge.
On a day when defences dominated it is only right that the man of the match award should go to a man at the back and that man was the rock that so many Linnets attacks foundered on Liam McDevitt. Other contenders were Tom McGowan who put in a massive shift in the centre of the park, Danny Kelly who was involved in all of Ives positive moves and young Morgan Penfold who gets better with every game.
St Ives team : Trebes (capt), O’Malley, Jarrold, Moyes, McDevitt, McGowan, Seymour-Shove, Cunniff (Higgs 65), Kelly, Dawkin, Penfold (Dias 79)
Unused subs : Coulson
Goals : none
Supporters Man of the Match : Liam McDevitt
Final Score : King’s Lynn Town 1 St Ives Town 0
Attendance : 684