Redditch United 0 St Ives Town 2
Date: Saturday 1st April 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: The Trico Stadium, Bromsgrove Road, Redditch, B97 4RN
Not so long ago the prospect of a 200 mile round trip to the West Midlands to play on a 3G surface would have filled St Ives with dread. But the visitors made light work of the alien surface as they duly completed their third League double of the season against the out of form Reds.
Manager Ricky Marheineke was pleased to welcome leading scorer Josh Dawkin and Jack Higgs back into the starting line up with a view to lifting the Ives after their lacklustre performance in their disappointing previous home defeat to Basingstoke.
However it was the home side who came out of the traps well taking the game to their visitors. The game was only two minutes old when an attempted clearing header by Lee Chaffey rebounded off Luke Keen and the Reds striker seized on the loose ball to fire in the games first shot that only just cleared the crossbar from 25 yards out.
An excellent advantage by referee James Oldham presented the home side with a golden opportunity to draw first blood only eight minutes later. Dior Angus played a ball into the feet of Keen who was clattered from behind by Chaffey but still managed to knock the ball back into the run of Angus cutting in from the left. The speedy striker side stepped inside Jack Bradshaw to get in one on one with keeper Tim Trebes. But the Ives stopper bravely spread himself to keep out Angus’s effort at close range.
Trebes was by far the busier keeper in this early period and he did well to gather a low cross from the right by Angus just ahead of the inrushing Keen on 13 minutes. Keen went close again four minutes later as Donnell Benjamin picked him out with a ball into feet and he cleverly turned his marker before firing a shot across the face of Trebes goal and just wide of the far post.
Having weathered the home side’s early pressure the Ives began to slowly work their way back into the game and were enjoying some good periods in possession, but struggling to penetrate the Reds back line. Dawkin did get an opportunity to run at debutant full back Jack Coates on 28 minutes. But the young defender stuck to his task well and managed to block the Ives wingers attempted cross out for the games first corner.
Keeper Trebes was again Ives saviour on the half hour as Jhai Dhillon pushing forward from full back played a ball into the feet of Benjamin 35 yards from goal. The Reds wide man struck his first time effort well, but the shot was blocked by Liam McDevitt and the ball looped up in the air dropping perfectly into the feet of Max Loveridge who had continued his run into the box. Loveridge looked like he must score, but again Trebes bravely spread himself and blocked the attempted flick over his body with an up-stretched arm. Jack Bradshaw hammered away the loose ball and the chance was gone.
With half time approaching both sides continued to probe for the all important opening goal. A Jack Higgs free kick from the left four minutes from the interval was flicked on at the near post by Danny Kelly, Tom McGowan arriving at the back post leapt highest to win the header, but could not keep the ball down under pressure from Dhillon.
Play swung to the other end and two minutes later a long ball out of defence by Jordan Brown picked out Angus perfectly as he got between Chaffey and Jordan Jarrold. Angus skilfully took the ball down and fired in a left foot effort from the edge of the box that was carefully watched into the side netting by Trebes.
Ives best effort of the first half came right on the break as Trebes delivered a long free kick deep into Reds territory. Dubi Ogbonna and Kelly both challenged for the ball just outside the home sides box. As the ball was knocked down it fell to Kelly who hit a first time dipping volley that beat home keeper Bradley Catlow, but scraped millimetres outside his left hand upright.
The visitors lifted the pace at the start of the second half bringing an urgency and desire to their game that saw them enjoy a good spell where they exerted pressure on the home back line for the first time. The half was only three minutes old when Dawkin forced the first save of the day out of Catlow. Bradshaw fired a ball into the box that Kelly did well to bring under control and play into the path of Dawkin who fired his effort from the left hand side of the box straight into the arms of the well positioned home keeper.
Dawkin was again involved on 57 minutes as he combined well down the left with Ogbonna before eventually getting through to the bye line. Unfortunately his clip into the centre evaded everyone and ran to safety.
The end to end nature of the game resumed as the Reds carved out their first opportunity of the second half only one minute later. Loveridge played in the ever willing Keen down the right and his pin point cross picked out Angus who had got between the Ives centre backs. But the home striker failed to trouble Trebes with his free header as he only succeeded in directing it over the top.
Jarrold proved Ives saviour only sixty seconds later as Benjamin picked out his run cutting in from the right with a perfectly weighted ball from the centre circle. Fortunately Jarrold is very quick and he recovered his position in an instant completing the recovery with a perfectly timed tackle to dispossess the Reds man just has he was about to shoot.
Kelly is desperate for goal having not scored since December and he went within inches of grabbing one for the second time in this game on 63 minutes. Peter Clark danced across the face of the Reds back line before playing the ball onto Jarrold who picked out Dawkin on the edge of the home box. He in turn flicked the ball onto his strike partner who turned and fired in a rising shot that again beat the scrambling Catlow but scraped the crossbar on the way to safety.
Ives won a throw deep in Reds territory in 66th minute. The throw was delayed to permit Ben Seymour-Shove to come on to replace Ogbonna to allow Clark to move in alongside Kelly. Jarrold took the throw into the feet of Dawkin who held the ball up before playing it back into the overlapping run of Jarrold. The Ives full back delivered an inviting cross to the back post where Seymour-Shove rose above Dhillon to direct his header beyond the despairing dive of Catlow and put the visitors in front with his first touch of the game less than 15 seconds after entering the fray.
The home side instantly made a change of their own bringing on Zaqib Hussain to replace Banjamin and he almost served up an equaliser for the Reds with fifteen minutes to go. He combined well with Dhillon down the left before bursting past Bradshaw into the box. He had the presence of mind to look up and pick out Angus in space at the back post. His delivery over the Ives defenders was perfect and Angus looked like he only had to direct his header into the net. But Trebes had other ideas and sprinted across his goal before hurling himself across the striker’s downward header to pull off an amazing save to preserve the Ives lead and leave the disbelieving Reds man with his head in his hands.
Having survived that huge scare Ives were then gifted a second goal by a comedy of errors in the Reds defence four minutes later. Brown inexplicably tried to go around Seymour-Shove inside his own box and although he managed to work himself enough space to attempt a clearance he did not hit the ball cleanly and it travelled straight to the feet of Dawkin 30 yards from goal. The Ives striker sidestepped inside Duane Courtney before firing in a low bobbling effort from 20 yards that looked like a comfortable save for Catlow, but the keeper went down to early and allowed the ball to bobble off his outstretched hands and on into the bottom of the net.
This knocked the stuffing out of the Reds and the Ives comfortably managed to repel any attempts the home side made to attack them in the remaining eleven minutes. The only items of note in the remaining time were a booking for Brown to complete his miserable day as he brought down Ives substitute Charlie De’ath just outside the box. Higgs failed to hit the target with the free kick. Finally a flowing injury time move involving Higgs and Clark that would have put Seymour-Shove clear but for a last ditch intervention by Courtney.
Overall another excellent three points on the road for the Ives which moves them up one place in the table to 14th with five games to go. The supporters vote for man of the match went to Josh Dawkin who always looked threatening every time he was in possession and caused the Reds defence plenty of problems. But Tim Trebes pushed him very close with his three outstanding saves which all came at vital moments of the game.
St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, McGowan, Clark, Higgs, Kelly (De’ath 84), Ogbonna (Seymour-Shove 65), Dawkin (Day 82)
Unused subs : Wright
Goals : Seymour-Shove 66, Dawkin 79
Supporters Man of the Match : Josh Dawkin
Final Score : Redditch United 0 St Ives Town 2
Attendance : 234