First Team Result Slough Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Slough Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Date: Saturday 20th August 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: Holloways Park, Windsor Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks, HP9 2SE

Following hot on the heels of two excellent results this performance was a big disappointment as the Rebels bossed this game from start to finish and but for some rugged defending by Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt and some smart saves from Ollie Sutton this result could have been even worse.

In spite of enjoying the lion’s share of possession in the early stages it took until 16th minute before the home side could carve out their first opportunity. Nathan Webb fed the ball out to Lewis Putman on the left and he drew in Harry O’Malley before playing the ball into the feet of Lee Barney on the edge of the box. Barney somehow found space to turn, but fired his effort over the top from a good position.

Keeper Sutton made the first of his excellent saves to keep Ives level seven minutes later as a long throw from Guy Hollis was allowed to bounce in the box and arrived with an unmarked Barney in the centre of goal. He powered in a header that Sutton somehow managed to block at point blank range.

A scramble in the visitor’s goalmouth followed on 26 minutes as Ives defenders had to put their bodies on the line to keep the ball out. McDevitt flung himself in to block an initial effort from Barney and had to repeat the feat with help from O’Malley to keep out the follow up from Putman.

The goal which had looked inevitable for some time finally arrived on 35 minutes as Putman delivered a deep free kick from the right which Ives defenders struggled to deal with and the ball dropped in the box where Hollis was first to react to slam the loose ball home from ten yards.

Ives enjoyed their only brief period of the game in the ascendency in the remaining minutes of the half and went close to grabbing an unlikely equaliser. On 39 minutes a Jack Higgs free kick from the right was won cleanly in the air by McDevitt at the back post. His header down found O’Malley in a good position, but his effort from ten yards was blocked away by Paul Stonehouse. The resulting corner was half cleared to Ben Seymour-Shove on the left and he delivered a teasing cross back into the box which O’Malley directed on goal from eight yards out. The ball looked to be creeping just inside the left hand post only to be kept out by a full length diving save from home keeper Mark Scott.

Higgs delivered the resulting corner deep beyond the far post where Chaffey had found space. The big centre back delivered his header back into the goalmouth where it went over the head of Scott, but bounced to safety off the top of the cross bar.

So in spite of taking a battering for most of the first half the positive finish gave us hope that the Ives could fight their way back into this game if they could keep things tight for the early part of the second period. This hope was immediately quashed as the Rebels doubled their advantage with a soft goal only sixty seconds later. A smart move down the left involving Putman and the overlapping Stonehouse saw the full back find space and deliver the ball into the feet of Charlie Moone on the edge of the box. The big striker had his back to goal and looked to present little danger, but he was allowed to turn and fire in a shot low past the exposed Sutton from just inside the box.

Ives had one more opportunity to get back into the game only four minutes later as Chaffey delivered an excellent arcing ball down the touchline which Higgs managed to pick up deep inside the Rebels half. He played the ball into Andrew Phillips who teed up Seymour-Shove by the penalty spot. His low drive looked to be heading in the bottom corner, but again Scott kept the ball out with his legs.

From this point on it was almost entirely one way traffic as the home side started to move the ball around at pace on the excellent surface sharpened up by a shower of rain. It should have been 3-0 on fifty minutes as Warren Harris and Barney combined well down the right. With Harris final ball playing Barney through into the box. It looked like he only had to pick his spot, but he steered the ball past the advancing Sutton and past the far post.

Harris had an even better chance five minutes later as everyone stopped as the ball was clipped over the top with Barney standing in an offside position. The centre forward made no effort to move to the ball and the assistant correctly kept his flag down to give the late arriving Harris a free run on goal. Jordan Jarrold made a late dash to try and recover the situation and did just enough to force Harris to rush his shot and this allowed Sutton to block his effort at close range.

The third goal did arrive on 65 minutes as Harris and Moone combined well on the right to work their way through the struggling Ives defence, before feeding the ball into Barney in acres of space in centre of the penalty area and he made no mistake slotting the ball home low to Sutton’s left giving the keeper no chance.

The one way traffic continued as two minutes later Stonehouse played a one two with Rebels substitute Gavin James before curling in a shot from 20 yards that Sutton did well to tip around diving at full stretch to his left.

With the result already decided the pace of the game began to drop, but there was still only one side likely to add to their tally and it took an excellent covering challenge from Chaffey to prevent James increasing the lead on 71 minutes. The final action of note was yet another excellent save from Sutton as he plunged to his left to push away a stinging drive from home skipper Sean Fraser four minutes from time.

Manager Ricky Marheineke expressed his displeasure at the Ives display in his post match interview, particularly with the lack of effort from some during the second half battering. At times it looked like the visitors were chasing shadows as the home side whipped the passes around on the slick surface. But this side has built it’s reputation on maintaining shape under pressure and keeping up the work rate on all occasions and that is what we must remember. Slough are a very good side who will cause problems for a lot of sides, but we can play a lot better than we did today.

I received three nominations from supporters for man of the match on this tough day, skipper Lee Chaffey, the tireless Andrew Phillips and keeper Ollie Sutton. Sutton won the vote as no blame could be laid at his door for any of the goals and his handful of excellent saves prevented a much more embarrassing score line.

St Ives team : Sutton, O’Malley, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shove (Clayton 78), McGowan, Phillips, Sinclair (Carden 45), Dawkin (De’ath 72)

Unused subs : Owen,

Goals : none

Supporters Man of the Match : Ollie Sutton

Final Score :  Slough Town 3 St Ives Town 0

Attendance  :  349