First Team Result St Ives Town 1 Kings Langley 1

St Ives Town vs Kings Langley

Date: Saturday 19th August 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: The Oliver Cromwell

This was the classic game of two halves as the Kings ruled the roost against a very lacklustre Ives in a first period where they probably should have scored more than one. But following a half time dressing down from manager Ricky Marheineke Ives took over in the second period and will ultimately be disappointed not to snatch all three points.

Having finished strongly, but got no reward in their previous outing the Ives faithful arrived hoping for a barnstorming start. But it was not to be as the hosts did not really appear to be at the races allowing the visiting Kings to control the early
exchanges.

The first chance arrived after only six minutes as the lively Mitchell Weiss took on Lee Chaffey on the outside and in spite of being pushed wide still managed to get a shot on target that keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle gathered well at his near post. Gareth Price got involved two minutes later as he worked his way down the left before delivering a cross to the far post where Weiss again managed to find space to
get a shot away. McKenzie-Lyle was again equal to the effort gathering the ball at the second attempt.

Ives were struggling to string anything together inside the opposition half and were relying simply on long hopeful balls out of defence for the ever willing James Hall to try and latch onto. Any respite the hosts were able to gain by clearing their lines was only short lived and the Kings pressure began to grow.

A Callum Adebiyi long throw set up their next opportunity on 28 minutes. The ball was flicked on at the near post and Lee Stobbs arriving at the back post should probably have done better as he crashed his effort wide of the mark from ten yards. Price wasted an even better opportunity three minutes later as he powered a free header from even closer range wide having got on the end of a pin point Kieran
Turner cross.

The goal that the Kings pressure deserved finally arrived only seconds later Stobbs delivered another dangerous ball into the crowded Ives box. Weiss bravely headed it down and Price was on hand to sweep the ball home into the roof of the net from
close range.

Even the goal did not lift the Ives from their slumbers and the visitor’s pressure continued. The hosts won their first corner of the game ten minutes before the break and it almost cost them another goal as the Kings broke at pace. Stobbs picked out early substitute Josh Coldicott-Stevens in space on the edge of the box, but he fired his low first time effort just wide of McKenzie-Lyle’s right hand post. McKenzie-Lyle had something of a lucky escape four minutes later as Turner cut inside Lewis Ferrell down the left before unleashing a powerful, rising, drive from the corner of the box that forced it’s way through the keeper’s attempted catch. But fortunately he got enough of a touch to divert the ball over the top.

The King’s best chance to double their advantage before the break arrived deep into added time as Turner robbed Hall on the half way line and sped away down the left before sliding the ball inside to put Price clear. The big striker fired his first time effort past the advancing McKenzie-Lyle but it flashed inches wide of the far post.

Manager Marheineke rightly gave his team the famous Alex Ferguson hair dryer treatment at the break. He also replaced the unusually ineffective Jimmy Hartley with Ben Seymour-Shove on the right wing. The manager came within millimetres of getting the perfect reaction from his team only 49 seconds into the second period. Tom McGowan clipped a perfectly weighted ball over the top which drifted past the Kings back line, but held up on the breeze. Hall had timed his run to perfection beating the exposed keeper Kyle Forster to the ball which bounced past the out of position custodian, but agonisingly rolled wide of the gaping net.

Having survived this huge scare the visitors probably thought that they were going to return to their controlled football of the first period and they did indeed look like they were taking the sting out of the Ives attack with the quality of French import
Emmanuel Folarin very effectively and efficiently breaking up play just in front of his back four. They thought that they had sewn the game up just before the hour as Weiss got clear down the left and cut in on goal before playing the ball into the feet of Coldicott-Stevens who side footed home from close range. But much to the relief of Ives players and fans alike the Kings substitute had inexplicably got himself into an offside position just before the ball was played into him.

This let off and the introduction of Dubi Ogbonna for his seasonal debut seemed to lift the Ives and they began to wrestle control of the midfield from their opponents. Seymour-Shove combined well with Lewis Ferrell on the right allowing the latter to deliver a cross to the far post where Hilliard climbed highest, but unfortunately the ball came off his shoulder and drifted wide.

Seymour-Shove and Hilliard were both hugely involved in Ives equaliser when it arrived in 69 th minute. The tricky winger broke away down the right and delivered a cross beyond the far post where Hilliard skilfully took it down and then cleverly waited before picking out Seymour-Shove’s well timed run into the box with an inviting clip that the winger side footed powerfully home from ten yards giving keeper
Forster no chance.

Danny Kelly was introduced fifteen minutes from time and his first touch was a clever back heel that almost put Ogbonna clear. The Ives enigmatic striker was looking at his most dangerous in this game and he pulled an excellent save out of Forster three minutes later. Hilliard delivered one his inviting corners from the left Seymour-Shove flicked it on and Ogbonna found himself in space at the far post. He powered in a header from the edge of the six yard box that Forster acrobatically pawed away. Having shown the Dr Jekyll side of his character Ogbonna then followed up with a Mr Hyde moment as he inexplicably handled the resulting corner inside the six yard box
with both Kelly and Charlie De’ath behind him attempting to force the ball home.

The Kings defence were now rocking and with Folarin limping with cramp the Ives pressure continued with Peter Clark heading a Ferrell cross just wide two minutes later. Panic almost set in nine minutes from time as another of Hilliard’s cleverly weighted clips over the top landed in no man’s land and a toe end from skipper Jorrell Johnson just prevented Kelly and Ogbonna getting clear. Ives had a shout for a penalty turned down only seconds later as Jarrold tried to get past Gary Connolly on the left edge of the box. But he went down perhaps a little to easily under challenge for the liking of referee Stephen Bates.

An exciting finish was very much on the cards, but we almost got one of the wrong kind as tempers flared when Weiss slid in on McKenzie-Lyle three minutes from time. Fortunately the excellent Mr Bates treated the brief melee involving up to fifteen players as mere a spate of handbags and did not issue a single card.

With time running out Ogbonna and Hilliard combined well to set up a shooting opportunity for Kelly, but he only succeeded in firing straight at Forster from the edge of the box. The final opportunity fell to the hard working Weiss who fired just wide from 20 yards to allow honours to finish even in this pulsating encounter.

Lewis Hilliard won his second man of the match award in a row for again being involved in all of the Ives positive moves in the second half. He was pushed close by all of the back four and Tom McGowan just in front of them as these guys had to work very hard to keep the hosts in the game in the first period to allow Hilliard’s magic to be meaningful later in the game.

Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Kings Langley 1

Goals : Seymour-Shove 69

Supporters man of the match : Lewis Hilliard

St Ives team : McKenzie-Lyle, Ferrell, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, McGowan
Hartley (Seymour-Shove 45), Clark, Hall (Ogbonna 58), Hilliard, Draycott (Kelly 76)

Unused substitutes : Longden

Attendance : 224

Match Report by Nigel Howlett