St Ives Town 0 Leamington 5
Date: Saturday 24th September 2016
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: Cambridge Sensotec Ltd
A five goal thumping at home never looks good on paper and you may expect me to say that Ives were unlucky, but in truth they were completely outplayed by a very competitive Brakes side.
The only element I might say was unlucky were the enforced changes to Ricky Marheineke’s team after the good battling point against Merthyr on Tuesday evening. The non availability of Danny Kelly, Andrew Phillips and Josh Dawkin was added to when Liam McDevitt was struck down with illness on the morning of the match. These absences lead to a rare start for Joe Carden, a first start for Justin Leavers, an appearance in midfield for the battling qualities of Scott Sinclair and a return in the heart of defence for the vastly experienced Lee Chaffey.
The visitors may be nicknamed the Brakes, but they came roaring out of the blocks and took this game to the depleted Ives straight from the off. They had the ball in the net after only 45 seconds as Ryan Rowe played in Robbie Thompson-Brown who was only denied by an assistant’s flag.
They only took another ten minutes before they deservedly went in front as a ball came in from the right that was skilfully taken down by Thompson-Brown who teed up Ahmed Obeng on the edge of the box. Covering defender Chaffey made a valiant attempt to block the shot, but only succeeded in deflecting it past keeper Tim Trebes.
The Brakes continued to dominate and the same player doubled their advantage six minutes later as a long free kick by keeper Glyn Garner was won cleanly in the air beyond the far post by Rowe who headed the ball down to Obeng who somehow found time and space to take the ball down and turn on the edge of the box before slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net past an unsighted Trebes.
With Ives struggling to string two passes together the Brakes continued in the ascendency and went close to a third on the half hour as a ball into the Ives box created panic and both Obeng and Rowe had efforts blocked by defenders before Daren Pond hammered the loose ball inches wide of Trebes left hand post from 20 yards.
The one way traffic continued and it looked only a matter of time before more goals followed. The third did come five minutes before the break this time with Obeng as the provider. He was put away down the left by Thompson-Brown, cut inside Harry O’Malley and headed for goal at pace, rather than try and shadow his run Chaffey dived in and brought him down just inside the box to concede a stonewall penalty. Chaffey picked up a deserved yellow card and Rowe compounded his pain by sending Trebes the wrong way from the spot.
Ives only noteworthy attacking moment in the first period was provided by young Leavers who was ploughing a lone furrow up front. The eccentric Garner was proving to be a formidable weapon for the visitors with long, accurate, distribution. But he looked like he was trying to kick the ball through Leavers as the young striker simply stood still just outside the box as Garner went for one of his howitzers. The ball cannoned off Leavers and went out wide right, Leavers pursued it, but so inexplicably did Garner even though his defenders were channelling back to assist. Leavers won the foot race, but was hauled down by the keeper before he could attempt a shot on goal. The Brakes custodian picked up a yellow card and a volley of abuse from his own supporters camped in that corner of the ground. But the free kick came to nothing.
The game was effectively over as a contest at the break and the visitors came out and performed in the professional manner that we knew they would as they kept moving the ball around and ensured that Ives men were simply chasing shadows.
Ben Seymour-Shove did get one half chance early in the second period as the hard working Sinclair won a ball in midfield and fed it into the Ives winger on the edge of the box. But Seymour-Shove’s effort lacked any power and was comfortably dealt with by Garner.
The only other half chance carved out by the home side in the entire afternoon came after 66 minutes as two of Ives better players on the day combined with Tom McGowan battling his way through midfield and laying the ball into the feet of Sinclair who skipped past a defender and fired in a shot from 20 yards that Garner pushed away low to his right. Darren Pond was on hand to clear away the loose ball ahead of Sinclair who was following up.
Sixteen year old Tiago Dias was brought on for his League debut replacing the ineffective Carden on 69 minutes, but it was a huge ask to expect the young lad to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and turn things around. Although as at Westfields when he came on in the FA Cup he again proved he is not overawed by these games and he showed a few nice touches including one inch perfect cross field ball that almost put Seymour-Shove away.
However there was really only one side in this game and the visitors proved this as they stepped things up again and grabbed a fourth on 79 minutes. O’Malley misdirected a header that was picked up wide on the left by Thompson-Brown who drove in a low cross that was pushed away by Trebes. Substitute Zac Lilly was following up and fired in another effort that Trebes did very well to parry at close range. But his relief was only momentary as Courtney Baker-Richardson pounced on the loose ball and hammered it home.
It could have been five six minutes later as the two Brakes substitutes Ryan Quinn and Lilly combined well to break out at pace. The latter played the ball into the feet of Thompson-Brown in space on the edge of the box, but he snatched at the chance and fired well over the top. Ives relief was again short lived as the fifth did arrive right on 90 minutes as a cross from the right was completely missed by Chaffey which allowed Baker-Richardson time and space to take the ball under control and slot it past the exposed Trebes from fifteen yards.
Much to the relief of Ives players the final whistle soon followed. Very few of the players on view in black and white can take much credit from this game and most worryingly some heads went down very early. Two that certainly battled right to the end were Scott Sinclair and Tom McGowan, one of those two would have got my vote for Ives man of the match, but our sponsors plumped for Ben Seymour-Shove.
The games come thick and fast at this time of the season and the management team must now find a way of lifting the players ahead of Tuesday’s vital clash with Biggleswade. Hopefully all of today’s missing players will be available and Buster Harradine will be fit enough to play some part. A shake up looks in order for some.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, Higgs, Carden (Dias 69), McGowan, Leavers, Sinclair, Seymour-Shove
Unused subs : McDevitt, Harradine, Phillips
Goals : none
Sponsors Man of the Match : Ben Seymour-Shove
Final Score : St Ives Town 0 Leamington 5
Attendance : 313