St Ives Town vs Biggleswade Town
Date: Tuesday 15th August 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: Dave Hook
It is impossible to say that a team are your bogey side after you have only played them four times. But in all three League meetings with the Waders Ives have played well, but just failed to get that little bit of luck needed to take the three points. That was particularly true in this fixture as having fallen behind to an early goal they fought their way back into the fixture and looked the only likely winners having grabbed an equaliser with twenty minutes to go. But fate threw them a nasty curve ball as teenage loanee keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle misjudged a hanging free kick delivered into the box from ten yards inside the Ives half and only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net five minutes from time.
Manager Ricky Marheineke made two enforced changes from the opening day win at Weymouth as Brett Longden had failed to recover from his groin injury and was replaced in the back four by Lee Chaffey with Lewis Ferrell moving across to right back. Jimmy Hartley was also still suffering from a knock and he was replaced by Danny Kelly who went in alongside James Hall up front.
Still on a high from their success at Weymouth the Ives started very positively and won a corner inside the first two minutes. But this came to nothing and it was the Waders who got in the first strike at goal in their first raid on four minutes as a long throw from the right fell to the feet of Connor Hall inside the box. He turned and shot in one motion and only just failed to hit the target as his effort ruffled the side netting.
The visitors silenced the home fans as they went in front in simple fashion only three minutes later. Graeme Montgomery delivered a free kick from wide right into the Ives box where Shane Hill rose unchallenged to power in a header from ten yards that beat McKenzie-Lyle and flew into the roof of the net.
This took the wind out of the host’s sails a little and the Waders enjoyed a good period without really creating a lot. They did manage to create a shooting opportunity in 22nd minute as Hall and Jack Bowen combined on the left with the latter being played into space on the edge of the box, but his driven effort was straight at McKenzie-Lyle who held on well.
Ives were beginning to get back into the game, but were unable to find a way through the solid Waders back line with the evergreen Gavin Hoyte still marshalling affairs as well as ever and keeper Liam Gooch very quick off his line to clear up anything over the top. Hall, Phil Draycott and Kelly combined well down the left on 36 minutes, but Kelly’s well hit shot from inside the box was bravely blocked by covering defender Tyler Walker.
The Waders twice came close to increasing their advantage as the half drew to a close. On 42 minutes skipper Craig Daniel delivered a pinpoint free kick to the near post from a wide right position. Hall got across his marker and deflected an effort on target that pulled a very good reaction save out of McKenzie-Lyle.
The big Guyanese keeper did even better in the last action of the first period. He raced off his line to hack away a ball over the top just ahead of the fast closing Bowen. But the ball deflected off the Waders striker and ricocheted to Montgomery 40 yards from goal. He took a touch and clipped an effort over the top of the out of position keeper. But McKenzie-Lyle is 6’ 7” tall and he needed every millimetre of that as he frantically back peddled and flung himself full length to miraculously finger tip the ball over the top.
Ives came out at the start of the second half determined to find a way back into the game. They won two corners in quick succession in 53rd minute, but both were well defended by the Waders. Hill picked up a yellow card three minutes later as he cynically brought down Lewis Hilliard as the tricky midfielder broke through the centre of the Waders line at pace having been played into space by Tom McGowan.
Manager Marheineke went for an early change to try and liven things up as Ben Seymour-Shove replaced Kelly in the 57th minute. Seymour-Shove went in on the right moving Hilliard up alongside Hall. This almost had the desired effect only four minutes later as Seymour-Shove threaded a ball through that played Hilliard into the box. The silky striker tried his luck first time from a narrow angle and almost caught out keeper Gooch who reacted well to tip the effort onto his crossbar.
The Waders crossbar was rattled again only two minutes later as Draycott and Hilliard combined on the left with the latter delivering an inviting cross that Clark challenged Reece Fielding for in the centre. The ball deflected off the head of defender Fielding and looped over the outstretched arms of the desperately diving Gooch, but hit the metalwork and bounced out with the keeper well beaten.
Hilliard was again involved in the equaliser when it finally came in 70th minute. Jordan Jarrold took a quick throw into the feet of Hilliard on the edge of the box. He unselfishly slid it sideways into the run of Clark who hit a crisp side footed effort from eighteen yards that flew past the grasping fingers of Gooch and into the top corner of the net.
The Waders reacted well to this setback and played their way into Ives box only two minutes later. Montgomery and Daniel interchanged passes before the latter played in substitute Tony Burnett cutting in from the left. Keeper McKenzie-Lyle did well plunging to his left to push Burnett’s low driven effort away.
But the most likely winners at this point were the Ives who were now well on top and pushing for another goal. They went agonisingly close ten minutes from time as Clark and Hilliard, who look a very creative combination, combined down the right in a move that ended with a cross that proved too deep for everyone in the centre. But Draycott kept it alive and delivered a ball back into the box that the Waders struggled to clear. The ball just would not drop for Seymour-Shove, or McGowan, to get shot away from inside the box. But it did come down for Clark on the edge of the D. He took a touch to create some space and fired in a low drive that Gooch did very well to tip around diving full length to his left.
Ives thought they had won it three minutes later as Hilliard was again involved in feeding the ball out to Hall on the left. His low cross was expertly turned home at the near post by Draycott to spark wild celebrations amongst players and fans alike. But the elation was cut short as the eagle-eyed assistant on the far side had noticed that Draycott had drifted marginally offside as he got ahead of his man.
To add insult to injury the Waders very fortunate winner arrived only ninety seconds later. The ever-willing Hall chasing back inside his own half was judged to have clipped Daniel fully forty yards from goal. Montgomery lifted his free kick high into the box and McKenzie-Lyle in his eagerness to claim the ball took one step to many and simply got to far under the ball. His valiant attempts to claim it only saw him succeed in knocking it down into his own net. The disbelieving Montgomery claimed the credit, but unfortunately it must go down as an own goal.
In the melee, it seems that the young keeper had also managed to clatter his own skipped as Charlie De’ath was down in a heap bleeding from a head wound. This sparked frantic work for physio James Smith who managed to get Vaseline and a bandage over the wound in record time, even if it did look like a very poorly fitted turban. This allowed De’ath to get back into the fray for the remaining few minutes to allow manager Marheineke to throw him up front and go three at the back.
Much to the chagrin of the Waders bench referee Alistair Wilson added a total of six minutes for the many stoppages in the second period. But in spite of the battered De’ath winning a number of headers in the opposition box, including heading a Ferrell cross over the top under heavy pressure from Hoyte, the Waders held on for an unlikely victory.
Although the game ended in defeat Ives can take much from this game as they ruled it for long periods of the second half and certainly did not deserve to lose. Goal keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle must also take the positives from this game his save just before half time was amazing. All young goalkeepers make mistakes and he is with us to gain experience and learn. He must continue to work on these things and take that split second longer to time his movement when claiming high balls.
Man of the match went to Lewis Hilliard who was involved in everything once he moved inside alongside James Hall. He and Peter Clark make a mouth watering combination in the middle. Ricky Marheineke has some difficult decisions to make, but they are ones I am sure that he will take on with relish.
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Biggleswade Town 2
Goals : Clark 70
Supporters man of the match : Lewis Hilliard
St Ives team : McKenzie-Lyle, Ferrell, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), Chaffey, McGowan (Hartley 86), Hilliard, Clark, Hall, Kelly (Seymour-Shove 57), Draycott
Unused substitutes : Moyes, Dias
Attendance : 184