St Ives Town vs Cirencester Town
Date: Saturday 18th February 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: The Oliver Cromwell
Once again Ives gave their opponents a start, but continued to show their character by coming back to claim a hard earnt point against the battling Centurions. The result takes their unbeaten home run to eleven and sees them one point closer to manager Ricky Marheineke’s pre-season target.
The opening goal after only ten minutes was conceded in identical fashion to the previous week at Frome as a needlessly conceded free kick wide on the right was flicked home at the near post. On this occasion it was Jordan Jarrold who conceded the free kick as he was robbed by Kerry Morgan and then forced to pull the Centurions wide man back to prevent him getting clear. Morgan picked himself up and delivered the free kick low to the near post where centre back Matt Coupe ghosted in to get in front of his man and deftly flicked the ball over keeper Tim Trebes and into the far corner.
This goal came during an opening twenty minute spell during which the Ives were simply not at the races. Things could have got worse on 15 minutes as a deep cross from Centurions skipper Matt Liddiard picked out Morgan in space beyond the far post. His clip back into the centre was only inches away from the shining pate of unmarked centre forward Alan Griffin.
Ives slowly began to shake themselves out of their slumber and work their way into the game. Josh Dawkin was unlucky to not get an advantage as he ploughed through the middle to get into a shooting position on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick for a pull back was delivered to the back post by Ben Seymour-Shove where James Mortimer-Jones just climbed high enough to flick it off Liam McDevitt’s head as the centre back arrived late.
The equaliser arrived two minutes later as Seymour-Shove broke from inside his own half and sped through the muddy central area before playing the ball into the feet of Danny Kelly. His clever flick found Jack Higgs in space on the corner of the box. Higgs exquisite curling effort left keeper Glyn Garner rooted and found the far corner of the net.
The goal lifted the home side and spurred on by the voices of their supporters they began to put some pressure onto the Centurions back line. A flowing move down the left involving Scott Sinclair and Jarrold on the half hour set up Dawkin who it turn picked out Seymour-Shove beyond the far post. He pulled the ball back to Kelly on the edge of the box, but the big striker’s first time effort failed to hit the target.
The visitors were still looking dangerous on the break and only three minutes later Jarrold who was having a tough first half was caught in possession again, this time by Dan Demkiv. His ball into the feet of Morgan on the edge of the box was laid into the run of Adam Connolly who drove on into the box and was perhaps unlucky to be thwarted by a divot as the ball bobbled just as he was about to shoot forcing him to slice the shot horribly wide from a good position.
As half time approached it was still the Ives that were looking more likely to grab a second. A storming run from the centre circle by Harry O’Malley allowed him to slip a ball through the left channel to give Kelly another shooting opportunity. Kelly was quickly closed down by the resilient Coupe and tried screwing his shot back across the face of goal, the effort beat keeper Garner, but rolled the wrong side of the far upright.
The final effort of the first period came four minutes before the break as an excellent interchange of passes between Sinclair and Higgs down the left allowed the latter to deliver a deep cross to the back of the box where a well positioned Dawkin went for the spectacular with a first time volley that flew well wide of the target.
Having been credited with the final shot of the first period Dawkin gained another credit for the first shot of the second only five minutes in. Again he went for the spectacular as Ives tried for a true route one goal. Keeper Trebes delivered a long punt down the centre that evaded Gethin Jones as he was put under pressure by Kelly. As the ball bounced on to the edge of the box Dawkin cleverly allowed it to drop over his shoulder and hit a first time volley that flew a couple of feet wide.
The visitor’s first effort of the second half came three minutes later as Griffin struck a rasping drive from fully 30 yards that forced Trebes into a full length dive low to his left to push the ball around the post. Trebes claimed the corner well and his distribution was good to set up a quick break which saw Seymour-Shove and Dawkin combine well down the middle, but the move petered out on the edge of the Centurions box without either man getting a shot away.
Ives manager Ricky Marheineke introduced his new trump card just after the hour as 16 year old work experience loanee from Peterborough United Kasey Douglas joined the fray replacing Sinclair. He went close to opening his Ives account only four minutes after his introduction as Tom McGowan won a ball in midfield and sprayed it wide to Seymour-Shove. His pin point delivery looked like it was going to pick out Douglas arriving late at the far post unmarked. But just as the youngster was rising ready to head the ball home a stretching Coupe just managed to get a touch to flick the ball over his head.
The resulting in-swinging corner was delivered to the far post by Seymour-Shove and required a fingertip over the top by keeper Garner to prevent it going straight in. The second corner from the other side was safely cleared by the visitors.
Debutant Douglas remained at the centre of a number of Ives best moves and he went close to opening his account twice in two minutes with fifteen minutes to go. First he was put through the left channel into the box by Seymour-Shove, but rather than go for a first time effort with his left foot he tried to turn back inside and was robbed by Mortimer-Jones. He went even closer two minutes later as Ives went for another route one effort. Fellow substitute Jared Cunniff battled his way between the Centurions giant centre back pairing to get on the end of another Trebes punt. His shot was blocked by the body of keeper Garner, but the ball rebounded to Douglas inside the box. He hit his first time effort well only to be denied by a block on the six yard line by covering defender Coupe.
Having come close to a winner Ives then had to rely on a goal line clearance of their own ten minutes later as Keeper Trebes spilled a low cross from the left by Morgan and Griffin was first to react to take the loose ball away from the struggling stopper. The big centre forward unselfishly laid the ball back to substitute Henry Spalding who hit the target with his well struck effort only to be denied by a well positioned Higgs on the goal line.
The final effort of the entertaining afternoon came four minutes into added time as an excellent passing move by the Ives was finished with a pile driver from 25 yards by Higgs that finished lodged in a tree in one of the gardens behind the goal at the Green Leys end.
Overall conclusion was an entertaining encounter with the visitors just about deserving their valuable point in their quest to avoid the drop. Ives run of draws is now up to three in a row in the League. Jack Higgs took the man of the match award as much for a stand out display in the centre of the park as his well taken goal. Young Douglas also looks a very exciting prospect that looks likely to provide Ives supporters with some entertaining moments in the remaining couple of months of the season.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Seymour-Shover, McGowan (Bradshaw 82), Kelly (Cunniff 74), Dawkin, Sinclair (Douglas 65)
Unused subs : De’ath
Goals : Higgs 26
Sponsors Man of the Match : Jack Higgs
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Cirencester Town 1
Attendance : 217