St Ives Town 1 Dorchester Town 0
Date: Saturday 18th March 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: City Security Services
An early Ben Seymour-Shove strike and another excellent all round defensive display saw the Ives pass their pre-season survival points target with seven games to spare.
Manager Ricky Marheineke chose to make one change from Tuesday night’s cup semi-final victory and reverted to the starting eleven that performed so well to take a point from a tough trip to Kettering the previous Saturday with Lee Chaffey in at centre back replacing Charlie De’ath.
The Magpies also came into this game in confident mood having picked up nine points from their previous four games, including an excellent victory at promotion chasing Hitchin, to lift themselves clear of the relegation dog fight.
The home side took the game to their visitors from the outset with the first shot on target arriving from the unlikely source of full back Jordan Jarrold as he picked up a poor clearance from a cross from the right from fellow full back Jack Bradshaw after only four minutes. His low drive from 30 yards provided a comfortable gather for visiting keeper Shane Murphy.
The only goal of the game arrived only four minutes later as Bradshaw delivered a long throw from the right that was flicked on at the near post by Liam McDevitt. The ball bounced into the centre of the visitor’s box where Seymour-Shove showed great technique to get over the bouncing ball hammering his shot into the ground with such force that the ball rebounded up into the top corner of the net giving Murphy no chance.
The Ives continued in the ascendency with the movement of Danny Kelly and Josh Dawkin stretching the Magpies back line. Kelly did well to take in a long ball down the left on 12 minutes. As he tried to slip past Dorchester’s Kyle Egan he was brought down by the Exeter City loanee. Charlie Day curled in the resulting free kick which an under pressure Murphy just managed to punch off the head of Dawkin. Again the ball fell to Seymour-Shove on the edge of the box, but this time he failed to hit his effort cleanly and the ball was scrambled away.
The Ives final opportunity in their very good first fifteen minutes was created by a flash of Peter Clark’s brilliance as he picked up the ball in the centre of the park and rode an initial lunging tackle before setting off on a run past three more struggling Magpies. Having created the space Clark tried to feed the ball through to put his fellow midfielder Tom McGowan clear only for the ball to just be cut out by the toe end of the visitor’s skipper Nathan Walker.
Having seen very little of the ball in these early stages the Magpies slowly began to work their way into the game. Their first real threat on the Ives goal came after 25 minutes as Matt Oldring delivered a deep cross from the left that had home keeper Tim Trebes furiously back peddling. He just got to the ball to palm it off Phil Ormrod’s head, but the ball fell in the box to substitute Tom Blair who looked certain to score only for play to be halted by referee Stuart Cheek’s whistle as the man in black deemed that the Ives custodian had been unfairly challenged by Ormrod.
Another deep cross from the left, this time from full back Neil Martin on 32 minutes created another opportunity for the visitor’s. This one cleared everyone in the centre of goal and arrived at the feet of Jon Vance who had crept in un-noticed. Vance took on the chance first time, but did not get a clean strike and a well positioned Trebes blocked the effort at his near post.
Ives ventures into the Magpies box had dwindled as the half wore on, but they did have a shout for a penalty turned down nine minutes before the break as a long Trebes punt was skilfully brought down by Dawkin who quickly fed the ball into the feet of McGowan inside the visitor’s box. As the all action midfield man went to turn he was clipped by Toby Down and hit the deck. Referee Cheek was well positioned, but waved Ives claims away. It would certainly have been a soft one if awarded as the contact was minimal so I am of the opinion that the man in the middle was probably right.
Keeper Trebes preserved Ives lead and earned his corn with his best save of the day just seconds before the break. A free kick from the right was delivered to the back post by Vance. Walker rose above the crowd to power in a downward header from ten yards that was heading for the bottom corner of the net, but the alert Trebes flung himself to his right to turn the ball around the post and take the home side into the interval one in front.
The Ives side came out for the second period in a frame of mind to give nothing away and try to grab a second on the break to effectively kill the game off. They executed the first half of their game plan to perfection as although the Magpies enjoyed a lot of possession they found it almost impossible to find a way, through, over, or around, the rigid Ives formation. The only half chance the visitor’s manage to carve out in first 35 minutes of the second period came in the 52nd minute as a corner from the left was headed out to the edge of the box where Blair had time and space to take a touch, but he tried a wild swing at the ball and was deceived by a bobble completely failing to make contact.
In contrast to their visitor’s Ives continued to look dangerous when the broke away. McDevitt came within inches of doubling the lead on 56 minutes as a Day corner from the right was flicked on by Kelly and McDevitt hit the target with a stooping header at the back post that was blocked on the line by Egan and scrambled away from a fast closing Dawkin by keeper Murphy.
Kelly was hugely unlucky to be denied the all important second goal from another corner in 66th minute. This one was delivered from the left by Seymour-Shove and Kelly rose highest in the centre of goal to direct his header from eight yards on target only to look on in disbelief as the goal bound effort hit team mate Dubi Ogbonna on the back almost on the goal line and bounced to safety.
Ives final opportunity to make the game safe arrived fifteen minutes from time as a long Trebes punt was taken down by McGowan who knocked the ball wide to Seymour-Shove in space on the left. Ogbonna fairly challenged keeper Murphy who dropped the cross. The ball fell back to the inrushing McGowan who was only denied by a brave block from Ollie Griggs.
The Magpies made changes going three at the back and pushing Walker up as an added front man, but were still struggling to force a save from keeper Trebes. They came close on 80 minutes as a near post cross from the right by Egan was flicked on by Vance. But the impressive McDevitt was again on hand to bravely head the ball away from almost under his own crossbar under heavy pressure from Ormrod and Walker.
The final, and probably the best, chance of an equaliser for the visitors arrived deep in added time as a hopeful ball into the box by Down was knocked down to Jarrold on the edge of the box. He hurried his attempted clearance and only succeeded in knocking the ball into the path of Griggs who drove a low cross through the crowded goalmouth and Walker sliding at the back post somehow failed to hit the target from inside the six yard box.
Referee Cheek brought proceedings to an end only seconds later allowing Ives to celebrate a victory which almost certainly ensures their survival at step three for another season. As has been the case on a few occasions recently the centre back pairing of Lee Chaffey and Liam McDevitt claimed the majority of supporter’s votes for man of the match. For the second time in three weeks the big number five edged out his captain to claim the accolade. Although everyone played their part in this success two more perhaps slightly unsung heroes who also played excellent games and are worthy of special mention are Jack Bradshaw who showed what an excellent full back he is very effectively limiting the Magpies attacks up the left flank and Tom McGowan who, as always, put in a fully committed display in the centre of the park and once more covered every blade of grass for the cause. If anyone put pedometers on these players as in the Premiership I am sure that McGowan would be well ahead of everyone else on the pitch every week.
St Ives team : Trebes, Bradshaw, Jarrold, Chaffey (capt), McDevitt, McGowan, Seymour-Shove, Clark (Higgs 71), Kelly (De’ath 84), Dawkin, Day (Ogbonna 65)
Unused subs : none
Goals : Seymour-Shove 8
Supporters Man of the Match : Liam McDevitt
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Dorchester Town 0
Attendance : 203