First Team Result St Ives Town 1 Frome Town 1

St Ives Town vs Frome Town

Date: Tuesday 4th October 2016
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Southern League Challenge Cup First Round
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: V M Associates
Match Ball Sponsor: City Security Services

Skipper Charlie De’ath was the Ives hero as he popped up in the opposition penalty area to hammer home a deserved late equaliser and grab a valuable point to keep Ives heads above water in the battle to avoid the relegation places in the Premier Division.

Once again manager Ricky Marheineke made changes to the starting line up in his search to rediscover the formula that brought Ives early season victories. But since then the goals and the points have dried up and it was over 400 minutes since the home faithful had been treated to an Ives goal at the Pro-Edge Stadium. One of manager Marheineke’s changes was enforced as Tim Trebes served a one match ban and Ollie Sutton returned between the sticks. Other changes were tactical with the headliners being young Justin Leavers given a chance to lead the line and Jordan Jarrold playing in an unfamiliar left sided midfield role.

The home side started the game in positive fashion taking the game to their opponents who were also on a losing run. Buster Harradine registered the first attempt on goal in the seventh minute. Jarrold delivered a ball in from the left which Leavers brought down well and laid off the Tom McGowan who in turn teed up Harradine for his effort from 20 yards that flew well over the top.

Ben Seymour-Shove was brought down just outside the box in their next attack only one minute later. Harradine curled his free kick into the danger zone, but Robins defender Kriss Miller flung himself at the ball to knock it out for a corner just ahead of Seymour-Shove.

The Robins carved out their first opportunity on 19 minutes. Darren Jefferies went down the right and fired in a driven cross that was blocked by Mark Coulson. Kriss Miller pounced on the loose ball and curled in a cross that Mitchell Page got on the end of. But the big striker was always stretching and failed to hit the target from close range.

Having worked their way into the game the visitors slowly began to get on top with Jon Davies prominent in a lot of their good moves. He sprayed a ball out to Jefferies on 22 minutes and when Jefferies attempted cross was cleared away by De’ath Davies pounced on the loose ball and fired in a shot from 25 yards, but deflected off Liam McDevitt into the grateful arms of Sutton.

Sutton was forced into his first real save on 32 minutes as Corey Moore hammered in a powerful volley from 25 yards that the young keeper did well to initially parry into the air and then grab the dropping ball ahead of the inrushing Page.

The visitors were enjoying a lot of possession, but just when it looked like Ives back line were coping with the pressure they fell behind to a classic corner routine. Davies delivered the ball from the right to the near post where Dan Cleverly flicked it on and centre back Connor Roberts was on hand to slam it home at the back post.

Ives almost fell further behind four minutes later Davies robbed Harradine in midfield and set off down the right before delivering a low cross to the near post where Page got to the ball just ahead of keeper Sutton, but fortunately he turned the ball wide of the near post as the keeper closed him down.

Up to this point Sutton’s opposite number Kyle Phillips had been having a quiet day, but he pulled off the save of the match to keep the Robins in front right on half time. Jarrold delivered a pin point cross from the left that Leavers got a perfect flick onto eight yards from goal. The ball was arrowing into the roof of the net when Phillips produced an amazing one handed reaction save to parry it away.

We might of expected Ives to come out in the second half and tear into the visitors, but it was a slow build up of pressure that came from the home side and it took them until 67th minute before Leavers got their first effort on target a side footed effort to a Coulson cross. But the effort lack power and was comfortable save for Phillips.

But the stopper had to work a little harder two minutes later as another Coulson cross from the left was flicked on by Leavers and the ball arrived at the feet of Sinclair who hammered in a first time effort that was straight at the Robins keeper who punched the ball away.

Marheineke made positive substitutions and began to push more men forward in an attempt to wrestle something from the game. But it looked more likely that the visitors would grab a second on the break rather than Ives grab an equaliser. Jefferies fired wide from a good position on 70 minutes and George Miller should have done better having been teed up by Jefferies with seven minutes to go.

Having failed to finish the Ives off the Robins began to invite pressure upon themselves by conceding a series of free kicks all over the pitch and picking up a number of needless yellow cards. Two free kicks conceded in quick succession lead to the equaliser Marcus Mapstone pushed McDevitt as he climbed for a long Sinclair free kick to provide Ives with a further free kick in a central position 25 yards from goal. Perfect Jack Higgs territory, we hoped. But Higgs free kick hit the wall and the ball rebounded to Sinclair fully 35 yards from goal. The hardworking utility player hit a peach of a drive that beat everyone and clattered the angle of crossbar and post. De’ath reacted with a striker’s instinct to pounce on the loose ball and hammer it home from close range to send the home fans into raptures and capture a very valuable and hard earned point.

The Ives faithful acted like a twelfth man in this fixture as they were up and singing from the off and their support was critical in lifting the players that little bit further and putting the pressure on the opposition as the second half wore on. This point was just reward for their efforts to push on their side and manager Marheineke was quick to praise their support after the final whistle.

Skipper De’ath was rightly voted man of the match by the sponsors for his solid display at the back which was perfectly topped off by a true striker’s goal. Could he be the answer to our goal scoring problems?

St Ives team : Sutton, Sinclair, Coulson, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, McGowan (Chaffey 78), Dawkin, Harradine (Higgs 71), Leavers, Seymour-Shove, Jarrold (O’Malley 66)

Unused subs : none

Goals : De’ath 90

Sponsors Man of the Match : Charlie De’ath

Final Score :  St Ives Town 1  Frome Town  1

Attendance  :  275