St Ives Town 1 Hayes & Yeading United 1
Date: Saturday 4th February 2017
Kick Off: 3pm
Competition: Southern League Premier Division
Ground Address: ProEdge Westwood Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6DT
Match Day Sponsor: Instant Pot
Match Ball Sponsor: ProEdge Group
Overall this was probably a fair result as both sides will be just as happy that they did not lose this game as they will be unhappy that they did not win it. The visiting Handy United went in front with a wonder strike in the first half and looked likely to hang on against an Ives side that were struggling to create much in the visitors final third. But having grabbed an unlikely equaliser with a soft penalty twelve minutes from time Jared Cunniff missed an open goal right at the death to prevent the home side grabbing all three points.
Having both come through the midweek cup win at Barton unscathed Scott Sinclair and club captain Charlie De’ath found themselves making their first League starts since October and November respectively. Sinclair coming in for the injured Dubi Ogbonna and De’ath for the rested Lee Chaffey.
The Handy United won the toss and elected to play with a low sun behind them in the first half. De’ath’s first action of the game came only ninety seconds in as he fouled Anthony Edgar as the flying winger looked like getting past him. Lewis Putman lined up the free kick 25 yards from goal in a central position and curled his free kick around the four man Ives wall. Home keeper Tim Trebes was alert to the danger and moved his feet quickly before plunging low to his right to turn the ball around the post.
The visitors struggling in the relegation zone had come into this game desperate for the points and they continued to enjoy a lot of early possession. The game was only six minutes old when the lively Mitchell Wiess received a ball from Josh Chamberlain on the edge of the box and cleverly turned Liam McDevitt before firing in a rising shot the Trebes was forced to push away.
Ives came more into the game as the half wore on, but the nearest they came to troubling visiting keeper Danny Boness were wayward shots from Ben Seymour-Shove and Josh Dawkin neither of which came within six yards of the target.
It looked like the half was going to remain goalless until Connor Toomey was offered a lot of time and space in the middle of the park. He received a ball inside from Melanius Mullarky fully forty yards from Ives goal took a touch and strode forward before unleashing a wicked drive out of the setting sun from fully 35 yards that dipped and swerved on it’s way past a static Trebes into the roof of the net.
The home side responded well and Jordan Jarrold came close to earning a penalty only four minutes later as he burst through a gap in the visitors defence only to be brought down inches outside the box by a combination of Mullarky and Wes Parker. Jack Bradshaw went for power with the resulting free kick but the Handy United wall held firm.
The Ives faithful were trying their best to rouse their team, but it was the visitors who started the second period best. On 52 minutes a corner from the right was dropped into the Ives box and the resulting scramble saw efforts by Wiess and Toomey blocked before the ball was finally hacked away.
The Handy United’s best chance to sew up the game came only ten minutes later as De’ath misjudged a high ball that bounced over him to present Edgar a free shot inside the box. Fortunately he hurried his effort and fired the ball straight at Trebes who blocked it away.
Ives sole attempt in this early period of the second half was a speculative long range effort from Bradshaw the dipped over the crossbar without troubling Boness on 57 minutes.
As in the first half Ives started to wrestle control of the game from their opposition as the half wore on. Their first good opportunity came of 71 minutes as keeper Boness miscued an attempted punch to a long ball in from the right by Harry O’Malley. The ball dropped by the penalty spot and Dawkin and substitute Jared Cunniff both had efforts blocked in the ensuing melee before Boness managed to drop on the loose ball.
With Ives now getting on top manager Ricky Marheineke decided to go for broke with fifteen minutes to go. He replaced a tiring Sinclair with Lee Chaffey to go three at the back pushing De’ath and Jarrold forward. This extra pressure on the visitor’s back line almost immediately began to tell. Parker was booked for pulling back Danny Kelly as the big striker threatened to burst clear.
Two Ives corners followed in quick succession and from the second of these they had a good shout for a penalty turned down as Chaffey’s attempted clip at the near post hit the raised arm of Darren Locke. But unfortunately it was on the blind side of referee Stephen Bates. The loose ball was half cleared to Bradshaw who fired inches wide from just outside the box.
Having had a good shout for a penalty turned down in 76th minute Ives were perhaps a little fortunate to be awarded one by Mr Bates only two minutes later. Jarrold picked up the ball just outside the left edge of the box and tried to go outside Mullarky who put in an unnecessary clumsy challenge that brought down the young Ives full back just inside the box. The ever reliable Jack Higgs stepped up and although keeper Boness got a hand to the spot kick he was unable to keep the ball out.
Handy United had one chance to claim all three points as substitute Frankie Jones was put away down the right on 83 minutes. Trebes initially started to come for the ball, but then stopped and was fortunate as Jones fired his shot straight at the out of position keeper.
Having survived this scare Ives then spurned a golden opportunity to grab the three points two minutes from time. Dawkin and Kelly combined well on the right to send Kelly clear into the box and closing on goal from a narrow angle. He drew the keeper and both centre backs to him before setting the ball on a plate to the unmarked Cunniff eight yards out. Just as the silky striker went to side foot the ball into the empty net it took a bobble and instead of nestling in the goal it looped up in the air to give a disbelieving defender a lifeline to knock it away from goal.
It would have been harsh on Hayes if the Ives had taken all three points and the single point gained may prove vital in their quest to stay up at the end of the season. Ives on the other hand still sit twelfth in the table and this point is one more towards their initial target of consolidation in their first season in this division. It also takes the unbeaten home run at fortress Pro-Edge to ten games in all competitions.
St Ives team : Trebes, O’Malley, Jarrold, De’ath (capt), McDevitt, Higgs, Sinclair (Chaffey 75), Bradshaw, Dawkin, Kelly, Seymour-Shove (Cunniff 60)
Unused subs : Coulson
Goals : Higgs 78 (pen)
Sponsors Man of the Match : Danny Kelly
Final Score : St Ives Town 1 Hayes & Yeading United 1
Attendance : 220